When your spouse is critically injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, you can file a claim for loss of consortium in some states. It is not the case in Virginia. While the term often applies to the ability to have sexual relations, loss of consortium is far more than that. It includes loss of intangibles such as advice, guidance, and companionship. It also considers the tangible losses, such as loss of household assistance and childcare.
Only if the spouse dies as a result of the accident can the surviving spouse recover damages for loss of consortium in Virginia. The damages are specifically for “sorrow, mental anguish, and solace,” and includes loss of consortium. The car accident lawyers at Rutter Mills can help the spouse receive compensation for losses similar to consortium– in conjunction with a personal injury lawsuit, or a wrongful death lawsuit.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium generally refers to the spouse, but under the terms “loss of companionship” or “loss of affection,” it can also apply to the accident victim’s children or parents. Because Virginia does not recognize the loss of consortium per se, the language in the law refers to the loss of affection and companionship.
In a wrongful death claim, a car accident attorney can determine a fair amount of compensation based on the decedent’s age, whether the marriage appeared stable, the living arrangements of the spouses, and the care the late person provided for the surviving spouse. Establishing the strength of the marital relationship may require testimony from family members and friends.
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. For a wrongful death lawsuit, it is two years from the death date.
Other Wrongful Death Compensation
In addition to the loss of affection or companionship, surviving family members may receive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills relating to the accident
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
Contact us for a free consultation
If your spouse was severely injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash and you suffered a loss of consortium, contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Rutter Mills. We will evaluate your claim during a free consultation and advise you of your options. Call or text us 24/7 or submit our online contact form to schedule an appointment.
We represent clients in Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and the surrounding areas. Our dedicated attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for clients over the past 50 years, and our track record speaks for itself.
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