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Understanding the legal value of your loving relationship

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and you may be spending a little extra time thinking about the people you love. You might buy flowers or send valentines to express your gratitude for the very special people in your life.

Our spouse or partner plays a huge role in our life. They may give us financial stability. They may provide us with emotional and social support—helping us to feel happy and whole. It seems appropriate then, during this Valentine’s week, to dedicate a post to our loved ones—and the ways in which the law values them.

If your loved one becomes seriously injured in an accident, Florida law understands that you, in addition to your loved one, has suffered greatly. Your spouse may file a lawsuit against the negligent party for their damages. But you also have the opportunity to file a claim against them through a legal concept called loss of consortium.

A loss of consortium claim is a way for you to recoup for non-economic damages from your spouse’s injury. In essence, it’s an effort to monetarily compensate for emotional aspects of your relationship that have been compromised due to their injury. This normally applies to serious injuries only.

For example, if your spouse suffers brain damage in a car accident—resulting in amnesia about who you are and the life you’ve built together—the emotional damage you would suffer would be significant. You might file a loss of consortium claim against the negligent driver to retrieve damages for such things as:

  • Loss of love and affection from your spouse
  • Loss of companionship or comfort
  • Loss of sexual relations
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

This Valentine’s Day, take the time to appreciate all of the ways in which your loved ones make your life better. Be grateful that another person’s negligence has not forced you to lose the valuable supports in your life that matter most.

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