The unpredictability is the beauty of life, but sometimes it puts people in challenging situations, coming out of which becomes close to impossible. While the death of a loved one is the most devastating thing in life, there are other things that can take away one’s chance to be happy. Lifelong disability and loss of mental stability are two other types of scenarios that can push a person into deep grief. Even these two incidents have an impact on not only the victim but also their spouses and close family members.
It is a struggle for those directly affected by such incidents, but it can put excessive strain on the shoulders of the people closely related to the ones affected. It is where personal injury or tort law comes in with its ‘Loss of Consortium’ claim. It is a part of the law, and not many people are aware of that.
There are millions of people who are stuck in a situation where their loved ones incurred severe injuries, and the spouse or close family members have to incur the medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income. In such cases, the spouse or a close family member can file a loss of consortium claim. It is important to spread awareness about the topic as many people are looking for a way to make up for the damages due to their loved ones’ injuries.
Understanding Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is the least discussed part of the tort law. While the majority of the world’s population is well-aware of personal injury claims and its five elements, there are only a few who know about the loss of consortium claims.
Unlike many of the personal injury claims, a loss of consortium claim is filed by the spouse or a close family member of the victim. The close family or the immediate family includes parents and children. The majority of these claims are filed by spouses of the victims, due to which it has become popularly known as ‘loss of sexual pleasure’ claims. However, these claims are much more than the loss of sexual pleasure, rather it governs a broader aspect, and that is affection.
Loss of Consortium can also be translated to a loss of affection and also sometimes as loss of companionship. The claim can be filed when an accident, falling under the personal injury law, causes severe injuries to a victim and leads to the deprivation of the benefits of married life or parenting. The damage is not confined by severe injuries but also death.
When a victim fails to provide the same quality of care, love, affection, is unable to fulfill their day-to-day duties such as parenting or taking care of parents, and is unable to perform in a sexual relationship, the spouse, children, or parents can file a loss of consortium claim.
There is another form of loss of consortium that is known as the filial consortium. It is a loss of consortium claims for victims who lose their chill in an accident, or their child gets severely injured. These claims help the suffering individuals get compensated for the loss of love, care, and companionship of the child.
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Proving Loss of Consortium
The real question is, how does one prove the loss of consortium. It is a complicated process because the damage caused in these types of accidents fall under the category of noneconomic or general damages. As compared to other forms of damages, the monetary value of these damages is the toughest to calculate. What makes things difficult is the fact that there is no clear rule that can calculate these noneconomic damages. It is due to this reason, the spouses or family members need to hire an expert personal injury law attorney. These professionals have the skills to guide the plaintiffs to take the right steps at the right time. Moreover, they help in collecting proof that can prove that the damages were a result of the defendant’s negligence.
There are certain limitations to such claims. Before one gets started with the process, it is important to have a complete understanding of the process limitations. The state’s laws and insurance company’s policies limit such claims. Not all states accept the loss of consortium claims filed by spouses in a same-sex marriage. Moreover, to get compensated, spouses have to provide proof of their marriage. One thing that is the most important in this case, it is the fact that if a couple gets divorced after the accident but before the trial, it can negatively impact the compensation and jurisdiction.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can help deal with the complexities of these claims effectively. It also increases the chances of the decision being in favor of the plaintiffs. Therefore, anyone who is stepping into the loss of consortium claim process needs to hire an expert personal injury lawyer who has experience in this field.
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Need the assistance of a personal injury law attorney to file a loss of consortium claim? Contact Underwood Law Office and get in touch with the most experienced personal injury lawyers in town. You can get a free consultation to discuss your case, where you get to know if your case is worth your time and effort.