Yes. In Massachusetts, if you are married and your spouse was injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can seek and receive compensation for your own damages. This type of claim for compensation is called “loss of consortium”.
Consortium is the right that a spouse has to certain benefits with his or her spouse. The highest court in Massachusetts (the Supreme Judicial Court) has defined the damages a spouse suffers for loss of consortium as the loss of a spouse's "services, society, affection, companionship, and relations." This right a spouse has to recover compensation for loss of consortium is completely independent of his or her spouse’s negligence claim.
To better explain loss of consortium, let’s look at an example. We represented a man that was hit by a car as he walked on the sidewalk in Boston, MA. This man was married at the time of the accident. He suffered a broken collar bone, torn rotator cuff and a fractured bone in his foot. He had surgeries to repair his torn rotator cuff and the broken bone in his foot. Due to his injuries, surgeries and recovery, he was quite miserable. This had a significant impact on his relationship with his wife. She explained that ever since the accident her spouse had become distant and less affectionate, which put a strain on their marriage. A personal injury lawsuit was filed against the negligent driver that struck the husband. In the lawsuit, a separate cause of action was also filed against the negligent driver by the wife for her loss of consortium. This case was ultimately settled and the wife received compensation for the damages she suffered for loss of consortium.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident?
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has over 35 years of experience representing accident victims and their families get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and you are confused or concerned about what to do, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
We offer complementary initial meetings where we will review your case, answer your questions, and explain your rights and legal options. To speak with someone on our legal team or to schedule your meeting, please call (508) 879-3500 or contact us online.