Does My Family Member Have a Claim If I Suffer a Personal Injury?

The law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman is dedicated to helping victims of personal injuries throughout the state of Delaware. If you need strong representation to recover compensation as an injury victim, we are here to serve you from one of our offices in Newark, Wilmington, or Seaford.

If you suffer a personal injury resulting from the negligence of another party, your spouse may be able to sue the responsible party for “loss of consortium.” This is a claim for compensation for damages associated with the loss of love, affection, companionship, comfort, and/or intimate relations normally enjoyed by the spouse from the injured victim.

Various factors go into determining loss of consortium and whether a case exists. Therefore, it is essential to have an experienced Delaware personal injury attorney to advise you regarding any pursuit of compensation on this basis.

Calculating loss of consortium

A loss of consortium claim, in most cases, will not be successful unless the victim suffers a severe and debilitating injury (such as paralysis, amputation, loss of body function, etc.) or death.

Loss of consortium is usually classified in the non-economic or general category of personal injury losses. These are losses for which financial compensation is only an approximated or estimated substitute. Some examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Humiliation or embarrassment
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental shock and anguish
  • Emotional distress

Any award provided in a case involving a claim for loss of consortium is at the sole discretion of the jury or judge in the case. These cases can be quite complex in terms of quantifying the damages suffered by the plaintiff. It is important to work with a personal injury lawyer who has specific knowledge and experience in these cases to help you accurately determine and pursue all the compensation you deserve.

Proving loss of consortium

Several factors are taken into consideration by the court when hearing a loss of consortium claim, and the value of the loss for a potential award. These include:

  • The life expectancy of the couple
  • The stability of the marriage
  • The degree to which the victim lost the benefits of married life. Certain injuries carry more weight in this respect – for instance, a coma or limb amputation, as opposed to a broken arm.

The damages awarded for loss of consortium will vary according to the type of personal injury involved. Damages are of an abstract nature and usually cover the pain and suffering of the victim.

Loss of consortium limitations

Limitations exist on a spouse’s ability to sue for loss of consortium. First, insurance policy limitations may exist that cap the monetary value the provider will pay. Also, if the accident occurred when you and your spouse were separated or divorced, you may be prevented from pursuing these damages.

In order to achieve optimum results in a personal injury case, it is vital to have the best representation possible. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Delaware personal injury attorneys mean business when it comes to fighting for the rights of our injured clients to recover the compensation they deserve. Let us help you. We operate from our offices in Wilmington, Seaford, and Newark. Call us today at 302-888-2900 or complete our contact form to arrange a free, no-obligation case review.