Loss of Consortium is a legal matter that compensates a plaintiff for the injury or death of another family member as result of negligence or wrongful act of another. Parties eligible for filing a Loss of Consortium claim are spouses, partners, children, and parents.
When a family member dies or is injured in an at-fault accident in Iowa, a loss of consortium claim for damages can be filed in court. A claim for loss of consortium is not normally awarded unless a person dies or is injured with a severe and irreversible injury leading to amputation, incontinence or paralysis.
Considered to be “general damages” or “noneconomic damages” claims, loss of consortium cases are not accorded specified compensation within law. Precise monetary compensation for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering in a loss of consortium case is a discretionary award, decided by a judge or jury.
Limitations to Claim Compensation
The courts designate compensation for loss of consortium as “noneconomic damages”. Loss of consortium claims for pain and suffering from the loss of a family member, are subject to a two (2) year Statute of Limitations (I.C.A. § 614.1) in Iowa. Exception to the two-year filing limitation, are product liability litigation claims, which can extenuate to fifteen (15) years from date of sale (I.C.A. § 614.1(2A).
Iowa courts apply a 51% rule in cases where modified comparative negligence evidences that the proportionality of fault assigned to an injured party is more than half. A court can reduce damages owed in a negligence claim based on proportional percentage of a plaintiff’s fault.
If party is found to be at-fault for more than 50% their own injury, there may be a reduction to plaintiff compensation in a loss of consortium case. Joint and Several Liability cases are not accorded economic damages in Iowa courts. Pain and suffering claims are not eligible for damages in cases where a felony has been commissioned by an injured plaintiff at the time of the accident.
Insurance policy “single injury” limitations cap the amount of coverage by an insurer, per accident. Loss of consortium claimants requesting coverage for a family member’s injury or death are generally awarded compensation according stated policy limits. Beneficiaries requesting coverage for costs beyond the designated policy amount, should consult with an attorney.
Contact a Licensed Iowa Attorney
Iowa rules to modified comparative fault are not the sole factor in a court’s consideration of a Loss of Consortium Claim, where an act of negligence by another party has resulted in a family member’s injury or death. A licensed attorney can assist in the recovery of damages due.
With more than 25 years of experience in tort litigation, Attorney at Law, Walter Thomas is experienced at representing plaintiffs in loss of consortium matters. If a family member has been injured or killed as result of another party’s negligence, contact Telpner Peterson Law Firm, Council Bluffs, IA to discuss your claim at: 712-309-3738, or visit: Telpner Peterson Law Firm