The simplest way to define “consortium” as a term of art in personal injury law is to admit that it means “sex.” When a reckless or negligent act leaves a person so disabled that he or she can no engage in sexual activity with a spouse or life partner, grounds for claiming monetary damages for loss of consortium exist.

Loss of society is a broader concept that covers diminished capacities to feel and express love and affection, provide care for others and offer advice and guidance. People who suffer injuries in accidents caused by someone else can claim monetary damages for loss of society, as can the spouse or child of an accident victim.