Loss of Consortium Claims in Maryland
An experienced, compassionate attorney will fight for you
We think of injuries as purely physical problems, but anyone who has been hurt in an accident knows that the effects go well beyond your health. Long-term, permanent injuries can also affect your relationships with other people, and there's no relationship more significant than your marriage and the one with your spouse.
Maryland's personal injury law recognizes the significance of the impact that a serious accident and injury involving one spouse can have on a marriage, and thus it allows claims for loss of consortium - or compensation for the damage that the physical and injuries to one spouse has caused which negatively impact to the marital relationship as it was before an accident. If you or your spouse has sustained a serious injury that has affected your relationship, the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC can help.
Understanding loss of consortium
Loss of consortium is considered a type of non-economic damage, similar to pain and suffering or emotional distress. However, rather than compensating for the losses sustained by the individual who is the direct victim of the accident, it recognizes that the marital relationship may have been impacted or injured as well because the husband and wife can no longer enjoy life together to the same extent they did before.
For example, suppose one spouse has been severely injured in an auto accident and suffered a severe and permanent injury to their back, or possibly a brain injury. In that circumstance, the injured spouse files a claim for his/her own damages, of course, but the other spouse may also file a claim seeking damages based upon any material, negative impact to the interaction between them. This is because as a couple they now find it more difficult to do the things they use to do together as man and wife -such as dancing, leisure activities, caring for their children, taking vacations, sexual relations or intimacy, and other day-to-day activities have been impacted. The uninjured spouse may also have to take on more of a caregiver role and do more of the "chores" around the house and activities with the children.
Maryland laws allows for an award of monetary damages to married couples for loss of companionship, affection, and assistance, which will likely include an impact on their sexual or marital relations. "Sex" is not a dirty word. It's an aspect of a loving and caring relationship: marriage. Don't be embarrassed to address this with your lawyer or healthcare professional. The law recognizes the right of a husband or a wife to recover for injury to their relationship.
In the District, a loss of consortium claim is for similar damages may also be made. Virginia does not recognize the loss of consortium claim.
Common grounds for a loss of consortium claim
Types of injuries that generally result in loss of consortium claims include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord or back injuries causing paralysis or a real limitation on one's ability to perform basic daily activities or leisure activities that the couple did together
- Amputation/loss of limbs
- Emotional injuries from trauma, like PTSD
Because these are non-economic losses, they are not tied to an easy formula or method of proof of the loss. That's why it's so important to have an experienced attorney such as Stuart L. Plotnick on your side to advocate for the value of your marriage and the extent of the damage it has sustained, both in negotiations and, if necessary, at trial.
Your marriage has value, and we'll fight for it
Loss of consortium cases are never easy. This is a claim for compensation for damage to some of the most intimate aspects of your marriage, which means those intimate details will become a material issue as your claim moves forward.
If your marriage has been affected by a serious injury, we want to hear from you. Contact us online or call (301) 251-1286. Our conversation is strictly confidential, and there's absolutely no obligation to move forward - we just want to help you understand your legal rights and options. Schedule your free consultation today.