Work Injury, Loss of Consortium and Divorce
Divorce can be complicated– which you probably know if you are reading this blog. It can be even more so when a work injury lawyer– like the West Palm Beach work injury lawyers at Franks, Koenig and Neuwelt— is deemed necessary. Sadly, as we have discussed on this blog, work accidents can lead to divorce. Often this occurs when injured workers and their spouses suffer what is known as “loss of consortium,” which refers to loss of spousal companionship. The definition of loss of consortium has varied throughout history and various regions, but always covers the loss of physical intimacy between spouses. If you have met with your spouse’s workers compensation lawyer in West Palm Beach, or whatever your region, you have likely discussed the fact that your spouse’s injury has rendered him/her physically or emotionally incapable of intimacy due to the trauma. Whether or not you can be compensated for this loss, depends on many factors, namely when the injury occurred and if you were attached to the claim.
If your spouse consults with, say, a West Palm Beach workers compensation lawyer to settle a claim against an employer’s insurance provider, you may be able to join the claim if you feel the injury has impacted the intimacy within your marriage. However, your spouse may very well pursue this claim with his or her West Palm Beach work injury attorney without your input. Whether or not you are involved in this claim will determine your entitlement to those benefits after divorce. If, for instance, you and your spouse together make a settlement for loss of consortium, which is paid in full while you are still married. You will not be able to make a further claim against the insurance provider once you are divorced. You may feel that the injury led to your divorce and that the insurance provider should pay. However, you have already settled, and have agreed to leave the matter alone for a specific amount. If, however, your name was not on the settlement papers, you may be able to pursue a separate case. It would be wise to speak with both your divorce attorney, and a trusted workers compensation lawyer in Palm Beach to know your options.
West Palm Beach Florida is just one location of course and both personal injury and divorce cases vary from state to state and person to person. The rules behind loss of consortium, workers’ compensation, and divorce can all be quite complex. However with a trusted attorney in your corner is the first step in rebuilding your life after an accident devastates your marriage.