Nobody ever expects to be involved in a serious accident. Some accidents are so serious that they leave permanent injuries or disfigurements. When accidents like this occur, injury victims cannot live their lives as they did before the accident.
One long-term effect of a serious injury can be a loss of consortium. This loss also affects everyone in the injury victim’s immediate family. If you have suffered a loss of consortium, then make sure you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
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What is a Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium refers to when a victim cannot provide love and support to their family the same way they could before their injury. Loss of consortium is non-economic damage in a personal injury case. This loss may arise after a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or another injury-causing event.
Loss of consortium claims are available when an injury victim suffers a permanent or long-term injury. The claim belongs to a victim’s non-injured spouse and seeks compensation for their loss of companionship and support. For example, a spouse might seek loss of consortium damages if they can no longer engage in intimate relations with their injured spouse.
Non-economic damages can be complicated to calculate. The court can use different methods to determine how much a non-injured spouse deserves for loss of consortium. Incidentally, valid consortium claims often have extremely high values.
What Factors Are Calculated in Loss of Consortium Claims?
Loss of consortium claims are calculated by examining the long-term difficulties that an injury victim faces because of their injuries. These claims typically require an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the claim.
The court might require testimony from family members or doctors to help determine how a victim’s injury has impacted their spouse and children. You might need the services of an expert witness to help prove your claim. Expert witnesses can be retained to help explain the severity of your loved one’s injuries and their effects on your family life.
Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Claim?
One might believe that an injury victim files loss of consortium claims. However, under Florida law, loss of consortium claims can only be filed by an injury victim’s spouse.
The spouse will have to prove the following to be successful in their loss of consortium claim:
- The spouse was married to the victim when the accident happened;
- The victim suffered a long-term injury that caused a loss of consortium;
- The defendant caused the injuries; and
- The injury victim suffered harm.
Loss of consortium claims are separate from an injured spouse’s personal injury claim but usually filed alongside the injury claim. The loss of consortium claim belongs to the spouse, not the injury victim. Both cases will operate independently from one another, even though they involve many of the same facts and evidence.
Is there a Cap on Loss of Consortium Claims in Florida?
Loss of consortium is a non-economic damage. Non-economic damage claims do not have a cap in Florida. A jury or judge will decide the appropriate damages for a loss of consortium claim.
Medical malpractice cases are treated differently than regular personal injuries cases when it comes to non-economic damages. In Florida, medical malpractice cases are subject to medical malpractice caps. There are different cap levels depending on what type of medical professional caused your injury.
Important Things to Consider Before You File Your Loss of Consortium Claim
Loss of consortium claims are extremely personal and can be too intense for some people. These claims involve questions about a claimant’s sex life and other personal details regarding intimacy with their injured partner. Defense attorneys may attack your relationship with your spouse as they defend against your claim. This can be uncomfortable for plaintiffs but should be expected when making these claims.
These are just a few of the potential issues that you should consider before filing your loss of consortium claim. It is important to be aware of the general timeline of a claim and what you should expect when your claim is filed. Make sure you discuss your claim with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand the process.
Get Help From An Attorney Today
If you have been hurt in an accident, then it is important to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They can investigate your accident to identify liable parties and locate valuable evidence. They can help you calculate your damages and negotiate for fair settlements.
They can also help you determine whether you qualify for a loss of consortium claim. Contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.