Loss of Consortium Damages After an Accident
When you are injured in an accident, it can have a life altering impact. Accident victims don’t always suffer only bodily injuries. A traumatic accident can have other impacts on your life and your relationship with your loved ones. A non-traditional life altering impact after an accident is on your relationship with your loved ones – especially your spouse.
Under California law, if an accident victim is legally married, his or her spouse may be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium. Your Orange County personal injury lawyer will need to look at the specific facts of your case to determine whether you can sue for such a claim.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
The legal definition of loss of consortium is those losses suffered due to a decrease or limitation in the ability to engage in sexual activity between married couples. In order to prove a loss of consortium claim, four elements must be proved:
- A valid and lawful marriage between the plaintiff and the person injured at the time of the injury;
- A tortious injury to the plaintiff’s spouse;
- Loss of consortium suffered by the plaintiff; and
- The loss was proximately caused by the defendant’s act.
However, in reality the term entails more than just sexual activity between two married people. Loss of consortium is designed to compensate the non-injured spouse for the effect of the injury on any pre-existing spousal function.
In other words, if your attorney determines that you are entitled to a loss of consortium claim, you may be compensated for much more than just a decrease or change in sexual activity with your injured spouse. You may be compensated for loss or deprivation of the any of the following:
- Emotional support
- Sexual relations
- Love and affection
- Services associated with marriage, such as household chores, caring for minor children, etc.
- Comfort and mental support
Loss of Consortium Is a Non-Economic Damage
Under California law, loss of consortium damages is considered “non-economic” damages. This means that this type of accident damage does not involve a specific monetary loss value and does not have a precise cash value. As such, if you are claiming loss of consortium damages as part of your personal injury claim, it will typically be left to the discretion of the judge or jury as to whether you will be awarded this as part of your damages.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved has been injured in an accident, you need to protect your legal rights. An experienced attorney can help you get the full compensation that you deserve. For more information about suing for loss of consortium damages or to schedule a free consultation with an Orange County personal injury lawyer, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas at (888) 848-5084.