Updated May 9, 2022

WKW Explains How Loss of Consortium Works in an Injury Case

What Is Loss of Consortium?

There is likely no person more important to your everyday life than your spouse. He or she may be a companion, lover, friend, partner, and/or confidant.

Marrying your spouse is only the beginning. You hope to build a life together with endless health, happiness, and love—and maybe even a family of your own. But sadly, another person’s negligence could bring this bright future to a bitter end. 

Should the unthinkable happen, and your spouse gets into an accident, you may be wondering what to do next. Is it possible to be compensated for these tragic changes to your relationship? The answer is yes. You may be able to receive financial compensation for something that the legal profession calls “loss of consortium.”

What Are Loss of Consortium Claims?

Loss of consortium refers to the loss of companionship or even affection. This is caused by your spouse being injured or killed in an accident as a result of another’s negligence.

To prove the loss of consortium, many personal details may need to be proven. The injured partner must be unable to continue a societally normal relationship.

Proving Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium can be difficult to prove and determine a fair monetary value for purposes of compensation.

It may be uncomfortable for you to divulge the private matters of your relationship before the accident. But the following four things must be proven in order to win such a complex case:

  1. A valid marriage or domestic relationship did and does exist.
  2. The victim of the injury was hurt due to another party’s negligence.
  3. The spouse of the injured party suffered a loss of consortium.
  4. The loss of consortium is due to sustained injury.

Many questions may be asked of you to determine if an injury has led to loss of consortium, such as:

  •   How long have you been married?
  •   Was your marriage stable?
  •   What types of activities did you do together prior to the injury?
  •   What were the living arrangements?
  •   Was there any history of abuse in the relationship?

Evidence can come in the form of accounts from friends, family, doctors, and anyone else with a close relationship with you and your injured spouse. 

What Are Some Types of Losses?

There are a variety of losses that could be defined as loss of consortium, including:

  •   Loss of relationship
  •   Loss of society and companionship
  •   Loss of future earnings and inheritance
  •   Loss of household services
  •   Loss of parenting and childcare

These losses may include both economic and non-economic damages.

Accidents That May Lead to Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is the result of any injury affecting a victim’s ability to perform as a spouse as they had before the accident. Common accident types leading to loss of consortium include:

Crimes such as battery, assault, and rape may also apply.

Filing a Loss of Consortium Claim

Should your personal injury lawyer suggest you file a loss of consortium claim, you must make sure you and your spouse are on the same page as to how to proceed. Your relationship will face scrutiny. You will be asked personal questions about the nature of your relationship.

Infidelity or separation will be discussed in detail. These issues do not mean you can’t file a loss of consortium case. It is just a matter of whether or not you can stomach revisiting unpleasant events.

Here at WKW, we have the expertise to keep the loss of consortium discussion as professional as possible. We also have the resources to help ensure you receive full and fair compensation. 

How Do You Calculate Loss of Consortium? 

Calculating loss of consortium compensation can be a complicated process. There are no rules that are set in stone—especially when it comes to non-economic damages. 

However, several factors will likely be taken into account when calculating damages. These factors include the: 

  •   Nature and extent of the loss
  •   Life expectancies of both spouses
  •   Living arrangements of the spouses
  •   Nature of the marriage or relationship
  •   Care and companionship between spouses

Our attorneys at WKW can help you determine how much compensation you may be eligible for based on the unique circumstances of your case. 

Wrongful Death in Loss of Consortium

There are two scenarios for loss of consortium: an accident that either led to (1) injury or (2) wrongful death.

Injury: If your spouse was injured and the injury has altered your marriage, you can file for a loss of consortium. Some of the factors involved include the victim’s mental state, side effects from treatment and medications, and the recovery process. 

Wrongful death: If your spouse passed away because of someone else’s negligence, you will most certainly feel the effects on your marriage and should be able to pursue a loss of consortium case. Despite the fact that the uninjured spouse was not the direct victim of the accident, he or she will be affected in real and significant ways.

It should be known that you can file for loss of consortium even in circumstances where the marriage may someday return to how it was before the accident.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence, contact an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer from Wilson Kehoe Winingham.

Our firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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