Loss of Consortium

When someone is injured or dies, the entire family may sustain damages. “Loss of consortium” refers to the impairment or loss of intangible benefits enjoyed by spouses, parents, and other family members. 

If a loss of consortium results from negligence or wrongdoing, the at-fault party can be held liable for the damages suffered by the victim’s loved ones.

What Is a Loss of Consortium Claim in Louisiana?

Close family members of the injured or deceased party can file a loss of consortium claim seeking compensation for their damages. A loss of consortium refers to a specific type of loss you experience due to the injury or death of a family member.  

A loss of consortium claim includes but is not limited to the loss of:

  • Love and affection
  • Sexual relations
  • Financial support
  • Guidance, aid, and assistance
  • Fidelity
  • Performance of material services, such as household services
  • Society and companionship

For example, a victim who is paralyzed in a car accident can no longer participate in the same activities they enjoyed with their spouse before the accident. A child loses the guidance, love, and support of a parent who sustains a traumatic brain injury that causes permanent cognitive and emotional impairments. A person loses the aid and assistance of an injured spouse with rearing their children and caring for their home.

Who Can Claim Loss of Consortium in a Louisiana Personal Injury Case?

Louisiana Art. 3215(B) states that damages for loss of consortium, society, and service may be recovered by the same categories of people who could have filed a wrongful death action had the injured person died. 

Therefore, family members who might have a loss of consortium claim could include:

  • Spouses and children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

Generally, the existence of a beneficiary in a higher category would prevent recovery by those in the lower categories. For example, if a victim has a spouse and/or children, those family members could file a loss of consortium claim. However, if the victim has no surviving spouse or children, parents might have the right to file a loss of consortium claim.

Loss of consortium claims are complicated. Each case is unique and should be evaluated based on the specific facts and circumstances. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review the particular elements of a case to determine if the facts support a loss of consortium claim and, if so, how much the damages are worth.

Proving a Loss of Consortium Claim in Louisiana

To recover compensation, you must prove the legal elements of a loss of consortium claim, which are:

  • Your family member was injured by the defendant’s negligence, intentional torts, or other wrongdoing;
  • You have a relationship with the injured party that qualifies you to file a loss of consortium claim;
  • You suffered a loss of services, society, or companionship because of your family member’s injury; and,
  • The defendant’s wrongful act caused the loss of consortium.

A loss of consortium claim falls under the category of non-economic damages. The loss is intangible, so it can be challenging to place a value on it. Generally, it is up to the judge or jury to determine whether the facts support a loss of consortium claim and how much to award for damages.

What Is My Louisiana Loss of Consortium Case Worth?

The purpose of loss of consortium damages is to compensate a family member for a loss or disruption of a familial or intimate relationship. Attorneys examine the factors involved in the case to determine the severity of the harm to the relationship.

Factors that can impact the value of a loss of consortium claim include, but are not limited to:

  • The type of injuries the family member sustained
  • The severity of the family member’s impairment or disability
  • The extent of the relationship between the family members before the accident
  • The services and activities the injured family member can no longer perform
  • Whether the injured family member can express love, affection, and other emotions
  • The extent of the relationship after the injury

Medical specialists may testify about the limitations and restrictions caused by the injury or impairment. Friends and family members can explain how the injury has changed their relationship with the injured party. Experienced personal injury attorneys can use the information to develop a narrative that portrays the depth and devastation caused by the victim’s injuries.

A Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You With a Loss of Consortium Claim

So much has been taken away from you because of the negligence of another party. Our attorney can work with experts and thoroughly review the details of your case to calculate the full extent of your damages. Let us seek a fair settlement to compensate you fully for your losses.  Contact our law firm at (337) 399-9000 to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers at Kenny Habetz Injury Law.