You do not have to go through an auto accident to suffer emotional pain or great loss from one. Your spouse may have experienced serious injuries after a collision with another vehicle like a car or a large truck. The injuries may be so severe that your spouse can no longer contribute to the marriage as before the incident.
If an automobile accident has severely injured your spouse or caused your spouse to die, you may be able to seek damages under a loss of consortium claim. According to FindLaw, a spouse can pursue loss of consortium damages on a number of grounds.
Types of damages
Some people get out of a car accident with injuries they recover from. In time, they resume their normal lives. However, if your spouse suffers a traumatic brain injury, paralysis or loss of a limb, your loved one may lose the ability to drive, walk, go on errands, help children with homework or activities, or give you affection and care. All of these may count as loss of consortium damages.
Since affection and spousal duties are not economic damages, it is not easy to calculate the monetary value of the damages. When a court considers loss of consortium damages, it will generally look at several factors. These include whether the spouses shared a loving and strong relationship and the amount of companionship and care the injured or deceased spouse provided. A court may also consider the life expectancy of each spouse.
Who may claim damages
Generally, surviving spouses are most likely to make loss of consortium claims. However, loss of consortium damages are not just available to spouses. If you had a parent or a child who suffered injury or had died in a car wreck, a court might determine that you should receive damages.