My lawsuit is settled and I'm receiving the policy limits for my own UM and also the defendant's bodily injury. Both are from the same insurance carrier. My wife and I were both victims of the accident.
My lawyer said that my wife is required to come in to release her possible loss of consortium claim on the UM side. She also said that this is inconsequential because any loss of consortium would come out of my policy limit anyway.
Why is this required? And why then did the lawyer need to amend the settlement to state that this will not affect any future personal injury claim my wife has? My wife is pursuing her own personal injury claim which may involve her part of our underinsured motorist limit (my limit was 10 but entire policy limit is 20). Will her release jeopardize her suit?
In Florida an injured person's spouse can have a claim for loss of services and affection (loss of consortium). What is happening in your case sounds routine. The insurance company wants to make sure that your settlement includes any claim that your wife has due to YOUR injuries. Likewise, in your wife's claim for her injuries, you too will be asked to sign a release when that case settles for your consortium claim. Good luck!
I am sure your lawyer will protect her rights. The release being signed probably is very specific that is for her consortium claim only, and does not affect her claim for injuries. Yes, very common to require husbands and wife to sign releases and generally, yes, consortium claims are not really worth much at all except in the rarest of circumstances. Usually couples don't want to bring the "personal bedroom" life into a suit except in catastrophic type injuries. Listen to your attorney, that's why you hired him or her.
Your wife's loss of consortium claim is distinct from her own bodily injury claim. It is common to request a release of a spouse's LOC claim as part of the settlement for the physically injured spouse. If your wife was physically injured, waiving her loss of consortium claim will not impact her ability to sue for her own bodily injury.
It sounds like your attorney has done the right thing to ensure that when your wife releases her consortium claim on your personal injury claim, she is not Signing away her rights for her own personal injury claim in which you have a consortium claim. Speak with your attorney for further clarification.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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