Loss of consortium is a type of damage claim that may be brought during personal injury actions – most often by the spouse of the person injured by a tortfeasor. Under such circumstances, “consortium” means the mutual right of the spouses to that affection, solace, comfort, companionship, society, assistance, sexual relations, emotional support, love, and felicity necessary to a successful marriage. However, loss of consortium claims are not limited to spouses.
In Texas, individuals may recover loss of consortium damages for (1) their spouse’s serious injuries or death, (2) their parents’ serious injuries or death, or (3) the death of a child. Recovery of this type of damage is not available to siblings, grandparents, or friends of the injured person.
A claim for loss of consortium is both independent and derivative in the sense that the claim arises due to injury or death of a spouse (or parent or the death of a child), but the claim is independent of the claims that may be asserted by the spouse injured by a tortfeasor. Settlement or waiver of an action by the spouse injured by a tortfeasor does not settle or waive a claim for loss of consortium.
Like other personal injury claims, loss of consortium claims are governed by a two-year statute of limitations.
Key take aways:
- Loss of consortium damages are only recoverable following the serious injury or death of a spouse or parent or the death of a child.
- Loss of consortium claims must be settled by the party claiming such damages.
- Loss of consortium claims must be brought within two years.