Category Archives: Wrongful Death

Can a Spouse Sue for Loss of Consortium?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

If your spouse is in an accident that someone else’s negligence caused, the aftermath can be devastating for the entire family. You and your family may have to deal with unexpected medical bills, funeral costs, and emotional damages, like mental anguish and a loss of consortium. Whether an accident leads to your spouse’s death or an injury so severe that your spouse cannot provide the same support as he or she did in the past, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for loss of consortium.

What Is Loss of Consortium?

Loss of consortium refers to the loss of moral support, companionship, or intimacy following an accident. You can claim non-economic damages for loss of consortium in both personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits under California law.

There are two main types of damages you can claim in a lawsuit following an accident: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to the tangible losses you and your spouse suffered, such as medical bills or lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to the losses you cannot prove a financial burden or provide a receipt for. Instead, the damage is emotional – and loss of consortium falls under this category.

How to Prove a Loss of Consortium Case in California

If you are filing a lawsuit and claiming loss of consortium damages after your spouse’s accident, you will need to work closely with a California personal injury attorney to prove your case. In order to successfully claim this compensation, you and your lawyer will need to satisfy the following four elements.

  • First, you will need to prove that your spouse suffered injuries in an accident that someone else’s negligence caused. You will have to prove that the at-fault party owed your spouse a duty of care and breached it, leading to his or her injuries or death. You can satisfy this element in a number of ways, including medical records, surveillance footage, witness testimony, and expert testimony.
  • Second, you will need to prove that you and your spouse are in a legal marriage or registered domestic partnership that was valid at the time of his or her injury. You can prove this element by providing your marriage license or domestic partnership paperwork.
  • Third, you will need to prove that you lost your spouse’s consortium as a result of the injury or death. This element can be difficult to prove, since you cannot always see emotional damages. You may need to discuss the impacts that the injury has on your spouse’s abilities or behavior, and how that impacts your relationship. Speak to your attorney to determine which pieces of evidence you should present.
  • Fourth, you will need to prove that the injury and the accident that caused the injury is at fault for your loss of consortium. This portion of the lawsuit can be difficult to prove as well, since you will have to establish that the loss came from the accident itself instead of an outside event, like marital troubles. Your attorney can assist you with satisfying this element.

How Do California Courts Calculate Loss of Consortium?

If you are successful in proving the loss of consortium, the court will award you a settlement for your damages. Understanding how much you receive can be difficult, since there is no specific number attached to this type of loss. In addition, settlements vary from case to case; the amount you receive will depend on the extent and severity of the damage.

The court will likely consider the following factors when calculating loss of consortium.

  • How severe your spouse’s injuries are
  • The emotional trauma you and your spouse have suffered
  • How the loss of consortium disrupts your daily life
  • How long it may take for your spouse to recover
  • Whether or not the injuries are permanent or long-term

If your family is experiencing loss of consortium after your spouse suffers severe injuries in an accident that was not his or her fault, you can claim compensation for these damages in California civil court. However, proving a loss of consortium case can be difficult depending on the circumstances. Contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin the lawsuit filing process.

Posted by highrank at 6:12 pm

What Benefits Am I Entitled to If My Spouse Was Killed in a Trucking Accident?

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Losing a spouse in a trucking accident is a tragic and difficult experience in multiple ways. Emotionally, you have to cope with the pain of losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. You may also experience a variety of other damages, such as loss of economic support and the high cost of funeral and burial. However, you may be able to collect damages following your spouse’s trucking accident through a wrongful death lawsuit.

California Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In the state of California, you can file a wrongful death claim when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. In the case of a trucking accident, you will have to prove that negligence on the part of the driver, trucking company, or other entity was responsible for your spouse’s death. At the conclusion of your claim, you can recover monetary damages to compensate your losses.

According to California’s wrongful death statute, only certain people can file a lawsuit on behalf of a loved one. You must be the deceased’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or another person who may be entitled to the deceased’s property, such as a parent or sibling. If your spouse died in a trucking accident, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim in California civil court.

Types of Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

You can collect multiple types of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney will work with you to discuss the different benefits you may be eligible for. There are three main types of damages you can collect in a California wrongful death claim.

  • Economic damages: Damages pertain to the tangible monetary losses you suffer as a result of your spouse’s death.
  • Non-economic damages: Damages that represent the intangible losses you suffer after your spouse dies, such as pain and suffering.
  • Punitive damages: In the case of extreme negligence or recklessness, the court may award you these damages to punish the at-fault party responsible for your spouse’s death.

Final Medical Expenses

Depending on the circumstances of your spouse’s trucking accident, he or she may have had to spend time in a hospital prior to his or her death. As a result, your spouse may have incurred some expenses for their final care and treatment. You can claim this form of economic damage in your wrongful death lawsuit as long as the expenses are related to your spouse’s final injuries.

Pain and Suffering

You may be able to collect damages if your spouse suffered significant pain and suffering prior to his or her death. Your attorney can help you calculate the amount of this non-economic damage you can collect, depending on what your spouse experienced between his or her injury and death.

Loss of Potential Income

If your spouse contributed a significant amount of income to your household, you may suffer without his or her continued to support. With a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim the amount of potential income your spouse could have earned if he or she survived the trucking accident. With this compensation, you and your family can support yourselves during your transition to life without your spouse.

Funeral and Burial Costs

Funerals and other burial rites can be very expensive, depending on your spouse’s final wishes and the traditions you wish to follow. You may be able to collect compensation to pay for reasonable funeral and burial expenses in your wrongful death lawsuit.

Loss of Love, Community, Guidance, and Other Emotional Damages

When considering non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, the court and your attorney will discuss the emotional pain and suffering you and your family experience as a result of your spouse’s death. You can claim compensation for multiple forms of emotional damage in your wrongful death lawsuit, including loss of love, support, guidance, community, affection, attention, and more.

Calculating the maximum amount of compensation you can receive in a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated. You will need to consider a great deal of intangible and emotional loss as well as economic loss. Contact a Bakersfield wrongful death attorney at Rodriguez & Associates as soon as possible to determine what benefits you could claim.


Posted by highrank at 10:28 pm