Observing The Injuries Of A Family Member Can Leave You Entitled To Compensation

Law Blog

When your loved one is injured, you might assume that they are the only one who is entitled to compensation for their injuries. However, if you have observed your family member becoming injured, and live in certain states, you may also be entitled to compensation, as long as you have a close relationship with that individual. Then, you may be entitled to compensation for emotional distress, even if you aren't injured.

Your Relationship to the Injured

Your loved one might have used a defective product that may have burst into flames and severely burned your family member. Suing for emotional distress is limited to those who have certain relationships with the victim in order to avoid a long line of claimants that could easily become unmanageable. For example, you might be married to the victim, or be a sibling, parent, or child.

Requirements for Filing a Lawsuit

To have a chance of winning your case, you will need to prove that you witnessed the accident. You must also demonstrate that you suffered emotional distress as a result. If you had to undergo therapy as a result of seeing your family member become injured, you will want to report on this. You may need records of having received psychiatric treatment to be able to persuade an insurance provider to settle with you or to win your case in court.

Emotional distress is considered to be a reaction that is greater than what you would expect from a disinterested individual and a reaction that would not be considered abnormal given the circumstances. For example, if your loved one suffered very minor injuries, it would be unreasonable for you to need substantial therapy.

To receive compensation, both you and your family member should consider speaking with a personal injury attorney. If your loved one is able to receive compensation for their injuries, the fact that the other party was found to be negligent will make it easier to make this claim yourself.

The Importance of Negligence

For the other party to be considered responsible for the accident, you must prove that the other party was negligent. That party must have a duty of care and must breach that duty. For example, a company that manufactures a defective product would have breached its duty of care. Then, you must show that the breach in the duty of care lead to the injuries that you witnessed that caused you emotional distress.


15 December 2020