Husbands and wives are often the silent victims of their spouses’ personal injuries when the injury changes the nature of their marriage in a negative way.
If you’re the uninjured spouse, it only seems fair that you should be able to recover some form of compensation for your losses as well — and that may be possible with a loss of consortium claim, which examines several different possible ways your marriage may have been negatively affected by your spouse’s injuries:
— Has your spouse’s injuries halted your sexual relations? A direct injury to the genitals may obviously affect your sexual relations, but they could also be affected due to chronic pain, lower back weakness or psychological trauma.
— Has there been a loss of love and affection between you? If your spouse has suffered brain damage, for example, he or she may not even recognize you.
— Has your spouse’s ability to provide for you financially or perform other services as part of your marriage “pact” been impaired? For example, your wife may have been the primary breadwinner, allowing you to go to medical school. If you’ve had to interrupt your education and go back to work because you spouse is no longer able to provide for you, that’s a serious loss. Similarly, your husband may have always been the household handyman — if you’ve now had to take over those duties, that’s a lot of additional work and stress that has been added to your life.
Loss of consortium claims are often challenged based on various factors relevant to each couple’s unique relationship. You can expect to testify about certain aspects of your relationship:
— How stable was your marriage? If either of you were contemplating divorce, for example, that would considerably weaken your case.
— If sexual relations are part of your claim, you may have to testify about the health of your sex life prior to your spouse’s injury.
— You may have to establish the depth of the loss you’re experiencing. It’s much easier to prove a loss of consortium claim due to a permanent and severe injury than a temporary, relatively mild one.
Don’t hesitate to discuss this issue or any other with your attorney. For more information on how our firm will work to protect your interests in a personal injury situation, please visit our page.