While Loss of Consortiums are generally believed to refer to lack of or diminished sexual activity between spouses, it actually carries a much broader definition when thinking of filing a claim. It also pertains to the relationship between parents and a child, siblings and the loss or diminished capacity of a parent. The claim can stem from severe disability, loss of companionship, loss of affection, severe strain on a relationship or wrongful death. The claim is filed as part of a personal injury or death caused by negligence, medical malpractice or the intentional act of another and is intended to compensate the party that is not injured for non-economic losses such as loss of services, loss of support or loss of marital relations. These are losses that do not come with a bill or invoice but impact your everyday routine; household chores, lack of companionship or lack of marital relations.
Claims for Damages
Your attorney will file this claim along with the personal injury or wrongful death claim. The settlement will depend on the outcome of the personal injury or wrongful death suit that has been filed. It is a "derivative" claim in that it stems from injury to the plaintiff or damage arising from the death, thus it is not an actual injury but rather one based on another person's injury. If the personal injury case fails, the Loss of Consortium case also fails. However, if it is won the damages still are considered as part of the single injury claim; for example, if the policy limit is $50,00.00 and the jury awards $40,00.00 in damages the Loss of Consortium award cannot exceed $10,00.00. Your lawyer will advise you not to settle the personal injury claim before the Loss of Consortium claim is also filed.
A Lawyers Commitment to Ensuring Justice
When your lawyer has advised you of all you will have to go through, together you will make the decision of whether you want to file your claim. You will be put through a rigorous and thorough questioning of all your relations with the injured or deceased party. If it is your spouse, questions and searches will be made about any abuse, criminal acts, separations or infidelities in your relations that can negate your claim of loss. The same searches and questions will apply whether it is your child, sibling or your parent. No stone will be left unturned by the opposing attorney and your attorney's job is to make sure there is nothing under that stone. You must be completely honest and up front with them so they can do the job you hired them for and get you the settlement you deserve.
By this point, you and your attorney have formed a bond and they are "all in" as far as getting you the settlement you have proven to them that you deserve. The facts have all been brought forth involving your case and the lawyer has become intimately included in life as you knew it before the accident and life as it is now. Their job now includes not only the physical injury part of the case but also preparing to present the non-injured party as someone who deserves compensation for their loss. Their job is to make an impressive yet truthful analysis of what, specifically, your Loss of Consortium claim entails, and to get you the maximum settlement to help compensate the losses you have suffered.