What Is Loss of Consortium?
Typically, personal injury claims are based on injuries the plaintiff sustained in an accident. Another kind of personal injury claim is based on the injury to the relationship between the plaintiff and his or her spouse. This is called a loss of consortium claim.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is the loss of benefits and enjoyment the surviving spouse had with his or her spouse. Surviving family members in wrongful death claims most commonly ask for this type of compensation. The surviving spouse can file a claim for the loss of support, companionship, society, and sexual relationship of the injured spouse.
Loss of Companionship
Such a claim can also be filed if the plaintiff survives but suffers catastrophic injuries that limit or otherwise permanently alter the relationship between plaintiff and spouse. A good example of this is if a spouse sustained complete paralysis and was no longer able to engage in the married relationship as he or she had before.
The Specifics of Filing a Claim
Loss of consortium is considered a general damage and not an economic one. The claim amount reflects the pain and suffering, shock, mental anguish, and emotional distress of the claimant.
To file a loss of consortium claim, the spouses must have been legally married at the time of the injury. An engaged or cohabiting relationship may not be enough to substantiate a loss of consortium claim.
The claim itself will be reduced by the comparative negligence (i.e., fault) of the injured spouse. For example, if the injured spouse were 25% at fault for the accident, the loss of consortium claim would be reduced by that percentage.
Work closely with an experienced personal injury attorney in Illinois if you have questions about loss of consortium claims. It can be difficult to successfully file a claim on your own. The claims process can be demanding of your time and energy. It may also require some emotionally difficult tasks, such as compiling documentation and evidence to substantiate the claim.
A compassionate attorney can walk you through the process step by step and help you submit a loss of consortium claim that reflects your suffering and fairly compensates you for your loss.