How Can A Consortium Claim Apply To Your Families Injury Claim
It may sound strange at first, but if I am injured or killed in an accident, my wife will have a claim—even if she wasn’t in the car.
This is known as “loss of consortium.” Biblically, a husband and wife become one flesh. When you hurt one, you’ve hurt the other. This can cause losses of companionship, affection, society, services, intimacy, and support. So, a loss of consortium claim is simply the reasonable value of the spouse’s companionship and acts of love and affection that an injured person has lost if they had not been injured. Typically, a claim is made for the spouse of the injured person. Any serious injury to one spouse impacts the other. It is a separate and independent claim from that of the original injury.
This is easily seen in the case of a husband who is very handy and takes care of a Farmhouse but is unable to do so due to his injuries. Often hands have to be hired to come in and do the work that the husband did for free.
Also, one can imagine if the mother of four small children was injured in an accident and the husband had to work, that a nanny or even more would have to be hired to make up for all the services, transportation and care and protection given to the children.
Traditionally, the loss of consortium damages regarded limitations of sexual relations. However, the doctrine can include the following:
Activities you can’t do together;
Services such as caring for children;
Services such as taking care of household chores or relatives; and Assistance for loss of care (i.e., the injured spouse took care of a blind spouse).
While some personal injury damages are easily known, such as medical bills or lost wages, most personal injuries like pain and suffering and loss of consortium injuries are “non-economic.”
A consortium claim is not limited to spouses, however. In the case of a child that is killed, part of the value of that child’s life includes the loss of consortium to his or her parents.
Likewise, when a child has to bury a parent, the loss of consortium is there to address the losses of the guidance, care, and companionship that is taken away by the negligent wrongdoer.
Tennessee Code 25-1-106 reads:
“[t]here shall exist in causes where such damages are proved by a spouse, a right to recover for loss of consortium.”
Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in motorcycle, truck and car accidents, disability and medical malpractice. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.