Illinois law recognizes the toll that accidents can take on the loved ones of personal injury victims. That is why our state allows victims’ spouses to file claims against those who are responsible for their loved one’s injury. These are called loss of consortium damages. They are intended to compensate spouses for the damage done to their marital relationships.
Over the course of more than three decades, the attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., have secured more than $1.5 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients, including more than 260 multi-million dollar settlements. We are well-equipped to explore all of your legal options if someone else’s negligence caused your spouse to suffer an injury, and that injury has, in turn, harmed your relationship.
We know that every case is unique. So, we focus on what is important to each of our individual clients in order to pursue an outcome that addresses the specific harm that they have suffered. To find out more about filing your own claim for loss of consortium damages, contact us today and receive a free consultation through our offices in Chicago and Waukegan.
What is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium damages are meant to compensate an injured party’s spouse for the loss of his or her loved one’s support, companionship, society, and sexual relationship. In all states, loss of consortium remains a claim that only a marriage partner can file.
However, in recent years, courts have repeatedly grappled with cases in which an unmarried partner in a committed relationship attempted to seek damages for the injury of a cohabitant. This area of the law is continually evolving. So, although courts generally refuse to award damages in these cases, rulings in similar cases could change in the near future.
Illinois, unlike many other states, breaks loss of consortium claims into two general categories:
- Sentimental losses (loss of affection and sexual relations)
- Functional losses (loss of services).
The calculation of loss of consortium damages requires taking into account:
- The reasonable value of the services of the injured spouse, of which the other partner has been deprived and will most likely be deprived in the future; and
- The reasonable value of the companionship, society, and sexual relationship of which the injured party’s spouse has been deprived and will be deprived in the future.
Although the amount of damages that an injured party’s spouse can collect will vary depending on the circumstances of a case, those who file these types of claims are never permitted to recover punitive damages.
Should You Seek Loss of Consortium Damages?
When a person suffers a serious injury in an accident such as a traumatic brain injury, his or her spouse may seek loss of consortium damages. These types of claims are not limited to car accidents. They can stem from any accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence, including medical malpractice and slip and fall accidents.
A claim that seeks loss of consortium damages may be filed separately from the injured party’s claim against the at-fault party. Commonly, the spouses file their claims at the same time. This is also true if the injured party tragically passed away from his or her injuries. Loss of consortium damages are almost always sought when a party files a wrongful death claim.
In order to recover loss of consortium damages, the injured party and his or her spouse will need to provide evidence of their losses. Usually, this evidence comes in the form of testimony. Unfortunately, this often means that a couple must discuss and reveal private aspects of their relationship. We realize that this can be difficult. So, our attorneys discuss these issues in confidential consultations and only pursue what our clients wish.
What Are Loss of Society and Companionship Damages?
In Illinois, the family members of injured parties also have the option of filing a claim for loss of society and companionship. These damages are different from loss of consortium damages, which are available only to spouses. Parents, children, and siblings of an injured party may be eligible to file a claim for loss of society and companionship damages.
The damages in this type of claim are intended to compensate the loved ones of an accident victim for the deprivation of his or her guidance, comfort, love, affection, and companionship. While it can be an uphill battle to obtain an award for loss of society and companionship in some cases, most Illinois courts recognize that pecuniary injury can be presumed in cases where a parent loses a child. Unlike loss of consortium damages, loss of society and companionship damages cannot be awarded to parents for an injury to a child or to children for an injury to their parents if those injuries were not fatal.
Whether you are seeking damages for the injury to or loss of a child, parent, spouse, or sibling, the attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., will focus on exploring all of your options and proceeding according to your wishes.
Our Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here for You
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we are committed to helping our clients to pursue their objectives and recover what they are owed. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients don’t owe us anything unless their claim is successful. To learn more about filing your own claim for loss of consortium damages, contact one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys today through our offices in Chicago and Waukegan. Our initial consultations are always free and carry no obligations.