How Your Marriage Affects the Settlement of a Personal Injury Case
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
When a person sustains a personal injury, their spouse may have a right to recover settlement funds that are paid to the injured person. The personal injury settlement may also involve issues related to community property. Because of these potential issues, you should consult with a personal injury attorney in La Mesa to learn about your options.
Does a spouse have any right to recover funds in a personal injury settlement?
In California, the spouse of an injured person may have a claim for money damages. This may arise in situations where the non-injured spouse experiences detriments in their own life because of the accident.
For example, if the non-injured spouse loses the companionship, moral support or intimacy that they experienced prior to the accident, then they may have a claim for money damages. These types of issues are called loss of consortium.
To receive damages for loss of consortium in California, the non-injured spouse must show:
That their spouse was injured from another’s negligence or wrongdoing,
They were legally married or had a valid domestic partnership at the time of the injury,
They suffered loss of companionship, support, intimacy, etc., and
Those losses occurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing.
If the non-injured spouse can provide evidence to demonstrate these factors, then you may have a claim for compensation.
What evidence can show loss of consortium
Any relevant evidence may be used to prove the elements of loss of consortium. A personal injury lawyer San Marcos can help review your case to identify information that may be useful. Some examples may include:
Statements from witnesses,
family members and friends
Photographs and video recordings
Opinions from professionals
Written reports and records
A personal injury lawyer in San Marcos can use various legal tools, including subpoenas, to help you gather the necessary information for your claim.
Does a non-injured spouse have a claim to the injured spouse’s settlement?
Because California is a community property state, the non-injured spouse may have an interest in settlement funds if settlement funds are received for an accident that occurred during the marriage. There are exceptions to this rule, so it is important to consult with a lawyer if a divorce may be imminent.
If you are married and have a personal injury claim, then contact a San Diego car accident attorney from Acclaim Law Group to schedule a consultation.