Posted by callgentry |
Serious accidents do more than cause physical injuries. They also take a toll on the victim’s marriage. Indeed, it’s not an exaggeration to say that many “unhurt” spouses suffer nearly as much as the spouse who ends up in the hospital. Helpfully, Missouri law allows spouses to seek compensation after some accidents.
Missouri loss of consortium claims arise in two types of cases: personal injury and wrongful death. This article deals with loss of consortium in personal injury where your spouse doesn’t die. Contact Call & Gentry today to speak with our Jefferson City personal injury lawyers about whether you are eligible to file this type of claim.
How Does a Loss of Consortium Claim Compensate a Spouse?
Imagine Gerry is involved in a car accident and is paralyzed below the neck. He has obviously suffered a catastrophic injury. Fortunately, Gerry can sue the driver who negligently hit his car for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
But Gerry’s wife, Terri, has also suffered losses, even though she wasn’t injured in the crash. For example, now that Gerry is paralyzed, she might have lost:
- The services Gerry used to provide, such as cooking and transportation of the children
- The love and affection Gerry provided
- Sexual intimacy
- The emotional support and guidance Gerry used to provide
Because he is paralyzed, Gerry might be unable to do any of the things he used to do before. As a result, Terri is also a victim of the accident.
How Much is a Claim Worth?
This question depends on the facts. In the above example, Terri’s losses are considerable. She might feel practically widowed, even though Gerry survived the crash. We can estimate Terri’s losses by looking at how much it costs to buy services on the market, such as food preparation and transportation. Other losses like loss of guidance or sexual intimacy are subjective, but we would imagine they would be considerable.
In other cases, however, the marital relationship might not have changed much at all—especially where the accident caused only temporary or minor injuries.
Should You Pursue a Loss of Consortium Claim?
There are many considerations that you should work through with a lawyer before filing. A big one is privacy. If you claim an accident altered sexual intimacy, then you will probably need to testify about your sex life before and after the accident in open court. That might be embarrassing or even traumatizing, but it’s necessary to prevail.
Defense counsel might even probe about difficult times in your marriage, such as a separation or any domestic violence. Some of our clients find this type of probing invasive.
Contact us Today!
Please contact an attorney quickly. The spouse has a short amount of time to file a loss of consortium claim after his or her spouse files a personal injury lawsuit.
Call & Gentry Law Group LLC can review the facts surrounding the accident, give advice, and represent you in negotiations if you have a strong claim. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.