Loss of Consortium in South Florida
Loss of Consortium in South Florida

Loss of consortium is a legal term used in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Florida and many other states. A family member of a person who was permanently injured or killed due to another party’s negligence may pursue a loss of consortium claim.

Loss of consortium in South Florida is less obvious than suffering broken bones in many personal injury cases, but the pain, suffering, and emotional distress are no less real. Loss of Consortium involves the deprivation of a family relationship (including affection and sexual relations) due to the tortfeasor‘s negligence. Spouses of accident victims can sue for loss of consortium in South Florida if their partner is injured or killed.

Who Can File a Loss of Consortium Claim in South Florida?

An injured party’s spouse is typically the only person who can claim loss of consortium under Florida law. In some cases, the court will allow an injured child or parent to sue for loss of companionship.

When a spouse suffers a loss, the following compensation may be available:

  • Affection
  • Loss of emotional support and care
  • Emotional distress in general
  • Companionship
  • Loss of reputation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Shock and mental anguish
  • Loss of services and support for income, household chores, or childcare
  • Loss of consortium is a general term covering everything from domestic assistance to emotional support to physical intimacy.

Filial Consortium

A victim whose child has died or been seriously injured may be entitled to loss of consortium in a car accident. These claims are commonly called filial consortiums. The purpose of filial consortium claims is to compensate the child or parent who lost love, care, and companionship due to the accident.

If a filial consortium is approved, a court may order the negligent party involved to compensate the affected party.

Proving Loss of Consortium in South Florida

Loss of consortium cases can be difficult to prove. The reason for this is that it is a very subjective issue. The same problems apply there as with other emotional issues. There is an easy way to demonstrate that a victim lost material things since their monetary value can be calculated easily. However, emotional damage and loss of consortium are not simply calculated.

Although the injury doesn’t have to be permanent, minor injuries, such as bruises, would not qualify for a loss of consortium claim. The following elements must be met for a Florida loss of consortium claim:

  • The injury must have occurred when you were married;
  • Your spouse must have been injured as a result of the defendant’s negligence or intentional actions;
  • A reasonable person would know that the defendant’s conduct puts others at risk of harm; and
    There is an actual loss of consortium.

Your spouse’s valid personal injury claim is also required for you to receive loss of consortium damages.

A family member of an injured individual might be able to file a separate, independent claim from their loved one for their own damages, with a loss of consortium claim.

For these types of losses, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney skilled at demonstrating the impact of the plaintiff’s injuries on the victim and the victim’s family.

The difficulties with Loss of Consortium in South Florida

Loss of consortium can also be hard to obtain monetary compensation for because some laws and insurance policies make it that way. As mentioned above, in some jurisdictions proving a valid marriage with your spouse is required.

To prove that the marital difficulties pre-date the accident, defense attorneys often highlight every single marital problem a couple had before the accident. A defendant may even be able to investigate the records of a marriage counselor or therapist. Whenever a consortium claim is brought, a defense attorney usually will ask questions about the intimate lives of the couple before and after the accident. In other words, you will have to agree to place your marriage and the intimate aspects of it on display.

Florida Limitations on Loss of Consortium

A loss of consortium claim is considered non-economic damage in Florida. Therefore, there is no limit to how much money a spouse who lost consortium can recover. However, the loss of consortium claims can be limited if caused by medical malpractice.

There are different non-economic damage caps for medical malpractice depending on who was at fault. It is important to know your options if you have suffered a permanent or long-lasting injury while receiving medical care. You can count on our experienced medical malpractice lawyers to help you understand what you may be entitled to in a case involving medical malpractice.

At Bodden and Bennett, we have a team of experienced, compassionate lawyers who are best at helping clients deal with difficult situations. Our goal is to help you get the justice you deserve for your suffering.

If you suffer a loss of consortium, file a claim as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us today at (561) 806-5229.

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