You and your spouse have been together for a long time. You share a home, a family, friends and many hobbies together. Virtually everything in your lives is intertwined.
You rely on your spouse in ways you may not even realize. But if your husband or wife is involved in a serious accident, all the little ways your spouse once supported you suddenly become crystal clear. Under devastating circumstances such as these, what legal recourse do you—the spouse—have to receive compensation for your losses?
If someone negligently causes your spouse personal harm or death, you have the right to seek compensation for something called loss of consortium. Such a claim may enable you to recover monetary compensation for hard-to-value losses in your relationship.
For example, let’s say while walking home from work, your husband was hit by a distracted driver. He is paralyzed from the waist down and has suffered hemorrhaging of the brain. He can sue the driver for all the resulting damages—physical injuries, loss of income, pain and suffering, etc. In addition, you can file a claim for all the ways in which your husband’s injuries impact your marriage. The damages may include:
- His impaired ability to demonstrate love and affection
- His impaired ability to provide other spousal services—such as mowing the lawn or other household tasks
- Changes in your intimate relationship with your spouse
- Ways in which the injury has impacted your personal and social lives
If your spouse suffers a serious injury, the losses you endure could be severe. The law recognizes the value of the comfort and companionship that have been taken from you.