Can I file a claim for damages if my spouse was injured?

It's never easy to see a loved one suffering from serious injuries after a car accident. If your spouse was injured -- in addition to sharing in the pain that he or she is feeling from the injuries -- you'll also be picking up the slack around house and home. If you have children, for example, you'll be doing double-duty to keep track of all your children's needs and these extra responsibilities can really take their toll on you physically, emotionally and financially. It's because of this burden, that spouses of injured accident victims may be able to pursue claims for compensation related to loss of consortium.

Loss of consortium is a special category of damages that seeks to remunerate the spouses of injured accident victims for the damages and hardship they've endured as a result of their spouse's injuries. These claims are usually filed as a part of the injured spouse's personal injury action. The noninjured spouse will simply be included as an additional plaintiff and language will be added to address the emotional and financial damages he or she has endured.

Loss of consortium damages may relate to:

  • Loss of child care services
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of intimacy, affection, companionship and emotional support

In terms of the first two types of damages listed above, the financial loss associated with these damages is relatively straightforward to estimate. The services have a true value in financial terms if someone is to be hired to replace the spouse in these capacities. The third type, on the other hand, is more intangible in nature; nevertheless, a court may seek to establish a fair dollar amount as compensation for this suffering.

If you're interested in pursuing a loss of consortium claim, a deeper understanding of Missouri personal injury law will help you learn more about your legal rights and options.

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