When a person is injured because of the negligence of another person or entity, in addition to suffering from personal injuries, missed time at work, or other types of damages, sometimes a person’s own personal relationships with spouses, family members and other loved ones are also affected.
A loss of consortium claim arises when one’s spouse, child, or parent is injured by the fault of a third party. In most cases, claims for loss of consortium are not granted unless the victim dies or suffers a severe and life-altering injury such such as paralysis, amputation, or brain injury.
Damages Covered in a Loss of Consortium Claim
Loss of consortium claims include the mental anguish, stress, and suffering of family members, as well as the loss of care, income, and services from the deceased or injured loved one.
Damages covered in Washington state loss of consortium claims include:
- A victim’s death
- A victim’s severe, life-changing injury
- A victim’s property damage
- Medical bills sustained from an auto accident
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of spousal relationship
- Therapy for family members of the deceased
- Income and services lost
Non-catastrophic injuries may not be grounds for a loss of consortium claim. Of course, a victim can still file for a typical personal injury claim against a negligent party.
Who Can Make a Loss of Consortium Claim?
A child may bring a claim for loss of parental consortium for the disturbance of the parent-child relationship. Parents are also permitted to recover for loss of consortium resulting from an injury or death of their child.
A spouse may bring a loss of consortium claim when the other spouse is injured. If the spousal relationship is significantly damaged - due to factors such as emotional or psychological trauma, overall sexual health & wellness, or other related issues - then the spouse may be entitled to a loss of consortium claim. Keep in mind, a loss of consortium claim is different from a loss of essential services claim.
Since a major part of loss of consortium claims is recovering for difficult to quantify losses — love, guidance, relationships, companionship, etc. — a plaintiff should hire an experienced injury or wrongful death attorney to assess the case and provide an accurate monetary value of the claim.
For a free case evaluation with an attorney at Seattle-based Davis Law Group, call (206) 727-4000.