When someone is injured in a traumatic accident, it can impact their lives – and the lives of their loved ones – in a wide variety of ways. While things such as medical bills and lost wages represent a couple of financial losses, there are also non-financial losses that can greatly affect the lives of the injured and their spouses.
Loss of consortium is one such non-financial loss that affects spouses after traumatic accidents. In fact, in California, spouses of accident victims can file their own claim for loss of consortium so long as they are able to provide evidence that can demonstrate their right to be compensated financially.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
But what exactly is loss of consortium? To put it simply, loss of consortium has to do with a loss of parts of the marital relationship.
When someone has been either injured or wrongfully killed in an accident, their spouse can seek compensation for the following two types of losses regarding their relationship:
- “The loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support; and
- “The loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations [or the ability to have children].”
According to the related law, there is no monetary standard for how much a spouse should be awarded. Rather, it’s up to the spouse to prove how much they should be entitled to receive.
Proving Loss of Consortium
It’s extremely difficult to put a number on the loss of the relationship you enjoyed prior to the accident. That’s why it’s best to work with a qualified California personal injury attorney, who can help you to determine an appropriate dollar amount for your losses. He or she may also consult with physicians, psychologists, and marriage therapists, in order to determine several important factors such as:
- Whether your daily relationship with your spouse has changed due to his or her injury
- Whether your spouse’s injury has impacted your quality of life
- Whether your spouse’s injury negatively affected his or her ability to provide companionship, protection, or moral support
- Whether your spouse’s injury negatively affected his or her ability to express his or her love or affection towards you
- Whether your spouse’s injury has made him or her unable to engage in sexual relations
- Whether your spouse’s injury has resulted in an inability to have children
- How long your spouse’s injury is likely to last or if it will be permanent
- Whether your spouse’s injury causes a reduced life expectancy
Loss of Consortium vs. Personal Injury Claims
It’s important to understand that loss of consortium is not to compensate a spouse for the following, although such losses could be compensated through a personal injury claim:
- Costs to pay for household services that your spouse performed before the injury
- Loss of earnings should you leave your job to take care of your spouse
- Loss of financial support if your spouse is now unable to work
- Personal services such as caretaking that you will now need to provide for your spouse
Contact a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
If your spouse has been injured in an accident, there are a variety of reasons as to why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney. It can make a big impact on your life.
At the Law Offices of David P. Kashani, our experienced personal injury lawyers have much experience with loss of consortium cases. We work strategically to help our clients obtain just compensation. When you become our client, you will have peace of mind knowing that our legal team is on your side. We will guide you through all aspects of your claim and make sure that your interests are protected. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!