Visitor Question

Turmoil after wife and kids were broadsided by delivery truck?

Submitted By: Ryan (West Monroe, LA)

A soda delivery truck broadsided my wife and three kids (ages 10,8,3), doing substantial damage to the vehicle and spraying glass all over the kids. There were no physical injuries, but the children are worried now when driving. The 3 year old is on the autistic spectrum so not sure fully what his issues are yet. We’re talking with his therapist.

I was, and still am, out of town for the whole incident. My wife is having to deal with everything and the children. The rental van took hours more than promised to arrive, and they arrived during dinner which disrupted my son’s “routine.”

The insurance adjuster missed two promised days to show up. We called after the weekend to schedule for the next day. Meanwhile, my wife has to re-explain and calm the kids who keep seeing the damaged van at our house. Over the span of a few days and the weekend, my wife has had to cancel plans on a Saturday as the adjuster said they may come on Saturday.

The kids are calling me while I’m across the country, telling me to be careful. And my son won’t let us put his seat back behind the driver seat in the rental because that’s the door that got hit. He was closest to the impact and doesn’t seem to be taking it well. What can be done about this? Can the kids be compensated for their emotional damage?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a localĀ attorney.


Dear Ryan,

While your wife and children’s’ trauma is real, unfortunately, from the facts you present there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence of credible damages. To receive compensation in a personal injury claim, a victim, or in the case of minors, their parents, must be able to prove the injury event resulted in compensable damages.

Compensable damages can include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses for medications, bandages, crutches, etc., and other costs directly related to the injury. In addition, a victim would be entitled to compensation for his or her pain and suffering.

In the case of your children, you may have the basis of a claim for emotional distress, but to prove that will be very difficult.

Proving emotional distress will require a psychiatrist’s or psychologist’s medical narrative directly establishing one or more of your children suffered emotional distress, and directly linking that emotional distress to the collision. Once again, that will be difficult, and complicated, especially in the case of your son’s autism.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 17, 2014

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