Florida Personal Injury - If I’m hurt in an accident can my spouse make a claim (or vice versa)?
If you or your spouse has been injured in an accident, your life has likely been affected as well as theirs. Therefore, you may be wondering if you both have the right to make a claim against the at-fault party. This guide explains the details of that process.
The short answer is YESAs a spouse, you can make a "consortium claim" if your partner has been injured in an accident. The spouse is making a claim for loss of companionship, meaning that their quality of life has decreased as a result of the accident. This can be for a multitude of reasons; you may not be able to do activities together like you used to, unable to travel together, unable to have sex, etc. All of these constitute valid reasons to file a consortium claim after an accident.
RequirementsIn order to make a consortium claim, there are four requirements. First, there must have been a valid and lawful marriage between you and your spouse at the time of the accident. Getting married after the accident will not give you rights to a claim. Second, there must be a legitimate injury to justify a loss. Bruises and bumps will likely not be judged as debilitating to a relationship. Third, the loss of consortium must be caused by the defendant's negligent act. Pre-existing marital problems are not covered by a consortium claim. Finally, there must be an actual loss of consortium, meaning that you will have to specifically prove what has been lost between you and your spouse.
Protect yourself with representationA consortium claim can be a large one, especially if the accident results in devastating injuries. For example, if your spouse was paralyzed in some way and you become the sole caregiver, that is an extremely realistic loss of consortium that also creates added responsibility for you. You would rightly be owed compensation for the inevitable change in your lifestyle. Remember, this claim is entirely separate from an injury claim and is made by the uninjured spouse. If you are experiencing a situation like this, contact your local personal injury attorney immediately. Having a lawyer on your side is essential to maximizing your claim(s) and getting the compensation that you and your family deserve.