What is a Loss of Consortium Claim in Indiana?
Accidents affect more than simply the person injured in a car or motorcycle crash. A spouse can also see their life turned upside-down because of the injuries suffered. Fortunately, Indiana law allows spouses to obtain compensation when a husband or wife has been injured in a crash. This is called a “loss of consortium” claim.
No statute authorizes this type of lawsuit, but it is well established by court opinions, nonetheless. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we are fully prepared to help spouses vindicate their rights in court, so contact us today to review whether you have a valid legal claim.
Compensation for Impairment of the Marital Relationship
When we bring a loss of consortium claim, we seek compensation for non-economic losses suffered by a spouse of someone who was injured in an accident. This lawsuit compensates for the loss of love, care, affection, support, and intimacy, including sexual intimacy.
Imagine that a man is paralyzed below the waist in a motorcycle accident. His wife’s life has also been impaired if she can no longer enjoy her normal relations with her husband: no moonlit walks, no sexual intimacy, no cuddling. The same is true whenever a spouse enters a coma due to a devastating accident.
These losses can be difficult to quantify in financial terms. After all, how much money can properly compensate for the loss of sexual intimacy in marriage? Based on our experience, we can make a compelling argument that our clients deserve the maximum amount under the law for these negative changes to their marriage. Generally, however, these claims are brought only when a spouse has suffered serious injuries.
Only Available to Spouses
Some states have extended this type of claim to include other family members, such as children who have lost a parent. In Indiana, however, a loss of consortium claim is limited to married couples. Because Indiana now recognizes same-sex marriage, the claim should also be available to a person in one of those marriages.
Proving Loss of Consortium is Complicated
Because a person is claiming their marriage is impaired, they will need to answer questions about the state of their relationship before the accident. This can be difficult for many people. However, to prove your losses, you might need to answer sensitive questions that probe your private life.
For example, an attorney might ask how often you and your spouse fought or enjoyed sexual relations in the years before the accident. Other witnesses might testify as to the state of your marriage, such as whether they ever saw you fight or whether you were suspected of infidelity. Some of our clients find these questions distressing, but we represent all our clients with compassion.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
Accidents change lives. Although most attention is focused on an accident victim, his or her spouse is also suffering. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers proudly represent men and women seeking compensation for the negative changes to their marital relationships. We can meet for a free consultation if you contact us today.