What is loss of consortium in a wrongful death claim?

Loss of consortium occurs when a spouse is deprived of the love, support and physical relations that are a fundamental part of a marriage. When one spouse is injured, disabled or suffers an accident at the hand of another, they can typically collect damages for loss of consortium if they decide to take legal action.

In some states, if a spouse dies because of another person’s negligence or error, his or her surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim and seek loss of consortium damages as well. West Virginia is one of these states.

Loss of Consortium in Wrongful Death

The surviving spouse can seek damages for loss of consortium both before the death (if they were injured and unable to interact physically with their spouse) and for the loss of consortium they are currently facing after their loved one’s death.

Loss of consortium damages are hard to quantify. No judge or jury can fully grasp the emotional and personal effect a loss has had on a person, so the total damages a surviving spouse can get from loss of consortium varies greatly from case to case.

Typically, the following losses will be considered when determining total loss of consortium damages:

  • affection;
  • sexual relations;
  • companionship;
  • emotional support;
  • love; and
  • society.

Often, loss of household services will also be lumped into this area, and judges will consider any:

  • lost childcare;
  • cleaning;
  • cooking; and
  • other services that the deceased spouse provided when determining damages.

More on Loss of Consortium

Not every case lends itself to loss of consortium damages. Any individual who has lost a spouse to another person’s negligence or error should always speak to an attorney before seeking legal action. An attorney will be best equipped to evaluate the case and determine whether loss of consortium damages are a viable option. Victims in Clarksburg should contact the team at The Miley Legal Group today to get started.

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group