Suing for Loss of Consortium in California

If you have been injured in a car accident in California, you may be discussing your legal options for financial recovery with a San Diego car accident lawyer or a car accident lawyer in Orange County. As part of that process, you will need to discuss the various ways your life has been impacted by the accident itself and the injuries you sustained in the accident. 

One of the most commonly sought after types of non-economic (meaning non-financial) damages is the loss of consortium. But for those who have never filed a personal injury lawsuit before, you may not have a firm understanding of what this loss is and how much it is worth. 

The loss of consortium, by definition, is the inability to maintain and enjoy the benefits of a relationship with your family. However, in some states, including California, only certain family members have the right to seek compensation for this loss. 

In California specifically, only a wife, husband, or registered domestic partner of the injury victim can be awarded compensation for the loss of consortium. Children, unmarried couples, siblings, parents, and other family members the injured person may be close with cannot. 

The benefits of the domestic partner or married relationship could include intimacy, affection, love, companionship, sexual relations, and other benefits of being in a committed relationship. 

You may be wondering how it is even possible to sue for this loss. The answer can be complex, but to give you an example: let’s say you were involved in a car accident and were subsequently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. This may prevent you from being able to interact with your partner in a loving way and could even lead to divorce in certain circumstances. 

The loss of companionship and love can have a devastating impact on your life, almost as much as the accident itself, which is why legal partners are able to sue for loss of consortium.

You may also be wondering how much you can sue for when seeking compensation for loss of consortium. This can also be tricky to answer, as every case is different and there is no set monetary value for love and companionship. 

Your lawyer will need to take a close look at how significantly the loss of consortium has impacted your life and that of your spouse in order to determine what monetary figure is appropriate for this specific non-economic damage.