Spouses Right of Consortium
If your loved one sustained a catastrophic injury and that injury has caused you losses—such as loss of affection, comfort, love, companionship, or sexual relations—you may be able to pursue a loss of consortium case. Please contact our firm to learn more about your legal options.
A personal injury lawsuit is typically brought forward by the individual who has been injured—unless the injured did not survive the accident, in which case those that survived the individual, like their spouse, might pursue a lawsuit. However, there are cases where the family of the injured person may be able to recover losses for their losses, such as the loss of income provided by the injured. These cases are known as loss of consortium lawsuits.
1. New Hampshire law includes recognition of a spouse’s right of consortium.
The law in New Hampshire recognizes your rights as a spouse to the consortium of your partner—including the services your spouse provides, the society that comes from being with your spouse and the sexual relationship you have with your spouse.
The services your spouse may bring to your life include physical help keeping your home in good condition and help with the ongoing maintenance needs of the home. The society your spouse brings includes moral support, comfort, solace, and affection. And the sexual relationship you get from your spouse goes beyond intimacy to include the opportunity to have children.
2. The law recognizes that you can be injured by an accident even if you were not in the accident or sustained physical harm.
The idea behind loss of consortium laws is that your partner serves many roles in your life, some or all of which can be destroyed or negatively impacted by a major accident. If your partner can no longer walk after an accident, the accident essentially deprived you of their help maintaining your home. If your partner loses the ability to have children, you are injured as a result. These are real, life-altering injuries, even if they are not the physical kind.
3. Pursuing a loss of consortium claim carries the risk of exposing problems with the marriage.
You can gain significant financial benefits from winning a loss of consortium lawsuit—but such a lawsuit does carry risks that you need to be aware of before you begin. The defense attorney of the one accused of liability is going to fight hard to avoid losing the case, which means they will do their best to cast a negative light on your relationship. If there have been any infidelities or other issues in the past, there is a strong possibility that those problems will be brought up in court and become part of the public record.
4. Children can sometimes be eligible to file a loss of consortium claim.
The most common loss of consortium claim is filed by spouses because it is usually the spouse that is most seriously injured by the accident. However, there are times where the relationship between the injured party and their children can be damaged in similar ways. If the children depended on the parent to provide for them and lost that security, a loss of consortium case could demonstrate that loss and win damages for the children of the injured party.
5. If you are thinking about a loss of consortium case, you need to speak to a knowledgeable attorney.
Whenever you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it always pays to talk to an experienced attorney –but this is especially true in a loss of consortium case. These cases are less well known because they are not as common as many other personal injury lawsuits. Your case is much more likely to be successful if you work with an attorney you trust.