If you have looked into personal injury lawsuits, you may have seen reference to loss of consortium as a damage. What does it mean? What damages can be recovered as a result of it? Find answers to these and other questions by continuing to read. You can also contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation if you would like to help with a particular case.
What is the Definition of Loss of Consortium?
According to California law, loss of consortium refers to the loss of love, comfort, care, protection, companionship, society, moral support, affection, and assistance. In the case of the death of a spouse, loss of consortium can cover the loss of sexual relations and/or loss of the ability to have children.
What Damages Can Be Recovered for Loss of Consortium?
If the plaintiff has lost their spouse they can recover noneconomic damages for an amount the jury determines as long as the courts deem to “reasonable.” There is no fixed standard for determining these damages. The more serious the injury is likely to be, the larger the award is likely to be.
What Damages Cannot Be Recoverable via Loss of Consortium?
There are other damages that may be recoverable in other ways, but not via suing for loss of consortium. For example, loss of financial support from the spouse who is injured, loss of earnings that the victim suffered by giving up employment to care for their injured partner, or personal nursing services required are not recoverable via loss of consortium.
Does It Matter if the Injuries Are Permanent or Temporary?
Yes. If the damage is permanent then the recoverable damages should extend for the remaining life expectancy of whichever spouse has the shortest life expectancy. The life expectancy used is the life expectancy as it was just before the accident. This is meant to avoid punishing the victims because the injury lowered their life expectancy.
What Elements Must Be Proven to Prove Loss of Consortium?
There are four elements that must be proven to prove this case. First, that the couple in question were either married or registered domestic partners. Second, the spouse or partner of the plaintiff was injured. Third, that the plaintiff suffered damages due to loss of consortium, and fourth that the loss of consortium was the direct result of the injury.
Get Help from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you have questions about this or other cases, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker to speak to a personal injury attorney. Call us at 800-333-0000 or request a free legal consultation online. We look forward to helping you understand your rights, your options, and the best way forward.