After a car accident, many things about life can change, both for the victim and their loved ones. If your loved one died or was injured in a crash, talk to your accident attorney about your case. In many situations, you may be able to claim loss of consortium if a close loved one has died or suffers from serious, permanent injuries that cause lasting changes to your relationship. Your attorney can help you build a strong loss of consortium case against the negligent driver that changed your life forever. In this article, we’ll discuss what loss of consortium is in personal injury law and other things you need to know after an accident.
Talk to Your Accident Attorney About Loss of Consortium Claims
Since every case is different, it helps to talk to an experienced accident attorney about your case before moving forward with a loss of consortium claim. Your lawyer is here to help you understand your options and develop a strategy for getting compensation for the accident.
Your lawyer can help you determine if you have a good case against a negligent driver for a loss of consortium claim. They can also help with other aspects of your case like gathering evidence and negotiating a fair settlement using their legal experience.
In many cases, loss of consortium cases can be complex and difficult to prove, which is why you may want a Houston car accident attorney on your side for your claim.
What is “Loss of Consortium?”
If you don’t know what loss of consortium is, let’s clear that up real quick. In fact, many people don’t know what this means or even whether they have a case for this type of claim.
Loss of consortium is a type of non-economic damage in a personal injury or wrongful death case. With a personal injury case, the victim is the one seeking compensation for their injuries. However, loss of consortium claims are filed by someone close to the victim. For example, a spouse, parent, or child.
Loss of consortium roughly translates to loss of relationship. Basically, it means that the victim’s accident-related injuries have made a permanent negative impact on your relationship with them.
Loss of consortium can include loss of things like:
- Sexual relationships
In these cases, the negligent driver is also responsible for the damage caused to the relationship between a victim and their loved one. Of course, there is no dollar amount that can make up for this. However, the law instead allows you to seek financial compensation for these issues.
Your accident attorney can help you determine if loss of consortium applies to your situation. They can also help you understand how to proceed with this type of claim.
Who Can Claim Loss of Consortium After a Car Accident?
Not everyone can claim loss of consortium after an accident. Even if you can show that you had a close relationship with the victim, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re entitled to compensation according to the law. In Texas, only certain people can claim loss of consortium after an accident, including:
Spouses May Be Able to Claim Loss of Consortium with Help from an Accident Attorney
Spouses are some of the most common people who claim loss of consortium after a car accident. In the past, they were the only ones who could seek this type of damage. However, the law has opened up to allow some others to file a loss of consortium suit.
Spouses are often seriously impacted by injuries from car accidents. Severe, permanent injuries can make your partner unable to engage in many important aspects of a romantic relationship. For instance, they may not be able to express affection in the same way due to injuries, they may not be able to help with household and child-rearing responsibilities. In some cases, their injuries may make sexual relations difficult or even impossible.
All these changes can be a sign that you might have a loss of consortium case if your spouse was injured or died in a car accident.
Children Are Often Able to Claim Loss of Consortium for Injured or Lost Parents
Children may also be able to file a loss of consortium suit for a parent. If a negligent driver causes injury or death to a parent, it can change the parent-child relationship. Naturally, there are many benefits children receive from an average relationship with their parents. If they lost a parent or their parent was severely and permanently injured, it interferes with this relationship. Therefore, children may have a loss of consortium claim for their parents.
Parents May Be Able to Claim Loss of Consortium for Children in Wrongful Death Cases
In some cases, parents of lost or injured children can also claim loss of consortium. However, there are some limitations on this. Loss of consortium only typically applies for parents if the child passes away as a result of the accident, not if the child suffers serious injuries. Also, stepparents generally can’t file a loss of consortium suit for their stepchild.
Discuss Important Parts of Your Loss of Consortium Claim with Your Accident Attorney
One reason to work with your accident attorney for your loss of consortium case is to help with the critical parts of proving your claims. It’s not enough to simply state that your loved one was injured and therefore you should receive $X in loss of consortium damages. You will have to prove a few things for your case, including negligence and the change to your relationship with the victim.
Work with Your Accident Attorney to Prove the Other Driver’s Negligence
An important part of any personal injury, wrongful death, or loss of consortium case is to prove that another party’s negligence caused the accident that led to the victim’s injuries or death. Usually, this is another driver on the road that caused the accident. Your Houston car accident lawyer helps you prove the other driver’s negligence in many ways, including through evidence like witness statements, camera footage, and accident reconstructions.
Your Houston Car Accident Attorney Helps Get Evidence of Changes to Your Relationship with the Victim
It’s also necessary for a loss of consortium case to prove the change to your relationship as a result of the accident. If you can show evidence of a strong relationship with the victim and major impacts to your relationship, it can help your claim. Your accident attorney can help you determine what kinds of evidence you may need for this. In some cases, it’s statements describing your relationship before and after the accident. Other cases may include statements from doctors describing why the victim can’t do X, Y, or Z, which was important to your relationship.
How Does an Accident Attorney Put a Value on Loss of Consortium Claims?
Obviously there’s no price tag on a relationship. You can’t buy it at a store or sell it for something different. However, since there’s no real way to fix problems in a relationship as the result of another driver’s negligence, the law allows you to seek monetary compensation instead.
However, you might be wondering how exactly do you determine the value of a loss of consortium claim after a car accident. Your accident attorney can help with this. Usually, they use a certain percentage or multiplier of the total value of the total damages from the personal injury or wrongful death case. These will change depending on the specifics of your case.
However, as an example, let’s say that your spouse was injured in a car accident with a total in damages of $150,000. Based on the details of your case, your accident attorney determines that your loss of consortium multiplier should be 2. In this case, then you would be asking for $300,000 in your case based on this multiplier.
From there, you can negotiate a settlement with that number in mind. However, this is how you and your lawyer can determine an approximate value to help lead your case.
Get an Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer for Your Case from Maida Law Firm
When you need experienced legal professionals after a car accident, choose our team at Maida Law Firm. Since our founding in 1993, we have fought countless personal injury cases and helped victims get maximum compensation. As a solution-focused legal team, our lawyers are here to help you build strong cases and fight for your rights after an accident. If we can’t win your case, then you pay us absolutely nothing for our services. Get in touch now to get a free case evaluation from our professionals.