When Your Spouse's Injuries Affect You: Understanding Loss Of Consortium
For married couples, major lifestyle changes generally end up being issues that affect both people. This is especially the case when one spouse suffers significant injuries. No matter the source of the injures, when your spouse is hurt due to the negligent actions of another person or entity, this will have an impact on your life.
Loss Of Consortium
If you have been affected by the injuries your spouse sustained, it's important that you understand what loss of consortium is. This legal claim can be applied when an injured individual is no longer able to engage in the same type of relationship they did before their injuries, with either their spouse or family members. This wide-ranging claim serves as an umbrella for many different scenarios.
It can be used for significant changes, such as a spouse's inability to no longer engage in intimacy with their spouse or something more seemingly minor as a parent that is no longer able to drive their child to school due to an amputation. Loss of consortium is designed to cover any damages the family suffers.
The next concern that often comes up is a question as to the value of a loss of consortium claim. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to answer this question. Primarily, the level of compensation you are awarded for your own personal damages is highly dependent on the discretion of the judge overseeing your case.
However, there are some factors that hold merit. For example, the more significant the impact on your life, the greater the value of a claim. For example, a couple that was planning to have a child who is no longer able to due to an injury that caused one party to lose their fertility may result in a larger award than someone who is only claiming emotional distress.
As with any legal process, there are limitations. For example, in terms of a married couple, it won't be enough to simply claim that your life has been affected. You will need to show some level of proof to the courts that add validity to your claim. If you are unable to do this, this will have an impact on your ability to claim loss of consortium. In some instances, the result is a reduction in your compensation and in others it's a complete dismissal of your claim.
If you have been affected by your spouse's injuries, an attorney can help you determine if you have a valid claim, as well as help you move forward toward compensation. Contact a firm like Dunnigan & Messier P.C. to learn more.