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Can I pursue loss of consortium damages relating to my spouse?

When your husband or wife gets seriously hurt in a car accident, you will be taking care of many things to ensure that your spouse gets the medical care that he or she requires. You'll also be dealing with your own worry for your spouse's safety, and your concern, compassion and empathy for what your spouse is going through.

But what about you? Who is taking care of you and considering the losses and damages that have happened to you, indirectly, as a result of your spouse's injuries? A loss of consortium claim -- added onto your spouse's personal injury claims -- could be a way to address these indirect losses.

What factors do judges consider in loss of consortium claims?

Loss of consortium damages fall under the category of "general damages" in a personal injury lawsuit. Although you will be able to estimate a dollar value for some loss of consortium damages, many of these damages will be noneconomic in nature and difficult to pinpoint.

Here are a few factors that a civil court judge will consider when making a determination about loss of consortium:

  • Has your marriage been loving, stable and expected to endure?
  • What were your and your spouse's living arrangements like?
  • How much companionship and care did you receive from your spouse?
  • What are your and your spouse's life expectancies?

If your husband or wife is seriously hurt and taking time out to recover from car accident injuries, you will have lost any kind of family and household-related services that your spouse performed. Maybe your spouse regularly helped with taking care of the children, driving the kids to school, cooking meals, cleaning the house and so forth. You can estimate the financial value of these laborious activities and include that in your damage claims.

In addition, you may have lost other spousal benefits like friendly companionship, sexual companionship and you might not be able to enjoy certain activities that you and your spouse previously did together.

Learn about New York law as it applies to loss of consortium

Every state has its own laws that apply to the pursuit of loss of consortium damages, and loss of companionship damages, after a spouse gets hurt in a car accident. The more you learn about this area of the law, the better capable you'll be of presenting a claim for such damages in court following a serious accident.

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