Loss of consortium claims in Tennessee

It seems natural that Tennessee residents seriously hurt by another party's negligence should have the ability to seek financial claims against that person. But what about family members of the victims? Haven't family members been harmed too? For example, if a husband is seriously disabled and no longer able to enjoy the same kind of activities with his wife, or can no longer have a meaningful conversation with his wife, hasn't the wife suffered a serious loss as well?

In legal terms, this loss is referred to as the loss of consortium. Loss of consortium involves claiming financial damages based on the loss and hardship endured by an accident victim's family. These compensable losses might include the loss of affection, love, comfort, society, companionship and sexual relations that the family member formerly provided them.

Claims relating to loss of consortium are not appropriate for all Tennessee personal injury cases. However, if the accident victim suffered a severe or permanent injury like incontinence or amputation, then family members may have cause for seeking loss of consortium-related damages. Loss of consortium claims may also be appropriate following a fatal injury.

Since loss of consortium damages are difficult to quantify, they are categorized among general damages. General damages might include:

-- Pain and suffering

-- Embarrassment and humiliation

-- Mental anguish and shock

-- Damage to one's reputation

-- Damage to one's society and companionship

-- Emotional distress

Tennessee residents who have an injured or deceased immediate family member -- whose injuries or death were caused by another party's negligence -- may have the ability to seek loss of consortium damages. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer, family members can gain a better understanding of their legal rights and options in this regard.

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