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When your loved one’s injury impacts your life: legal recourse

Your husband has been your rock for the last 30 years. In addition to providing valuable financial support, he also supports you in innumerable other ways. He handles all the home repairs. He makes you breakfast every morning. He shows you unconditional love and consideration. He’s the one who picks you up when you’re feeling down. He’s the person who believes in you, respects you and is your ultimate confidante.

When an accident suddenly leaves your husband with a crippling disability, it naturally has a profound impact on his quality of life. But it also impacts your life in very real ways. In situations such as this, the law allows you to recoup damages for the personal, non-economic losses you suffered. This is a concept known as “loss of consortium.”

What does loss of consortium cover?

Loss of consortium can provide compensation for hard-to-value, emotional damages from a spouse’s serious injury or wrongful death. These may include:

  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Loss of intimate relations
  • Loss of services – including household work
  • Loss of quality of life – such as ability to socialize or travel

Who can make a loss of consortium claim?

Loss of consortium laws vary from state to state. Some states permit parents or children of an injured or deceased party to file a loss of consortium claim. However, under Georgia law, only spouses are eligible for such compensation – and they must initiate such a claim within four years of their spouse’s injury.

When someone suffers a tragic accident, it has a ripple effect on the people close to them. Loss of consortium is a way in which the law acknowledges such impacts.