Can pain and suffering damages be awarded to the victim’s family members or just the victim?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2011

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Can pain and suffering damages be awarded to the victim’s family members or just the victim?

I am in the process of negotiating a settlement for a near drowning at a neighbor’s house. Is the settlement is going into a restricted account for when my son turns 18; he is 4 now. There is no access to that money until then. As a parent I have had to endure quite a bit not just emotional suffering but a lot of time spent working on resolving this claim. What is the law in AZ?

Asked on July 21, 2011 Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In most states, parents can have their own personal injury claims derived from injuries suffered by their child if the parent actually saw or heard the incident causing the minor child's injuries.

These injuries for the parent's possible compensation would be for pain and suffering (emotional distress). A lawsuit needs to be filed by the parent for such claimed injuries within the required time period. If not, the claims would be barred.

If you actually were at the scene of the near drowning of your son, or heard the attempts to save him, then you may have a claim for pain and suffering. Typically, only parents of the minor child can be entitled to such damages under the right circumstances.

You should consult with a good personal injury lawyer on the subject sooner rather than later.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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