Car accidents can be devastating to more than the accident victim alone. The loved ones of anyone killed or injured also suffer. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, the victim’s family members may be able to recover compensation for their lost relationship, companionship, and financial support. Let’s look at exactly when loss of consortium damages are applicable and how to pursue them with the help of an experienced car accident injury lawyer in San Antonio.
What Does “Loss of Consortium” Mean in a Car Accident Injury Case?
It may be a shock to know that in Texas someone loses their life every two hours in an auto accident. Every time this tragedy happens, family members and dependents have a loving relationship torn away.
They may lose companionship, love, affection, social support, or parental guidance. And when an accident victim survives but suffers a serious, permanent, or disabling injury, their family members can also experience the loss of many essential relational benefits.
Your Right to Loss of Consortium Damages
Loss of consortium refers to compensatory damages that certain family members may seek to recover from the at-fault driver who deprived them of the benefits of their relationship with the victim. These damages are most commonly pursued in wrongful death cases where the victim perished because of another driver’s negligence.
Under Texan personal injury law, loss of consortium may be applicable when a spouse, parent, or child is lost.
Loss of a Spouse
If your husband or wife was taken from you by an accident, you may have lost a great deal of love, affection, companionship, comfort, assistance, emotional support, sex, and other relational benefits. And you have a right to seek compensation for these losses.
Loss of a Parent
A child typically experiences awful losses when a parent is killed or catastrophically injured. The accident victim’s child may seek financial compensation for the loss of their parent’s love, affection, guidance, and care.
In Texas, only direct descendants of the deceased victim have a right to pursue these damages. Neither stepchildren nor siblings may do so.
Loss of a Child
If your child perishes in a car accident, no amount of money can make up for your loss. Still, you may seek a degree of financial recompense with a wrongful death claim and loss of consortium damages. But when a child is injured in Texas, surviving the accident, the parents cannot seek loss of consortium damages.
Calculating Your Loss of Consortium Damages
Following a motor vehicle accident, calculating certain economic damages like medical bills or damage to your car is relatively straightforward. But there is no specific price tag or receipt to show for loss of consortium damages. For this reason, it can be difficult to know how much money to seek to recover in your wrongful death or personal injury claim.
To figure this out, both your lawyer and the jury will consider various aspects of your relationship with the victim prior to the accident. With the loss of a spouse, for example, it will be important to look at the stability of your marriage prior to the accident, the quality of emotional support in that marriage, and how active your romantic relationship was.
Financial Losses Resulting From the Accident
Close family members of an accident victim may also seek damages for any financial losses resulting from the lost or damaged relationship. When a loved one is lost, those who survive them often lose financial support and unpaid services such as household cleaning, chores, errands, or care for children or elderly parents.
Following the accident, these services may need to be paid for whereas before, they were effectively free. And so it’s the right of family members to pursue compensation for these financial losses.
The Value of a Car Accident Injury Lawyer in San Antonio
An experienced wrongful death or car accident lawyer has tried and won similar cases to yours before. They can use their understanding of the local laws and their knowledge from previous cases to estimate the correct loss of consortium settlement figure to pursue.
Your lawyer can also prepare evidence to illustrate each impacted aspect of your relationship in order to prove the value of your damages. They can also help you prepare for the oftentimes challenging experience of discussing private and intimate relationship details in court. Learn more here about the value an experienced local attorney can provide.
Suffering the loss of an important family relationship is a terrible experience for anyone to go through. But if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, it might be some small solace to know that you can seek compensation for your suffering. And with an experienced attorney by your side, you needn’t undergo the legal journey alone.