Woman kneeling with white roses before a headstone.

What is Loss of Consortium in a Wrongful Death Case?

Loss of Consortium

In a wrongful death case, the spouse of someone killed in an accident can sue for damages based on loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is defined as the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship (including affection and sexual relations) due to injuries caused by a tortfeasor. A tortfeasor is someone who commits a tort, an act or omission that results in harm or injury to another person.

For example, if a drunk driver hit and killed a pedestrian, the drunk driver would be the tortfeasor, having been the person whose actions caused harm and death to the pedestrian. The spouse of the deceased pedestrian would therefore be able to sue the drunk driver for damages based on loss of consortium.

Additional Non-Tangible Damages

Other non-tangible damages that individuals may seek compensation for after losing their loved one in a wrongful death accident include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

Emotional Distress

After losing a loved one, many individuals experience emotional distress. Emotional distress is defined as mental suffering as an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events, or condition. Emotional distress is typically identified by an individual's symptoms (ex., Anxiety, depression, loss of ability to perform tasks or physical illness).

Loss of Companionship

Individuals that have lost a loved one that was significant in their daily lives often end up experiencing a loss of companionship. Loss of companionship refers to the loss of care, attention, and love experienced by the decedent’s surviving child or parent.

Pain and Suffering

Unlike the above terms, pain and suffering is not something the surviving family members experience, but rather, what the individual experienced at the time of their wrongful death. The term pain and suffering refers to the pain, discomfort, anguish, inconvenience, and emotional trauma that accompanies an injury (or death).

Tulsa Wrongful Death Attorneys

Losing a loved one is devastating, but knowing your loved one’s death could have been prevented can make healing all that more difficult. At Brewster & De Angelis we are ready to assist you with every aspect of your legal claim to help you get on the road to healing.

Call our firm today at (918) 265-1214 for a free consultation or fill out this short form.

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