Spouses and domestic partners rely on each other for many things.
A loss of consortium claim is one way to recover financially after the death or injury of your spouse or partner.
What Does Loss of Consortium Mean?
Consortium refers to “the legal right of one spouse to the company, affection, and assistance of and to sexual relations with the other.”
Thus, a “loss of consortium” represents the loss of a spouse or registered domestic partner in a personal injury or wrongful death case.
In some states, damages are available to children with injured parents, parents with injured children, and unmarried cohabitating couples for the loss of love, affection, and care they experience when a loved one is injured, but not in California.
A loss of consortium in California occurs when one person’s negligence or intentional act injures another, and the injury harms their spouse or domestic partner.
When a person is killed or catastrophically injured, they can no longer provide for their family in the same way.
Loss of consortium allows a spouse or partner to recover for the lost companionship and services of the injured person.
Recoverable damages include:
- The loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, protection, affection, society, moral support, and the spouse’s physical assistance in operating and maintaining the family home; and
- The loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations or the ability to have children.
Loss of consortium damages are non-economic, meaning you can’t quantify them as easily as lost wages or medical bills.
Because the damage is emotional, there is no formula to determine the value of your loss. The jury will listen to the evidence presented by your lawyer and use their best judgment to decide reasonable compensation.
Elements to a Loss of Consortium Claim
To make a loss of consortium claim, you must show four elements:
- You were in a valid, legal marriage or registered domestic partnership at the time of the injury;
- The defendant’s negligent or intentional act injured or killed your spouse or partner;
- You experienced a loss of consortium; and
- The loss was a result of the defendant’s act.
Your spouse does not have to bring a lawsuit for you to make a loss of consortium claim. However, as part of your case, you must prove that the defendant’s actions harmed your spouse.
You cannot pursue a loss of consortium claim if your spouse lost a lawsuit or agreed in a settlement that they are not at fault.
Wells Call Injury Lawyers: Helping You Pursue a Loss of Consortium Claim in California
At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we are passionate about helping you seek recovery after a loss. Losing your spouse or partner or facing a permanent injury is never easy.
You deserve compensation for the emotional and physical harm of their wrongful death or catastrophic injury. While no financial award will repair your grief, it can help you on the road to recovery.
Contact our compassionate, driven personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.