Is it Worth Suing a Family Member for Personal Injury?

If you suffer an injury, do you know when you may need a personal injury lawyer? The easy answer is when it wasn’t your fault and you can apportion to the blame to somebody else rather than it being a true accident. These seem pretty cut and dried but what if the person to blame is a friend or a member of your family?

This a dilemma thousands find themselves in every day in America, and whichever route you decide to take you need to be aware of the possible repercussions.

The Legal Stance

Say you’re at a family party and playing a game with the kids.

You’re running in and out then your aunt shuts the patio door that was open 3 minutes ago and you smack right into it, breaking your nose and chipping your tooth. Legally, your aunt is to blame for your injuries and you can file a lawsuit against her.

Likewise, if your sister throws your baby up in the air but doesn’t catch her and she falls to the floor suffering head injuries.

You are entitled to claim damages off of her on your daughter’s behalf. These are cut and dried cases but there is so much more to consider when it’s a family member, and knowing the possible fall out in advance can help you make an informed decision.

Refusing to Accept the Blame

This is where these cases can become very nasty, and refusing to accept the blame is why so many family cases end up on the likes of Judge Judy!

The aunt was cold so shut the door, why should she stop and think about people running in and out? The sister was distracted by something so dropping the baby wasn’t her fault. Seeking the advice of a lawyer who specializes in this field is a priority here as your head will be all over the place.

Can of Worms

A personal injury lawsuit between family members can have a far-reaching effect.

You should be prepared for certain members to agree with you and others to turn their back and take the side of the defendant.

Even though you know you are right you need to consider your next actions carefully as what you decide could permanently damage your relationship with not only the plaintiff but also those who agree with them.


It’s worth noting that 99% of personal injury claims are settled by the defendant’s insurance policy which should also include personal injury cover.

By suing a family member it’s unlikely you are going to inflict major financial hardship on them, it’s the emotional aspect you need to consider. There are cases where the plaintiff and the defendant will discuss the case and the latter agrees to the claim being made against them in order to right the wrong they have unintentionally inflicted.

If this is the case then great, everyone’s a winner. Sadly, these cases are rare so make sure to heed your lawyer’s advice before proceeding.


Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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