What’s Loss of Consortium?
If you have suffered an injury in an accident, then it is possible that your injury is a long-term or permanent one that affects your life in several ways. Some people suffer injuries that leave them permanently hurt, disfigured, or unable to do certain things that they were able to do before their accident.
One intimate effect of certain long-term injuries is a loss of consortium. Loss of consortium occurs when family members of an accident victim are deprived of benefits of their relationship with the victim due to their injuries. Examples of loss of consortium for a non-injured spouse include loss of sexual intimacy and affection.
Loss of consortium claims are separate claims that family members of injury victims make alongside personal injury lawsuits. To be successful in a loss of consortium claim, you will likely have to prove permanent or long-term injuries as the result of an accident. If you have specific questions about loss of consortium claims, then it is important you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.
What Factors Influence a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Loss of consortium claims are considered non-economic damages in personal injury cases. To determine damages, the court will have to consider the victim’s circumstances because of the accident and place a value on their pain. The court won’t simply be looking at bills and numbers to determine the value of a loss of consortium claim.
The court will consider all available evidence in making a valuation, including medical diagnoses, witness statements, and testimony from loved ones. Expert witness and family member testimony are often helpful as the court determines the proper value of your loss of consortium claim.
Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Under Texas law, a loss of consortium claim can be initiated by an injury victim’s close family members. The family members who are eligible to file a loss of consortium claim are the spouse, parent, or child of an injury victim. In a claim involving a spouse, the court can award the non-injured spouse damages for loss of affection, companionship, support, and sexual ability from the injured spouse.
If a claim is made by an injury victim’s child, the injury must be serious, permanent, and disabling. The court can award damages for the child’s loss of their parent’s love, care, and companionship. It is important to know that any loss of consortium claim that is filed is processed independently from any other personal injury claims. This means that a loss of consortium claim can continue even after other claims are settled in court.
Is There a Cap on Loss of Consortium Claims in Texas?
Loss of consortium claims fall into the category of non-economic damages. There is no cap on how much money you can be awarded in a loss of consortium claim in Texas. There are only caps on loss of consortium or other non-economic damages if your injury occurred due to medical malpractice.
Texas places a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. If you or someone you love is the victim of medical malpractice that led to a permanent or long-term injury, then you need to understand what your legal options are. We have experienced lawyers who can help you if this is the case.
Important Things to Consider Before You File Your Loss of Consortium Claim
It is important to be aware of what goes into a loss of consortium claim and what difficulties will likely be involved. Non-economic damage claims such as loss of consortium are often a lengthy, hotly contested process. You may have to discuss your intimate life with your injured spouse relating to sex and other forms of affection.
The defense attorney defending a loss of consortium claim may ask you uncomfortable questions. These inquiries are enough to prevent some people from ever making the claim in the first place. If you are curious about the types of questions that are commonly asked in loss of consortium claims, call us for a free consultation.
Get Your Loss of Consortium Questions Answered in a Free Consultation Today
It is important that you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can if you have legal questions. Loss of consortium claims can be complicated and difficult to deal with. You need to understand all of the implications that are involved when you make a loss of consortium claim. At Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, we offer a free consultation, call (817) 420-7000 or contact our Fort Worth office online today so you can have your case reviewed by an experienced professional.