We’ve all been there. An event outside of our control occurs and alters the course of our life, or a loved one’s life, forever.
It could be someone not paying attention to the crosswalk while you’re crossing the street. Maybe it’s a medical professional’s negligence during a procedure you need to have done.
Regardless, situations happen in life where someone else’s negligence has ruined our life or the life of a loved one.
In these moments it’s easy to feel helpless. Left with medical bills, and other high costs associated with the incident, and seemingly no way to receive compensation for your hardship.
Fortunately, there is good news. Personal injury lawyers may be able to get you the compensation you deserve through a loss of consortium claim.
Read on and we’ll inform you as to what loss of consortium is, and what the process entails.
What Is Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is a standalone claim that can be brought against the defendant, by a spouse or family member of the plaintiff, for their negligent or intentionally harmful act.
The idea behind a loss of consortium claim is that due to the defendant’s negligent actions, the plaintiff can no longer provide his/her family with the quality of life they were able to sustain before the accident.
As a result, the family members or spouse of the plaintiff have a legitimate claim for financial compensation through loss of consortium.
Calculating The Claim Amount
A claim of loss of consortium, in general, falls under what’s known as “general” damages. This type of damage can be challenging to calculate since the loss is non-economic in nature.
It can be tough to put a price tag on things like love, affection, companionship, comfort, etc. For this reason, it’s left to the judge and jury to decide a claim amount in loss of consortium cases.
Calculating the claim amount may require the help of an expert in more complicated loss of consortium cases.
Who Can Make A Claim?
Claims of loss of consortium can be brought forth by spouses and partners of the plaintiff.
In the past, most states only allowed spouses to bring forth claims of loss of consortium. However, most states have relaxed that statute over time to include children and domestic partnerships. Some states even allow children or parents.
In a case where a child or parent is bringing forth the claim, they would need to prove that the defendant’s negligent actions left their parent or child unable to give the level of love, affection, and companionship they were able to provide before the incident.
The child or parent would have to show that their relationship with the plaintiff was permanently changed by the defendant’s actions.
Limits On Loss of Consortium
State laws will affect your loss of consortium claim. Some states require proof of a valid marriage before hearing your claim.
In certain cases, if a couple were to divorce shortly before the claim, it may drastically reduce the amount of compensation awarded.
Claims may also be limited by your insurance provider. Many insurance companies have what’s known as a “single injury” stipulation.
This means the insurance company has a cap in place on what they will pay out for each particular incident. Under this policy language, loss of consortium may be looked at as an additional incident by your insurance provider.
Claim Your Peace of Mind
For more information about what loss of consortium entails or any other legal matters, visit the blog on our website.
If you have a particular loss of consortium case you’d like to discuss, call Burgos Law Firm any time and we would be happy to help.