Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Spousal and Family Claims in Personal Injury Cases

If you suffer a personal injury does your family member have a claim?

If you were injured in an accident of any kind, you have no doubt seen the impact it has on your daily life. While it seems natural that you life should change, many are surprised that an injury can have a major impact on the lives of their family members as well. If a family member is seriously impacted by your personal injury, he or she may have a legal claim. 

Mostly reserved for spousal and parental relationships, the State of Pennsylvania allows family members to recover losses caused by the personal injuries you sustained.  One of these claims is called loss of consortium. This type of claim is reserved for spouses. Basically, one spouse can sue for losses caused by his or her spouse’s injuries. If “companionship, affection, assistance, support and conjugal services” are impacted the non-injured spouse may recover financially. This is a derivative claim meaning that it is based on the injured spouses cause of action. Although many think that loss of consortium should be expanded to include other family members besides spouses, the courts have been unwilling to make this change.

Another type of claim that can be brought by the family member is one that arises solely from a person’s injuries. For example, a parent may be able to recover for medical expenses that arise solely from a child’s injuries. Although the child still has his or her own personal injury claim, the parent may recover for costs that he or she will be responsible for and for the loss of the minor’s services. Any family member can use this type of claim.

If you or your family member was injured and you are considering bringing a claim you should speak to an experienced attorney to be sure that the cause of action is appropriate. Contact a Montgomery and Bucks County personal injury attorney to discuss your case today.

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