I Have Been Injured, But Can My Spouse Bring a Claim?
January 31, 2018
You have been injured because somebody acted grossly negligent and caused an accident that could have been prevented. But what makes it ten times worse is that, when the accident occurred, your husband or wife was involved as well and it directly impacted them. Now, your loved one is suffering alongside you in emotional ways and you wonder how they can gain compensation in this difficult time.
Loss of Consortium
Most states allow a concept known as “loss of consortium,” which is one of the damages that your spouse will be able to collect if they have been directly affected by your injuries. Loss of consortium is meant to compensate your spouse when you have been severely injured due to a negligent act by the defendant. These damages are not limited to a spouse, however, and many different parties have been successful in these claims: from parents of the injured to the children of the injured.
These damages are collected in cases where the case had such a negative impact that it had an emotional impact on you and your spouse, love and affection have not been easy after the injury, and you are no longer able to complete basic home chores or provide for your spouse or children. A good example is if you have been paralyzed due to a trucking accident, and can no longer do the activities you once loved with your family, or provide for them. In some cases, it covers depression by both parties, both the injured and the spouse.
The advantages of these claims are that you and your spouse will be able to recover for aspects like pain and suffering, shock and mental anguish, emotional distress, and more at the discretion of the judge in your case. However, there is a downside: By bringing a claim, the intimate aspects of your marriage will be brought to light and made public by means of your trial. There will be many questions asked about your private life in your claim, which gives you something to consider if you believe you and your spouse are entitled.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED)
A spouse may also be able to collect for something known as negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), which is paid to those who witness a traumatic event. These damages would make sense in a claim where somebody watched a car hit and drive over their spouse or another unsettling situation where somebody was very severely injured or killed in front of another. There are limits, however, when these cases are brought and it is sometimes very difficult to bring them at all. The courts tend to say that the claims should be proportional to the seriousness of the injury. Most of the time, it is required that your spouse was in the zone of danger when the accident occurred and narrowly escaped the same danger as you.
As you can see, it is not always easy for a spouse to bring a claim when you have been injured, but it is not impossible. If your spouse is suffering the effects of your accident or injuries, they have a right to ask for compensation for their losses. For all of your personal injury needs, call the experts at Will Ferguson & Associates. We are willing to help you get the results you deserve in your time of need. Call us today at (505) 633-7070.