Loss of Consortium Claims in Illinois

In Illinois, if you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you can seek compensation. The money to pay for your accident-related losses could come from a claim you file with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Family members and other loved ones of victims may also take legal action in some circumstances. For example, perhaps someone dies due to another party’s negligence. Their loved ones may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit if so. Doing so allows them to seek compensation for loss of earnings, loss of companionship, the survivors’ grief, and other losses.

A victim of another’s negligence doesn’t need to lose their life for close loved ones to be eligible for compensation. Perhaps an injury has negative effects on a person’s sexual relations, ability to provide emotional support, or ability to help around the house. Their spouse could file a loss of consortium claim to pursue compensation for these losses.

What Is a Loss of Consortium Claim in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, the spouse of an injured party may file a loss of consortium claim. They may do so alongside their spouse’s personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Someone may file a loss of consortium claim if their spouse sustained injuries that prevent them from engaging in enjoyable activities with their spouse as before. If the injured party can no longer engage in sexual activities, the non-injured spouse can file a claim for the loss of the enjoyment that comes from these shared activities.

The accident-related injuries may also prevent the injured party from offering the companionship and support their loved ones previously enjoyed. For instance, an injury could make a person unable to provide intellectual guidance or emotional support if the accident harmed their brain function. If a person’s injury left them unable to move, it might also prevent them from helping with household tasks. An uninjured spouse could file a loss of consortium claim for the loss of the injured party’s support and services.

The injured party’s spouse’s loss of consortium claim is separate from the injured party’s claim. However, the injured party’s lawyer may choose to file the two claims together.

Are Spouses the Only Ones Who Can File Loss of Consortium Claims in Illinois?

Yes. Illinois law allows only spouses to file a loss of consortium claim and has not been modified to include domestic partners.

What Types of Injuries Result in Loss of Consortium Claims?

Many types of injuries can give rise to loss of consortium claims or lawsuits. Following are a few examples of the types of cases we’ve handled where loss of consortium claims came into play:

Documentation to Prove Your Claim

An accident victim injured by someone else must provide evidence of the at-fault party’s negligence when they file a personal injury claim in Illinois. They need to show an insurance company that their injuries resulted from the insured’s actions or carelessness. Without supporting evidence, the insurance company could deny their claim.

The same is true when filing a loss of consortium claim. You need to document how your spouse was injured by the at-fault party and how their injuries have had a negative effect on your relationship.

Evidence in a loss of consortium case can take a variety of forms. Examples include:

  • Proof that you’re married to your spouse, such as a marriage license
  • Proof of the at-fault party’s negligence, which your spouse’s lawyer will have gathered for their claim
  • Proof that the injuries that resulted from the accident were the cause of your loss of consortium, which could require your testimony or that of your spouse
  • Testimony from medical professionals
  • Medical records
  • Testimony about how your relationship has changed
  • Your personal journal describing the effects your spouse’s changed condition has on your relationship

Remember to save any relevant evidence and documentation from the start as you prepare to file a claim. There’s no harm in saving as much evidence as you can, even if you don’t end up using it all.

Compensation for a Loss of Consortium Claim

No attorney can promise that you’ll receive a specific amount of money for your loss of consortium claim. But because your attorney has experience with these kinds of claims, they will be able to compare your case with other similar cases and can give you an idea about the value of your prospective compensation.

In Illinois, a modified comparative fault law is in place. Under this law, an injured party’s compensation may be reduced in proportion to their share of fault for the accident. If your spouse was partially at fault for the accident that injured them, any compensation you receive could be similarly reduced.

How Long Do I Have to File a Loss of Consortium Claim in Illinois?

Loss of Consortium Claims in Illinois

Under Illinois law, the same statute of limitations applies whether the injured party is filing a claim or the spouse is filing a loss of consortium claim. The injured party has two years from the date they sustained injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit. That means their spouse would also have two years from the date of accident to file a loss of consortium claim.

Don’t delay when seeking compensation for loss of consortium. Missing the deadline could result in waiving your right to compensation.

Speak with an Illinois Loss of Consortium Attorney

An injured party isn’t the only one who may struggle when a negligent party causes harm. You may also be adapting to major life changes if your spouse’s injuries have fundamentally altered the nature of your relationship.

You might be unaware of your legal options in these circumstances. Don’t hesitate to talk with an Illinois personal injury attorney about your case right away.

An Illinois loss of consortium attorney can help. At JJ Legal, we’ll review your case and determine whether you have the justification to file a loss of consortium claim. We’re prepared to help you build a strong case if we find you’re entitled to compensation. Learn more by calling us at 312-200-2000 or contacting us online for a free case review.

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