It may feel overwhelming to dig through all the complexities and bills at such a difficult time, but this short article by Bill Coats Law, a personal injury firm in Bellingham, WA, guides survivors through the morass. Click here to learn what survivors need to know about recoverable damages in wrongful death cases.
Loss of consortium
Loss of consortium compensates family members for their own losses
In most states, in a personal injury or wrongful death case the immediate family members of the injured person can file a lawsuit for their own loss. A loss of consortium claim against the defendant is meant to compensate the spouse or family of a person who has been injured or killed due to the negligence or wrongful act of the defendant.
What are the damages that fall within the loss of consortium claim?
Since this type of claim compensates immediate family members for what they received from the person who was injured or killed, including love, affection, companionship, comfort, and sexual relations. The spouse or family member has a claim against the third party for those losses.
How is loss of consortium calculated?
This type of harm falls under the category of general damages, which are non-economic damages, similar to damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, and physical suffering. This type of damage is very difficult to place a dollar amount on, and so it is best to consult an experienced attorney to provide a precise monetary value for a loss of consortium claim.
Who can bring a loss of consortium claim?
Only certain family members are allowed to file such a claim, including spouses, and in some states committed partners or same-sex couples, and children and parents, in some states.
Limitations on a loss of consortium claim
Such a claim may have limitations placed upon it by the law in that state that may require proof of valid, current marriage or other requirements, or by an insurance policy that may cap the dollar amount allowed per accident.
For a loss of consortium claim, it is crucial to find an experienced wrongful death attorney who understands the laws that affect the claim and the limitations of the insurance policy in effect.