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What is loss of consortium?

If your loved one loses his or her life in a Montana car crash or other catastrophic event, you can sue the negligent party responsible for the accident for wrongful death. As part of your damages that you can collect, you can sue for loss of consortium.

FindLaw explains that loss of consortium originally referred to a survivor's loss of ability to have marital relations with his or her deceased spouse. Over the years, however, the loss of consortium concept has grown to cover additional losses as well.

Proving loss of consortium

In general, to include loss of consortium in your wrongful death suit, you must be the spouse, partner, parent, child or sibling of the deceased person. As you may already know, you seek to recover both economic and noneconomic damages in your suit. Loss of consortium represents one of your noneconomic damages, i.e., one on which you cannot place a precise dollar value.

Therefore, assuming you are the surviving spouse of the deceased person, the court will consider various factors, including the following, when determining whether or not you should collect loss of consortium damages from the defendant:

  • How much love and stability existed in your marital relationship
  • What living arrangements existed between you and your deceased spouse
  • How much care and companionship your spouse gave you
  • How much household help (s)he gave you
  • How much parenting help (s)he gave you
  • Your age and life expectancy, plus that of your deceased spouse

If instead of the surviving spouse you are the surviving parent, child or sibling, you will need to present clear and convincing evidence as to the degree and extent of your loss of your loved one's care, affection, nurturing, guidance, etc.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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