Car accidents can be devastating in many ways. One lesser known consequence can be the loss of the ability to show your partner normal levels of affection, including sexual activity. The legal term for this is a loss of consortium.
Unlike other types of damages, loss of affection, companionship and consortium usually are claimed by the uninjured spouse. However, these types of costs can’t be declared if you don’t recover damages for your injuries. If a motorist dies as a result of his injuries, surviving family members may also claim loss of society and companionship damages.
Faced with this type of claim, the jury considers many factors, including:
- Whether the deceased motorist was in a loving, harmonious relationship
- Their living arrangements
- What the overall effect of their absence on any living family members
- How much care and companionship the spouse received
- The spouse’s life expectancy
Many of these same points are part of the deliberation process in the event the spouse is permanently disabled.
If you intend to pursue this type of claim, it is vital to seek the advice of an attorney. There is specific case law where the courts defined when the effect of the defendant’s actions causing the injury begins to collect. There is also a requirement regarding when the couple was married affecting the legality of the consortium argument.
For these reasons, consultation with a lawyer will provide a clear strategy on how to approach this type of claim and how the law applies.
For more information about claiming loss of affection due to an auto accident from the expert attorneys at Bond Sanchez-Gordon, please contact us here or call us directly at 800.471.0341.