If a person is injured in an accident, and said accident was caused by another party acting negligent or recklessly, then the injured party has the right to sue to recover damages for their injuries. However, in some cases, the person who was injured is not able to take action themselves. In these situations, a family member may be able to do so.
In most cases, only the party who was injured can file a personal injury lawsuit but there are a few notable exceptions. Keep reading to discover what they are and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you are in need of a free legal consultation.
An Injury Involving an Incapacitated Adult
If the victim is an adult and cannot take legal action on their own behalf, due to a disability or incapacitation, then the court may allow a friend or family member to act as the conservator of the victim. The first step is getting this conservatorship established. Once it is, the victim’s new legal guardian can file a lawsuit on behalf of their loved one.
This is not an easy process. First, they must file a petition to have a conservator appointed. The court will schedule a hearing to discuss the situation, during which the family member must first convince the court that conservatorship is necessary and that they are the right person to step into the role.
An Injury Involving a Minor
If a child is under the age of 18 then they cannot file a lawsuit on their own behalf. The options include waiting until they are 18 to file a lawsuit or having their parent file the lawsuit on their behalf. The parent files the lawsuit as “next friend,” which is just a legal term that refers to a person involved in the legal process but who is not involved in the lawsuit themselves. The parent would not be entitled to compensation for the child – the money would not be given to the child until they come of age.
A Wrongful Death Case
If an injury leads to the death of the victim, then obviously said victim cannot file a lawsuit on their own behalf. In this case, their surviving relatives may be able to file a wrongful death case. However, not everyone is eligible to do so. The party filing must either be the child or spouse of the deceased, or be able to prove that they were another close relation who was financially dependent on the deceased.
There are exceptions to this rule so you should still contact an attorney to find out for sure if you can file in this case. In fact, you can reach The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation today.