When a married person suffers a serious personal injury, such as an automobile accident or workplace injury, the impact can be felt not only by the injured person, but also their spouse. Although the accident victim’s spouse might not share the physical pain caused in a serious accident, the ripple effects from that injury can cause considerable direct harm to married couples. These ripple effects are much worse, both in terms of severity and duration, in wrongful death claims. Connecticut state law allows for compensation in personal injury and wrongful death claims if the claimant’s spouse was seriously injured, or even killed, in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “consortium” as “the legal right of one spouse to the company, affection, and assistance of, and to sexual relations with, the other.” The term “consortium” is therefore broad, encompassing everything from the services that the injured party previously performed (such as chores around the home) to more intangible relations between the spouses, including affection and marital relations.
Damages for loss of consortium are generally awarded by a jury based upon the evidence presented at trial, to the extent that money can compensate someone for this anguish. Loss of consortium damages typically includes both past loss (dating from the date of accident to the trial) and future loss, calculated based upon the anticipated life expectancies for each respective spouse.
Loss of consortium is considered to be a “derivative” claim, meaning that it must have been directly caused by the accident itself. A loss of consortium claimant can only successfully pursue a claim if the injured party’s claim is successful. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately should your husband or wife suffer an injury, so that all potential claims and lawsuits can be evaluated. Please contact us to schedule a meeting in either our Middletown or Old Saybrook offices. An experienced attorney can communicate with the insurance company, file a claim, address many common problems, and help ensure that your legal and financial interests are protected.
-Eamonn Wisneski, Esq.
Disclaimer: While this blog provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call one of our lawyers at (860) 316-2741. The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.