Loss Of Consortium
When it comes to damages in tort law, you may have heard of something called “loss of consortium.” This phrase essentially means the sudden lack of a family relationship due to wrongful death, or the inability to enjoy the relationship one once had with a severely injured relative. While the claim initially applied only to the physical relationship between a husband and wife, laws in the US now include household contributions, companionship, and care and affection among the grounds for a loss of consortium claim.
Such claims vary greatly across the United States, with some districts recognizing loss of consortium as an independent cause of action, others requiring it to be brought under another tort, and still others recognizing it as an element of damages. Because care, support and affection are not exclusive to the family relationship of husband and wife, in some jurisdictions parents can bring a claim for parental loss of consortium when their child has been catastrophically injured, and vice versa.
If you have suffered the loss of a family member or lost the relationship you once enjoyed with a relative because of a serious personal injury, Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers may be able to help. We fight for justice for Connecticut residents that have been injured because of someone else’s negligence.
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Bringing a Loss of Consortium Claim in Connecticut
As of January 1, 2008, according to the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, claims for a loss of consortium can be brought exclusively by the spouse or civil partner of an injured party in a personal injury case, or the spouse of the deceased in a wrongful death case.
The state of Connecticut defines “consortium” to include the following:
- Household services of spouse
- Physical intimacy
- Other intangible relations
Damages for a loss of consortium claim in Connecticut can include past and future losses, and are “measured by the extent of the loss incurred,” to the point that can be monetarily measured. This financial measurement must also take into account the life expectancy of both spouses, awarding damages only for the span of the shorter period.
Further, the award for damages in a loss of consortium claim are dependent upon the verdict or settlement in the injured or deceased spouse’s case. If damages are not awarded for the accident that led to the loss of consortium, then damages cannot be awarded to the plaintiff’s spouse.
Injuries that Can Cause a Loss of Consortium
Injuries in a loss of consortium claim are usually debilitating enough to significantly alter the family dynamic for a time, and may be temporary or permanent.
Some of the serious injuries that can lead to lost consortium include:
- Brain damage
- Chronic pain
- Loss of limb/amputation
- Nerve damage
- Psychological injury
- Spinal cord trauma
- Sensory loss
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
Any injury that is severe enough to cause a change in lifestyle for a Connecticut couple could be eligible for loss of consortium damages in a personal injury claim. A loss of consortium claim can also be brought under a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Our Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys
When an accident leaves your spouse with debilitating or even fatal injuries, there is no choice whether or not to adapt. Suddenly, the way life choices are made must be changed and your family must prepare to care for, or grieve, your loved one. When the emotional support of your spouse has been ripped away from you, this challenge can seem overwhelming.
The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can provide the legal support a family needs to fight for justice during such a challenging time. Though no one can quantify the love and affection you and your spouse once shared, our legal team has the resources to paint an accurate portrait and pursue the MAXIMUM amount for the trauma you have suffered. We have offices in New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury and New London, and serve clients throughout Connecticut.
For a quick, easy case evaluation, simply fill out our confidential FREE Case Evaluation form and our legal staff will contact you.