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Understand Loss of Consortium Claims

A disabled man is sitting in a wheelchair
When most people think of a personal injury lawsuit, they only consider the losses incurred by the person who has been injured. But when a person is injured or killed by the negligence of another, the entire family suffers. As family, you too can experience emotional and financial losses related to the accident.

A claim for loss of consortium may help provide some form of compensation for your loss. What does a loss of consortium claim cover and who is entitled to file for a loss?

What Is Loss of Consortium?

In many jurisdictions and in ancient English law, the loss of consortium only covered the inability of one's spouse to have normal marital relations. Historically, marital relations have been deemed worthy of legal protection.

Fortunately, in Michigan and most other states, the loss of consortium now means more. Loss of consortium now looks at all of the duties the injured party is no longer able to perform as a family member. For example, if the injured party is a man, loss of consortium not only considers his role as a husband but may also consider his roles as a father and as a son.

Loss of consortium is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of losses. A few of these include a loss of:
  • Companionship and comfort
  • Household assistance
  • Emotional support
  • Mental encouragement
  • Love and affection
Loss of consortium can cover almost any familial duty or role that the injured person provided or played prior to their injury. 

Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Claim?

While some states limit loss of consortium claims to spouses, Michigan does not. In addition to the spouse or legal domestic partner, Michigan allows a loss of consortium claim to be filed by the children of the injured person.

Children are entitled to recover for their loss of parental guidance, as well as for their loss of love and affection and companionship. They may also be able to file if the injury has altered the parent/child relationship in such a way that they are now having to assume a caregiver role for their parent. 

If the person who is injured is a child, the parents of the child are also entitled to file for loss of consortium. They may be able to argue that the injury has also altered their parent/child relation or that their child is no longer able to participate in the relationship at the level they did prior to the injury. Parents may also be able to include the child's projected loss wages as a part of their claim.

How Are Loss of Consortium Claims Valued?

Loss of consortium claims are considered to be derivative damages. This is because they are not damages that you directly sustained, but those sustained due to another's injury.

It is often difficult to put a value on the losses you have incurred and will continue to incur, especially if the injury will impact your family member for the rest of their life. Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you establish a value for your claim.

The amount of damages will vary from case to case, and unfortunately, the award of damages is up to the judge or jury in your case. Even then, any award may be limited by Michigan's laws or by the amount of money available through the insurance company paying the claim. 

A loss of consortium claim can be difficult and confusing. Fortunately, O'Grady & O'Neil PC   has years of experience in personal injury law and understands how the entire family is impacted. We will strive to provide you with the level of representation which will result in a favorable outcome for your loss of consortium claim. Contact us for help.

Contact Us Today!



    Law Offices of John F. O'Grady PC
    973 Midland Road
    Saginaw, MI 48638

    Phone: 989-790-6611
    Fax: 989-790-6532


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