In some cases, your loss of consortium claim might be limited by the laws protruding to your state of residency, or by an insurance policy. To further explain, we have separated the two scenarios:
Insurance Policy Limitations
When discussing liability, we are often referring to “single injury” limitations. More specifically, the term means that there is a cap on the amount covered by an insurance company after a motor vehicle accident.
To understand if this applies to your situation, you will need to read the insurance policy thoroughly. For example, if the involved party is not wealthy or does not possess extensive assets, you won’t be able to claim for more compensation than the insurance policy covers.
State legal limitations concern the availability of loss of consortium claims. To demonstrate: in many states, you will need to show that a valid marriage exists. In other words, if you and your wife/husband have divorced before the trial, the number of damages awarded will be lower.
It’s essential to note that in some states, same-sex couples are allowed to bring a loss of consortium claim forwards, even in states where same-sex marriage is prohibited.
How It Is Calculated
The concept of loss of consortium refers to a type of harm outlining general damages. To clarify, we are discussing non-economic costs, or in other words, injuries for which money is a mere substitute.
There are multiple examples of general damage and the way they will be calculated will depend on their severity:
- Humiliation and embarrassment
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of reputation
- Shock and mental anguish
- Loss of companionship and love
As a general rule of thumb, loss of consortium is left to the discretion of the jury or the judge who then decides what the victim should be awarded.
Nonetheless, because you are putting your life and faith into someone else, you will benefit from having an expert who can justify the value of your ask and can come up with precise monetary compensation.
How Loss of Consortium is Proven
Loss of consortium may also be viewed as a form of non-economic damage, nearly intangible in being calculated in monetary terms. Because there is no clear ruling on how the loss of consortium is estimated, the court is likely to consider the following determining factors:
- Evidence that you and your spouse lived with one another full time
- Evidence of the various household services that your spouse performed
- Evidence of your spouse’s attitude towards your relationships (i.e., stable and loving)
- Evidence of the various activities that you and your spouse enjoyed with one another
- Evidence about the spouse’s individual life expectancy
To better put things into perspective, consider this example:
Alex is driving home from work when another car collides with her vehicle head-on. Robert is the driver of the other car and the wreck is due to his carelessness.
As a result of the collision, Alex is left with severe spinal injuries which are going to affect her ability to work and provide for the family, maybe also inhibiting her chances of expanding her family and having children.
As the partner of an injured spouse, you will potentially lose a big part of your life, including companionship, affection and others. Due to this, you have the right to pursue financial claims against the party at fault for the accident.