Loss of consortium is a personal injury claim, mostly filed by the spouse or a close relative of an accident victim. The relative can sue the person who has caused the damage, whether on intention or not. Loss of consortium is also known as loss of companionship. The claim addresses sexual bonds, intimacy, companionship, comfort, affection, and emotional support. In most cases, a loss of consortium claim is filed along with a wrongful death claim or when a loved one suffers the pain of a long-term injury due to a personal injury mishap. The severity of the injury can affect more than just the victim.
It is crucial to understand the loss of consortium in Florida to determine the compensation against the claim. Personal injury accidents include but are not limited to car, truck, pedestrian, animal bite, slip and fall, workplace accidents, or wrongful death. This claim seeks compensation for uneconomic losses that victims and their families endure. If it is a truck accident, contact our Orlando truck accident attorney at Louis Berk Law firm for proficient legal assistance. In case of other accidents, our personal injury lawyers can help you pass through the legal hassle.
How Are the Loss of Consortium Determined?
Loss of consortium is a damage that falls under the non-economic damages. It is a loss where money is hardly the substitute. Similar to physical and mental pain, humiliation and embarrassment, loss of reputation, shock and mental agony, loss of companionship, and emotional distress, these damages present more difficulties while calculating the economic damages such as medical bills, property damages, and loss of income. Injurers remain extremely careful while putting value on the loss of companionship, housekeeping, emotional support, comfort, etc.
How to Prove Loss of Consortium
Not every personal injury or wrongful death case includes a claim for loss of consortium. Mostly, the losses of consortium cases include death or serious injuries that prevent the victim from doing every day, daily household chores.
It may include traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or a whole lot of other issues that the victim needs much care and assistance to maintain a quality life. If you have been in an accident, you need to provide facts that must be true so you can fair receive compensation for the loss of consortium. In case the situation has been a direct result of a car crash, consult our Orlando car accident attorney for the proper guidance. The facts include;
1. If a spouse files a consortium claim in Florida, the victim and the plaintiff must have been married at the time of the accident.
2. The injury must be a result of someone else’s negligence.
3. The injury must be severe.
4. The wrongful death or personal injury claim must be valid, or the claim will fall apart.
5. The plaintiff has to prove that the loss of consortium is a direct result of the victim’s injury.
A loss of consortium case in Florida is directly tied to the personal injury claim. If the plaintiff cannot prove the claim to be valid, it won’t be a claim for loss of consortium. The victim’s party first needs to file a claim in the civil court, and then loss of consortium follows. It is always recommended to have a personal injury attorney in Florida to help you navigate the personal injury case.
Who Can Claim for Loss of Consortium?
1. Spouses and Partners
Earlier, only spouses could claim for loss of consortium, mainly for the compensation for the loss of conjugal intimacy and sexual relations, which affected their ability to have children. Now, domestic partners can also claim for loss of consortium. The rules may differ from state to state.
2. Parents and Children
In some states in the USA, a child or a parent can also file a loss of consortium claim. It addresses the loss of ability to share activities and responsibilities or enjoy life together. According to Florida Statute 768.0415, “A person who, through negligence, causes significant permanent injury to the natural or adoptive parent of an unmarried dependent resulting in a permanent total disability shall be liable to the dependent for damages, including damages for permanent loss of services, comfort, companionship, and society.”
Steps to Claim Compensation for Loss of Consortium
1. Proving the Personal Injury or Wrongful Death
When claiming compensation for loss of consortium, the victim must establish a solid personal injury case in the very first step. The accident must have a direct connection with the other party’s fault. Accidents such as car, truck, pedestrian, slip and fall, workplace, and animal attacks come under personal injury accidents. For instance, if anyone incurs damage in a truck accident, the Orlando truck accident lawyers are here to help.
2. Documenting the Impact on Consortium
In the next step, the plaintiff party has to show how the personal injury accident has directly affected the companionship between spouses. The spouse might have to come up with pieces of evidence of the changes in the relationship, which include loss of intimacy, friendship, or the inability to engage in various activities.
3. Factors that Impact the Loss of Consortium Claims
Different factors deeply impact the success of a loss of consortium claim in Orlando, Florida.
1. The Seriousness of the Injury
The compensation for the loss of consortium claim is variable with the personal injury. The more serious the personal injuries, the higher the chances of the consortium claim. Juries often consider the extent of physical and emotional damage when determining the amount for compensation.
2. Duration of the Effect of Consortium
Courts assess the duration of the consortium. The slightest of mistakes might result in a different compensation amount than permanent or long-term damages.
3. Compelling Evidence
Pieces of real-life evidence, such as testimonies from mental health professionals, can boost your case by showing the emotional toll on the relationship.
Considerations Before Claiming Loss of Consortium
In a Loss of Consortium case, the intimate aspects of your marriage will come under the spotlight. If it’s you or anyone else, you must consider whether you can withstand the questions on your conjugal relation during the trial by the defense attorney.
In case you have suffered from any hardships or clashes in the relationship prior to the injury, including adultery, separations, or abuse, you must talk about that before the court.
Limitations on Loss of Consortium Claim
Your loss of consortium claim might face restrictions in your state or clashes with the defendant’s insurance policy limits. As mentioned before, in some states, you have to prove that you were married at the time of the injury and are eligible to claim for loss of consortium.
If you are thinking of claiming for a loss of consortium, connect with Orlando car accident attorneys or other personal injury attorneys at Louis Berk Lawfirm. An experienced attorney can meet your queries and determine how much your claim is approximately worth. After you or anyone you love has been in a personal injury accident, immediately contact Louis Berk Law and get the proper legal guidance.
In Orlando, Florida, recognizing the broader implications of personal injuries on conjugal relationships is essential for individuals who seek compensation for their non-economic losses. The loss adds a unique dimension to personal injury claims, acknowledging the deep impact on marital life. It is necessary to understand the legal considerations and importance of presenting a solid, comprehensive case and pursuing compensation that reflects the full extent of your losses.