California Personal Injury Law permits the family members of victims who have been killed or seriously injured to seek compensation. This support can include an award for the “loss of society” and companionship close family members will endure after a tragic accident.
Loss of society is a personal injury claim that applies when a spouse and other close family members lose the care and guidance of a victim lost to an accident caused by someone’s negligence. The at-fault party is asked to provide support for the loss of relationship close relatives must cope with.
Loss of Society In California Personal Injury Claims
Loss of Society is a legal concept that grants a spouse and other close relatives financial support after the wrongful death of a loved one. Loss of society attempts to financially compensate members of the family who experience the absence of companionship, care, protection, and moral support after a life has been taken.
Loss of society can be claimed only when the plaintiff’s loved one has been killed or has suffered a dire injury that prevents them from upholding important family relationships. The injury must be debilitating to the point that loved ones have essentially lost them. This can include cases where victims have been placed in comas and are no longer able to communicate.
Family members who have lost a loved one are permitted to recover economic damages in a personal injury claim. However, a loss of society claim is only capable of earning non-economic damages. Economic damages include hospital bills and the lost wages a deceased victim can no longer provide.
Non-economic damages cover the emotional trauma and absence loved ones feel after the loss of a close relationship with a family member.
Proving Loss of Society in California
To prove you have experienced the loss of society due to someone’s negligent conduct you’ll have to show the presence of several factors in your case:
- Demonstrate how the defendant owed your family member a duty of care.
- Demonstrate how the defendant was negligent in that duty of care.
- Demonstrate how the defendant’s negligence is responsible for a death or injury.
Your personal injury lawyer will also be establishing the close bond you and the victim shared and will show how that bond can never be restored. Testimony from friends and family will show how your life has been permanently altered by the loss of your cherished connection with your loved one.
Psychological reports and testimony from mental health professionals can also be used to demonstrate the anguish you and other family members have experienced.
Loss of Consortium in California Personal Injury Cases
“Loss of Consortium” is another personal injury claim that seeks non-economic damages for the harm an injury does to family relationships. Loss of society generally applies to cases where a family member is deceased or has been left with severely limited function. Loss of consortium relates to cases involving victims who may still have functionality, but their relationship to close relatives has been compromised.
Victims can sue for both the loss of consortium and loss of society. When filed by a spouse, a loss of consortium can claim a loss of intimacy between partners. It sometimes involves the loss of the ability to have children.
In some states, children are allowed to file for a loss of consortium, but in California, only spouses or registered domestic partners can file this claim.
Contact Maison Law Serving Accident Victims and Their Families in California
After a devastating accident has taken the love and emotional support of a family member from you, don’t hesitate to seek justice against those whose negligence caused your loved one harm.
Attorney Martin Gasparian founded Maison Law to help families dealing with a tragedy secure the support they need to protect their emotional and financial wellbeing. If a loved one has been hurt or tragically killed by the negligence or wrongdoing of others, contact Maison Law for a free case consultation to find out about every benefit available to you and your family.