When your seafaring partner is injured, everything changes. It can shake the strong foundation of your marriage. It can also leave you with emotional, physical and financial challenges. This is where the loss of consortium steps in. It is a legal path that protects your rights as a spouse and helps you seek compensation.
Understanding loss of consortium claims
Loss of consortium is a legal concept that recognizes an injury’s significant impact on the uninjured spouse. Unlike a personal injury claim, even if you are not the one injured, you can pursue it to address the negative impact of the injury on your marital relationship. It encompasses the loss of companionship, support, love, affection and the inability to engage in normal marital activities.
In some states, such as Texas, domestic partners and other close family members can also pursue this claim.
Establishing claims and potential remedies
To successfully establish a loss of consortium claim, you must demonstrate that your spouse’s injury has significantly affected your relationship as husband and wife. The court may consider factors such as the stability of the marriage, the life expectancy of each spouse and the extent of the actual loss of marital benefits.
Note that this claim is categorized as noneconomic damage, accounting for pain and suffering. You may receive compensation for losing household services, such as cooking, cleaning and child-rearing responsibilities, which the injured seaman can no longer fulfill due to injury.
In addition, you may be entitled to damages for the loss of the seaman’s financial support, including the inability to provide income or contribute to household expenses. This compensation helps alleviate the financial burden you may face due to your spouse’s injury.
Gathering evidence and seeking compensation
Pursuing a loss of consortium claim requires gathering evidence to establish the impact of the injury on the marital relationship. It may involve obtaining medical records and seeking expert testimony. You may also collect testimonies from family and friends to demonstrate the changes in the relationship. The important thing is to prove how much you suffered because of the injury.
A loss of consortium claim acknowledges the active role of the uninjured spouse in the marriage. It aims to provide remedies and support in the face of the emotional, physical and financial challenges caused by the injury. With experienced legal support, you can start rebuilding what was lost, one step at a time.