An accident can have a significant impact on your financial and personal life. You may sustain injuries, incur property damage, and suffer from pain and emotional trauma as a result of the accident. In Atlanta accidents, you can recover a wide range of damages for these losses with the help of an Atlanta personal injury attorney.
In addition to the more obvious losses, a crash may also indirectly impact your social life. Injuries from the crash may impact your relationship with your loved ones, such as your parents, children, and spouse. In such cases, you can seek damages in lieu of the loss of consortium you have to suffer after an accident.
What is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium is when your crash-related injuries have an adverse effect on your companionship with your partner. This may involve losing love, affection, care, or sexual intimacy as a result of the injuries or mental trauma caused by the accident.
In such an event, the law allows your spouse who has to deal with the fallout of your injuries, to file a claim for loss of consortium.
When to File a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Loss of consortium is among the intangible types of losses that you can claim in a personal injury claim. However, this particular type of damages is available when serious and life-impacting injuries are involved. For instance, if the crash results in partial or temporary disabilities, loss of limbs, or injuries to the sexual organs, you may have a strong claim for loss of consortium damages. However, if you recover from your injuries briefly, a jury may not accept your claim for such damages.
The claim itself is to be filed along with your personal injury claim and within four years as per Georgia Statutes Section 9-3-33. However, your spouse is the legally entitled party who can file this claim. Here are some examples of losses that your spouse can cite as a part of the claim:
- Poor communication between you and your spouse as a result of the crash-related injuries
- Inability of the spouse to partake in social activities anymore due to the needs of the injured party
- Extra time and effort the spouse has to spend on tending for the injured partner
- Having to go out, perform chores, and do childcare duties single-handedly due to the injuries of the partner
In general, if your injuries as a crash victim result in any negative impact on your relationship with your spouse, the spouse is entitled to seek loss of consortium damages.
Proving Loss of Consortium
Intangible damages can be harder to prove as there is no hard-and-fast formula to show that they exist. This is the case with proving loss of consortium damages as well. When you or your spouse files for such damages, the insurance company will conduct a rigorous investigation to determine the veracity of the claim. If the case goes to court, a jury may cross-examine you and see all the available evidence before making a decision.
The evidence that you will need to present for a loss of consortium claim includes:
- Valid Marriage Certificate. As per Georgia laws, only married people can bring a loss of consortium claim. A spouse who is divorced, for instance, can’t file the claim. Neither can the parents or children of the victim.
- Medical Records. These must detail your injuries as the victim of personal injury, and shed some light on the limitations imposed by the injuries that may have a bearing on your marriage.
- Reports from a Specialist. In case you suffer trauma and other mental issues following an accident, you may have visited a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Reports from such specialists can be immensely valuable in substantiating your claim.
What is the Value of a Loss of Consortium Claim?
The actual value of a claim such as this varies from case to case. It depends on a number of important factors such as the pre-accident stability of your marriage, the present age and life expectancy of you and your spouse, the severity of your injuries, and so on. An insurer, as well as a jury, will look at all these factors when determining the value of your claim.
Why Hire an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney?
Loss of consortium claims are relatively harder to prove. This is simply because of the intangible nature of the damages involved. An insurer may use this ambiguity to turn down your claim or award you a smaller settlement. This is where we can help you. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we work with you to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your losses. Call us today to discuss your claim with our lawyers.