The injury of a spouse can mean so much more than medical bills. When it is a severe or disabling injury, it can also mean losing certain marital benefits besides money, such as home-cooked meals and loving companionship. These losses can be considered under the law as the “loss of consortium,” and you (the non-injured spouse) may be compensated for these.
What Is “Loss Of Consortium”?
The word “consortium” generally means association with another person. In legal terms, the loss of consortium means the loss of benefits from being associated with your husband or wife.
These benefits may be practical and apparent, such as the preparation of meals, the conduct of household chores, sexual relations, and caring for children. But there are also less apparent and less quantifiable benefits, such as companionship, affection, and emotional support.
How Much Are You Entitled To?
Even though a large part of the loss of consortium isn’t readily countable, Illinois courts recognize that these losses are real. Thus, you may try to determine and claim a monetary amount for both the quantifiable and less-quantifiable marital benefits that you have lost.
The court will also consider various factors in assessing how much you may receive. The most common of these factors are the extent of your loss, the stability of your marriage, the life expectancy of you and your spouse, and whether or not you will need to hire someone to provide the services that you have lost (such as house maintenance and babysitting).
The best way to determine the true value of your loss is with the guidance of a personal injury lawyer who has experience in helping spouses of the injured.
How Can You Claim For The Loss Of Consortium?
You may be able to include a loss of consortium claim in a personal injury lawsuit over your partner’s injury. However, the validity and success of this claim will primarily depend on how severe the injury is. A catastrophic or permanent injury such as a coma, an amputation, or a paralysis is more likely to be considered by the courts, than an injury that only requires crutches for a week.
If you are wondering whether your partner’s injury entitles you to compensation, please do not hesitate to talk to us at Willens & Baez. We can examine the details of the case together to see how much you may be able to claim and how you can successfully claim it.