injured woman

When an Accident Affects Your Marriage, Your Spouse May Be Able to Collect 

By David Hammond

Accidents can have a profound impact on individuals and their families, extending beyond physical injuries to affect emotional and relational aspects of life. This blog delves into the legal concept of ‘loss of consortium’ in New York State, which recognizes the non-economic hardships faced by spouses when their partner is injured. If an accident negatively impacts the marital relationship, the unaffected spouse might have grounds to seek compensation for the intangible losses, such as companionship, affection, and sexual relations.

Loss of Consortium: Can My Spouse Collect If an Accident Affects Our Marriage?

In New York, accident victims and their loved ones may be entitled to compensation for various damages, including “loss of consortium.” Loss of consortium damages recognize the intangible damages your spouse can suffer after you have been injured in an accident. It refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a spousal relationship. This can include companionship, affection, comfort, and support. While personal injury claims traditionally focus on the injured party’s physical and financial losses, loss of consortium acknowledges that an injured party’s spouse can also feel impacts.

While New York recognizes the right of a spouse to seek damages for loss of consortium, establishing a claim for loss of consortium requires proof that the injury has significantly affected the quality and nature of the relationship. Both the impact on the relationship and the duration of the impact will be considered in a loss of consortium claim. It must be shown how the injury has altered the dynamics of the relationship. This can include presenting evidence of diminished companionship, emotional support, and intimacy. The duration of the impact is another key factor. Temporary disruptions may not suffice to support a claim, whereas long-term or permanent changes in the relationship are more likely to be considered.

In some cases, expert testimony may be necessary to establish the extent of the impact on the relationship. Mental health professionals or marriage counselors may be called upon to provide insights into the emotional toll the injury has taken on the family. Additionally, it can be helpful to keep detailed records of changes in your relationship, including communication, shared activities, and emotional well-being to act as valuable pieces of evidence to strengthen your loss of consortium claim. Photographs, videos, and witness statements can also be compelling pieces of evidence.

Central New York Personal Injury Attorneys

It is important for victims and their loved ones to be aware of the damages available to them in seeking compensation after a loved one has been injured in an accident. New York allows spouses of accident victims to seek compensation for loss of consortium and, in doing so, acknowledges the profound impact an accident can have on the spousal relationship. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident, do not delay in reaching out to the knowledgeable personal injury team at CDH Law to help ensure you are fairly compensated for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.