Is my spouse required to release her loss of consortium claim in order for me to receive my own auto accident injury settlement?

Asked over 1 year ago - Winter Park, FL

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?

Attorney answers (15)

  1. Todd J Stabinski

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    23

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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!

    Todd is a partner at the law firm of Stabinski & Funt, P.A., specializing in accident and insurance claims.... more
  2. Don Paul Harvey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    19

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  3. Jeffrey Robert Davis

    Contributor Level 14

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A settlement with you directly should release your wife's derivitive claim but not her direct and individual injury claim nor your consortium claim therefrom-make sure the language in the release preserves these two claims.

  4. Elizabeth Taylor Herd

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It would be very difficult to bring a suit soley for a consortium claim. Sounds like your lawyer is giving you solid advice.

  5. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds like your attorney is trying to be careful to do the right thing. If the policies have been maxed out then she should waive her loss of services claim, like you will do in turn when she settles her claim.

  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The reality is that juries HATE loss of consortium claims.

  7. Patrick John Phillips

    Contributor Level 17

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

    http://ww.johnphillipslaw.com

    This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not... more
  8. Stephen Andrew Hamer

    Contributor Level 17

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your situation is common. Your attorney is seemingly doing everything correct.

    BEST ANSWER I got.... and I HOPE I WAS HELPFUL!! Steve Hamer answers questions on Avvo for general information... more
  9. Lina M Lopez-Fullam

    Contributor Level 9

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, unforuntately the insurance company can require your wife's signature. Two, your wife has a possible constorium claim and if she does not sign off she can always come back after the carrier.

  10. Brian Christopher Hogan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Typically...yes.

  11. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    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.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  12. David A. Papa

    Contributor Level 16

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with everyone else- listen to your attorney as this is typical in these types of claims.

  13. Albert Lee Crosner

    Contributor Level 19

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your attorney appears to be doing the right thing. There should be no problem with you and your wife signing the Release.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The... more
  14. Jesus Novo III

    Contributor Level 14

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Typically you can only settle and release your own claim. If the insurance company is making your wife's settlement and release a condition of your own settlement, then I would file a Civil Remedy Notice with the State and set them for a Bad Faith claim.

  15. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is routine in states that allow consortium claims

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more

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