Proving Loss of Consortium in Personal Injury Cases in California
January 30th, 2023|
A personal injury incident can significantly affect a victim’s financial resources and relationship with their spouse or a life partner. If your relationship suffers due to your injuries from an accident, you can file a claim for the loss of consortium.
However, you must establish a loss consortium and calculate the value of your damages. A personal injury lawyer’s legal guidance can help you prove your loss of consortium and get a fair settlement for your damages. The California personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury have the experience and resources to help you bring a personal injury claim against the liable party.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium refers to the loss of society, companionship, and intimacy when a spouse or domestic partner suffers a wrongful injury. This legal term essentially means that your emotional or physical state resulting from an accident prevents you from doing normal activities with your partner, such as walking together, traveling, or having sexual relations.
For instance, a car accident victim could suffer paralysis in the lower body and brain damage resulting from a spinal cord injury. As a result, the victim cannot provide their spouse with the same intimacy and companionship as before the accident. Their spouse may file a claim against the responsible party for harm caused to their marriage.
In California, compensation is available for loss of consortium. This compensation includes:
- Loss of love, care, moral support, companionship, society, comfort, assistance, protection, and affection
- Loss of enjoyment of sexual relations or inability to have children
How Can You Prove Loss of Consortium?
To win compensation for the loss of consortium, you must prove four legal elements: the victim was injured by another person’s negligence, the victim is married or in a registered domestic partnership, the victim or their spouse suffered a loss of consortium, and the loss of consortium is due to the negligent injury.
Proving non-economic damages like loss of consortium can be challenging. An attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers can investigate your case and gather evidence to help prove the following requirements to win you a settlement for your loss.
- The Injured Victim Was a Victim of Someone Else’s Negligence
You must prove that the other party’s intentional or negligent conduct injured your spouse or registered domestic partner with evidence from the accident scene. Critical pieces of evidence can include:
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Accident scene photos
- Surveillance and dash cam footage
- Chemical test results for evidence of intoxicating substances
- Testimonies from accident reconstruction experts
- The Victim Is Married or Has a Valid Domestic Partnership
An official certificate can show you were married or in a registered domestic partnership. You may potentially be able to claim the loss of consortium if the injury occurred before marriage, if your spouse discovers the extent of the injury after your wedding and the underlying cause worsens during your marriage.
- The Victim’s Spouse Suffered a Loss of Consortium
There must be evidence of the deprivation of your spouse’s love, companionship, sexual relations, and moral support since the accident. Your lawyer can help you put together evidence showing the following:
- The injured victim can no longer perform household chores and childcare.
- The injuries have aggravated the spouse’s anxiety, depression, or irritability, thus straining their marriage.
- The victim no longer finds joy in recreational activities they previously enjoyed before the accident.
- Sexual relations show changes in desire, capability, or frequency.
You can provide photos, videos, and documentation showing the daily chores and activities your spouse enjoyed before the accident to your lawyer. Additionally, your lawyer may advise you to keep a diary of your struggles with your spouse since the injuries.
- The Loss Was Due to the Negligent Injury
Your spouse’s medical records can prove the loss of consortium resulted from the negligent injury. These records can include:
- Diagnostic images
- Photos of visible injuries
- Conclusions from your spouse’s medical specialists explaining the extent of the injuries
- Statements from your spouse’s primary physician detailing your spouse’s prognosis and anticipated recovery process
What Can an Injury Lawyer Do to Help?
Filing a loss of consortium claim requires working with a personal injury lawyer at Berg Injury Lawyers, who can help you build your claim. An accident’s impact on marital relations is unique to every victim and their spouses or domestic partners. Your lawyer will examine the accident and evaluate the merits of your claim to determine how much you may be entitled to.
Additionally, your attorney can present the evidence required for each element of your claim before the court, demonstrating how the injury affects you and your spouse. They can obtain testimonies from family and friends to describe the daily difficulties caused by the injury to your spouse.
Obtain Loss of Consortium Compensation Through Berg Injury Lawyers
If you or your spouse suffered severe injuries in a personal injury accident, Berg Injury Lawyers can help you. Our California personal injury attorneys can give you the compassionate support and legal advice you need to discuss the emotional and physical effects of the accident on your relationship with your spouse.
We protect your privacy while helping you pursue the full extent of your damages. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers.