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Understanding Loss of Consortium in Florida   

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When an individual gets injured in a serious accident, the resulting losses can be more than just physical or financial. They can also be emotional, mental, and psychological. Loss of consortium refers to the loss of someone’s companionship, love, and care due to a severe injury or death. When your Tampa personal injury lawyer demonstrates a loss of consortium in an injury case, it can lead to financial compensation for this intangible type of loss.

What Is Loss of Consortium in a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case?

Loss of consortium is a legal term that may arise in a personal injury or wrongful death claim to refer to the deprivation of benefits that come with having a close relationship with the injured or killed accident victim. When a severe injury takes away an individual’s ability to support and care for loved ones as he or she did prior to the accident, this is a compensable type of loss in Florida. Loss of consortium can refer to the loss of love, support, sexual relations, companionship, care, household services, comfort, affection, and parental guidance and advice.

Who Can Qualify for Loss of Consortium Damages in Florida?

While spouses are the primary candidates for loss of consortium damages, other individuals can also qualify. An individual seeking this type of compensatory award must have had a close personal relationship with the accident victim and suffered from the loss of this relationship due to the victim’s injuries or death.

According to Florida Statutes § 768.0415, loss of consortium damages can be sought by the following parties:

  • Spouse (must be married)
  • One or both parents
  • Child of the decedent

State law says that loss of consortium damages can be sought for the “permanent loss of a victim’s services, comfort, companionship, and society” when an injury results in permanent total disability. Whether or not an individual is eligible for loss of consortium damages depends on the circumstances of the case.

How to Prove Loss of Consortium

As is the case with any type of personal injury claim in Florida, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff or filing party. The person seeking loss of consortium damages must prove his or her eligibility based on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning the claim is “more likely to be true than not true.”

In general, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she has a recognized relationship with the injured or deceased victim, that this relationship has been significantly affected by the injury or death, and that the injury or death was caused by the defendant’s (accused party’s) negligence or wrongful act.

Is There a Cap on Loss of Consortium Damages?

Loss of consortium is a type of non-economic damage. Other examples of non-economic damages are pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, psychological trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, and inconvenience. In Florida, the law caps or limits the amount of noneconomic damages available only in medical malpractice claims ($750,000 per claimant).

Do You Need an Attorney for a Loss of Consortium Case?

It can be difficult to prove a loss of consortium claim, as this is an invisible type of loss that cannot be demonstrated with hard evidence such as medical records and bills. You may need to hire an attorney in Tampa to represent you and your family during your case.

Your Tampa wrongful death lawyer can help your case stand up to scrutiny from an insurance company or courtroom – including an in-depth look at your relationship with the accident victim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove that a valid claim for loss of consortium exists.

To discuss a specific case in detail, request a free consultation with a lawyer at Vanguard Attorneys. We can help you understand your legal options.