After a deadly accident, it’s not just the life of an injured victim that gets affected—their family members are also impacted. Whether the injury is minor or severe, the relationship between the spouse and the injured party can be affected. Loss of consortium is the adverse impact that the injury has made on the relationship between the spouse and the injured victim.

What is a loss of consortium?

The legal definition refers to when a spouse of an injury victim files a lawsuit for losses due to another party’s negligence. The severity of the injuries will decide whether the relationship has permanent ramifications for both partners. 

The term is generally used as the “law of torts,” meaning deprivation of the family relationship owing to the injuries by the party at fault. Consortium refers to the fellowship and links that exist between two married people.

Consequences of loss of consortium may include:

  • Marital status
  • Inability to bear a child
  • Loss of companionship
  • Constraints in the sexual relationship
  • Unable to engage in day-to-day activities together, such as traveling, going for walks, and others.  

Consortium ClaimTherefore, this kind of loss will be to compensate the domestic partner for the disruption of the relationship between the plaintiff and the injured spouse. This falls under non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are those where one cannot calculate their specific numeric value.

A loss of consortium claim in Texas specifies that you have been deprived of benefits from a relationship that existed before an injury or death. These actions may be brought up by family members of the individual that is deceased or injured wrongfully.

These losses can only be gained after the plaintiff files a personal injury claim. However, if the plaintiff does not win the case, they will be unable to get reimbursement for the loss of the consortium claim.

Who can claim loss of consortium?

It may be a challenging task to prove loss of consortium, as it is a type of non-economic damage, which does not in itself have any monetary value. Furthermore, it can be a sensitive matter to discuss a couple’s relationship in front of a court. However, there are 4 factors that can be proven in which the plaintiff can demonstrate this kind of loss:

  • There is a valid marriage between the couple
  • The injury occurred due to the recklessness of another party
  • The spouse of the injured victim has been experiencing a loss of consortium
  • The loss is owing to the severe injury of the victim 

Loss of companionship can be claimed by three types of individuals:

  • Married spouse: It can be claimed if there is a valid marriage.
  • Children or parents: More recently, parents and children are permitted to make such claims.
  • Domestic partner: The partner with whom the injured victim has been sharing a life or living, but they were not married to the victim.

Every state has different specifications regarding a claim for loss of companionship. You can speak to a proficient San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer to know the eligibility requirements that prevail in Texas. You can build a solid attorney-client relationship with a skilled lawyer which will help further throughout the course of your case.

The consortium claim can include mental anguish, loss of reputation, humiliation, embarrassment, emotional stress, pain, and suffering. In most cases, it is the jury that decides on the monetary value, as these can be extremely difficult to quantify. These kinds of claims are generally awarded if the injury is long-lasting, permanent, and/or severe.

What accidents can lead to loss of consortium?

Some of the common accidents that can lead to loss of consortium are auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice cases, and defective product cases. Further, it could be due to a crime such as rape, assault, or battery. 

You can file a loss of consortium claim under two cases: injury or wrongful death. 

In case of injury, the mental state of the victim, side effects of medications, and recovery process that may change the course of the marriage. In the case of wrongful death due to someone’s carelessness, the profound loss of consortium is more obvious.

How much is a loss of consortium claim worth?

Loss of consortium in a car accident case can be awarded when an injured victim has sustained severe injuries, long-term or permanent injuries, or when they pass away. Some of the limitations for this type of loss are governed by state laws or insurance policies. 

In some states, there may not be a cap on non-economic damages or general damages. So, nationwide, courts can award loss of consortium settlement amounts in highly variable amounts from state to state. In any case, before filing a claim it’s important to show evidence of a valid marriage. 

If the couple is divorced, it will negatively affect the case. If insurance policies are taken into consideration, they will be limited to a single injury. In other words, the insurance company will not give a cap. Furthermore, the loss of consortium claim will be considered as separate.