When are Loss of Consortium Damages Awarded in Minnesota?
Loss of consortium damages is a type of compensation that can be awarded in some personal injury or wrongful death cases. These damages are meant to cover the physical and emotional loss a spouse suffers when their spouse is incapacitated as a result of another party’s negligence.
Who Can File Loss of Consortium Claims in Minnesota?
Who can file a loss of consortium claim is typically limited to the uninjured spouse. However, it can vary based on your unique situation. For example, some states allow:
- Parental Consortium: A child may be able to pursue a claim for the loss of a parent’s care, companionship, and affection. Alternatively, a parent may be able to recover consortium damages for injured minor children.
- Unmarried Partners: A domestic partner may be permitted to file a loss of consortium claim, but it can be incredibly challenging to succeed.
- Grandparents: Grandparents may have a right to consortium damages related to the severe injury or death of a grandchild.
What Damages Can Be Recovered for Loss of Consortium Damages?
Minneapolis personal injury victims can suffer cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments that prevent them from having the same relationship with their spouses or families as they did before the accident. Loss of consortium is a claim for intangible losses, including the loss of:
- Sexual relations;
- Ability to have children;
- Performing household chores;
- Caring for children;
- Affection and love, or
- Support and guidance.
To recover consortium damages, the plaintiff (uninjured spouse, parent, etc.) must prove to the court that their family suffered these losses.
How Are Loss of Consortium Damages Recovered?
A loss of consortium claim is filed separately from an injured party’s personal injury claim, and there must be evidence of the following:
- The injured party and claimant have/had a qualifying relationship(e.g., legally married, parent/child, grandparent, grandchild, etc.);
- The injured party was harmed due to another party’s negligence;
- The loss of consortium was caused by the defendant (at-fault party); and
- The claimant suffered an actual loss of consortium.
It is important to note that even if the injured party resolved their personal injury case, a loss of consortium claim can continue independently.
How Much is My Loss of Consortium Claim Worth?
Since loss of consortium are subjective losses or non-economic damages, the value of your claim is decided at the discretion of a judge or jury. The court will typically consider:
- Strength of the marriage or relationship
- The life expectancy of both the injured party and claimant
- The nature and scope of the loss
- How much companionship the claimant received
- The severity of the impact on the relationship because of the injury
There are also insurance policy limits and legal caps that can limit the amount of non-economic damages you receive. Additionally, if the injured party contributed to their accident that caused them harm, your consortium damages can be reduced.