What Is Loss of Consortium in a Personal Injury Claim?
When someone suffers a severe injury, the consequences can extend beyond pain and emotional distress. Spouses are often impacted by their loved ones’ injuries as well. Minnesota law allows these spouses to pursue compensation through a loss of consortium claim. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is a form of compensation awarded to the spouse of a person who was injured through someone else’s negligence. This is meant to compensate the spouse for the benefits lost due to the injury. An injured spouse may struggle to perform tasks at home, such as household chores. This can create a financial strain.
Loss of consortium also covers non-economic damages. An injury can prevent the victim from providing companionship, support, and marital intimacy. These intangible losses can be included in a loss of consortium claim.
Loss of consortium is a common factor in wrongful death cases, as well. In these cases, a surviving spouse will have lost the love and care of their husband or wife altogether.
Is Loss of Consortium Recognized in Minnesota?
Yes. In Minnesota, loss of consortium is recognized as a valid claim in personal injury and wrongful death cases. It is considered a distinct type of damage, separate from the pain and suffering of the victim.
At SiebenCarey, we’ve had firsthand experience with loss of consortium claims. One past client, a 73-year-old man, was riding his motorcycle when he collided with a vehicle. He sustained multiple severe injuries that negatively impacted his life. Attorney Cory Whalen filed a personal injury claim for this client while pursuing a loss of consortium claim on behalf of his wife. Ultimately, Whalen secured a $1.5 million settlement for them to share.
Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Claim in Minnesota?
Some states allow parents, unmarried partners, children, and even grandparents to claim loss of consortium. In Minnesota, however, court rulings have established that only a spouse can bring a loss of consortium claim.
Loss of consortium is a derivative claim in Minnesota. This means that you can only file a loss of consortium claim in connection with a personal injury or wrongful death claim. However, even if the injured party resolved their underlying case, you can still proceed with a loss of consortium claim.
How Are Loss of Consortium Damages Calculated?
The amount of compensation you can claim depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- How much the injury impacts the victim’s marriage and finances
- Whether the effects are temporary or permanent
- If temporary, how long it will take for the victim to recover
Since the loss of consortium includes both economic and non-economic damages, determining fair compensation requires careful evaluation. Monetary damages, such as loss of income or help around the house, are relatively easy to calculate. Intangible aspects, such as loss of companionship or intimacy, are harder to quantify.
Before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance provider, you must consult a qualified attorney who can value your claim accurately. This will protect you from agreeing to a lowball offer and missing out on full compensation.
How Can You Prove a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Proving loss of consortium can be tricky, but with your SiebenCarey attorney’s help, it’s certainly possible.
- First, evidence of the quality and strength of the relationship before the injury can be presented. This may include photographs, videos, or testimonies from friends and family members.
- Documentation of shared activities, vacations, or special moments can further support the claim.
- Additionally, medical records, expert testimony from psychologists or therapists, and even the injured party's testimony regarding the changes in their ability to provide companionship and support can be valuable evidence.
- Proof of any financial hardship brought on by the injury may also be used to support the claim.
Each case is unique, so consulting with an experienced attorney is essential.
Get the Compensation You Need to Reclaim Your Life
Minnesota law recognizes the impact that an injury can have on the relationships and well-being of loved ones. Loss of consortium can be vital to receiving fair compensation and reclaiming your life.
If you are injured in a Minnesota car accident, you may be entitled to compensation—and we can help you get it. As the only Minnesota law firm with a 70-year legacy of trust, SiebenCarey has:
- 70 years of experience helping injury victims obtain the financial support they need
- A proven track record of award-winning successes
- Demonstrated expertise in settlement negotiation and trials
- An entire team of veteran attorneys and investigators
- Access to extensive financial resources to pursue complex cases
- Commitment to the "Know Your Rights" approach, ensuring attentive listening and responsiveness
- A genuinely caring and supportive approach
And the best part? SiebenCarey operates on a contingency fee basis, so you won't owe us any fees unless you win your case.