Devastating accidents can cause a host of economic losses, such as the cost of medical care and lost wages when a victim cannot return to work. Accident victims can also receive compensation to cover certain non-economic losses, like pain and suffering. But accidents can also harm the victim’s spouse. Paralysis, brain injuries, and nerve damage can completely upend a marriage, leaving the uninjured spouse feeling alone and emotionally wrecked. This spouse, though physically uninjured, has suffered serious harm. Can he or she receive compensation?
Fortunately, they might. Texas has something called a “loss of consortium” claim, which a spouse might be able to bring. For more information, you should speak with an Austin personal injury attorney.
What is a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Put simply, a loss of consortium claim seeks compensation for the loss of a family relationship. In the context of an injured spouse, our clients might suffer the loss of:
- Household services, such as cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry
- Sexual intimacy
Imagine a car accident victim is permanently paralyzed from the neck down. His marriage is now completely changed, and his spouse has experienced a serious loss of intimacy and care. Texas law allows the spouse to seek compensation for this change in the marriage.
How Much Can You Receive?
All cases are different, and this is also true of loss of consortium claims. Coming up with a dollar value can be complicated, because no two people value a family relationship the same.
However, jurors can look at many factors, such as the severity and duration of the loss of consortium. If your spouse suffered temporary injuries that ultimately healed, you might not even be able to bring a claim, or it could be worth only a few hundred dollars.
On the other hand, when a spouse has suffered a serious brain or spinal cord injury that results in permanent disability, then a loss of consortium claim could be considerable. Meet with a lawyer to discuss.
Can Other Family Members Bring a Claim?
Yes. The Texas Supreme Court has allowed children to bring a loss of consortium claim when their parents have suffered disabling, serious, and permanent injuries. Children can suffer the loss of love, protection, emotional support, care, and services when a parent is severely injured, and they are deserving of compensation.
However, other people cannot bring this type of claim. If a child is seriously injured, Texas does not allow parents to bring a loss of consortium claim for the loss of the relationship with their child. Also, if you are not married, you cannot file a claim when your partner has suffered an injury.
Need More Information? Give Us a Call
Catastrophic injuries affect more than the victim. The entire family endures profound suffering. At DC Law, we work to get families the compensation they deserve when someone else’s negligence has injured a loved one.