Many know that personal injury victims may receive compensation for their loss of essential functions and a decreased quality of life, but that isn’t the only compensation you may be eligible to claim.
Compensation for wrongful death cases is also relatively well-known to most people. What’s less commonly known is that a victim’s spouse may also have the right to sue for compensation due to the losses they suffered due to another party’s negligence.
A claim seeking monetary compensation for non-financial losses is called a loss of consortium claim. This type of claim is complex, but it can provide significant support after an injury or loss of your loved one.
What is a Loss of Consortium?
When a person is severely injured or dies because of an accident, they may receive financial compensation because of their diminished ability to perform daily activities or go to work. Typically, they also lose the ability to participate in family activities and their relationship with themily suffers.
Loss of consortium examples are long-term physical and psychological damages that can also severely restrict the level of engagement in a marital relationship. That loss eliminates (or severely reduces) the love, connection, intimacy, support, and companionship previously available to the spouse. If the injury or death was due to another party’s negligence, a successful claim for loss of consortium damages provides monetary compensation for the spouse’s non-financial losses.
Can a Spouse Sue for Loss of Consortium?
Yes, and in Indiana, only the legal spouse of an injured person is allowed to file a loss of consortium claim. Those in long-term relationships that the state does not recognize as marriage cannot file. Being separated or estranged from your spouse may prevent you from receiving compensation, but because loss of consortium cases are complicated, consult an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your unique situation.
For a successful claim, spouses must prove to the court that they suffered a significant loss when their spouse was injured or died. It can be a grueling process because those involved with the case inspect all aspects of the marriage to determine the degree of loss and the appropriate compensation level.
How Do I Substantiate a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Your claim will include detailed, personal information about your marriage’s health and level of engagement. You must answer questions about the frequency of physical intimacy, arguments, and care your spouse provided before their injury.
The claim will also consider household and parenting tasks your spouse can no longer complete. Losing the ability to have children with your spouse may also be a reason for compensation. You must also answer questions about any emotional and moral support your spouse can no longer provide.
Your attorney, the judge reviewing your case, or the other parties’ attorneys may call on your friends, family, or co-workers to testify about your relationships before the accident.
When Should I File a Loss of Consortium Claim?
In short, the sooner, the better. It’s best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney when the accident occurs. In Indiana, there is a statute of limitations on how long you have to file a claim against those responsible for your spouse’s injuries or death. Filing after the allowed time may cause a permanent dismissal of your case without evaluating the legitimacy of your claim.
An effective personal injury attorney will protect your right to pursue compensation by helping you strengthen your claim, ensuring the necessary paperwork is filed promptly and correctly, and advocating for you to receive the maximum loss of consortium damages. There are also significant benefits for a single firm to handle all the claims related to the accident. They will become more knowledgeable about your case, and you will save time and money by not explaining the incident to multiple attorneys.
Call 317-401-8626 today or contact us online to request a free consultation with one of Crossen Law Firm’s experienced personal injury lawyers. We’re here to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.