West Virginia is not the safest place to drive. Though the number of serious car accidents in the Mountain State has fallen in recent years, West Virginia still has more dangerous collisions than many of its neighbors. Eventually, someone close to you may suffer a catastrophic injury in a car crash.
Car accidents do not only injure drivers and passengers. On the contrary, if someone you love has sustained a life-altering injury, you may feel a tremendous sense of loss. You may also miss out on much of what makes your personal relationship special. Fortunately, you may be able to pursue reasonable compensation from the negligent driver who caused the crash by filing a loss of consortium claim.
Loss of consortium
The law has some antiquated terms that may not make much sense to non-lawyers. Put simply, loss of consortium is missing love, affection, companionship, friendship and support. If your loved one can no longer offer the same affection as he or she did before the collision, you may suffer extreme harm. This harm is compensable under West Virginia law.
Typically, spouses of injured individuals file derivative loss of consortium claims. The parents or children of an injured person may also have their own derivative causes of action.
Some damages are easier to prove than others. For example, if you have lost financial support or household help because of your loved one’s injury, you can likely easily assign an economic value. Proving noneconomic harm, such as loss of love or friendship, is arguably more complicated. Gathering evidence about the nature of your relationship, life expectancy, living arrangements and other relevant factors can help.
Often, when someone sustains a critical injury in a car crash, his or her loved ones also suffer. You may not have to simply deal with your loss, though. By filing a loss of consortium claim, you may be able to receive compensation to help you pick up the pieces.