If a family member is hurt or killed due to someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing, the injured party may seek damages for “loss of consortium.” Spouses can bring loss of consortium claims, domestic partners, children, and parents.
A loss of consortium claim for damages can be made in Iowa when a loved one is killed or wounded due to someone else’s negligence. Normal circumstances in which a Workers’ Compensation claim for loss of consortium might be granted include death or a catastrophic accident resulting in incontinence, paralysis, or amputation.
Legally, no set amount must be paid out for a loss of consortium because such claims are classified as seeking “general damages” or “noneconomic damages.” A judge or jury can determine the amount of money a plaintiff should get for their suffering and loss of consortium.
Disadvantages of Filing a Compensation Claim
Loss of consortium is considered “noneconomic damages” under the law and awarded accordingly. In Iowa, the statute of limitations for filing a claim for loss of consortium (i.e., compensation for emotional distress caused by a loved one’s death) is two (2) years (Iowa Code Section 614.1). The normal time restriction for filing a lawsuit is two (2) years. However, product liability claims can be extended to fifteen (15) years after the sale date (I.C.A. 614.1). (2A).
When the percentage of blame placed on an injured party under modified comparative negligence is greater than 50%, Iowa courts will use the 51% rule. If the court finds that the plaintiff was somewhat at fault, the amount of compensation they are entitled to receive may be reduced.
Compensation for loss of consortium may be reduced if the suing party is deemed to be more than 50% responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. Iowa courts do not award economic damages in joint and liability circumstances. In circumstances where the wounded party has committed a crime at the time of the accident, they are not entitled to damages for pain and suffering.
The maximum amount an insurer will pay out in the event of an accident is typically referred to as the “single injury” limit under the policy. Claimants seeking compensation for consortium loss due to a family member’s injury or death often receive reimbursement up to the policy’s maximum. If a policy’s beneficiary needs assistance getting reimbursed for expenses over and above the policy’s stated coverage limits, they should seek legal advice.