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What is loss of consortium?

| Jun 1, 2016 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

The loss of a loved one because of a car accident caused by a negligent driver is always hard on a North Carolina family. In particular, a victim’s surviving spouse may spend a lifetime recovering from the emotional trauma of losing his or her soul mate to an accident that was preventable.

As in almost all other states, North Carolina allows a victim’s surviving spouse to file a loss of consortium claim should his or her spouse die, or be significantly injured, in a car accident. Residents of Cary, North Carolina should remember that loss of consortium is technically a separate lawsuit filed by the spouse of the deceased person, as it is separate from and in addition to a wrongful death claim.

A loss of consortium claim compensates a spouse for the loss of the deceased’s help and emotional companionship. It recognizes that the marital relationship is meaningful on many levels, and that a spouse should be compensated if another person’s negligence interferes with this relationship.

There are many complexities that surround a loss of consortium claim. For example, despite recent changes in attitudes about marriage, loss of consortium compensation may be difficult to recover if a couple is not married, even if the couple has a long-term relationship. Moreover, there can be practical barriers to claims loss of consortium. For example, making a claim means that a defense attorney can explore the intimate details of a marriage, and can even explore whether or not a couple has had prior marital difficulties.

While a loss of consortium claim does offer additional compensation to a grieving family, it is not always the best action to pursue it. Usually, it is a good idea to discuss whether or not to pursue a loss of consortium claims with an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney who can provide helpful advice and guidance.

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