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When a close family member suffers serious injury or death

In a previous post, we discussed the concept of loss of consortium—and how a spouse can recover for losses they experience if their spouse is seriously injured or killed. In many states, loss of consortium recovery is limited to an accident victim’s spouse or partner.

However, some states recognize the value of other types of close relationships—and that there are other types of relations who would seriously suffer if their loved one became incapacitated. Alaska is one such state.

In today’s post, we examine the ways in which Alaska recognizes loss of consortium for non-spousal relationships:

Loss of filial consortium

If a child is killed or seriously injured, loss of filial consortium enables the parent or guardian to recover damages for any loss of love, companionship or other benefits they lost from the family relationship. In Alaska, a parent or guardian can only claim loss of consortium for a minor child.

Loss of parental consortium

If a parent suffers serious injury or death in an accident, the children of the victim may file a loss of parental consortium claim to receive compensation for any resulting losses they suffered.

Damages

In any loss of consortium case, Alaska law limits the amount of noneconomic damages recoverable:

  • For any one injury or death, the maximum recoverable is $400,000—or $8,000 multiplied by the accident victim’s life expectancy—whichever is greater.
  • For a serious injury leading to severe disfigurement or permanent impairment, the maximum recoverable is $1,000,000—or $25,000 multiplied by the accident victim’s life expectancy—whichever is greater.

If you have suffered indirectly due to a close relative’s accident, it’s worth consulting with a personal injury lawyer about your options.

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