West Virginia is currently eighth on the list of states with the most dangerous car accidents. As such, it is not unheard of for a spouse to receive a phone call from a hospital stating that a husband or wife had to be hospitalized after a serious car accident. In certain cases where a spouse has been severely injured or even killed, you might qualify for damages known as ‘loss of consortium.’
What Loss of Consortium in an Injury Claim Means
Many people think that loss of consortium in a personal injury claim always means the sexual aspects of a relationship with a spouse. It is actually another way of saying that you are losing your spouse’s companionship and affection. These claims are brought by a close family member and not the party who was injured. This means that a spouse, child, or a parent can bring a claim on behalf of the family member who received serious injuries in an accident. Though many of the cases involve spouses, many others will involve other close family members and are just as valid as any other case.
These types of damages refer to the deprivation of benefits that a loved one gave to somebody in the family and is no longer able to do so. For instance, if a parent is no longer able to show affection to their child due to an accident that left them in a coma, a child might be able to receive loss of consortium benefits. The same can be said for a spouse who is no longer able to enjoy time with their spouse due to serious injuries. If you are no longer able to receive affection, care, or a sexual relationship in some cases, you will likely qualify for these benefits.
Proving Eligibility for Loss of Consortium
These types of damages are referred to as ‘noneconomic damages’ and are damages that stand for those that are not as easy to calculate because there is no set number. As such, the court will consider a wide variety of factors when they are making a decision on how much you should receive for these damages. These include aspects like whether or not the marriage was loving and stable, the living arrangements of those impacted, how much care a spouse or loved one received, and the life expectancy of both spouses or family members.
However, you must always remember that damage caps apply to many of these cases and can limit the amount of damages you will recover. For instance, some will not go over a certain dollar amount in the hundreds of thousands or three times the amount of economic damages you receive in a case.
Receiving Professional Help with Your Injury Claim
Loss of consortium claims vary from case to case and are not always set in stone. Because of this, if you decide to bring any type of personal injury claim on behalf of your loved one, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney who has handled cases like yours in the past. At Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, we would like to offer a helping hand to you when you need it most. Please contact us at (304) 713-2014 for more information on how we can assist you.