Who Can Claim Loss of Consortium After a Wrongful Death?
Loss of consortium occurs when a person is deprived of the benefits of a relationship because of injury or death caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In the case of wrongful death, the loved ones of the deceased suffer a terrible loss. They have a right to seek damages for loss of consortium in a wrongful death claim.
What Is the Loss of Consortium in Texas?
In Texas, family members of a wrongful death victim who are deprived of the benefits of their relationship with that victim have suffered loss of consortium. This category of loss includes loss of companionship in interfamilial relationships, loss of sexual intimacy for a spouse, and loss of parents for children. A claim for loss of consortium damages may be included in a wrongful death claim.
Who Can Claim Loss of Consortium for Wrongful Death?
When a wrongful death occurs, a claim for loss of consortium can be pursued by the following surviving family members:
- Spouse: The husband or wife of the deceased may claim loss of consortium for intangible, emotional elements of the relationship, including comfort, companionship, solace, society, assistance, and sexual relations.
- Children: A minor or adult child of a deceased injury victim may claim loss of parental love, protection, companionship, affection, care, society, and emotional support. Children may recover compensation for loss of consortium when a parent has suffered serious, permanent, and disabling injury or death.
- Parents: When negligence or wrongdoing results in the death of a child, parents are entitled to claim loss of consortium damages for loss of the child’s companionship, society, affection, and love.
Brothers and sisters of a deceased person may not claim loss of consortium in Texas. Neither are stepparent and stepchild relationships recognized for loss of consortium unless the stepparent has legally adopted the child.
What Factors Are Considered for Loss of Consortium?
Damages in a wrongful death claim may include medical expenses, lost income, and other monetary losses caused by the death of a family member. Loss of consortium is more abstract and difficult to calculate. Factors to consider in calculating the value of loss of consortium may include:
- Duration and severity of the injury
- Victim’s temperament and tendency toward emotional support
- How active a couple’s romantic relationship was
- Age and health of the injured party
What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium claims in wrongful death cases may be brought by the spouse, parent, or child of the deceased victim. To recover damages, you must present evidence of loss of consortium. Evidence the court will consider may include testimony from family members and/or medical experts. Our experienced Texas wrongful death attorney can help gather and present evidence to strengthen your claim.
What Role Does Loss of Consortium Play in Wrongful Death Settlements and Judgments?
A wrongful death claim is a way to seek justice for your deceased loved one, hold responsible parties accountable, and recover compensation for your family’s future. When loss of consortium is factored into a wrongful death lawsuit, it can significantly impact the overall value of your claim. Although no amount of money can ever compensate you for your loss, a substantial settlement or award could help ease your family’s hardship resulting from the loss. If you are offered a settlement out of court, loss of consortium will be considered in determining the amount.
It is important to seek legal representation to ensure fair compensation for the loss of consortium. Contact DK Law at (281) 402-8856. Our founding attorney is a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are dedicated, determined, and focused on client results.