The spouse of a victim who has been physically injured may be entitled to compensation from whoever caused the injury. The spouse may be compensated for the following losses of family relationship also known as "loss of consortium":
- moral support,
- enjoyment of sexual relations
- or the ability to have children.
The wrongdoer who caused the injury need not compensate the victim’s spouse for any of the following:
- The loss of financial support from the victim,
- Personal services, such as nursing, that the spouse has provided or will provide to the victim, or
- Any loss of earnings that the spouse has suffered by giving up employment to take care of the victim.
In California the following individuals may not recover for the family relationship or "societal" losses due to their loved one’s injury.
- A parent may not recover relationship losses for injury to his or her child,
- Unmarried cohabitants may not recover damages for societal loss.
In the unfortunate situation where a married couple separates after the accident, the spouse of the victim may seek limited compensation (ie. the loss of assistance in parenting).