When a person has been seriously injured, their life changes in many ways. How they live, what they can do, how they interact with their spouse and family, even what they can do for entertainment. While most people understand that part of a compensation lawsuit is to help the injured party recover from these losses, they do not realize how significantly impacted the spouse of the injured party is from the injuries.
Loss of Consortium is a claim that is usually filed by the spouse of the injured party seeking compensation for what they have suffered as a result of their spouse’s injuries. Loss of companionship and intimacy, loss of services the spouse provided prior to the injury, loss of income the spouse provided, and even loss of social contact.
Consortium is a Latin word and is taken from the phrase: “ per quod servitium et consortium amisit” and is translated as “ in consequence of which he lost her society and service.” What this means is that the bond between family members especially that of spouses, is something that is more than just an emotional feeling towards each other. This bond includes everything that the spouses provide to each other including intimacy, social companionship, and personal services.
In most cases, Loss of Consortium is reserved for the spouse of the injured or deceased person that was involved in the accident. However, there are times when other family members, such as a dependent child, may seek damages for the losses they suffered when their parent was injured under the Consortium category.
In Arizona, Loss of Consortium is not filed as a separate case, but is combined into the personal injury lawsuit of the injured party. Outside of Arizona the laws may differ based on a state to state basis.
Speak To Your Personal Injury Attorney About Loss of Consortium Claims
Cantor Crane understands that the way an accident impacts a life is never simple. We know that more than just the injured party is suffering from these events, and we believe that for complete compensation to occur, everyone affected by the accident should be included in the claim. Based on the facts of the case, the following people may be able to seek compensation under Arizona law:
Your Phoenix personal injury lawyer attorney will have to carefully review the facts of your personal injury or wrongful death case and determine which family members may be entitled to receive compensation for their losses.
The defense attorney will be very aggressive about this type of claim on behalf of their client. Because of this, it must be clearly established when the person making the claim for Loss of Consortium was clearly dependent on the person who was injured.
The defense will also try to establish “how good” of a relationship the parties had with each other, including spouses. Questions about the relationship will be asked, including but not limited to, types of questions like these:
• What was your relationship like before the accident?
• Were you ever abused by the injury victim?
• Were you or the injury victim ever incarcerated during your relationship?
• Have you ever had to seek couple or family counseling?
They will also ask many questions that may make the relationship look bad so that they can establish that there was “no real loss” of consortium.
Work Closely with Your Attorney
When your loved one has been injured and you are seeking compensation for Loss of Consortium, it is important that you work very closely with your attorney. Your lawyer must establish clear losses that have occurred. Your attorney may ask you for the following information to help build the case:
• Receipts for services you have had to purchase because your spouse could not provide these services – such as lawn care, house cleaning, or even car repair work.
• Journal of how the injuries have impacted you, such as not being able to be intimate, not sleeping together, or not being able to go to places that you normally enjoy as a couple.
• Incidences where you have had to miss special events due to the injury, such as not attending sporting events that you hold season passes to because of the injury.
• Receipts for services you had to purchase for minor children such as day care or tutoring because the injured party could not perform them.
• Journal of life events that the injured party has missed that emotionally impacted the minor child due to the injury, such as being unable to attend school functions, coach sports practices like they did in the past, or tell bedtime stories.
Your personal injury attorney in Phoenix will provide you with very specific information based on the facts of your case. If you or a loved one has been injured, speak to an attorney about your rights to seek Loss of Consortium.