Loss of Consortium
A personal injury can upend your life, regardless of whether it is you or your spouse who suffers the injury. If your spouse was injured by someone else’s misconduct, they can and should pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
If your spouse’s injury caused you losses, even intangible losses such as loss of companionship, you can file a “loss of consortium” claim in your own name. In this way, you can demand compensation beyond any amount your spouse claims.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
You may experience a loss of companionship, love, and affection as a result of another’s careless or intentional behavior that physically harmed your spouse. This might happen, for example, if someone causes a truck accident that injures your spouse.
In this situation, your spouse isn’t the only person who can file a claim. Georgia law allows you to seek compensation for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium includes physical and mental harm that interferes with your spouse’s ability to carry out domestic tasks or engage in activities that you once enjoyed together, including sexual relations.
What You Have To Prove To Win a Loss of Consortium Claim
To obtain loss of consortium damages in Georgia, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence or deliberate wrongdoing was to blame for the harm suffered by your spouse. You must also demonstrate that your spouse’s injury has significantly harmed your relationship.
Damages in a Loss of Consortium Claim
When assessing damages, a court will consider the severity of your spouse’s injuries, the duration of your marriage, and the extent to which your spouse’s injuries have affected your relationship. Loss of consortium compensation is generally granted in addition to damages that your injured spouse claims, such as medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
It’s crucial to remember that in Georgia, only a spouse who is directly harmed by the injuries is eligible to receive loss of consortium damages. Parents, siblings, and other close relatives are generally not able to receive compensation for these damages.
Examples of Negative Effects on Your Marriage That Might Constitute Loss of Consortium
Below are a few examples of types of marital injuries that might qualify as loss of consortium:
- Injuries that physically hinder a partner from taking part in pursuits that were once shared, such as hobbies, sports, or travel
- Physical harm that prevents a partner from carrying out domestic tasks or responsibilities, such as cleaning, cooking, or looking after children
- Emotional wounds like sadness, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder that prevent couples from communicating and being intimate
- An extended hospital stay or a disability that results in the loss of a spouse’s company, love, and devotion
- A spouse’s inability to provide for the family financially or otherwise due to illness or injury
The precise injury to the marriage connection will depend on the particular circumstances of each instance; these are only a few examples. You must be able to prove that the relationship was harmed as a result of the defendant’s negligence or willful misconduct and that the relationship has been significantly impacted to be awarded loss of consortium damages.
Essential Considerations When Pursuing a Loss of Consortium Claim in Georgia
There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when bringing a loss of consortium claim:
- It could be mentally and emotionally taxing. You might be required to provide intimate details of your relationship (for example, how often you have sex or whether your spouse can perform). Reliving painful experiences may be necessary, which can be extremely difficult.
- The defendant might pursue an “unstable marriage” defense to your loss of consortium claim. This will result in many intrusive questions about your relationship.
- Your claim can take time to process. To win a loss of consortium claim, you might need to invest time in acquiring and presenting evidence, such as medical records and witness testimony.
- The outcome is uncertain. It’s possible that the damages awarded will be less than expected, and there’s no guarantee that you will win.
- Negative social consequences might ensue. Bringing a loss of consortium lawsuit may strain your connection with the defendant, which might matter if they are a close relative or friend.
In general, it’s crucial to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of submitting a loss of consortium claim before proceeding.
Contact a Griffin Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Loss of Consortium Claim
It might be beneficial to consult a lawyer who can explain loss of consortium claims and help you understand your options. Most Griffin personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations.
Furthermore, you probably won’t have to pay a dime upfront due to contingency fee arrangements–your legal fees will be deducted from your awarded compensation. If you don’t win your claim, your legal fees will be zero.