What is Loss of Consortium in an Auto Accident Claim?

What is Loss of Consortium in an Auto Accident Claim

Being injured in a serious car accident due to another person’s negligence or other legal fault is hard enough for the victim. But for their spouse, the mental and emotional toll can be just as crushing. If you’re the spouse of a serious auto accident victim, you may be entitled to a wide range of compensation under North Carolina law — including the intangible losses your relationship has suffered. The legal term for this is loss of consortium.

What Is Loss of Consortium in a Personal Injury Claim?

So, what is the definition of a loss of consortium claim? It’s a demand made by a spouse of an injured person to compensate them for the loss of certain benefits and services the injured person provided before an accident but can no longer offer. For partners of car accident victims, loss of consortium damages typically cover:

  • Loss of Companionship – Companionship means a change in the person’s temperament, personality, and society and includes loss of love, comfort, care, protection, assistance, and moral support.
  • Loss of Affection – Affection covers the more romantic aspect of the relationship between spouses.
  • Loss of Sexual Intimacy or Ability to Have Children – This refers to both the reproductive and recreational aspects of intimate relations between spouses. 
  • Loss of Services – This is the loss of childcare or the ability to perform household duties.

Essentially, loss of consortium compensates married partners for the significant changes in the injured person’s role and responsibilities within the family.

Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Claim After an Accident?

Historically, the spouses of parties injured in car accidents can file loss of consortium claims. However, because past court decisions shape future decisions through a process known as case law, this situation could be fluid. The best way to know if you have grounds for a loss of consortium claim is to consult an experienced attorney.

Typically, loss of consortium claims involve cases of severe and life-altering injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or loss of limbs. Loss of consortium can also apply in wrongful death cases to compensate surviving family members for their profound loss and grief.

Can I Receive Compensation for Loss of Consortium in North Carolina?

Calculating loss of consortium damages is difficult because North Carolina does not have a set formula for determining the specific amount. Instead, compensation depends on the unique circumstances of each case. Factors that are considered in determining loss of consortium damages include the injured person’s pre-accident social and romantic activities, as well as their contributions to the household and family dynamics. 

Given the subjective nature of these damages, it’s crucial to seek the advice of an experienced car accident lawyer.

Talk to an Experienced Durham Car Accident Attorney Today

If your loved one has been injured in a car crash and you want to pursue compensation for loss of consortium in North Carolina, reach out to Kreger Brodish LLP today. Our compassionate North Carolina car accident attorneys have successfully represented clients in loss of consortium cases and want to put our experience and skills to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Durham car accident lawyer and find out what we can do for you.