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Weinstein Legal personal injury law firm Fort Lauderdale

What Is the Legal Definition of Consortium?

 
07/17/2021
Weinstein Legal
Read Time: 6 Minutes

Loss of consortium is a legal phrase associated with the spouse or partner of a personal injury victim. The loss of consortium definition states that the spouse or partner of a person filing a personal injury claim may also be entitled to certain compensation and benefits due to the suffering they, too, experienced as a result of their significant other's injury. This compensation, referred to as "damages," is separate from the compensation sought by the injured in regard to medical bills, lost wages, and more.

If you or a loved one suffer an injury at the hands of another person's negligence, contact Weinstein Legal today and ask for personal injury attorney in South Florida, Justin Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has years of experience fighting personal injury claims in a court of law and will not give up until you receive the compensation that you deserve. He will fight aggressively to ensure that insurance companies do not attempt to provide you with a lower amount than the value of your case.

At Weinstein Legal, we provide free case evaluations without any cost or obligation. Give us a call to review the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident, injury and to discuss the possible value of your case. Our phones are open around-the-clock, 365-days a year for those in need of assistance. However, remember that you must act swiftly. Each day that passes is another day that the opposing party and insurance companies are working against you. Get the legal representation you are entitled to today. Call Weinstein Legal at 954-845-0505.

Legal Definition of Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is a term that derives from the Latin phrase "per quod servitium et consortium amisit." This phrase translates to English, meaning "in consequence of which he lost [another person's] servitude and marital services." You may also hear this term referred to as a "loss of affection" or as a "loss of companionship."

Historically, the relationship between spouses is protected by the law and comes with certain entitlements. When another party damages that relationship, in this case physically, you may be eligible for compensation.

Economic Damages

There are several ways that the law examines the loss of consortium and its effects on a marriage or partnership. First, you may be losing your spouse's ability to contribute to the family economically. For example, if an injury causes your significant other to miss work and lose wages, therefore causing the family to fall behind on bills or necessitates that the other spouse finds additional or extra employment. Undoubtedly, this can cause undue stress and hardship in a marriage, not just for the two partners but also for any children in the family.

Damage to Familial Services

Additionally, a loss of consortium may refer to a loss of services within a marriage. "Services" can take on many different forms. This phrasing may refer to childcare, household chores, and errands, or another action that a spouse performs in contribution to the marriage.

Should an individual suffer an injury that makes it so they can no longer perform these services, such as requiring bed rest for an extended time or suffering a brain injury that leaves them unable to perform everyday tasks, the spouse may be entitled to compensation.

Damage to Sexual Relations & Emotional Damage

Lastly, sometimes an injury may leave a person unable to participate in sexual relations with their spouse. This may be the case with a spinal cord injury that leaves a person paralyzed, for example. Not only does this take away an important emotional element of a marriage, but it may also impact a couple's ability to have children in the future.

A personal injury may also impede the "care and affection" that is usually present in a marriage. This can negatively impact aspects of bonding, feelings of love, and ultimately, the mental health of those who are affected. Conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression that result in a serious injury can lead to emotional issues, making it challenging to maintain an intimate and romantic relationship. According to the loss of consortium definition, a spouse may be entitled to compensation as a result of this loss.

Death of a Spouse or Partner

While serious personal injury damages can have a profound impact not only on the quality of life for the person who is hurt but also for the quality and happiness of a marriage, the loss of consortium definition includes one additional circumstance. A personal injury may cause a loss of happiness and physical ability for a period of time, yet often, individuals make a full recovery. Sometimes injuries are so severe that the effects are long-lasting and your life may change forever.

However, in the case of wrongful death, the loss of consortium definition may also apply. Death is permanent and irreversible, and no amount of medical treatment, physical therapy, or psychology can bring a person back once they pass. It ends a marriage entirely, with no opportunity to move forward in the future. In this case, a partner permanently loses all of the "services and affections" of their marriage and may be entitled to significant compensation. When asking what is loss of consortium, legal experts include the possibility of death.

Can You Sue Someone for Loss of Consortium?

It is essential to remember that the loss of consortium definition outlines the compensation separately from that which covers a partner's or spouse's injuries; it is a standalone case. A loss of consortium case will be entirely separate from the personal injury case your partner files, as will the determination and settlement from the opposing party should you win in court. Many individuals wish to know how to go about filing a loss of consortium case.

The answer is that, yes, you may (and must) file an individual lawsuit for loss of consortium as the spouse of a person who has suffered a severe injury or death. The best place to turn in the event that you need to file such a lawsuit is to an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with these types of cases.

Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Lawsuit?

Who can file a loss of consortium lawsuit in the state of Florida? This is a valid question as there are many different relationship statuses and living arrangements, and all romantic relationships are significant. Surely, each person who suffers the loss of a loved one goes through quite a bit of mental anguish.

In the state of Florida, you must be a person's legal spouse or domestic partner in order to file a loss of consortium lawsuit following an accident or death. This means that you have a legal certificate on file with the courts, and the partnership is recognized by law. Those who are engaged, dating, or are living together yet not married are not eligible to file such claims. Unfortunately, common law loss of consortium does not apply in the state of Florida.

Additionally, parents of a child under the age of 18 years old may file a claim for loss of consortium, as may siblings or children. However, note that if multiple parties are filing lawsuits for the same event, a legal team may advise you to file together instead of for many separate settlements.

How Can a Lawyer help With a Loss of Consortium Claim?

If you are searching for answers to the question "what is loss of consortium and am I eligible to file a claim?" call Weinstein Legal today and ask to speak with personal injury attorney Justin Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein will provide you with a free case evaluation, free of any obligation, which may outline the potential value of your lawsuit.

The team at Weinstein Legal will then begin working tirelessly on your case, advising you on the proper documentation and testimony that will be necessary to win your case. Do not wait to file a claim for loss of consortium. Call Weinstein Legal today at 954-845-0505.

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