What is Loss of Consortium Claims?
An affiliation, combination, or partnership of enterprises, financial institutions, or investors involved in a joint venture is referred to as a consortium in the context of commerce.
The term “consortium” in family law refers to the rights that a spouse has to the companionship, cooperation, affection, assistance, financial support, and sexual relations of their partner.
The emotional pain or suffering suffered by the family members or loved ones of an accident victim is the legal definition of loss of consortium claims. It is one of the categories of legal damages that may be recovered in a personal injury claim.
What is Loss of Consortium Claims?
Loss of consortium is the psychological trauma experienced by the relatives and friends of an accident victim. It is also known as loss of closeness, loss of moral support, or loss of companionship. Only the close relatives of a victim may make a loss of consortium claim. The victim’s personal injury action has been coupled with their compensation claim.
How to Prove Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is an example of non-economic damages, also known as general damages, which are intangible harms that are challenging to quantify in monetary terms. For determining noneconomic damages, there is no set formula. Yet if the spouse of a vehicle accident victim seeks loss of consortium, the court will probably take the following into account:
- Whether there was a stable, loving relationship during the marriage
- The residences of the partners
- How much attention and company the husband got
- Individual life expectancies of the spouses
The spouse of the injured party brings the loss of consortium claims.
The victim must demonstrate the following to succeed in a loss of consortium claim:
- There is a domestic partnership or legitimate marriage that is recognized by law. The marriage or partnership must have been in place when the damage occurred.
- There is a tortious injury to the spouse. The spouse must have a legitimate personal injury claim of their own.
- A loss of consortium has occurred. Because of the injuries, the couple’s relationship alters or they lose each other as a married partner.
- The loss of consortium is correlated with the spouse’s injuries. You must demonstrate how the harm affected the way the marriage evolved.
Who Claims Loss of Consortium
The family members of the victim file a claim for loss of consortium. In a derivative claim, the claim is typically attached to the victim’s personal injury case. The loved ones’ demand for loss of consortium damages will be unsuccessful if the victim’s lawsuit is unsuccessful.
Depending on the state’s personal injury statute, the particular family relationship required to prove loss of companionship will vary. In most cases, current spouses are the only ones who can receive compensation for loss of consortium. For the most part, because they emphasize the loss of sexual relations, several states are quite rigorous about this restriction. Cohabiting individuals who are not married, or even those who are engaged, frequently cannot be compensated for their loss of consortium.
Yet, some states allow separated couples to file a loss of consortium claims.
The victim’s children may also file a loss of consortium claims in some states.
Only when the victim is a small kid and has sustained severe injuries do some states allow the victim’s parents to collect loss of consortium damages.
Many states prohibit stepparents or siblings of the victim from claiming loss of consortium.
Limitations on Loss of Consortium
The amount granted for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and comparable compensatory damages has historically been subject to restrictions, or “caps,” set by the legislature. The Georgia Supreme Court, however, overturned these restrictions in 2010, declaring that they “violate the right to a jury trial.”
Occasionally, punitive damages are awarded in loss of consortium cases. Punitive damages are used to penalize defendants who act in a shocking or egregiously reckless manner. Losses incurred by an injury victim are not compensated. In contrast to compensatory damages, punitive damages have a cap of $250,000.
Statute of Limitations
Typically, loss of consortium claims has a four-year statute of limitations from the date of the injured spouse’s accident. You probably won’t be able to receive compensation for loss of consortium damages if you miss the deadline.
If you’re a personal injury victim’s spouse, you might have a strong case for loss of consortium. There are deadlines for making your claim. To find out what you might be able to collect and how to make a loss of consortium claim, get in touch with our team at Coluccio Law.
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