In many personal injury cases, the injured person’s spouse will allege that the injuries have severely interfered with their spousal relationship. These allegations may include loss of support, companionship, affection, or sexual relations.
These allegations are usually handled as a separate claim and are called “loss of consortium.” If the injured spouse does not win the personal injury case, the other spouse may not file such an action against the defendant.
For a loss of consortium action to be viable, there must be serious injury that severely affects the spousal relationship. Injuries such as paralysis, brain damage, or even serious psychological injury are typical in these actions.
However, because most other injuries to a spouse may affect the marital relationship in one way or another, there is no loss of consortium action for “ordinary” emotional distress or anxiety experienced by the other spouse related to those injuries.
In Texas, a loss of consortium claim is subject to the proportionate responsibility rule, which means that if your spouse has found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your claim would be reduced by 20%. If your spouse is found to be more than 51% responsible for the accident, your claim for loss of consortium will not be considered at all.
Unfortunately, any claim for loss of consortium will require the couple to expose the privacy of their married life. This cause of action only applies to legally married couples, not co-habitants or same-sex relationships, or to couples who are merely engaged. Also, children cannot sue for loss of consortium damages.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, the experienced personal injury legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.