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Loss of Consortium




Loss of Consortium Definition

Legal Definition of Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is a legal term that refers to the deprivation or loss of companionship, affection, sexual relations, and support that a spouse or family member experiences as a result of injuries or harm caused to another individual. It is a cause of action in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, where the injured party’s spouse or family member seeks compensation for the negative impact on their relationship and quality of life due to the injuries sustained by their loved one.

Key aspects of loss of consortium include:

  • Relationship: Loss of consortium claims typically involve a close familial relationship, such as a spouse, parent-child, or domestic partner. The claimant must demonstrate that they had a pre-existing loving and supportive relationship with the injured party.
  • Impact: The claimant must show that the injuries or harm suffered by the injured party had a significant and negative impact on their relationship. This impact may include the loss of emotional support, intimacy, companionship, and assistance in daily life.
  • Physical and Emotional Harm: Loss of consortium claims can encompass both physical and emotional harm. For example, if an accident causes a spouse to become permanently disabled and unable to engage in physical activities or provide emotional support, the other spouse may file a loss of consortium claim.
  • Separate Claim: Loss of consortium claims are separate from the injured party’s personal injury claim. The injured party pursues compensation for their own injuries, while the spouse or family member pursues compensation for their losses related to the relationship.

Loss of consortium claims can arise in various situations, including:

  • Personal Injury: When an individual is injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, their spouse may file a loss of consortium claim if the injuries result in a loss of companionship or support.
  • Medical Malpractice: If medical negligence leads to severe injuries or wrongful death, the spouse or family member of the patient may seek compensation for the loss of consortium due to the harm caused by the medical provider’s negligence.
  • Wrongful Death: In cases of wrongful death, surviving family members, including spouses and children, may file loss of consortium claims to seek compensation for the emotional and financial losses resulting from the death of their loved one.

Loss of consortium claims can be complex and may require evidence to establish the extent of the harm to the relationship. Evidence may include testimony from the claimant, expert witnesses, medical records, and other documentation demonstrating the impact of the injuries on the relationship.

It’s important to note that loss of consortium claims are not available in all jurisdictions, and the availability and scope of these claims may vary by state or country. Additionally, the damages awarded in loss of consortium claims are typically intended to compensate for the non-economic losses related to the relationship, rather than direct financial losses.

In summary, loss of consortium is a legal claim that allows a spouse or family member to seek compensation for the loss of companionship, affection, sexual relations, and support resulting from injuries or harm caused to another individual. These claims are distinct from the injured party’s personal injury claim and are pursued to address the negative impact on the relationship and quality of life.


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