What is Loss of Consortium? | California Wrongful Death Law
Claiming loss of consortium is one way to recover for the damage caused by an injury or death of a spouse or domestic partner. Loss of consortium is the harm that results from losing a loved one’s affection, emotional support, companionship, and care.
A consortium claim can also include the loss of sexual relations or the ability to have children with one’s spouse or domestic partner.
Also known as alienation of affection, loss of consortium is similar to a claim of pain and suffering. However, it applies to the injured party’s spouse as opposed to the injured party themselves.
What Injuries are Included in a Loss of Consortium Claim?
Loss of consortium only applies to non-economic injuries. Even if you have suffered no economic loss, you may still be entitled to compensation in California.
However, any economic injuries must be claimed separately. For example, a person who wants to recover for lost wages, medical bills, or any financial injury would have to claim those damages under other theories, in addition to any loss of consortium claim.
Consortium injuries include harms resulting from the loss of:
- Moral support
- Sexual relations
- Ability to have children
- Help with maintenance of the home
What Type of Case Could Involve a Consortium Claim?
Loss of love, companionship, and physical intimacy can change a person forever. When someone is hurt, their injuries aren’t just physical. They can leave lasting emotional scars that affect both the injured person and those closest to them. While financial compensation can never restore what was lost, loss of consortium offers a legal remedy for injured parties.
If your spouse or partner has suffered injuries or death due to the wrongful acts of another, you may have a valid loss of consortium claim. Common cases involve auto accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, and wrongful death cases.
How Do You Prove Loss of Consortium?
Proving loss of consortium is a four-step process. As the spouse or partner bringing suit, you must prove the following:
You had a legal marriage or registered domestic partnership.
The marriage or domestic partnership must be legally valid at the time the injury occurred.
Your spouse or partner was wrongfully injured.
The person claiming loss of consortium must show that their spouse or partner’s injury was caused by someone’s negligent act.
You suffered a loss of consortium.
The person claiming loss of consortium must detail all the ways that their relationship has changed.
The injury caused your loss of consortium.
If a plaintiff has proven the first three factors, they still must show that someone’s negligent act caused their spouse or partner’s injury. If the loss of consortium was caused by something else, their claim will fail.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney for Your Loss of Consortium Claim
Has your relationship with your spouse or domestic partner been affected as a result of another’s negligent act? If you think you may have a loss of consortium claim, it’s important to know your legal rights. At Levinson Law Group, our personal injury attorneys can walk you through all of the options available to you.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.