Confused by Loss of Consortium in Personal Injury Cases? We Can Help
If you or your spouse has been injured in an accident, whether a car accident, a slip and fall accident, or a pedestrian accident, we’d hope that you’re considering all the compensation you may be eligible for. In these accidents, the person who’s injured has a right to both economic and non-economic damages – assuming they can prove their case. However, many people wonder: Why can’t the spouse also have a claim for damages? In California they can.
What does it mean that consortium damages are derivative?
In your research, you’ve likely found that consortium damages are derivative. What exactly does that mean? At Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, we welcome you to give us a call for your free case evaluation. We can go over the specifics of your case and let you know how they apply to you. Of course, we’re also happy to explain to generally here as well.
Derivative means that the spouse of the person who was injured can make a claim for damages they experienced as a result of the injuries and damages of their spouse. First, the injured spouse must prove their case. Then the non-injured spouse may have a claim for damages involving loss of love, comfort, protection, society, enjoyment of sex, comfort, assistance, affecting, and moral support.
These are not economic damages, because they don’t include lost income of the spouse that was injured, and they don’t include things like hiring a service to complete jobs around the house that would have been performed by the spouse.
Insurance policies often have an aggregate limit
Most of the time, especially in car accidents, the policy of the insurance company has a single and aggregate limit, which are typically the limits that California allows, which are $15,000 for each person and $30,000 for each event.
In that case, there is $15,000 that the spouse may be able to get but the bad news is that often the loss of consortium damages are included in the limits of the policy. This type of case won’t typically increase the maximum an insurance company will pay.
There’s one main exception
The main exception to these limits are cases of medical negligence. In this case, the maximum non-economic damages are $250,000 to the person who’s injured and their spouses may be eligible for as much as $250,000 of their own for non-economic damages.
If you have a case that you believe involves loss of consortium, then we urge you to call Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas today at 909-982-0707. We offer free initial consultations and take cases on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay a cent unless we recover on your behalf.