Personal Injury Terms Explained: What is Loss of Consortium?
If you are the spouse of a person who was injured or killed in an accident, and you bring a personal injury case against the at-fault party, then you have likely heard the term “loss of consortium.” But what does it really mean? And does it apply to your case? Keep reading for answers and then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 877-982-0707 for your free legal consultation.
The Definition of Loss of Consortium
The term refers to what a spouse loses when their husband or wife suffers a serious injury and cannot function in the same spousal capacity as they once did. A number of things can be included under the umbrella term loss of consortium, including:
- Lost wages or loss of employment due to the time required to take care of your spouse;
- Services in the home that your spouse once did;
- Loss of comfort;
- Loss of sexual relations and other types of physical contact.
Important Facts to Keep in Mind Regarding Loss of Consortium
Note that you cannot bring a loss of consortium claim on – it must be included in another type of case. This other case would likely be your spouse’s personal injury claim or your wrongful death claim. Next, know that you and your spouse must have been legally married at the time of the accident. Finally, it is a requirement that there was some loss of benefit within your spousal relationship.
When to Bring a Claim for Loss of Consortium
If your life has been significantly changed due to accidents or injuries your spouse experienced, then you should talk to your spouse’s personal injury attorney or your wrongful death attorney. One important factor is the limit on the insurance policy of the at-fault party. If the original claim, whether your wrongful death case or your spouse’s personal injury case, exceeds the policy limit then there may no point in adding a loss of consortium claim because it will not add to the settlement.
How to Prove a Claim of Loss of Consortium
You will need documents and other type of evidence to prove your loss of consortium – it is not enough to simply state that you have suffered damages. It is relatively easy to prove economic loss because you can generally prove that you took time off at the time of your spouse’s medical appointments, etc. To calculate losses for things like “loss of services” that your partner no longer does, you would base it on the cost of a housekeeper, chef, etc.
When it comes to proving or monetizing damages for loss of love, affection, and sexual relations, it can be difficult. This is similar to proving pain and suffering. Essentially, if the rest of the claim is established then that will be the foundation for loss of affection.
Do you have more questions? Are you ready to file your own lawsuit? Contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 877-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.