You recognize that if you suffered an injury by someone else’s negligence, you could seek compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional losses you experience through a personal injury claim, but you may not understand the role loss of consortium can play in such claims.
Having a basic understanding of this challenging legal concept can help you protect your rights and your rightful compensation if you suffer losses as a result of your spouse being injured by someone else’s negligence.
Loss of consortium claims can be challenging, and working closely with a dedicated Pennsylvania personal injury attorney who has considerable experience successfully handling these challenging claims is in your best interest.
Loss of Consortium in Pennsylvania
Loss of consortium refers to the losses you experience as a result of your spouse being injured by someone else’s negligence.
You and your spouse have a unique, primary relationship, and if your loved one has suffered a severe injury, it can alter this relationship considerably and can leave you at a serious loss. Our spouses tend to provide us with enriching emotional support and deep, abiding love.
Being deprived of this support can be exceptionally painful. If your spouse lost their life as a result of the other party’s negligence, the loss of consortium you experience could be that much more profound.
Loss of consortium can be addressed in terms of all the following losses:
- The loss of your spouse’s love and affection
- The loss of your spouse’s services around the house, such as providing childcare, performing household chores, making repairs, and much more
- The loss of your spouse’s society
- The loss of the comfort your spouse afforded you
- The loss of your spouse’s support and guidance
What Are Loss of Consortium Claims Worth?
There is no way to put a value on a loss of consortium claim from the outside looking in, and it’s important to note that every claim is unique to the circumstances that make it up. However, your loss of consortium claim will be worth an amount that comports with the covered losses you experience.
In Pennsylvania, there is no formula in place for calculating the involved losses, but factors such as the following will guide how your claim is resolved:
- The manner in which you and your spouse divided household responsibilities between you
- The depth of your relationship with your spouse, including your intimate relationship and the strength of your marriage overall
- The kind of terms you and your spouse were on prior to the injury-causing accident
- Your age and life expectancy, along with your spouse’s age and life expectancy
The degree to which you can prove that you have been deprived of benefits that flowed from your relationship with your spouse prior to the accident in question will set the stage for your claim’s value.
Your Loss of Consortium Claim
While your loss of consortium claim is separate and distinct from your spouse’s personal injury claim, it is – nevertheless – what is known as a derivative claim, which means that your claim is in response to your spouse’s.
Put another way, a derivative claim can be said to be emerging from the impact of one spouse’s physical injuries upon the other spouse’s marital privileges and amenities (according to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania). Your claim is derivative in the sense that it is derived from – or wouldn’t exist without – your spouse’s claim.
Although your claim is separate, the fact that it’s derivative of your spouse’s means that it will be treated differently in terms of the settlement process.
Settling Your Loss of Consortium Claim
You will seek compensation for your loss of consortium through the insurance provider of the party whose negligence caused your spouse to be injured. Insurance policies are generally written in terms of losses per person and total financial limitations, which can make obtaining coverage for your derivative loss of consortium claim far more challenging and is a prime example of why having a practiced personal injury attorney in your corner is paramount.
Loss of Consortium Claim Elements
The basic elements required to bring a successful loss of consortium claim include all the following:
- Your spouse suffered losses that are addressed by the law as a direct result of someone else’s negligence.
- The at-fault party owed your spouse a duty of care – the way drivers owe one another a duty of care.
- Your spouse’s injuries caused you to be deprived of the affection, sexual relations, assistance, and other benefits you derived from your spouse prior to the injury-causing accident.
Turn to an Experienced Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney for the Help You Need
If your spouse suffered an injury – or worse – by the negligence of someone else, the loss of consortium you experience can be difficult to overstate, but obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled can be exceptionally complicated.
The formidable Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys at Luschas, Naparsteck, & Crane, LLP, dedicate their impressive practice to helping clients like you recover fully on their losses – in support of their legal rights and best interests. Your claim is important to your future. Please contact us through our website or call us at 570-799-8809 for more information today.
Personal Injury Case FAQs
How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
The vast majority of reputable personal injury attorneys work on what is known as contingency, which means that you don’t have to worry about paying until your claim is successfully settled – at which point, you’ll owe a prearranged percentage.
How long do I have to file a loss of consortium claim?
The statute of limitations – or deadline – for filing a loss of consortium claim is two years from the date of the injury-causing accident.
Am I required to have a personal injury attorney?
The outcome of your loss of consortium claim will directly affect your future, which makes it well advised to have a savvy personal injury attorney on your side.