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Can loss of consortium be claimed in wrongful death cases?

Damages sought in Montana liability claims differ, according to the circumstances surrounding an injury or death. The majority of compensation in a personal injury claim is awarded for losses suffered by an accident victim. In wrongful death cases, a lawsuit's focus is upon hardships experienced by survivors caused by a family member's death.

A request for loss of consortium damages is often associated with the deprivation of a sexual relationship. However, the term is applied in a broader way than you might imagine. Loss of consortium may cover a range of lost marital benefits when a spouse is injured or dies.

An uninjured or surviving spouse may feel a strong loss of affection, companionship, comfort or marital services. While loss of consortium traditionally has been confined to spousal complaints, some states permit the deceased person's parents or children to file this claim. For example, a child may be permitted to seek damages for a loss of a parent's guidance.

Until the middle of the last century, loss of consortium damages applied only to husbands; women's marital losses weren't given consideration. Fast forward to present time. While loss of consortium claims aren't permissible in every state, the states that do offer the option now apply the law equally to men and women.

Make no mistake -- loss of consortium does deal with the deprivation of a sexual relationship as it applies to spouses. The spouse who wishes to make this claim must be willing to share intimate details with a legal representative and, possibly with a jury. Attorneys help prepare plaintiffs prepare to talk about sensitive issues like the stability of the marital relationship, in court.

Loss of consortium is one of several damages that may be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit. Each claim may stand or fall on its own merits. Elements within damage claims can be explained further by a liability attorney.

Source: American Bar Association, "Loss of Consortium: When Should You Bring the Claim?" Patricia Zimmer, accessed Jan. 16, 2015

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