A serious injury upends the life of not only the injury victim, but of their loved ones as well. When a spouse is seriously injured, their partner’s life changes dramatically and their losses are no less real.
Loss of Consortium in Texas
Texas law recognizes that the impact of someone’s negligence goes far beyond the person they physically injured. That’s why the law allows some family members to sue for damages that they have incurred as a result of the injuries caused to a loved one.
These claims are called “loss of consortium” claims.
Spouses of Injury Victims
As stated by the Texas Supreme Court, “consortium” (which is a Latin word that roughly translates into “sharing a partner”) in the context of a marriage “can generally be defined to include the mutual right of the husband and wife to that affection, solace, comfort, companionship, society, assistance, and sexual relations necessary to a successful marriage.” Whittlesey v. Miller, 572 S.W.2d 665 (Tex. 1978).
While the physical injuries to one spouse can perhaps be easier to see or quantify, the Court noted that “the loss of companionship, emotional support, love, felicity, and sexual relations are real, direct, and personal losses” as well. Id.
As such, a jury can award the non-injured spouse damages for those losses in addition to the damages sought by their injured spouse for such things as medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
Loss of Consortium Factors
How does a jury come up with a dollar value for a marriage that has been forever changed? In making a determination as to how much to award a non-injured spouse, a jury will consider such factors as:
- the stability of the marriage
- the life expectancies of the spouses.
- the nature and extent of the damage to the relationship.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to someone else’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your losses so you can get the resources you need to move forward with your life. Please give Dallas personal injury attorney Robert Greening a call at (972) 934-8900 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free consultation to discuss your case.