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Impact of personal injuries on family members

Injuries can affect a person’s personal life, health, employment life and day-to-day living situation. 

However, another issue that does not always get as much attention is the impact that injuries have can have on family members and friends. 

Physical, financial and emotional harm 

A recent study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that the family of workers injured on the job were very likely to suffer a fracture or sprain in the months following the injury of their loved one. These injuries may happen because family members must take on additional chores or help an injured relative with transportation or mobility issues. 

If a family member or loved one suffers a serious personal injury and is unable to work, lost wages can cause financial stress for others in the household. Lost wages can cause bills to go unpaid and medical expenses caused by the injury can exacerbate things even further. 

In addition to financial pressure, personal injuries can cause emotional stress on families. Strained relationships can result from increased caregiving duties and household responsibilities. Being out of work can also result in mental health issues such as anxiety or depression for both the injured party and family members. 

Types of damages 

Family members of people who have suffered a personal injury may be able to seek compensation from the party or parties that caused or contributed to that injury. The lawsuit could claim compensatory or punitive damages. 

Compensatory damages can help reimburse the injured party and family members for the harm they have suffered because of the personal injury. This type of compensation is available in most injury cases including car accidents, workplace injuries and medical malpractice. 

Judges and juries only award punitive damages in a limited number of injury cases. The intent is to punish a wrongdoer for causing an injury, typically due to an intentionally harmful or reckless act.