Humans are social beings. Our connections with family and friends are a huge part of what makes us feel happy and whole. It’s the people closest to us whom we rely on every day for love and protection.

But life can change quickly. One day, you get a call at work informing you that your wife was hit by a reckless driver while walking home. In an instant, your life is turned upside down. Your priorities change. You’re spending all your free time and energy caring for—and supporting—her.

In times like these, it’s natural to jump into caregiver mode—without thinking about yourself and your needs. You may be helping your wife to contact a lawyer and file a lawsuit over her injuries. However, you may not realize that you have the right to seek compensation under the law as well—through a concept known as “loss of consortium.”

Loss of consortium laws were created with the understanding that when one person suffers serious injury or death, those closest to them are also negatively affected. Their quality of life changes for the worse.

In New Mexico, a spouse, child or parent of a minor may seek loss of consortium damages for this type of suffering following severe injury or death of their loved one. Depending on the family member, these damages may include:

  • Reduced enjoyment of life
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Loss of comfort and companionship
  • Loss of sexual relationship with spouse
  • Loss of affection from spouse/parent—which can be especially common following a traumatic brain injury

When your loved one suffers severe injury, it affects everyone in your family. Understanding your legal recourse in trying times can give you the building blocks to put your life back together.