A loss of consortium claim is brought by close family members who have been affected because their loved one was injured or killed by the negligent or wrongful acts of a third party. It is a claim for the deprivation of the benefits that the close family member would have received had the accident or death not occurred to their loved one.
A loss of consortium claim is a claim for damages based on the effect that an accident or death had on a family. The family relationship may suffer because a person has been injured and can no longer enjoy the activities he or she did before the accident. Due to injuries that the victim suffered, he or she may not be able to provide the same type of love, support, and affection that he or she had prior to the injury.
In some jurisdictions, a claim for loss of consortium may be treated as a separate action that is pursued by the spouse or family member of the person who was killed or injured. This close relative would show that because of the wrongdoer’s actions, their injured or killed relative cannot provide them with the same love, support, or companionship as they used to. In other states, this claim for damages may be one of the elements of the victim’s claim.
A loss of consortium claim is usually only permitted by a person who has a relationship that is deserving of legal protection. Broadly, this generally applies to a spouse, parent, or child of the person who was injured or killed. For example, states may allow the uninjured spouse to pursue a claim of this nature due to the loss of a sexual relationship and companionship. Other states may allow others whose family relationship is negatively affected because of an accident. State laws typically determine who can bring forth a claim for loss of consortium. Typically, it is reserved for a close family member or individuals who were dependent on the injured victim.
The specific damages that comprise a loss of consortium claim may vary by jurisdiction and family situation. The loss suffered may include the loss of sexual relations, love, affection, companionship, comfort, and society.
Loss of consortium damages can be difficult to determine. The damages are generally considered non-economic in nature and their value is largely based on how a jury or insurance adjuster may quantifies them. However, some aspects of a loss of consortium claim may be easier to quantify and objectively evaluate, such as the loss of services. For example, if a stay-at-home parent was injured and the children now require childcare services, the amount of childcare expenses incurred could potentially be one element of this claim, which could then possibly be added to the other forms of loss suffered.
Amar Esq. PLLC is an Arizona law firm engaged in the practice of injury and civil litigation law.