Compensation for Loss of Consortium
How Do You Prove Loss of Consortium in a Wrongful Death Case?
Below, our experienced wrongful death attorneys will discuss what a loss of consortium claim is, as well as how to prove it. If you have lost a spouse or registered domestic partner, West Coast Trial Lawyers is always here to answer any questions you may have about loss of consortium claims and available damages you may be entitled to.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium means the loss of companionship, love, comfort, support, affection, intimacy, and ability to have children as a result of a spouse or registered domestic partner’s severe injuries or death. In order to file a loss of consortium claim, your spouse or registered domestic partner must have been hurt or killed because of someone else’s negligent acts.
To be eligible to receive loss of consortium, you must be able to prove one or more of the following:
- You and your spouse or registered domestic partner are no longer able to have sexual relations.
- Your spouse or registered domestic partner has lost their ability to have children.
- Your spouse or registered domestic partner can no longer help with caring for existing children.
- Your spouse or registered domestic partner is no longer able to support or counsel you emotionally.
- Your spouse or registered domestic partner can no longer help with basic domestic responsibilities.
The above list only covers a portion of the many scenarios that can qualify as evidence to support a loss of consortium claim.
How to Prove Loss of Consortium
The most important elements that must be proven to successfully pursue a loss of consortium claim include:
- A lawful marriage or registered domestic partnership was in existence between you and the aggrieved individual when the accident took place.
- Your spouse or registered domestic partner suffered an injury or death.
- You sustained non-economic losses, such as the loss of physical intimacy, as a direct cause of the injury or death.
- The defendant’s acts directly caused the injury or death, and by association, your losses.
Evidence used to prove loss of consortium will include being in possession of:
- Marriage certificate
- Medical records
- Written notes or journal entries describing your struggles
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Limitations for Damages in California
For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.
However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses is $250,000.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, West Coast Trial Lawyers has skilled attorneys that have background experience with handling cases relating to wrongful death. Our attorneys will help you get financial and emotional compensation for the losses you have suffered after losing your friend or family member. This includes, but is not limited to, medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our firm. No fees are charged until we win your case. Reach out to our friendly legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected].