When someone suffers a severe injury in an accident, they are rarely the only person who suffers. Numerous people could depend on them for reasons other than financial support.
These injuries are legally called a loss of consortium and may be paid as part of your personal injury claim. The Kansas City personal injury attorneys at our firm can help maximize the value of your and your family’s personal injury claim.
Spouses and Children May Qualify for Loss of Consortium Damages
In Missouri, the spouse (or domestic partner) and the children have the legal right to file a loss of consortium claim, which counts as their own personal injury on account of someone else’s negligence. Just like a family can be paid for their grief in a wrongful death case, they can also be paid for their damages in a personal injury claim about how the benefits of a loved one’s presence were taken away.
It is not a cliché to say that a close family member matters in multiple ways. They may matter to you as a spouse and companion. They may be important to your children as a guide and mentor. If you are reading this after a loved one has passed away, you can cover a similar type of damage as part of your wrongful death claim.
Like everything else in a personal injury case, the value of a person’s meaning to your spouse and family is expressed in terms of money.
What Is Included in Loss of Consortium Damages
A person plays numerous roles in their family, like a breadwinner and care provider. When they cannot work, the lost wages portion of their damages is more easily quantifiable. However, there are more intangible roles that they perform that are more subjective and harder to value. Nonetheless, the family members are also entitled to their own damages because they have also lost something in an accident.
Many people think of loss of consortium damages as the spouse’s loss of sexual relations with their partner. These damages are a large part of the loss of consortium. The physical relationship between partners has a monetary value like everything else. The monetary value depends on the nature of your specific relationship.
Therefore, you can expect a number of detailed questions about your physical relationship that you may think are intrusive or embarrassing. You must answer these questions in full to get the highest possible compensation for the loss of consortium.
In addition to the loss of a physical relationship, the loss of consortium can also include the loss of:
- Services the spouse provided to the household (in terms of their household duties)
- Knowledge and wisdom the individual provided to the family
- Love and affection (outside of a physical relationship)
- Parental guidance
Loss of Consortium Claims Are Subjective by Nature
Like many other parts of your personal injury claim, a loss of consortium claim is entirely subjective and dependent on your own experience. The insurance company rarely takes a family’s word for it when told what was lost. In addition, you can also expect the insurance company to do whatever it can to minimize damages. They may act as if they know better than your family about the role that an injured loved one played.
Often, the insurance company will try to tie the amount of loss of consortium damages to the severity of the injury. They may even try to claim that there are no loss of consortium damages to be awarded when the injuries are not severe. Whenever you are dealing with subjective damages, you need to make sure that you are heard.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help Maximize Your Personal Injury Damages
Without an experienced attorney, you may not even know how much the loss of consortium aspect of your claim is worth. From your standpoint, you can make a compelling case about what the family lost because of the injuries. Detailed testimony may be necessary from the family members, as well as expert witnesses, about the nature of your relationship to the victim and what was lost.
In the end, there is quite a bit of discretion in valuing loss of consortium claims. The insurance company does not get the last word. If they are trivializing your claim and damages, you may have a jury hear the case and decide on your actual damages.
Discuss Loss of Consortium With a Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney
If you have any questions about the loss of consortium law in Missouri, or any other legal issues relating to a personal injury claim, Aramjoo Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers in Kansas City, MO, are here for you. We speak up for you when you need an advocate. We offer free consultations to prospective clients. Speak to our attorneys by reaching out to us online or calling us today at (816) 479-5898. You do not owe us anything unless we recover for you.
Loss of Consortium FAQs
What happens if I do not want to answer deeply personal questions?
Not responding to the insurance company or attorney’s questions can jeopardize the loss of consortium element of your claim. As difficult as it is, you need to cooperate to ensure you can be advocated for.
How do I know the value of my personal injury case?
Your personal injury attorney will review your situation and work with experts to come up with a number for your damages.
Is the loss of consortium part of the accident victim’s claim?
Most insurance companies will consider the loss of consortium as part of the “single injury” limitation of a policy.