Everyone recognizes that losing a loved one in a car accident is devastating, but few people take the time to consider how an individual's injury can affect their spouse following a serious accident.
With about 3 million people sustaining nonfatal injuries in car accidents each year, the possibility of your spouse being involved in a car accident is very real. If you are suffering as a result of your partner's injuries, you may be able to take legal action to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.
Loss of Consortium
Most personal injury cases involving the spouse of someone injured in a motor vehicle accident are classified as "loss of consortium" cases.
Consortium refers to an association, and loss of consortium references a person's loss of the benefits that come from being associated with someone. The more an auto accident affects the health and well-being of your spouse, the greater your loss of consortium may be.
The obvious losses that you suffer as a result of your spouse's injuries can vary based on the dynamic of your household.
Some spouses experience the loss of meals prepared at home, regular housekeeping, and shared childcare duties. Other spouses may experience a loss of landscaping help, the loss of mechanical help in maintaining the home, and the loss of income as a result of reduced wages.
Each of these obvious losses can be quantified with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
In addition to the obvious losses that you may experience when a spouse is injured in an auto accident, there are some surprising subtle benefits that you could lose out on as well. One of the most significant of these subtle benefits is a loss of emotional support.
A spouse who has been seriously injured in an auto accident may not have the capacity to provide emotional support in times of need. Your spouse's injuries could require extended hospital stays to treat, which would cause you to lose out on the benefit of your spouse's companionship on a daily basis.
Since it is these subtle things that contribute to the strength and success of a relationship, losing them could have devastating consequences.
Your personal injury attorney can help you identify the ways in which your spouse's injuries have negatively affected your quality of life if you choose to take legal action by filing a loss of consortium case. Contact a car accident lawyer to learn more.