In general, loss of consortium is a claim that may be raised by the spouse or other family members of someone who has suffered a personal injury. The claim asserts a right to compensation for the love, affection, comfort, companionship, guidance, or sexual relations that the injured party can no longer provide.
Loss of consortium claims are state-specific. For example, some states only allow spouses to make a claim, limited to loss of sexual relations– while others allow spouses to recover for losses like the injured party’s inability to perform household chores. Family members can also raise a claim for losses in a parent-child relationship. It is crucial to speak with a personal injury lawyer who practices in your state to receive an accurate assessment.
Loss of consortium in Virginia
Virginia takes a more restrained approach.
- A spouse may bring a claim for loss of consortium in a wrongful death case but not in a non-fatal personal injury case. In a wrongful death action, the surviving spouse may seek compensation for mental anguish, sorrow, and support that includes companionship, guidance and advice, and comfort.
- The injured party, rather than a spouse or child, may seek compensation for loss of consortium based on the impairment to the marital relationship caused by the injury.
Your personal injury attorney can help you understand whether you can seek compensation for the impact that the injury has had on your relationships within your family.
Calculating the value of loss of consortium
Loss of consortium is a type of non-economic damage, meaning there is no set dollar amount to represent it. This is in contrast to economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages, that can be specifically determined.
Loss of consortium, like pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and other non-economic damages, must be proven by evidence such as the testimony of witnesses, diaries, and medical records. However, none of these things can prove the dollar amount that the claim is worth.
Your lawyer will formulate a demand that takes into account the cost of the medical bills, the seriousness of the accident, and other factors unique to the case.
Contact us at Rutter Mills for a free consultation
If you were injured in an accident or have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about whether you can file a loss of consortium claim.
We are committed to guiding clients in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and throughout Virginia to maximum compensation for their losses.
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