If you are pursuing a personal injury case, loss of consortium is likely to be part of your damages. Loss of consortium deals with the loss of the relationship and companionship you have suffered as a result of your loved one's injury. Loss of consortium can be experienced by any family member, but it features more commonly in married accident victims. Below are some of the factors that affect the loss of consortium for married couples.
The stability of the marriage determines how much you have been benefiting from each other. For example, your loss of consortium damages may be lower if the accident occurred while you were going through a divorce or if you were in a trial separation. The rationale is that if you were separating from your partner, then you weren't benefiting that much from them, and the few benefits you had were headed for termination.
Your living arrangement is critical because most of the benefits people derive from marriage are maximized for those who live together — at least as far as the court is concerned. For example, regular physical companionship and sexual intercourse are only possible if you are living together or close to your spouse (or visit each other regularly).
The life expectancy is important because it determines how long you would have continued to enjoy the relationship with your loved one. Your health, age, gender, and race are some of the factors that determine your life expectancy. Therefore, the loss of consortium damages may be higher for a young and healthy couple than for an aging and ailing couple. Note that the life expectancy for both of you is considered.
The injured person's child-rearing roles will matter if you have at least one child. This is because the loss of consortium is not just the loss of sexual intimacy; it encompasses all the relationship and companionship benefits of a family. Therefore, if you used to prepare the kids for school, take them to their pediatric dentist, and shoot hoops in the backyard, your inability to do those things after your injury is a loss of consortium. Moreover, your spouse will have to step in to take your role in parenting the kids.
Lastly, the involvement of the injured party in household duties will also affect the loss of consort valuation. Activities such as trimming the lawn, cooking, and fixing appliances all matter because they are part of life that loved ones had together.
For more information, contact a personal injury attorney.