The receipt of a large lump sum by way of damages for personal injuries can create significant problems for the recipient and his or her family. Even where the injuries are grave, and the sum large, there is a tendency to disburse excessive amounts immediately on specially-equipped dwellings and other capital outlays. Also, family members looking after a severely disabled plaintiff may regard themselves as entitled to a larger share of the money than the court will have had in mind when making the award. Friction can easily ensue.

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