Texas personal injury law allows anyone injured in accident to sue the responsible party to obtain damages. Damages, or money, includes a list of things like lost wages and pain and suffering. Sometimes a person injured in an accident may die instantly or later because of their injuries. The state allows the surviving relative such as spouse to sue for their wrongful death. The claim can seek damages for burial expenses, funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
What is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium is a claim filed because of a wrongful injury or death to a loved one. The term is broad because it encompasses three different categories:
- Loss of support: This claim refers to any type of financial support lost because the loved one contributed to the family income. The compensation given to the loved one is solely based on the lost income.
- Loss of marital relationship: Loss of marital relationship refers to all the negative things effects on a marriage caused by the accident victim’s death or injury. These things include loss of affection, companionship, emotional support and relations. This type of damages does not have a specific dollar amount attached so a jury will have to make a determination.
- Loss of services: For this type of claim, a spouse must be deprived of their loved one’s ability to complete normal tasks such as household chores or taking care of children.
The amount of money a loved one can receive is not known at the time of an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney. A specific money amount cannot be guaranteed at the time of the initial consultation. At a trial, the jury will take into consideration specific things like the types of chores the loved one did around the house.
Can a Child Sue for Loss of Consortium?
Yes. This is called parental consortium. This is a lawsuit filed by a parent’s injury was permanent, serious one that was also disabling. An adult or minor child may recover money for the loss of their parent. Negligence on the part of their parent reduces the amount of damages a child receives. The child can’t recover for mental anguish. Instead, they can recover for loss of emotional support, protect, love, affection and care.
Determining Negligence in a Loss of Consortium
A family member can sue for this type of damage because someone was negligent in causing the accident. Negligence in a personal injury case is always compared to what an ordinary or reasonable person would do in the same situation. This imaginary person always does everything right. So, when the defendant’s actions is compared to the imaginary person’s actions, liability is determined. If an ordinary person would have done something different in the same situation, they person who caused the accident is liable. In court, a family member must prove four elements to win a personal injury lawsuit.