After a drunk driving car accident that left your spouse suffering in a hospital or healing from painful injuries in your own home, you may also be negatively impacted in more ways that you realize. As the wife or husband of the injured spouse, you may have lost several intimate benefits, such as loss of companionship, loss of affection, and loss of spousal financial support. What you may not know is that you have a right to seek financial compensation from the drunk driver for the accident.
Due to the sensitive and complex nature of loss of consortium after an accident, it is recommended that spouses pursue guidance from a reputable attorney in their area. Your attorney can advocate for your behalf, represent you during court, help you gather evidence to prove your claims, and much more.
How is loss of consortium defined?
Loss of consortium is defined as the comfort, assistance, support, protection, affection, intimacy, and love that a spouse has lost because their husband or wife was a victim in a personal injury accident. The spouse of the injured person may have grounds to sue the drunk driver for loss of consortium, if the driver’s behavior was negligence or reckless. Driving behind the wheel drunk may certainly be considered particularly careless in the eyes of the law.
In order to recover loss of consortium damages, you and your attorney must prove that one of these elements apply:
- Your spouse has been increasingly touchy, moody, and/or irritable
- Your spouse has not been able to perform domestic chores, so you have had to take them all on yourself
- You and your spouse used to enjoy hobbies or activities together
- You have become stressed or depressed due to the situation, and your spouse has not been able to offer emotional support
- You and your spouse have not been able to be sexually intimate
- Your spouse has not been able to help with taking care of children
How can I prove loss of consortium in the car accident claim?
To be awarded monetary compensation for loss of consortium, you may need to provide your name in the same car accident claim that your spouse filed. Your name will be listed as another plaintiff, so that within the legal pleadings you can make your claims and demands regarding the benefits you have lost. As a component of the lawsuit against the drunk driver, who will have to prove through evidence that the following applied:
- You and your spouse live together full-time
- Your marriage was stable and loving
- Your spouse provided companionship and cared for you
You may also have to provide proof of the household services that your spouse used to perform, along with the activities you used to enjoy together but are now unable to due to their injuries. After a consultation, your lawyer, like a car accident lawyer, can offer more advice on what information will be useful to bring forward in the car accident lawsuit.