How You Can Prove Loss of Consortium in a Car Accident Claim
If you have recently had a close family member suffer from a serious car accident, you could be eligible to file a loss of consortium claim. These claims can be challenging to navigate, so you need to consider hiring an experienced Ohio car accident attorney. Unfortunately, in a car accident case, it isn’t only the victim who suffers. Even though accident victims often directly suffer the most significant impact on their lives, their loved ones also face the aftermath. In many instances, a husband or wife is left picking up the pieces trying to cover finances and heal from the trauma of losing someone near and dear to them.
According to statistics, it’s estimated that approximately 3 million people are involved in auto accidents in America every year. In addition, it’s believed that two million drivers experience permanent injuries after being involved in a car accident, and that there are more than 30,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. as of 2019.
The legal team at The Henry Law Firm has experience with loss of consortium claims and can help. However, before you can begin the process, you should know how loss of consortium is proven in a car accident claim. Let’s get started.
Who Is Allowed to Bring a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Unlike in other states in Ohio, a victim’s spouse or minor children are allowed to file a loss of consortium claim. A victim’s domestic partner and parents are usually not able to bring a loss of consortium claim.
In addition, parents can pursue a loss of consortium claim related to their child. Other family members of a car accident victim may have a legal basis for pursuing a loss of consortium claim to prove that they were significantly dependent on the victim.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
Usually, a loss of consortium action is a derivative claim brought in addition to, and at the same time as, the injured party’s claim. It is typically obtained by a spouse or family member of the person injured or killed in a car accident due to negligence. This claim is brought by a victim’s spouse, minor child, or family member because they have lost the person who supports them.
Essentially, these claims are made because a defendant’s actions have prevented or stopped the car accident victim from providing for their spouse or family member. This often includes the victim being unable to provide the companionship, comfort, love, affection, society, or sexual relations they provided before their accident. Because of these losses, a spouse or family member will file a claim.
In most scenarios, claims for loss of consortium are not successful unless the car accident victim suffers a severe, long-lasting, or permanent injury or dies.
How Is Loss of Consortium Proven in a Car Accident Claim?
If you’re filing a claim after your spouse or parent has been severely or permanently injured in a car accident, you must include your name on the personal injury lawsuit they file.
Your name will be included as an extra plaintiff, which will allow you to make various demands according to the spousal, parental, or other (if a non-immediate family member) benefits you have lost.
Yet, if you hope to win these demands, you will need to prove your loss of consortium. At The Henry Law Firm, we can assist you in confirming a loss of consortium by helping you understand what is required and assist you with obtaining evidence.
Below we have mentioned how you would prove loss of consortium in a car accident case:
- You must provide credible evidence that you and your spouse, parent, or family member lived with one another full time.
- If claiming as a spouse, you need to prove that your marriage was stable and loving.
- You will need to prove that your spouse, parent, or family member provided you with companionship and care.
- You have to include evidence in the claim of the various activities you and your spouse used to enjoy with one another before the car accident.
- You will need to include in your claim a list of the various household services that your spouse, parent, or family member performed before the accident.
- You will have to provide expert evidence and medical documentation to demonstrate an expected life expectancy for you and your spouse, parent, or family member (if not deceased).
How Is the Value of Your Claim Calculated in a Loss of Consortium Case?
Typically loss of consortium falls under the category of “non-economic damages.” The losses you incurred have only a rough monetary value that is not easily discerned. Some of the general damages you can claim in a loss of consortium case include:
- Shock and mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of companionship and society
- Pain and suffering
- Humiliation and embarrassment
In most loss of consortium cases, the losses and monetary value attached are generally left to the judge or jury’s discretion. Since this type of claim is incredibly difficult to quantify, you should speak with a lawyer who can provide insight into how much compensation you could obtain.
Contact an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Today
No one deserves to go through the anguish of losing a spouse, parent, or family member in a car accident because of someone else’s ill intent or negligence. If you are experiencing this difficult situation and would like to bring a loss of consortium claim, you should speak with an Ohio car accident attorney.
At The Henry Law Firm, our team can help you prove loss of consortium in a car accident claim. We know the various laws surrounding this claim and can guide you in the right direction while helping you build a solid case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation – we’re eager to help you with your case.