Serious Maryland car accidents impact more than just those who are physically injured in the collision. Indeed, an accident victim’s spouse must also deal with the pain, anxiety, and fear that their spouse is going through. The aftermath of a car accident often takes a toll on even a strong marriage.
Understanding this reality, Maryland lawmakers allow for the spouse of an accident victim to pursue a loss of consortium claim against the at-fault parties. These are called loss of consortium claims. Maryland loss of consortium claims do not involve economic losses, most of which can be recovered through the injury victim’s claim. Instead, a loss of consortium claim compensates an accident victim’s spouse for a loss of companionship, affection, and assistance. This includes any negative impact that the accident had on the couple’s sex life.
To successfully establish a loss of consortium claim, the aggrieved party must show that they were legally married at the time of the accident. In Maryland, unlike some other states, there is no exception for couples who are not married but have remained in a committed relationship for a long period of time. Thus, marriage is a strict requirement. The spouse of an accident victim must also be able to show that the accident was the cause of the damage to the couple’s relationship. In other words, courts will not assume that an accident caused damages to the victims’ marriage and evidence must be presented to establish the link between the accident and the marital damage.
In Maryland, a loss of consortium claim is brought in the same lawsuit as the injury victim’s claim. Additionally, Maryland loss of consortium claims are derivative of the injury victim’s claim against the at-fault party. Thus, if the accident victim’s claim is dismissed for any reason, their spouse’s loss of consortium claim will also be dismissed. This also means that an injury victim’s claim and their spouse’s claim will be considered as one claim for the purposes of the cap on damages.
Loss of consortium claims are not available in Maryland wrongful death cases. However, someone who has lost a spouse in a Maryland personal injury accident may be able to recover solatium damages. These include compensation for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, and marital care.
Has a Loved One Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Maryland personal injury lawsuit. If your spouse was injured, you may also be able to bring a loss of consortium claim. At the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC we have a proud history of representing injury victims and their family members across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Maryland injury victim advocates, call 410-654-3600 today. Calling is risk-free, because we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries.