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

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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