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More than 900,000 adults lose their spouses or partners each year. If an accident occurs, resulting in the injury or death of a loved one, you may be able to prove loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is the harm and distress that results from losing a loved one’s emotional support, affection, care, and companionship. 

The award-winning personal injury attorneys of Younglove Law Group have experience helping victims of all types of personal injury, including loss of consortium, build an injury claim as they pursue compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result. Loss of consortium applies to the spouse of an injured or deceased party, similar to the common law claim of alienation of affection. 

What Injuries May Be Included in a Loss of Consortium Claim?

Loss of consortium claimants can only recover their non-economic damages. These are subjective in nature and include harms resulting from the loss of:

  • Comfort
  • Love
  • Companionship
  • Society
  • Affection
  • Solace
  • Moral support
  • Sexual relations
  • Help with maintenance of the home 
  • Ability to have children

An individual may claim damages for any of the items on this list following the loss or injury of their husband, wife, or registered domestic partner. 

How Can I Prove Loss of Consortium in California?

If you are trying to prove loss of consortium in California, you must provide proof of the following:

  • Legal marriage: Legal marriage or registered domestic partnership must have been valid at the time of the injury or death. 
  • Spouse or partner was wrongfully injured: The spouse or partner of the victim may have to prove that they were injured due to an act of negligence. 
  • Loss of consortium: The spouse of the injured victim must detail all the ways their relationship has changed due to the loss of consortium. This can be an uncomfortable and involved process. 
  • Injury caused the loss of consortium: You must prove that the injury caused the loss of consortium. If you fail to do this, your claim may fail. 

It may be challenging to understand the steps of proving loss of consortium in California, so partnering with an experienced personal injury attorney may help build your claim. 

How to Quantify Loss of Consortium

It may be challenging to quantify the loss of consortium as this damage is intangible, but it is not impossible. While there is no definite way to calculate how much you may be owed in compensation, the following factors often play a role:

  • The victim’s new quality of life
  • The quality of the marriage or domesticated partnership before the accident
  • The history of the relationship regarding divorce filings, separation, infidelity, or domestic violence reports
  • The living arrangements of the people in the relationship
  • The partner’s plans regarding having children and their ability to do so before the accident or injury
  • The extent of ongoing care for the injured spouse or partner

A seasoned injury attorney may be able to help you quantify the amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive for loss of consortium. 

California Personal Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Help

Loss of consortium may cause immense emotional distress and suffering for the spouse or partner of the injured party. As you adjust to a new way of life in your marriage or domestic partnership, partnering with an experienced personal injury attorney may help build your claim. 

Younglove Law Group is a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys helping victims in Newport Beach, California. Our award-winning legal team is dedicated to providing our clients with compassionate care and top-of-the-line service. For a free case review, call (949) 691-3660 or complete our contact form

When you suffer serious injuries in a car accident in California, you may face extensive financial losses and expenses. The financial burdens placed on you can feel overwhelming, from hospital bills to rehabilitation and countless other responsibilities. A personal injury lawyer will work to pursue the best possible outcome and compensation for your claim. 

However, many people are unaware that a negligent driver’s insurance company is not obligated to take full responsibility for the awarded damages. It is only obligated to pay up to the policy limit. Sometimes, your financial award is not able to cover all the expenses because of the policy limit. If you face this situation, there are ways still to recover more than the at-fault insurance policy limit.

How Do Insurance Policy Limits Work?

In California, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle without evidence of financial responsibility. It is essential to have some type of insurance that can cover medical expenses and other damage if an accident occurs. Most auto insurance policies have two types of insurance coverage: 

  • Bodily injury coverage
  • Property damage coverage

Both types have separate limits depending on the driver’s coverage. For bodily injury, one type limits what the insurance company will pay for a single individual’s injuries, and the other limits what insurance will pay for all injuries sustained in a single accident by any number of claimants. Because the policy limits are separate, your claim usually won’t exceed the limit. Discussing your options with an experienced personal injury lawyer may boost your chances of recovering the necessary amount to cover your damages. 

Can I Receive Compensation That Exceeds Insurance Policy Limits? 

While motor vehicle accident settlements do not usually exceed the insurance company’s policy limits, there are times when the recovered financial damages are not enough to fully compensate for the harm caused. Discuss some of the below actions with a personal injury lawyer to find your best option: 

Suing an At-Fault Driver

There is an option to sue the at-fault driver for the difference in the policy’s limits. However, not all parties will have enough financial assets to cover the remaining damage. This may make suing the party more trouble than it is worth. 

Suing Multiple Defendants

If multiple people are responsible for the accident and the injuries you have suffered, you may hold them jointly accountable for the rest of the damages. The recovered compensation will be pulled from each insurance policy proportional to how responsible each party was for the accident. 

Economic Damages Caused by an Uninsured Defendant

California’s Proposition 51 limited the liability of defendants for non-economic damages to their proportion of liability in causing the accident. However, one party can still be forced to pay a plaintiff’s full economic damages in claims in which the other defendants are unable to pay their shares. Thus, finding a solvent defendant that is even 1% at fault for an accident can result in a large recovery for substantial injuries caused by uninsured defendants. 

Bad Faith

When an insurance company unreasonably refuses to pay a policyholder’s claim or fails to investigate and process a claim within a reasonable time, this is referred to as participating in “bad faith.” If an insurance company can reasonably settle a provable claim and refuses to, they may be guilty of bad faith. 

Umbrella Policies 

While these are mostly for commercial and corporate entities, an individual can also have an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy offers extra coverage above the primary amount. While the insurance limits were met, the policyholder’s umbrella coverage may cover additional amounts from your claim. 

If your compensation claim exceeds the responsible party’s insurance coverage policy limits, it is even more imperative that you receive assistance from a personal injury lawyer. Each case is unique and presents challenges that can face complex processes. Talk with an experienced attorney that will discuss what option is best suited for you. 

Discover Passionate California Personal Injury Lawyers Today

When you are facing severe injuries because of someone else’s negligence, the financial responsibilities can feel overwhelming and burdensome. We at Younglove Law Group empathize and understand how stressful those situations are and want to make sure you receive the best possible compensation and outcome for your case. With over $40 million recovered for our past clients, our experience guiding clients through personal injury cases is extensive, and we work hard to advocate for your rights in legal proceedings. 

Call (949) 691-3660 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.