Loss of Consortium Damages in Personal Injury Claims
An injury or death does not just affect a single person; it also affects an entire family.
If a parent is injured, they may be unable to make their usual contributions. It is unlikely that he or she can keep up with the hustle and bustle of daily activities, like bringing their kids to soccer practices and piano lessons.
If a victim dies from their injuries, each family member is deprived of the loving relationship they cherished.
If your loved one has suffered a personal injury or has passed on, you may be entitled to loss of consortium damages. Attorney R. Jason Holladay at Holladay Law Firm is here to help.
What is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium means that a family member is deprived of the loving relationship they once had with a victim as a result of an injury or death. This injury or death is due to another person’s negligence.
The enjoyment of activities that each family member would normally share with their loved one is no longer possible due to their injuries, which are usually severe and permanent. In wrongful death cases, family members have suffered a loss of companionship. Family members’ lives are changed forever.
In some states, only the spouse is allowed to recover loss of consortium damages. Up until 1950, only a husband could sue for loss of consortium.
In Texas, a loss of consortium claim can be brought by close family members:
- Spousal consortium: this claim may be brought by a husband, wife, or domestic partner and can include loss of companionship, cooperation, comfort, affection, sexual relations, and/or loss of household services
- Parental consortium: this claim may be brought by a child who has suffered the loss or injury of a parent; this type of consortium claim may include a loss of companionship and society, love and affection, and support
- Filial consortium: this claim may be brought by a person regarding the death of a child, and it may include loss of affection, love, and companionship. A parent cannot bring a loss of consortium claim if their child has only suffered an injury, no matter how severe.
Household services claims include the expense of hiring an outside contractor to perform the duties that were normally provided by the spouse. For example, if a husband is injured or killed, the wife may need to hire a handyman for tasks that were normally taken care of by her husband.
How are Damages for Loss of Consortium Calculated?
Damages are monetary compensation that a family or victim can request. It is meant to remedy the loss that the victim or family has suffered.
Damages come in three forms: economic, non-economic, and punitive:
- Economic: tangible losses as a result of the victim’s accident which can be given a specific dollar amount
- Non-economic: intangible losses that the victim has suffered as a result of their accident; the value of such losses is more subjective
- Punitive: amount awarded to the victim that is designed to punish the defendant for their wrongful actions
Loss of consortium falls into the second category of non-economic damages. The value of your child holding your hand, your husband’s affection, or your parent’s comforting words cannot be given a specific price tag.
In order for a court to calculate loss of consortium damages, the court must examine the following factors:
- Strength of the relationship prior to the victim’s injuries
- Role of the victim within the family
- How injuries have affected the current relationship
- History of violence within the relationship
Statute of Limitations for Loss of Consortium
According to Texas law, a person is barred from filing a lawsuit “not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.” In Texas, most personal injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations. Although a loss of consortium claim will be part of another lawsuit, it must be made within the two-year time period.
The cause of action may be different between a personal injury case and a wrongful death case. If the victim was injured, the cause of action will be the date of the accident, but if the victim died, the cause of action will be the date they passed away.
A Personal Injury Attorney by Your Side
If your loved one has suffered a personal injury, you have also suffered a loss of the passion or enjoyment you once had in your relationship. You deserve to be compensated for your pain. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.