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What is loss of consortium?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2018 | Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

Should one of your loved ones die in Louisiana as the result of someone’s negligence or misconduct, you have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity you believe caused your loved one’s death. One of the damages you can claim is loss of consortium.

As FindLaw explains, originally, only spouses could bring a loss of consortium claim because the term referred to the loss of the survivor’s ability to enjoy sexual relations with his or her spouse. Over time, however, loss of consortium has been extended to loss of the deceased person’s love, companionship, society, guidance, advice, counsel, etc. Consequently, you usually can file such a claim if you are the deceased person’s child, parent, sibling or other close family member

Proving your loss

In a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim both economic and noneconomic damages. Your economic damages are those to which you can easily attach a dollar amount, such as the amount of your loved one’s hospital and other medical costs from the date of the accident until the date of his or her death. Your noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are those to which you cannot attach a precise dollar amount. Loss of consortium is one of your noneconomic damages.

If the deceased was your spouse, a court likely will look at a variety of factors to determine the amount of your damages, including the following:

  • The degree of love and stability that existed in your marital relationship
  • The living arrangements that existed between you and your spouse
  • The amount of care and companionship your spouse provided you
  • The amount of household help your spouse provided you
  • The amount of parenting help your spouse provided you
  • The respective ages and life expectancies of you and your spouse had (s)he not died

If the deceased was your parent, child or sibling, you need to show how and to what extent your loved one’s death deprived you of his or her affection, care, nurturing, etc.

This is general educational information only and not intended to provide legal advice.