ClickCease Loss of Consortium Claims in Personal Injury Cases

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Loss of Consortium Claims

Seth Harris

Last modified on July 1, 2023

Much of personal injury law focuses on seeking compensation for the injured individual’s physical pain, psychological distress, and financial turmoil. However, when a person suffers injuries due to another party’s negligence, the ramifications often extend beyond just the individual directly harmed. Family members, especially spouses, can suffer tremendously as their loved one deals with pain, emotional distress, and lost income.

New York law recognizes the pain such situations can create. The state allows these relatives to pursue compensation through a loss of consortium claim. Understanding what loss of consortium is and how to prove it in a personal injury case can help you plan the necessary steps to protect your rights.

What Is Loss of Consortium?

A loss of consortium claim seeks compensation for family members whose relationship with the injured victim has suffered adverse effects. Consortium refers to:

  • Affection
  • Companionship
  • Sexual relations
  • Moral support
  • Household services

When an accident leaves someone unable to fully participate in the relationship as before, their spouse has the right to seek compensation. However, since this area of personal injury law can be much less straightforward than filing a claim for medical expenses or lost income, working with a skilled and knowledgeable New York attorney is critical.

Who Can Bring a Loss of Consortium Claim?

Provisions for who can file a claim for loss of consortium vary significantly from state to state. In New York, the law only provides an explicit allowance for spouses of injured individuals to pursue loss of consortium damages. The husband or wife can file a claim regardless of financial dependency on their injured partner, as the marital relationship represents the closest emotional bond under the law.

New York does not permit loss of consortium suits from other family members, including:

  • Children seeking compensation for injury to a parent
  • Unmarried domestic partners – the law only recognizes the spousal relationship
  • Siblings of an injured person

There is an open question about whether the state currently allows parents to file a claim for loss of companionship or society if their child suffers serious harm. Some cases have suggested this type of suit may be permissible, while others have contradicted this, suggesting that a parent can claim this type of compensation if the child is a minor. Given the unsettled status, parents should consult an experienced attorney if their minor child endured a severe injury due to another’s negligence. The lawyer can examine the case details and provide guidance on any potential claim.

How to Prove Loss of Consortium

To prevail in a loss of consortium claim, the plaintiff must establish the following:

  • Their family member suffered injuries due to the defendant’s negligence.
  • They had a valid marriage to the injured victim.
  • The injury caused the deprivation of consortium (i.e., the couple’s bond changed significantly).
  • As a result, they experienced emotional distress, lost intimacy, increased responsibilities, financial losses, etc.

Solid documentation and testimony demonstrating the full impact on the relationship can significantly bolster your case. This evidence may include:

  • Medical records showing the extent of the initial injury and ongoing limitations
  • Testimony from both spouses detailing how the marriage suffered, including a loss of affection, companionship, moral support, sexual relations, etc.
  • Records of counseling sought for emotional distress
  • Documentation of additional household responsibilities taken on due to the spouse’s inability to perform them
  • Financial records reflecting lost income, wages, or services

Consulting with an experienced NY personal injury attorney is the most effective way to construct a solid case.

Contact Harris Keenan & Goldfarb Today

If your loved one has suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence and you believe you may have a valid loss of consortium claim, you need a skilled legal representative to handle your case. At Harris Keenan & Goldfarb, our legal team provides aggressive representation to obtain full compensation for accident victims and their families. Our reputation for compassionate service, meticulous preparation, shrewd negotiation skills, and courtroom experience sets us apart. For over 25 years, we have fought for the rights of injured clients and their loved ones across New York City.

Our attorneys offer personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We know how traumatic injury events turn lives upside down, and we are here to help you move forward. Our New York personal injury lawyers are available to assist clients in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, and all of New York. Let us review your potential case and provide skilled counsel on seeking compensation through a loss of consortium claim. Contact us today at 800-724-6529 for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

Over $500 Million in Verdicts and Settlements

Our track record showcases over $500 million won for our clients. Each victory underlines our commitment to justice and client care. Explore our impact, case by case.

VERDICT

$17,500,000

A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.

VERDICT

$4,730,398

Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).

VERDICT

$12,561,772

A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage.

VERDICT

$10,500,000

A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.

VERDICT

$4,000,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.

VERDICT

$3,470,670

The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.

VERDICT

$4,000,000

The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.

VERDICT

$3,823,000

Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.

VERDICT

$2,750,000

The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.

VERDICT

$1,677,835

The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.

VERDICT

$2,995,000

The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.

VERDICT

$2,610,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.

VERDICT

$2,253,714

A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.

VERDICT

$1,900,000

A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.

VERDICT

$1,350,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

What our clients have to say

I am not a client. Just a commuter. What is your advertisement? Fire your marketing manager asap. “Yo, pain law, yo” what is that? 1 start for horrible marketing. Sorry. Job you do is serious and isn’t a joke.
david Santiagodavid Santiago
18:05 21 Mar 24
Maria RoqueMaria Roque
20:49 15 Mar 24
Excellent person, very Professional, they assist you in any language, your call is always answered. I recommend you for any case of support you have, your refund is satisfactory. and fast
S SS S
14:09 02 Mar 24
I am completely satisfied, and recommend Harris Keenan & Goldfarb as Attorneys to represent anyone. Their care for me physically, and overall helped me stay strong in spite of my injuries. Always available to answer questions, and inform.They got me Justice, and achieved a substantial outcome for my case.I am very impressed, and thankful for their outstanding performance on my behalf.I am very pleased, and significantly satisfied with their representation.‐-Sherylon Wilkins
Robert LennonRobert Lennon
15:26 21 Feb 24
Patient and diligence is how I describe the effort of HKG the work was thorough, honest and fair, I have no complaints. Special thanks to attorney Blake and his paralegal Thierry.
Gene Matos (fanboye)Gene Matos (fanboye)
18:48 15 Jan 24
I first crossed paths with Seth Harris when serving jury duty many years ago. He was so professional and personable, that when my mom was seeking legal counsel for medical malpractice, I told her she had to reach out to his firm. We had meetings with a few different firms, but Harris Keenan & Goldfarb was the only firm that did not try to get us to sign paperwork before even meeting. They took the time to listen and understand our situation before we signed anything, and they were transparent and responsive the whole time. I would like to give special thanks to Samantha Walton, Marla Stein, Val Wallace and Seth Harris for helping my mom through this tough time. They were honest and upfront, and even though Seth Harris wasn't personally on the case, he took the time to meet with us and give us his thoughts on it.
Solange IsaacSolange Isaac
17:52 08 Jan 24
I am pleased with the services provided by Ms Sheri on my case. The team at Harris, Keenan, & Goldfarb were very nice and explained everything to me. Everything that I had questions on they answered without frustration and were prompt and knowledgeable.6 years ago I had a slip and fall accident at my employers place of business. I reached out to them because I knew that I was being wrongfully treated. They took care of the case, restored my self confidence, and brought so much peace to my problem riddled life.I can recommend without a shadow of a doubt the services of Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb to anyone who is in need of someone who will have your back!
Brittany DempseyBrittany Dempsey
16:02 08 Jan 24
My mother had an accident with her ankle back in 2019. I immediately contacted Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb on the day of the accident. They were extremely prompt and helpful. They attended to my mother's case beautifully and she's been recovering well. I'd like to thank you for being so diligent, kind and above all professional. I'd recommend this law firm to anyone who are injured and in need of legal assistance. My mother, Andrea, and I thank you for everything.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions that prospective clients have about personal injury claims include:

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    When you have suffered an injury, it can be difficult to know what to do next. If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and time-consuming process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the maximum possible compensation.

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