When someone is the victim of a serious injury, one of the cruelest consequences is the effect this has on the person’s spousal relationship. This damage is known as a “loss of consortium.” It encompasses such things as the loss of love, affection, companionship, comfort, society and sexual relations.
If you are the victim of this kind of loss, you may be eligible for compensation as part of your “pain and suffering” claim.
As FindLaw explains, a loss of consortium generally refers to the loss of certain relations between spouses. For instance, a serious physical or emotional injury may make it difficult or impossible for the injured peson to enjoy intimate relations with a spouse, as the person was formerly able to do. Thus the accident has robbed the couple of their ability to maintain their pre-injury lifestyle and activities.
Other items of loss include the deprivation of love or the loss of services that a spouse would normally render if that occurs due to the effects of the injuries involved. For example, the nature of an injury may place a person in an extended coma and deprive the other spouse of companionship and emotional support. Basically, if an injury robs a couple of the right to receive aid, cooperation and support from each other, a loss of consortium has been imposed on the couple due to the incident.
In certain types of accident situations, loss of consortium claims may or may not be limited by the law applicable to that incident and the law in the jurisdiction where the matter must be filed.
Be aware that while this article is written to inform readers about certain catastrophic injury issues, it does not provide any legal advice. We recommend that you contact an attorney who is experienced in these matters to obtain detailed, informed advice about your rights.