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What is loss of consortium?

There is a simple reason why people get married. It's because a marital relationship provides specific benefits to those who enter into the agreement. That's why, when a debilitating injury alters the nature of a marital relationship, both sides of the marriage will suffer immensely. This suffering can be emotional, just as much as it can be financial in nature.

In legal terms, the loss of the benefits of married life due to an injury is referred to as loss of consortium. Some of the lost marital benefits that loss of consortium can point to include:

-- Loss of solace

-- Loss of comfort

-- Loss of companionship

-- Loss of affection

-- Loss of help and assistance

-- Loss of society

-- Loss of sexual relations among the spouses

It is through a loss of consortium claim that the uninjured spouse of someone seriously hurt in an accident becomes included as a plaintiff in a personal injury claim for damages. The success of the uninjured spouse's loss of consortium claim in these cases will largely depend on the success of the injured spouse's claims. In certain circumstances, the injured spouse may also include loss of consortium claims in his or her claim for damages, too.

The monetary value of a loss of consortium claim will often depend on a variety of factors, including life expectancy of the spouses, the stability of the marriage, the level of companionship and care given to the uninjured spouse, and to what degree marital benefits have been lost.

To gain a deeper understanding of loss of consortium claims and how these claims could apply to their personal injury cases, New York plaintiffs may want to discuss the matter with the personal injury lawyers they have retained to represent them in their lawsuits.

Source: FindLaw, "Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries," accessed March 17, 2017

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