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Loss of Consortium

Loss of ConsortiumIf someone else’s misconduct injures you, you deserve compensation, and Texas personal injury law can provide it.

But what about the loss of relationship that you might suffer if someone else’s misconduct injures your close family member?

It’s not only your family member who can recover damages. You can file your own claim for “loss of consortium,” even if you suffered no physical injury yourself.

Types of Loss of Consortium Claims

Types of Loss of Consortium ClaimsTexas, unlike many states, allows you to file two types of loss of consortium claims: one for injury to your spouse and one for injury to your parent.

In many states, loss of consortium is available only for injury to spousal relationships.

Injury to Your Spouse

The spousal relationship is unique because of its romantic and sexual component. You can seek compensation for the loss of your spouse’s affection and for the loss of sexual intimacy. You can also seek compensation for the loss of companionship.

Injury to Your Parent

A child can file a claim for loss of a parental relationship through a “serious, permanent, and disabling” injury. Texas courts allow claims for compensation based on loss of “love, affection, care, companionship, and protection.”

Other Relationships

In Texas, you cannot file a loss of consortium for the loss of your relationship with your brother or sister. Likewise, a stepchild cannot file a loss of consortium claim based on loss of relationship with their stepparent unless the stepparent adopted the stepchild before the accident.

Calculating Damages in Loss of Consortium Claims

A loss of consortium claim is a non-economic damages claim. As such, it is inherently difficult to place a value on. How do you put a dollar value on the loss of affection, for example? It can be done, but you need skilled legal counsel. You will need to ask and answer questions such as these, depending on the type of claim:

  • How active was the romantic relationship?
  • Did the accident lead to a divorce?  This might matter for both spousal claims and parent claims.
  • How emotionally supportive was the accident victim before the accident?
  • Did the victim suffer a permanent catastrophic injury?
  • Does the victim suffer from a mental disability or an inability to communicate?

The less emotional support the accident victim provided before the accident, the smaller the value of loss of consortium will be after the accident.

Wrongful Death Damages

In most cases, you cannot claim “loss of consortium” because your loved one died in an accident. Nevertheless, the victim’s spouse, children, and parents can file a wrongful death claim. One exception is that a claim for wrongful death of your child is known as “loss of filial consortium.”

In wrongful death claims, Texas courts allow compensation for “lost love, companionship, comfort, and society.” This basis for compensation is very similar to loss of consortium compensation.

Auto Insurance Policies

Under Texas law, you cannot seek compensation for loss of consortium from an auto insurance bodily injury liability policy. This could be a major problem because even if the at-fault driver bears liability for your loss of consortium, you might find yourself unable to collect the money.

The situation could be different, however, if the at-fault driver was an on-duty employee of a corporate employer. In that case, you could seek compensation directly from the employer instead of from an insurance policy.

Comparative Fault

Comparative fault applies when two or more parties share fault for an injury. The defendant in a loss of consortium claim might assert that the accident was partly the defendant’s own fault. If they can prove their assertion, they can reduce or even eliminate their liability.

A Skilled Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Loss of Consortium Claim

Because loss of consortium is a claim for non-economic damages, it can be challenging to prove. Fear not, because Austin personal injury lawyers do exactly that every day. The exact amount you win depends largely on the skill of your lawyer. That’s why you shouldn’t try to represent yourself in a loss of consortium claim.

Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee (“no win, no pay”) basis. Since a personal injury lawyer will work for free if they lose their client’s claim, they will not take cases they don’t believe in. This assures you that if the lawyer agrees to represent you, they believe they can win your claim.

For more information, contact the lawyers at FVF Law. Give us a call at (512) 982-9328 to set up a free case evaluation!

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