Can Same-Sex Couples Sue for Loss of Consortium following an Auto Accident or Other Injury?
In Obergefell v. Hodges, decided on June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court overruled Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage, making same-sex marriage legal in Louisiana.
In doing so, the Supreme Court opened up a plethora of rights to same-sex couples; an often overlooked one is the right to sue for loss of consortium following an injury.
What is a loss of consortium claim? Loss of consortium is a legal term used to describe the loss of love, companionship, or services a spouse may suffer if their loved one is injured in an accident. The particularities of one's claim depends, of course, on the couple and the nature of the injuries, but this cause of action is meant to compensate a spouse for his or her detrimental alteration in lifestyle or loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the diminished relationship with the tort victim. For example, if a spouse is unable to engage in activities she previously enjoyed doing with her spouse, such as vacationing, dancing, exercising, etc., filing a loss of consortium claim allows the spouse to directly recover for her loss.
Since June 26, 2015, this cause of action is specifically available to same-sex spouses. If you have been injured in a car accident or have suffered any other type of personal injury, contact us for a free consultation to discuss what claims you and your spouse may be able to allege.
- Megan C. Kiefer is a partner at Kiefer & Kiefer. She practices personal injury law and has filed loss of consortium claims on behalf of same-sex couples.
This is being provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.