Can A Husband or Wife Recover Damages in Their Spouse’s Personal Injury Claim?
Accidents and resulting injuries can wreak havoc physically and financially. When your spouse is the one affected, the emotional toll intensifies, especially if their injuries start affecting you, too. In such cases, you may be wondering: is a spouse entitled to a personal injury settlement from your spouse’s personal injury case?
In this blog, we’ll discuss whether or not a husband or wife can recover damages from their partner’s personal injury claim.
Is A Spouse Entitled to A Personal Injury Settlement?
Personal injuries can be extremely traumatic. There have been cases where an injured victim’s personality drastically changes, so much so that it starts to affect their close relationships.
When this happens, their spouse has the option to recover damages through a loss of consortium claim. Loss of consortium is a type of derivative claim that refers to the loss of love, companionship, or sexual relations caused by a personal injury.
These claims are typically included in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. But California allows uninjured spouses to file one even if their partner decides not to pursue legal action against the other party.
For example, if your spouse suffered a severe traumatic brain injury that caused their personality to change, you can include loss of consortium in their claim, or you can file it on its own.
Who Can File A Claim For Loss of Consortium?
Two types of parties can file a claim for loss of companionship:
Spouses & Partners
Initially, only spouses have the right to file a loss of consortium claim. But since then, several states have changed their requirements and have allowed domestic partners the same rights.
Children & Parents
When a child or parent files a claim for loss of consortium, it refers to losing the ability to enjoy life experiences and other activities with their loved ones.
Elements of Loss of Consortium
To win a claim for loss of consortium, you must be able to prove the following:
- There’s a valid and lawful marriage or domestic partnership: Your marriage or partnership with the victim must be valid at the time of the incident.
- Your Spouse/Partner was injured due to negligence: Your spouse’s injuries were caused by the other party’s negligence.
- There’s evident loss of consortium: Your relationship with your spouse ultimately suffered a loss of companionship due to their injuries.
- The victim’s injuries caused the loss of consortium: There’s a clear link between the loss of companionship and your partner’s injuries.
Types of Damages You Can Recover As A Spouse
You can claim a number of non-economical damages in loss of consortium, such as:
- Loss of services.
- Loss of companionship, affection, comfort, and society.
- Loss of protection and support.
- Loss of affection and emotional support.
- Loss of sexual relations.
However, under California law, you’re not allowed to recover damages for the following:
- Any loss of income you’ve suffered due to your spouse’s injury.
- Compensation for services such as nursing or home care that you provided for your injured spouse.
- Compensation for housekeeping services to cover for the tasks your spouse would’ve done.
Calculating Awards For Loss of Consortium
Since the loss of consortium is intangible, it isn’t easy to calculate compared to economic damages like lost income and medical expenses.
However, most awards for these types of personal injury claims are typically based on the following factors:
- Your living arrangements with your injured spouse.
- The length and stability of your marriage or partnership with your injured spouse.
- The role of your injured spouse in household management and child-rearing.
- The level of care and companionship you share with your injured spouse.
Limitations For Loss of Consortium Claims
Although California recognizes loss of consortium claims as an independent tort, there’s a limit to your right to recover damages.
If your spouse decided to file a claim and unfortunately lost, you won’t be able to file any lawsuit against the same party. The same rule applies when an injured spouse agrees that the other party is not liable for the damages they’ve suffered.
If your partner decides to settle their personal injury claim, you won’t be able to recover damages anymore.
How to File A Claim For Loss of Consortium
Here’s what you need to do if you want to file a separate claim for loss of consortium or if you want to include it in your spouse’s personal injury settlement:
Consult A Lawyer
Loss of consortium is one of the more complicated aspects of personal injuries. They can be very difficult to prove without the help of a legal expert, like an experienced lawyer. So, before filing your claim, we suggest you consult an attorney first.
They will help you determine whether you can file a claim for the loss you’ve endured. Furthermore, they will assist you in gathering the necessary evidence to prove that you’ve suffered a loss of companionship due to your spouse’s injury.
Once you’ve found an experienced lawyer to help you, start gathering evidence demonstrating how your relationship with your spouse changed after their injury.
You can include photos and videos showing how long the relationship has been. We also recommend asking for testimonials from close family members and friends who witnessed how things changed between you and your partner.
Your lawyer will help you find the necessary evidence to support your claims. If needed, they will get expert testimonials from medical professionals.
File Your Claim
Now that you’ve gathered enough evidence to validate your claims, you can now file your claim. If you need help recovering damages for your loss of companionship, look no further than Adamson Ahdoot. If your spouse is injured due to negligence, our team can review the case to see if you are entitled to a personal injury settlement.
Talk to A Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Adamson Ahdoot is one of California’s most trusted civil litigation firms. Our team of experienced lawyers has over 100 years of combined legal experience.
We specialize in handling various personal injury claims, from product liability to loss of consortium. Moreover, we handle each case we receive with the intimacy of a small firm and the expertise of a larger one.
With our help, you can recover damages for the affection and companionship you’ve lost from a terrible accident or injury.
To learn more about how we can help, call us at (800) 310-1606 or visit our website.
Above all else, our clients come first. We go above and beyond to obtain the highest level of compensation possible.Meet Our Attorneys
Multi-Focus Law Firm
Adamson Ahdoot has successfully executed a plethora of personal injury cases.Cases We Handle
Get in touch with our firm
Our team can better advise you on your legal options once we receive any available evidence about the incident.Take Action Now