What Is Loss of Consortium in a Personal Injury Claim?

loss of consortium
Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham Blog January 2, 2024

What Is Loss of Consortium in a Personal Injury Claim?

After a loved one has suffered a severe injury or wrongful death due to the negligence or recklessness of another, the impact extends far beyond the physical pain and medical bills. The emotional and relational consequences can be equally devastating, especially for spouses and close family members. While no amount of money can compensate for this profound loss, financial compensation in the form of loss of consortium can help families and spouses face the economic impact of personal injury or death. 

Today, the Quad Cities personal injury attorneys at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham explain how you can receive loss of consortium compensation in a personal injury claim. 

What Is Loss of Consortium? 

Loss of consortium is a legal concept that allows a spouse or sometimes other close family members to seek compensation for the loss of companionship, intimacy, and other emotional and physical benefits they enjoyed in their relationship with someone who was injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence. This is also called the “loss of enjoyment of life.”

Examples of loss of consortium in personal injury claims include: 

For your Quad Cities personal injury lawyer to file a successful loss of consortium claim, they will need to show evidence of:

  • A stable and loving relationship between you and your partner
  • Full-time cohabitation as a couple
  • Emotional support and care provided by your partner
  • Physical intimacy as a shared aspect of your relationship
  • Your partner’s participation in household tasks and responsibilities

How Do I Get Compensation for Loss of Consortium? 

Iowa and Illinois have their own set of laws for filing these claims. Just like when filing a personal injury claim, the same statutes of limitations apply when seeking these damages. 

In Iowa, along with spouses, children can sue for loss of parental consortium after an injury or death. This claim aims to compensate for the loss of services, companionship, and support the injured or deceased parent would have provided. Parents can also sue for the loss of their child’s companionship and help if the child is injured or killed. This is referred to as filial consortium.

In Illinois, spouses and children of the injured or deceased personal injury victims can file loss of consortium claims. Additionally, family members can seek compensation for “loss of society and companionship,” distinct from the “loss of consortium” available only to spouses. This includes parents, children, and siblings who lose the guidance, comfort, love, and companionship of their injured loved one. 

How Much Is My Claim Worth? 

Unlike compensation for lost wages or medical bills, loss of consortium is considered a non-economic damage and cannot be assigned a set monetary value. Calculating loss of consortium damages is a complex process without a one-size-fits-all formula. It involves evaluating various factors, such as: 

  • Nature and severity of the injury
  • Impact on the relationship
  • The quality and strength of the relationship before the injury
  • Evidence of loss

It is also important to note that negligence laws in both Illinois and Iowa apply to loss of consortium claims. Both states are considered at-fault states regarding personal injury claims, including those involving loss of consortium. To recover damages, the injured party must prove that the other party was negligent and that their negligence directly caused the injury. 

Illinois and Iowa follow a modified comparative negligence system that can impact the damages awarded.

Under Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, a spouse, child, or parent can recover damages for loss of consortium even if they were partly at fault for the injury or death of their family member, as long as their fault is less than 50%. However, the damages awarded will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to the individual filing the claim.

Like Illinois, Iowa applies a modified comparative negligence rule (Iowa Code § 614.1). A claimant can recover damages for loss of consortium even if they were partly at fault unless their fault is greater than the combined fault of all defendants.

Contact a Quad Cities Personal Injury Lawyer

While money won’t bring your loved one back or restore your relationship, having the financial means to live after an accident can help you and your family get back on your feet after suffering a devastating loss. A compassionate and caring personal injury attorney from Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham will fight for you and see that you receive a fair settlement. Along with seeking loss of consortium, your attorney will support you throughout your journey of seeking compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. 

To get started on your claim, schedule your free case consultation. Reach us 24/7 by phone at (309) 794-1515, via LiveChat, or by filling out our contact form

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.