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Home | How to Prove Loss of Consortium in a California Car Accident Claim

How to Prove Loss of Consortium in a California Car Accident Claim

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Car Accidents

Car accidents happen every day in California and throughout the United States. While some people walk away from these incidents unscathed and must only resolve property losses, others are not so fortunate and experience devastating injuries. Many may think of broken bones, head injuries, and crushing injuries when they think of the aftermath of a serious car accident, but many injuries can pose long-term complications that interfere with victims’ lives in many ways.

Some people who survive their severe car accident injuries will recover as much as possible but face long-term or permanent complications from these incidents. Chronic pain, nerve damage, and psychological disturbances may come into play for some victims, and it is possible for their injuries to prevent them from engaging in or enjoying sexual activity with their partner.

“Loss of consortium” occurs when one party’s actions result in an injury that prevents the victim from engaging in physical intimacy with their partner. This can be emotionally devastating and impact the victim’s marriage or domestic partnership. If your relationship is suffering from the effects of an accident someone else caused, you have the right to seek their full accountability for the economic and non-economic damages they have inflicted on you and your spouse or partner.

Initial Steps Toward Recovery After a Car Accident

California state law requires drivers to maintain auto insurance coverage. However, even if an at-fault driver has appropriate insurance coverage, their policy may not fully compensate the victim’s losses after a serious accident. Your initial insurance claim against the at-fault driver can be crucial for obtaining some early relief from your damages. However, if your damages exceed the coverage available from the defendant’s policy, you must speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

When you or your spouse has lost the ability to enjoy physical intimacy due to the effects of your car accident injuries, the at-fault driver is responsible for causing this loss, but their auto insurance policy is unlikely to provide much in the way of suitable compensation for your non-economic damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Therefore, you will need to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver when their auto insurance fails to fully compensate for the losses they have caused.

Proving the Scope of Your Damages

To succeed with any personal injury suit in California, the plaintiff must identify the defendant or defendants they believe to be responsible for causing their claimed damages. Then they must prove the full scope of those damages. For example, economic losses in a car accident case are relatively straightforward. The defendant’s auto insurance policy is likely to cover a portion of them as long as the defendant has appropriate coverage under California state law.

Your claimable economic losses from a car accident may include vehicle repair or replacement costs, medical expense coverage, long-term medical treatment costs you face, and your lost income. You may also seek compensation for your lost future earning potential if the defendant’s actions result in your inability to work and earn income. An experienced attorney will be crucial for holding the defendant fully accountable for the full range of immediate and long-term damages they have caused.

Proving grounds to claim compensation for loss of consortium generally requires proving the defendant caused the injury that led to the victim’s condition. In other words, if you intend to file a civil claim for damages against the party who caused your loss of consortium, you must prove your condition is a result of the defendant’s actions and not some other cause. An experienced attorney is an essential asset in this situation for not only holding the defendant accountable and navigating complex insurance issues but also maximizing your recovery as fully as California state law permits.

Loss of Consortium in a California Car Accident FAQs

What Are the Elements of Loss of Consortium?

To succeed with a legal claim for damages pertaining to loss of consortium, the plaintiff must prove they are lawfully married and that the defendant’s actions have caused the plaintiff to lose the ability to enjoy intimacy with their spouse. This may require discussion of difficult and uncomfortable topics, but a plaintiff is far more likely to achieve a suitable resolution when they have an experienced California attorney representing them.

How Do You Explain Loss of Consortium?

The term “loss of consortium” most often translates to “loss of the ability to have and/or enjoy sexual intercourse.” It is a generic term used to describe the loss of the ability to engage in physical intimacy with a partner. It qualifies the partner to sue for compensation under California’s personal injury laws. For example, the victim of a car accident would have grounds to seek compensation for their physical injuries and other losses, but if their injuries result in them losing the physical ability to engage in sexual activity with their partner, this will constitute grounds for their partner to file a claim for loss of consortium.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive for Loss of Consortium?

Sex is an important part of life and vital for healthy romantic relationships. Loss of the ability to engage in and/or enjoy sex is a major loss and one that is difficult to calculate in monetary terms. Under California law, loss of consortium falls within the purview of non-economic damages in civil court. Your attorney can help you determine a suitable amount of non-economic damages to include in your civil suit based on the significance of the loss.

Is It Worth Hiring an Attorney to Seek Compensation for Loss of Consortium?

Hiring an experienced legal team to assist you will significantly improve your odds of success with any civil suit. When you have readily available access to reliable legal counsel, you will be better prepared to meet the unique challenges of your case. The team at Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys strives to help our clients recover from their losses as fully as possible, often revealing options for compensation they would not have noticed without our help. The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case.

Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys’ team has years of experience handling complex personal injury claims, including those that pertain to extensive non-economic damages. We know how devastating loss of consortium can be for any couple and have helped many past clients recover extensive case awards for similar experiences. If you believe you have grounds to seek compensation for loss of consortium, contact our team to schedule a consultation and find out how we can assist in your recovery.

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