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What is loss of consortium?

If your spouse, child or parent died in an Alaska accident or as the result of medical malpractice, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. In addition to being able to collect damages for your deceased loved one’s medical and funeral expenses, your loss of his or her support and other compensable damages, you also may wish to claim loss of consortium.

As FindLaw explains, loss of consortium means that you no longer have the benefit of your loved one’s affection or companionship. While that can certainly apply to your child or your parent, a loss of consortium claim usually is made by the deceased person’s spouse. While the term originally meant the loss of the claimant’s sexual relationship with his or her spouse, today the definition extends to love, affection, companionship and other such benefits of a marital or parental relationship.

Loss of consortium factors

Loss of consortium is one of the intangible; i.e., noneconomic damages that you often can recover in a wrongful death suit. While it is difficult to place a monetary value on an intangible loss, the judge and/or jury are sure to consider the following factors:

  • The nature of your relationship with your deceased loved one
  • You living arrangements with him or her if (s)he was your spouse
  • How much love, affection, care, companionship, etc. you received from your deceased loved one, particularly if (s)he was your spouse
  • How many more years your loved one would have been expected to live had (s)he not died when (s)he did

While no amount of money will ever make up for your loved one’s death, prevailing in a wrongful death suit not only holds the person who caused the death responsible for his or her negligence, but also may give you both a sense of justice and a sense of closure.

This is general information only and not intended to provide legal advice.

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