What Does “Loss of Consortium” Refer To?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Raymond Hatcher with Sloan Firm.
Loss of consortium, also referred to as “loss of care” or “loss of companionship”, is a damage that may be compensable in a personal injury claim when someone’s injury prevents them from engaging with loved ones like they did before. Some injuries can be so severe that they prevent the injured person from living their life the way they did before.
For example, if a spinal cord injury prevents someone from ever picking up or throwing a ball to their child, this is a significant loss of consortium. If someone sustained a traumatic brain injury and is no longer to engage verbally and socially with their loved one like they did before the accident, this is also a loss of consortium.
Loss of consortium can also apply to wrongful death cases, in which a negligent party caused the death of a loved one whose family will have to adjust to a life without them in it. If you believe you or your family have suffered a loss of consortium due to an injury, reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss your options for recovery.
Loss of consortium can refer to a myriad of losses. Some of the most common include the following:
- The injured party can no longer provide the same physical affection to their family.
- The injured party can no longer offer the same kind of companionship due to their injury and/or its psychological effects.
- The injured party can no longer engage in the verbal/emotional aspects of family relationships due to their injury and/or its psychological effects.
- The injured party can no longer engage in sexual relations with their spouse or partner.
- The injured party can no longer engage with daily life as they did before, including returning to activities they used to enjoy.
Loss of consortium is a non-economic damage.
Damages in a personal injury or wrongful death claim are considered to fall into one of two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages generally include easily quantifiable expenses, such as medical bills, past and future lost wages, and even the cost of ongoing life care expenses. However, non-economic damages can be just as significant and should be considered in any serious injury or wrongful death case.
Non-economic damages can be hard to attribute a value to without the help of a professional. Non-economic damages may include loss of consortium, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. Unfortunately, many families who handle their personal injury cases alone do not realize that these types of damages are just as worthy of receiving compensation, and can be sought with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
A loss of consortium claim is typically filed by a spouse or partner.
A loss of consortium claim can typically be brought forward by any immediate family member who suffered relationally as a result of their loved one’s injury or death. Spouses, partners, children, and parents are the most common parties considered eligible to file a loss of consortium claim. However, the law can vary from state to state, so it’s important to seek counsel from an attorney near you.
When loss of consortium is involved, talk to an attorney.
Personal injury and wrongful death attorneys know how to identify any potential economic and non-economic damages associated with a personal injury or wrongful death claim, often even before the family does. Additionally, they have access to the experts who know how to assign a monetary value to damages that can be particularly painful for a family, such as loss of consortium. If your family’s life has been significantly affected by your loved one’s injury or death, reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for recovery.