Same-sex relationships – more specifically domestic partnerships and legal marriages – have increased tremendously in recent years. Some states have embraced same-sex couples and supported their legal rights, while others continue to fight for what long been called a “traditional” relationship.
California is one of the states that has embraced same-sex couples, and has helped pave the way for same-sex couples in a domestic partnership to have the same rights as a legally married couple. In this post, let’s take a look at what rights same-sex partners have, and what that means if they find themselves in a position to file a legal claim.
What Rights do Same-Sex Partners Have in California?
In California, a domestic partnership is recognized by the state, and allows couples the benefits of:
- Tax relief
- Ability to make emergency medical decisions for the partner
- Domestic relations law assistance
- State spousal benefits (workers’ compensation, insurance, etc.)
Can Same-Sex Partners File a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim?
Not all states allow unmarried partners the benefit of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Fortunately, California is one of the few states that recognizes domestic partnerships and offers equal legal protections. Under California law, same-sex partners would also be able to take legal action if their partner is injured or killed in an accident, much like a married spouse would do. There are a few things to consider, however, such as:
- Your (and your partner’s) legal state of residence
- Did your partner have a will? Are you included?
- Did you and your partner have any oral or written agreements concerning property or assets?
Because many of the laws relating to same-sex partners are new and evolving, it is important to contact an attorney and discuss your case before deciding to file a lawsuit.