In some personal injury claims, the family of the injured or deceased victim may be able to collect damages for loss of consortium. But in order to receive this type of compensation, you’ll need an experienced Washington, DC personal injury lawyer at Regan Zambri Long to help you with your personal injury claim.
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Loss of consortium refers to the loss of intimate or familial benefits one had in a relationship before the accident and resulting injuries or death. While putting an amount on this compensation is complicated, loss of consortium can significantly impact the injury victim’s family.
Loss of consortium often pertains to the loss of the following:
In cases where an accident results in injuries that inhibit a person’s ability to perform sexual functions, the non-injured spouse or partner may be entitled to compensation for the loss of intimacy.
Couples often have routines that become deeply ingrained in their relationship. But, if an accident results in an injury that stops the victim from enjoying those activities or rituals, the non-injured spouse may seek compensation for loss of companionship.
For example, suppose a couple rides bikes together every afternoon, but an accident leaves one partner paralyzed and cannot participate in the activity. In that case, the other partner has experienced a loss.
In many relationships, partners share roles within the household and family. This may include parenting, household chores, etc. When a spouse cannot provide these services, the non-injured spouse is inconvenienced or limited in what they can do.
A loss of services can be calculated to help the injured victim and their family recover damages to help them adjust to their new reality.
It is estimated that 61 percent of married-couple families in the U.S. are dual-income households. However, when someone gets injured and can no longer work or hold the role they once did because of the severity of their injuries, there is a financial strain on that household.
In cases where the injuries result in the victim’s inability to support the family as they once had, the non-injured spouse or partner may be eligible for loss of support compensation.
Under D.C. Code § 16-2702., only certain people can collect damages for loss of consortium. In the case of a wrongful death, the surviving spouse and children can bring a claim, but in some cases, other dependent family members may also bring forth a loss of consortium claim.
While there can sometimes be exceptions, in most cases, only spouses, not unmarried couples, can bring forth loss of consortium claims. Children also can bring forth a claim but the damages awarded are limited to a parental relationship that does not include financial strains.
Loss of consortium damages do not cover economic damages like medical bills, lost wages, etc. However, some losses should be compensated when injuries impact a marital relationship.
For the non-injured spouse, loss of consortium damages can recover losses related to loss of support, companionship, sexual relations, etc.
However, it’s important to note that while these damages are meant to help domestic partners, personal details must be shared with the court to reward them. Before moving forward with your personal injury case, know that you will be asked to share intimate details of your life and relationship with the injured or deceased.
In Washington, DC, you do more than bring forth a loss of consortium claim. Instead, it is brought forward in a joint action tied to the initial claim for the injury. So, if you were already bringing a personal injury claim ahead to take on a negligent party for the injuries you sustained or for wrongful death, you can also try a loss of consortium claim.
The statute of limitations for a loss of consortium claim is tied directly to the type of personal injury case being tried. In Washington, DC, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of injury.
There is also a three-year limit on wrongful death charges from the date the spouse died.
Loss of consortium damages are hard to calculate as they depend on each case. Like pain and suffering damages, it will ultimately come down to the extent of the injury, the long-term implications, and what the relationship loss has done to the couple.
For example, in cases where someone has been permanently disabled, and there has been a loss of society, affection, support, and intimate relations, which has negatively impacted the marriage, more will likely be awarded than in a case where the injuries are temporary, and the victim and spouse will eventually be able to return to a previously established form of companionship.
Your DC personal injury attorney will help you calculate the value of your loss of consortium claim.
To calculate the loss of consortium claims, the court will consider the following:
If you or a loved one have questions about bringing a loss of consortium claim forward, Regan Zambri Long is here to help. Call today for a no-obligation, free consultation.