In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
Loss of Consortium: When Should a Claim Be Filed?
Loss of consortium is a course of legal action available to the family members of an injured victim or one who has been killed by the wrongful act of a second party. In cases involving death, this claim is usually filed on behalf of all possible family members. In some jurisdictions, a loss of consortium claim is available to the spouse, parents, or children of a victim.
Evaluating Loss of Consortium Claims
Loss of consortium claims should be considered when a married victim suffers from a serious injury. Such claims will usually be assessed by an experienced NH personal injury attorney during their first meeting with a new client. Each marriage is different from the next, but an injured, married spouse will often find their inability to perform marital duties as painful and embarrassing as the actual physical injury itself. Plaintiffs must understand that the intimate, private aspects of their marriage will become public knowledge through depositions and testimonies in front of a jury.
If a victim’s marriage was shaky prior to the injury occurring, then this is something that will need to be discussed with their lawyer. An attorney should know about any prior voluntary or legal separations that might have occurred. Furthermore, an attorney will need to know if a couple has sought marriage counseling at any point over the course of their marriage.
There are some liability insurance policies that are written in such a manner that a claim for loss of consortium is automatically included within single injury limits. An NH personal injury lawyer will obtain a copy of any applicable insurance policies to determine whether or not this is the case. In situations where a claim’s settlement amount is negotiable, a loss of consortium claim can be used to maximize the amount of money a victim receives in a settlement.
Preparing Loss of Consortium Claims
If a settlement cannot be negotiated, then this type of personal injury claim will proceed to trial. A victim’s attorney will discuss the level of intrusiveness that will occur during a trial. He or she will discuss at length with each spouse about what will be involved. Although it can be embarrassing to discuss such sensitive topics, a victim and his or her spouse must be willing to openly discuss the problems that their injury has caused within their marriage.
New Hampshire & Loss of Consortium Claims
Existing New Hampshire state laws enable a spouse to recover for their loss of consortium. The NH legal community recognizes that a spouse has a legal right to consortium – a legal right to the sex, society, and services of their spouse. The right to “sex” includes the ability to have children and to enjoy sexual relations. The legal right to society includes companionship, love, affection, comfort, and moral support. The right to services includes actual physical assistance with the maintenance and operation of a family home.
New Hampshire law allows for loss of consortium claims even though one spouse might not have received a physical injury, but nonetheless, he or she has been “injured” since their spouse is no longer capable of performing the services they once did due to injury. For example, if a wife is injured in an automobile accident and she can no longer participate in the day to day upkeep of the family home, then her husband could file a loss of consortium claim for loss of services normally provided by his wife over the course of their marriage.
Hire an Experienced and Understanding NH Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The New Hampshire accident attorneys at our law firm have represented numerous spouses for both loss of consortium claims and physical injuries. We understand the sensitive nature of such claims, and we possess the knowledge and skills required to present a client’s case in order to receive the maximum amount of available compensation.
If you believe that you may have a loss of consortium claim in the state of New Hampshire, contact one of our personal injury lawyers today. Your initial consultation is free, and it is our pledge to you to handle your case with the utmost sensitivity and delicacy.
Serving all of New Hampshire. Offices in Nashua, Manchester, Concord, and Portsmouth.
This site does not constitute legal advice. An attorney client relationship is formed only after an agreement is entered into between an Attorney of Liberty Legal and a client is reached. Past results do not guarantee future results.
Disclaimer: Some cases are referred to other law firms with consent of client.
Liberty Legal Services PLLC. Main office: 250 Commercial St #3020 Manchester NH 03101. (603) 262-3196