Do Same-Sex Married Couples Have the Same Legal Rights after an Accident?

Of course, all injury victims regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation have the same legal rights to financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages following an accident (such as a vehicle collision). 

But now members of the gay and lesbian community that are legally married in states where same-sex marriage is permitted have additional rights following an accident. Legally married LGBT couples now have the possibility of a Loss of Consortium Claim

Loss of consortium is a cause of action that is available to family members of a person injured or killed by the wrongful acts of another.

A married person may bring a civil action in that person’s own name for loss of consortium of that person’s spouse. This type of claim arises after the spouse is severely injured or killed by the third party’s negligent acts.

Loss of consortium damages attempt to compensate for the injury’s effect on the existing martial functions. Loss of consortium claims typically include the following: Love, affection, companionship, emotional support, sexual relations, and services (e.g. household chores). 

The relationship between husband and wife has been deemed worthy of legal protection. In light of this recent changes in the law, legally married, same-sex couples will have the option of bringing a loss of consortium claim following the injury or death of their partner.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.