In the context of personal injury law, the phrase "loss of consortium" refers to the loss of the benefits of a family relationship as a result of injuries sustained in an accident, whether it be death or serious injury.
Many states, including those in Connecticut, give injury victims the right to seek financial compensation for the loss of companionship and consortium. The purpose of these claims is to make up for marital damages that the victim and their spouse have endured. Claims for loss of consortium are typically filed when injuries are severe, disabling, or permanent.
How loss of consortium impacts a personal injury case in Connecticut will be discussed below. However, if you've suffered due to an accident caused by another, please contact a CT personal injury attorney for help. Brandon J. Broderick has multiple offices throughout the state and can guide you through the process.
Married couples' claims for loss of consortium have a long history. They are allegations made by the spouse of a person who was hurt or killed as a result of carelessness or negligence. They are based on the understanding that close, committed relationships are of the utmost importance to those involved and that a spouse suffering significant injuries has the potential to completely upend a marriage.
When one spouse suffers an injury in a serious accident, the other spouse is left to shoulder the financial and emotional demands of providing for the injured person. The financial losses brought on by the harm or death in terms of lost wages or participation in supporting the family might be catastrophic. Many injuries can result in long-term bodily injuries and emotional suffering, which can result in the loss of the support, love, and companionship in the relationship – a fundamental part of their lives before the accident.
It's very uncommon in these situations for a spouse to bring their own claim to the personal injury lawsuit. These "loss of consortium" claims, intended to compensate couples for the loss of a typical relationship and everything that implies, are recognized by Connecticut laws. According to Connecticut General Statute Section 52-555b, for instance, damages for loss of consortium resulting from a spouse's death “may include, without limitation, claims for damages with respect to loss of the society of, affection of, moral support provided by, services provided by, sexual relations with or companionship of the other spouse.”
Who is Allowed To File A Claim For Loss Of Consortium?
The other spouse may file a claim for loss of consortium damages when one spouse is fatally injured or seriously disabled in an accident in Connecticut. The Connecticut Supreme Court and Connecticut Assembly both acknowledge such a claim. A claim for loss of consortium reflects two realities: first, even though we take our spouses "for better or worse," this does not mean that a negligent, careless, or reckless driver can cause irreparable damage to a marriage. When one spouse is killed or seriously injured in an accident, the other spouse also suffers because the marital relationship has been altered or destroyed. As a result, in Connecticut, a spouse may file a claim for both the economic and non-economic losses that a marriage may sustain as a result of a major accident.
The claim may include loss of financial support if the spouse made financial contributions to the couple's household and family costs. The spouse's financial contribution to the family if they hadn't been hurt is used to calculate this amount.
When a spouse is no longer able to uphold the household duties they did prior to their injury, their loved ones may be left with the task of doing them themselves or hiring someone to do them. Damages for domestic services rendered by a husband or wife are meant to make up for the extra upkeep and maintenance that a spouse is no longer able to perform. Daily chores including cooking, cleaning, laundry, housecleaning, and child care often fall under the category of household services and can all be claimed.
Moreover, victims may be awarded damages for the mental and physical damages their marriage has suffered as a result of their spouse's injury. Companionship and acts of love and closeness can be included in these damages.
How to Prove a Loss of Consortium
A spouse must prove the extent of the loss in order to be awarded damages under a loss of consortium claim. As monetary value may quantify it, the level of the loss sustained is used to determine the amount of damages given for loss of consortium, which cover both past and future loss. When determining loss of consortium damages, judges and juries take into account a number of issues, including:
- Life expectancy of husband and wife
- The stability of the marriage
- The scope of the loss
Nonetheless, it's important that you remember that loss of consortium claims are "derivative" lawsuits. This implies, among other things, that there can be no claim for the spouse for loss of consortium if the injured spouse or their estate does not receive damages in their lawsuit arising out of the injury or accident.
Suffering From Loss of Consortium? Call Brandon J. Broderick Today
Let's say an accident left your spouse seriously injured. If so, you might be eligible to receive compensation by making a loss of consortium claim. Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law is available to assist you and your family to recover damages you are entitled to.
A loss of consortium claim may be emotionally trying, so we do everything in our power to comfort and support our clients in making it through such a trying time in their lives. Proper planning will give you the comfort and assurance to describe the nature of your losses after experiencing the loss of consortium.
Call us today and we will give you a free consultation and discuss how we can move forward in your case.