Consistent Successfor Over 25 Years
Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC
Justia Lawyer Rating for Steven M. Sweat
BBB Rating A+
Avvo Rating 10.0 Top Attorney
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
10 Best 2018 Attorney - Client satisfaction
Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum
Super Lawyers - Steven M. Sweat - 10 Years
The State Bar of California
Client Champion Silver 2020
Lead Counsel
Top 10 - Personal Injury Lawyer

Can a Husband or Wife Recover Damages in Their Spouse's Personal Injury Claim?

California Law | Spousal Recovery for Injury To a Husband or WifeWhat does California Law say about recovery for injury to a husband or wife by the spouse who was not physically harmed but, is certainly suffering from having a spouse who is no longer able to do those things that they were able to do prior to the incident? Is it possible to obtain a money damages award if you were not directly hurt but, your spouse was injured and this severely impacted your life? As a personal injury attorney in the Golden State that has represented hundreds of married persons in the past 18 years, this is a question that I am frequently asked. The simple answer is YES. Under CA law, a spouse is entitled to be compensated for the disruption to their lifestyle caused by the personal injury or wrongful death of their husband or wife as follows:

California Personal Injury Law on Recovery for Injured Spouse

California Civil Jury Instruction 3920 states that if an award is made to a personal injury victim and that victim is married, the jury must also decide how much money will reasonably compensate the victim’s husband or wife for “the loss of companionship and services” (also known as “loss of consortium”) including:

  • The loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support; and
  • The loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations [or the ability to have children].

The law further provides that money damages must be awarded not only for what the husband or wife has suffered to date as of the time of a jury verdict but, also for the harm that they will sustain in the future. Furthermore, this is considered a “non-economic” damage award (i.e. separate and apart and in addition to any amount awarded for out of pocket costs like medical expenses or lost wages). Because it is “general” damages, the jury must simply decide an amount without reducing that amount to “present cash value” (i.e. the value as of present day).

Client Reviews
I have known Steven for some time now and when his services were required he jumped in and took control of my cases. I had two and they were handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. He went the extra mile regardless of the bumps in the road. I can not see me using any other attorney and I would recommend him to any of my family and friends. Josie A.
Steven was vital during our most trying time. He was referred by a friend after an accident that involved a family member. While he was critical and lying in the hospital, Steven was kind, patient and knowledgeable about what we were going through. Following our loss, Steven became a tough and aggressive negotiator and made sure that we receive a huge compensation. I would refer Steven in fact, this happened 2 years ago and I still speak highly of his service. Cheryl S.
Mr. Sweat is a pitbull in the courtroom as well as settlement negotiations - You can't have a better equipped attorney in your corner! It is a pleasure working as colleagues together on numerous cases. He can get the job done. Jonathan K.
Because of Steven Sweat, my medical support was taken care of. Plus, I had more money to spare for my other bills. Steven is not only an excellent personal injury lawyer, providing the best legal advice, but also a professional lawyer who goes beyond his call of duty just to help his clients! He stood up for me and helped me get through the process. I would definitely recommend. I couldn't think of any better lawyer than him. MiraJane C.
I must tell anyone, if you need a great attorney, Steve sweat is the guy! I had an awful car accident and had no idea where to turn. He had so much to deal with because my accident was a 4 car pile up. Not to mention all the other cars were behind me and they were not wanting to settle in any way! He never stopped working for me and had my best interest at heart! Audra W.
I believe I made the best choice with Steven M Sweat, Personal Injury. I was very reluctant to go forward with my personal injury claim. I had a valid claim and I needed a professional attorney to handle it. I felt so much better when I let Steven take my case. His team did everything right and I am very satisfied. Stia P.
I have to say that Steve has been exemplary! I met Steve at a point with my case that I was ready to give up. He took the time and dealt with all of my concerns. Most importantly, he was present and listened to what I was going through. He was able to turn things around, put me and my case on the right track! The results were better that expected! Highly recommend!! Cody A.