When a loved one suffers debilitating or fatal injuries in an accident, it can devastate the victim’s family.
In addition to financial devastation, family members’ lives are changed forever from the loss of the relationship they previously enjoyed with the victim.
If someone else’s wrongful actions or negligence caused your loved one’s accident and subsequent injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation for loss of consortium.
If you would like to know more about filing a loss of consortium claim in Washington, a personal injury attorney from Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, can help.
What Is a Loss of Consortium Claim?
In legal terms, loss of consortium occurs when someone is deprived of the benefits of a spousal or familial relationship.
For example, if your spouse sustained debilitating or fatal injuries in a car accident, you could lose the companionship, intimacy, and affection that you previously enjoyed.
If you had children, they could lose the care and affection that their parent can no longer provide.
Personal injury victims have the right to pursue compensation for their damages. In most cases, plaintiffs and their attorneys can negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. As an alternative, you can file a civil lawsuit and pursue resolution in court.
Who Can File a Claim for Loss of Consortium in Washington?
In Washington state, an accident victim’s spouse, children, and parents can pursue this type of claim in most cases.
This is the most common type of loss of consortium claim and the type you are likely most familiar with.
In Washington, you must have been legally married to the victim at the time of the victim’s injury or death. Divorced persons cannot pursue a claim, even if they were married at the time of the injury.
Unlike many states, Washington allows parents to pursue legal action for the loss of the love and companionship of their minor child.
They may also be able to recover for the loss of an adult child, but only in certain circumstances such as the adult child does not have children of their own.
Parents need not have been financially dependent on the victim to have a valid claim in most cases.
Children can pursue a claim for the loss of love, care, and guidance they experience should a parent suffer wrongful death or debilitating injury.
To have a viable claim, the accident victim typically must suffer a catastrophic or disabling injury. You can also pursue a loss of consortium claim in most cases of wrongful death. To determine the potential viability of your claim, consult a personal injury attorney or loss of consortium lawyer in Washington State.
What Is the Value of Your Loss of Consortium Claim?
When another party’s negligence or wrongful actions cause you to suffer damages, you have the right to pursue both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, including medical treatment costs, lost wages, and vehicle repairs, are easily quantifiable.
Other damages, including pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of consortium, are non-economic damages. Consequently, these losses are less easily quantified. Depending on the details of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Loss of care and companionship,
- Loss of love and affection,
- Loss of assistance and services, and
- Loss of sexual relationship.
To calculate the damage of your claim, your attorney will consider the nature of your relationship with the victim and the ways in which their death or incapacitation will affect your life.
Your age and the victim’s age may affect the value of your claim as could your respective life expectancies.
How Can a Washington Personal Injury Attorney Help You?
Although you do not legally need an attorney to pursue compensation for loss of consortium in Washington state, having a lawyer on your side offers multiple advantages. These are just some of the services an attorney can provide.
Documenting Your Claim
Your attorney will gather evidence and documentation to support your claim and build a persuasive case. This might involve soliciting opinions and testimony from subject matter experts and other reputable sources.
Calculating Your Claim Value
Your attorney will identify all damages associated with your claim and document them accordingly, to help you recover compensation for your losses.
Negotiating a Settlement
Your attorney will issue a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company and negotiate to seek the best possible settlement offer.
If the insurance company does not negotiate in good faith or agree to a reasonable settlement, your lawyer can file a civil lawsuit and fight in court to get you the justice you deserve.
Throughout the legal process, your attorney will be there for you, answering your questions and providing the information you need. When you choose a personal injury lawyer from Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, you will benefit from our depth of knowledge and experience. We aren’t afraid to take on the biggest insurance companies, even if that means taking your case to court.
Talk to a Loss of Consortium Attorney in Washington State Today
No settlement or jury award can restore what you’ve lost. However, pursuing a legal claim helps you get justice for the harm done to your loved one and hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions.
At Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, we understand what you’re going through. You do not have to face this struggle alone. We provide compassionate legal representation and work tirelessly to help you recover the damages you deserve. To discuss pursuing a Washington loss of consortium claim, contact us online today to learn more.