After an accident, you want life to get back to normal as soon as possible.
But what if it doesn’t?
The victim may not be the only one affected as a result of an accident.
It’s not always just about the economic damage inflicted.
Medical bills are a big part of an injury claim, but emotions play a huge part in the damages as well.
When you lose companionship, help around the house, and help with the kids after a spouse is injured or dies due to a negligently caused accident, you may be eligible for compensation through a loss of consortium and support claim.
What is Loss of Consortium and Support?
Loss of Consortium takes place when the spouse of someone who was injured or died as a result of an accident is unable to resume a normal relationship with their spouse.
Loss of consortium is not limited to physical damage but can extend to psychological damage as well.
Many people think that this means only the loss of physical or sexual relations with your spouse.
However, if the spouse is unable to gain the care, love, and companionship they had prior to the accident, they may qualify for a loss of consortium claim.
Filial Consortium: Injury of Loss of a Child
Loss of consortium can also apply to children.
This is called filial consortium, and it means the loss of care, affection, and companionship of a parent after a child is seriously injured or dies in an accident.
Children fill an emotional space in a parent’s life, and having the life of a child changed or taken away can greatly affect the quality of life of the parent.
Who Can Bring a Loss of Consortium Claim?
In most cases, a spouse, parent, or child may bring a loss of consortium and support claim.
There may be exceptions in some states for whether an unmarried partner can bring such a claim. In most cases, you must be married to qualify.
Even in states with relaxed requirements to permit domestic partners to file, courts are reluctant to award damages.
Illinois and Iowa Loss of Consortium
In Illinois and Iowa, both a husband and wife may bring an action for loss of consortium and support.
In the case of a child who suffered injury due to negligence, parents can make a claim for medical expenses.
However, parents are only able to make a claim upon the wrongful death of the child. This includes loss of intangible benefits, such as the loss of companionship, love, and affection of the child.
Illinois specifically separates losses into these two categories: sentimental losses and functional losses.
With loss of consortium, a spouse can claim expenses related to necessary medical care and treatment of their injured spouse. They may also qualify to recover damages for loss of “reasonable services” of their spouse.
This can include services such as household decision making, helping around the house, and helping with children. It can also include loss of sexual relations and companionship.
Factors In Loss of Consortium Claims
There are many elements taken into consideration when loss of consortium is granted in a ruling.
The stability of the marriage and living arrangements will likely be take into consideration. If you have had a lengthy separation from your spouse or do not live in the same house, damages will likely be greatly reduced or sometimes may not even be awarded.
Life expectancy also comes into play.
If you were both healthy prior to the accident and had a long life expectancy, damages will be higher because of the remaining length of time you were expected to have a normal relationship.
Similarly, if your spouse were suffering from a serious disease, or medical condition, their life expectancy would typically be less than that of a person who was not suffering from serious health conditions or disease. As such, an award of damages may be reduced because that person may not have been expected to live as long as someone who was not suffering from a serious disease or medical condition.
Loss of Consortium claims are focused on a loss or change of the emotional support in a relationship due to an injury or death of a loved one.
Proving Loss of Consortium in an Injury Claim
In the event a settlement is unable to be reached, a lawsuit may need to be filed against the party who caused the injury or death and their insurance company. As the spouse, parent, or child, in order to claim damages for loss of consortium your name will likely be added to the personal injury claim as a plaintiff.
The following are factors considered in determining the value for loss of spousal consortium:
● The circumstances of the injured or deceased spouse’s life, including the care, moral support, and companionship provided by your spouse.tasks and activities performed by the injured spouse that can no longer be accomplished due to the injury or death
● Amount of financial support that was provided by the injured spouse
● A list of activities and recreation you were able to do together before the accident that you can no longer do
● The life expectancy of you and your spouse to show the long-term effects the accident has had on your relationship
The following are factors considered when determining the value for loss of consortium for a child:
● Life expectancy of the child including prior health conditions
● Level of support and care the child provided the parent
● Affection, love, and companionship that was affected by the accident
No matter your situation, contacting a personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case for loss of consortium.
They can also help you in gathering the details you need to prove your claim.
Contact VanDerGinst Law for a Free Consultation
Confused by all of this?
Contact VanDerGinst Law and we’ll help you sort it out.
Our team can help you work through the intricacies of loss of consortium and support claims. We offer free consultations and there’s never a fee unless you win.
We have over 30 years of experience in personal injury and focus all efforts on personal injury cases.
Our experienced and knowledgeable legal team will guide you through your case one step at a time.
The insurance companies have a team of lawyers on their side, so it only makes sense that you should too.
Call VanDerGinst Law today for a free case review and consultation.
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The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.