"Loss of consortium" in personal injury law describes the loss of a family relationship's benefits due to accident-related injuries such as death or serious injury.

The non-injured spouse has the right to pursue damages for the loss of consortium and companionship in many states, including New Jersey. These claims are intended to recover compensation for the spouse for the marital damages they have suffered. Loss of consortium claims are usually brought when an injury is serious or permanent, such as paralysis, amputation, and other injuries resulting in ongoing pain.

More on loss of consortium personal injury claims below.

If your loved one has suffered a debilitating injury caused by someone else's negligence, contact Brandon J. Broderick to discuss your case with one of our experienced NJ personal injury lawyers.

Is it Possible to Sue for Consortium Loss?

Yes, but there are some things that you must understand about NJ consortium claims.

  • The only person qualified to file a loss of consortium claim is the legally married partner of a severely injured victim. Common-law unions, parent-child relationships, and engagements do not qualify as "spouses" for loss of consortium damages in New Jersey.
  • This type of claim can be filed in any personal injury case involving a spouse. However, the most severe injuries to a spouse are typically the ones for which juries award consortium damages.
  • Loss of consortium is a derivative claim, which means that the spouse has to file a negligence lawsuit that is linked to the consortium claim. This type of claim cannot be made by the spouse if they do not file an injury claim. Similarly, the jury cannot make up for the non-injured spouse's loss of consortium claim unless the physically or emotionally hurt spouse wins their negligence claim.

Proving Loss of Consortium in New Jersey

In order to prove a loss of consortium claim in New Jersey, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered a loss of intangible benefits of their marriage. Benefits lost include:

  • Love: The loss of emotional support, physical affection, and marital intimacy
  • Companionship: The inability to spend time with the injured person and share experiences
  • Comfort and solace: The inability to provide emotional support and consolation during trying times
  • Household services: The loss of assistance with duties and responsibilities around the house that the injured person would have completed, including the additional tasks that the spouse is now responsible for

To prove these losses, you must provide proof, such as medical records and expert testimony regarding the type and extent of the injury and how it affects the victim's capacity to provide services, love, and companionship. Other things to support the claim may be testimony from the spouse and other family members regarding the character and quality of their relationship.

What Compensation Can You Recover For Loss of Consortium in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, damages are awarded for intangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress and diminished quality of life in a loss of consortium claim. 

Compensation may include household services that are now paid for to hire someone else to handle tasks around the house that their spouse had previously handled, as well as awards for non-economic losses.

There is no limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for loss of consortium under New Jersey law. This will be determined by a number of factors, such as the nature and extent of the injury, their age, and more.

Spouse Suffered a Serious Injury and Need Legal Help?

Did your spouse suffer terrible injuries in an accident? If so, you may be able to file a loss of consortium claim. The personal injury lawyers at Brandon J. Broderick can provide the legal assistance you need to recover damages.

Since a loss of consortium claim can be complicated and emotionally taxing, we provide a solid support system to help our clients get through this difficult period of their lives.

Give us a call today for a free consultation to talk about how to proceed with your case.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Tue, 05/07/2024 - 15:50

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