Can I File a Claim for Loss of Consortium in Arizona?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Sep 06, 2017 in Personal Injury
Loss of consortium is a claim for damages suffered by the spouse or close family members of a person who was severely injured or killed in an accident caused by another’s negligence.
Generally, this type of compensation is meant to address the loss of companionship, affection, love support and comfort the victim can no longer provide to his or her loved ones.
However, it can be difficult to file a claim for loss of consortium because these damages cannot be measured as easily as lost wages or medical expenses. Instead, it would be in your best interest to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney in Phoenix to discuss whether you are entitled to compensation for loss of consortium through a lawsuit.
What is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium is intended to financially compensate a damaged relationship, emotional detachment or loss of dependency suffered by the victim’s loved ones after an accident.
The basis of loss of consortium is that the victim is no longer able to provide the love and/or financial support his or her loved ones depended on because of an injury or death. This can include the loss of aspects of a marital or parent-child relationship, such as companionship, love, affection or other elements of a normal relationship.
This can occur after the death of a loved one or a severe injury, such as suffering from paralysis or a traumatic brain injury, which make injury victim no longer capable of sustaining a relationship as he or she once did before the accident.
What Damages Can I Recover from Loss of Consortium?
Damages for loss of consortium are intended to compensate you after your loved one has been severely injured or died because of another’s negligence.
If you are eligible, you may pursue damages for any aspect of the relationship that has been lost or damaged as a result of the accident, such as:
- The death of the victim
- A severe injury that limits the victim’s ability to care for his or her family, spouse or dependents
- Loss of guidance, if the claim is being filed by a child who lost a parent or family leader
- Loss of sexual relations
- Loss of partnership, if the claim is being filed by the victim’s spouse
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of comfort and companionship
- Loss of income, if the victim was the primary wage-earner
A court will calculate damages for loss of consortium based on the severity and types of losses suffered by the victim’s dependents. However, assessing these damages can be difficult, as many depend on intangible suffering such as loss of companionship.
The compensation awarded for loss of consortium will be distributed among the victim’s loved ones who can file such a claim.
Who Can File a Claim for Loss of Consortium?
In Arizona, only certain surviving family members can bring a claim for loss of consortium against the at-fault party, including the victim’s spouse, parents, children, or the representative of his or her personal estate.
Only one person is allowed to bring a claim against the at-fault party, and he or she must act on behalf of the other beneficiaries who have been affected by the victim’s injury or death.
If the claimant is awarded damages for loss of consortium, the award will be divided among the beneficiaries in proportion to their level of suffering and dependence on the victim for financial and emotional support.
How Do I Prove Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium claims largely involve intangible losses that are difficult to measure in monetary figures. This makes it difficult for a claimant to prove his or her suffering to a court.
For this reason, it is in your best interest to consult with a qualified attorney who will represent your claim and convey the true extent of the suffering and loss you have endured as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence.
However, because of the lack of physical evidence available to build a case, an attorney will likely have to investigate and use private and intimate details of your relationship with the victim.
For example, if you are bringing a claim for loss of consortium after the death or injury of your spouse, your attorney may have to use factors such as your marriage’s stability, your spouse’s life expectancy, or how your marriage was impacted by the injury or death.
Your attorney will use this information to build a case that effectively shows how you have suffered financially and emotionally after the accident. An experienced attorney will advise you which legal option is in your best interest and helps you receive the compensation you deserve for your loss.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Now
Filing a claim for loss of consortium will require the help of a knowledgeable lawyer who has the skills to demonstrate how you have suffered since your loved one was injured or killed in an accident.
At the Phillips Law Group, our attorneys are ready to help you pursue a claim against a person or entity that has caused you to suffer.
We will provide you with a free, no-obligation case consultation to review your claim and determine if you or your loved one is entitled to damages for loss of consortium. We work only on a contingency fee basis, which means we charge no upfront legal fees and you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.