When a person is injured in an automobile accident, slip and fall, is a victim of medical malpractice or any other act of negligence (i.e.: dog bite, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, etc.), very often they are not the only individual to suffer. Spouses, children and other close relatives are usually affected in a negative way, and as such, are often entitled to collect damages for what is known as "loss of consortium."
Some people mistakenly believe that this term refers only to a spouse's inability to perform in a sexual fashion during the period of the injury. This is a common misunderstanding due to the use of the term "consortium." However, this legal concept is far reaching. Whether it be for something as simple as a spouse being unable to do household chores during the period of disability or something as horrific as a child's loss of a parent due to a fatal accident, loss of consortium claims vary depending on the case and severity of the injury.
States have varying laws on who can and cannot file a claim for loss of consortium in personal injury cases. In all states, spouses are afforded this avenue of recovery.
As with all types of personal injury cases, it is recommended that one consult with a licensed attorney who specializes in this area of practice to determine the rights you or a loved one may have.