Under California law, you may be entitled to compensation if your spouse is unable to perform ordinary marital activities because of a personal injury caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another. This is a short guide to claiming loss of consortium. Furthermore, you should not hesitate to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney if you want to maximize your compensation.
What Is Loss of Consortium in Personal Injury?
Consortium refers to the legal right of a partner or spouse to have the intimacy, affection, company, and assistance of their partner. Loss of consortium includes the following as specified by the Judicial Council of California:
- Loss of enjoyment of sexual relations
- Loss of care, love, comfort, companionship, assistance, affection, society, protection, and moral support
Examples of loss of consortium include:
- Lack of sexual relations or physical intimacy with the injured spouse
- Injured spouse is unable to engage in activities with the other spouse
- Injured spouse suffers from PTSD, irritation, depression, or anxiety, which prevents them from expressing care and affection
Loss of Consortium is a Cause of Action
California recognizes the loss of consortium as a cause of legal action, which is separate from the personal injury lawsuit. This is a non-monetary loss associated with personal injury. You have the legal right to file a loss of consortium lawsuit against the negligent party if their actions resulted in your spouse getting injured. The lawsuit can help you obtain a true financial representation of your loss.
Suing for Loss of Consortium in California
The registered domestic partner or the spouse is allowed to sue for loss of consortium. Most injured victims believe that the loss of the consortium component has to be added to a personal injury lawsuit. In California, the non-injured spouse needs to file a lawsuit to sue for loss of consortium. You can sue for loss of consortium even if the injured spouse doesn’t file a personal injury claim. About this, you may not be able to file a consortium claim if the injured spouse doesn’t hold the at-fault party liable or has lost a lawsuit against them.
To prove a consortium claim, you need to satisfy the following four elements:
- Valid marriage or registered domestic partnership
- Wrongful injury to the other partner
- Loss of consortium suffered by the uninjured spouse
- Proximate cause
Loss of Consortium Settlement Amounts
This is a form of non-economic damage that has no tangible dollar value. The judge or jury will use their discretion to determine the appropriate amount after taking into account a wide array of factors. In general, financial recovery is greater where the injured spouse needs a long time to recover or the injuries suffered are severe.
The statute of limitations to file a consortium claim is typically two years. This deadline begins from the date of the injury or the date of the accident. It’s best that you speak with a skilled personal injury attorney immediately to learn more about your rights and to build a solid strategy.
Our Trusted Personal Injury Lawyers are Here to Give You the Best Legal Advice and Support. Call Now.
If you are considering filing a consortium claim in California, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Walton Law can help. To set up your complimentary consultation, call (866) 338-7079 or reach us online.