Accidents happen all the time. Some accidents are harmless — such as a child spilling milk or knocking over a glass vase — and others can result in injuries or death. While accidents can feel completely out of your control, others may be the direct result of someone’s negligence. What are your options if your loved one has been seriously injured as a result of negligence?
What is loss of consortium?
Loss of consortium is a legal term that refers to when a spouse or domestic partner of a personal injury victim makes a claim for damages due to another party’s negligence. Some loss of consortium injuries sustained by the victim may impact the relationship between the victim and the spouse, including:
- Marital strains
- Loss of companionship
- Unable to do activities together (i.e. going for walks, biking, traveling, etc.)
- Sexual constraints
- Inability to bear children
Since it can be difficult to put a monetary value to these types of losses, they’re legally considered non-economic or general damages. This means they’re categorized similarly to pain and suffering. However, it’s important to note that loss of consortium is entirely dependent on the success of a personal injury claim. If the injured victim fails in making a successful claim, the spouse cannot recover damages for loss of consortium.
Proving Loss of Consortium
Once the victim has successfully won their personal injury claim, you can focus on gathering the evidence for proving loss of consortium. Since this is so difficult to monetize, you’ll need to prove at least four things in court:
- You, the spouse, suffered a loss of consortium
- You have a valid marriage or domestic relationship with the victim
- The victim suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party
- The loss of consortium is due to the injury sustained by the victim
Proving your marriage suffered directly from the injuries sustained can be difficult to prove. A judge and jury may consider how long you’ve been married, whether your marriage was stable prior to the injury, what activities you used to do together, and the history of your marriage — including evidence of abuse — when determining if loss of consortium exists. You can provide evidence of this in the form of legal documents and witness testimony.
How an Attorney Can Help
If your spouse or domestic partner sustained injuries from a negligent third party, your first step should be to call an experienced attorney. Not only can a lawyer help your spouse win their personal injury claim, but they can help you prove loss of consortium. An attorney will collect evidence in what’s called a discovery stage. This can include gathering witness testimony, legal documents, and video evidence that may support your claim. If your spouse’s injuries resulted in their death, then having someone who will do all this work on your behalf relieves the burden and gives you time to grieve. An attorney will ensure you achieve the best outcome possible.
How the Expert Lawyers at Clark Law Can Help
If your loved one has sustained injuries, including death, as a result of a negligent third party, call the expert Clark Law legal team at (855) 680-4911. You can also schedule a free consultation. The highly experienced and skilled attorneys understand the laws and complexities of loss of consortium, and we know how to fully protect your legal rights.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.