Can I pursue loss of consortium damages?
Ever since your spouse was catastrophically injured in a collision caused by a drunk driver, you have been catering to all of her needs. You’ve also been responsible for picking up the slack — taking care of the kids, driving them to school, preparing lunches, keeping the house clean — all while continuing to earn income for your family as its sole provider.
You’re devastated for your spouse, because you know she’s in pain, but have you taken a few moments to think about yourself and how her injuries have also harmed you?
You may have suffered loss of consortium damages
Your spouse will probably have the right to pursue a claim for financial damages in court. This action can hold the impaired driver liable for her medical costs as well as a host of other damages. You may be able to include yourself as a plaintiff in her lawsuit as her spouse who suffered loss of consortium.
Loss of consortium is a category of damages that applies to the non-physically injured spouses of personal injury plaintiffs. Here are a few types of damages that you might be able to claim as a part of your spouse’s lawsuit:
- Loss of companionship: Includes loss of physical affection, emotional support and other damages.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Perhaps you and your spouse enjoyed going roller-skating or hiking on the weekends. You can’t do this anymore, and this loss of enjoyment of life is a very real damage.
- Loss of childcare services: Do you have any idea what it costs to hire a nanny to tend to the children like your wife used to be able to do? The childcare services that she contributed to the family had real value. You may be able to seek compensation now that you must take over your injured wife’s childcare responsibilities.
- Loss of household services: In most modern households, both spouses share the household chores. Suddenly, all of them fall on your shoulders because you can no longer benefit from your wife’s assistance.
Loss of consortium claims possible if negligence was involved
Before your spouse files any claims for personal injury damages, you may choose to file as a co-plaintiff seeking compensation for your claim of loss of consortium. Ultimately, every spouse should investigate this area of the law carefully to ensure that his or her family is pursuing the maximum amount of financial benefits possible.