After a wrongful death or injury of a person's spouse or legal partner, loss of consortium refers to the loss of companionship, intimacy, and/or moral support. The plaintiff is entitled to non-economic damages for this loss. It does not, however, cover economic losses such as the dead spouse's lost earning ability. Continue reading to learn about your options if you've lost a partner, and then call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
From a legal standpoint, what is "Loss of Consortium"?
When a person loses their spouse or registered domestic partner, the term "loss of consortium" is used to express the loss of moral support, affection, and intimacy. It may allow the plaintiff to be compensated for non-economic losses. This does not include obtaining compensation for lost earning potential, medical expenditures, or other economic losses. There are additional things you can claim for in order to get reimbursed.
To win their case, the spouse or registered domestic partner must prove four elements
There are four factors that must be demonstrated in order to have a solid case for loss of consortium:
- The victim was hurt as a result of another party's negligence or wrongful behavior
- At the time their spouse was hurt, the plaintiff was legally married or in a registered domestic partnership
- The plaintiff's partner caused them to lose their consortium
- The plaintiff suffered a direct loss as a result of the defendant's wrongdoing
It should be noted that this does not necessarily imply that the person who was harmed has died. While many wrongful death lawsuits are also loss of consortium claims, this is not always the case. The victim's partner may be eligible to suit for loss of consortium if the victim has become paraplegic, has experienced a substantial mental deterioration as a result of a brain injury, or is otherwise no longer capable of providing the assistance they previously did.
Your spouse is not required to file a lawsuit for their own injuries
A person may choose not to sue the at-fault party for their own injuries for a variety of reasons. That isn't to say that their spouse can't sue for loss of consortium. This is a separate tort in which the wounded spouse is not required to establish their injury in court. However, you cannot claim for loss of consortium if your husband went to court and it was determined that there was no other culpable party.
We advise you to call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker for a free legal consultation if you have lost consortium as a result of your spouse's or registered domestic partner's injury.