Learning that your loved one was involved in a traffic collision, slip and fall, nursing home incident, or workplace accident can be scary. When you find out that your loved one sustained a debilitating injury, it may come as a serious shock.
In most cases, debilitating injuries are preventable. If it is linked to the negligent or reckless behavior of someone else, the standard process for taking legal action is for the victim to file a personal injury claim. The victim's attorney would then launch an investigation, tally up the damages, and begin advocating for fair compensation. What if the victim is unable to file a personal injury claim?
Circumstances where you may file a personal injury claim on behalf of a loved one
If your loved one isn't able to take legal action against the negligent parties due to a disability, you may be able to do so on his or her behalf. However, these factors must apply:
- The victim is a close relative.
- A victim is under the age of 18. Nobody can file a personal injury claim until he or she reaches adulthood.
- The victim has suffered a severe traumatic brain injury that resulted in cognitive or mental impairment.
- The victim has suffered a severe long-term injury or disability. This may include paralysis, amputation, or a severe spinal injury.
Proving eligibility to file a claim on behalf of someone else
Filing a personal injury claim on behalf of a loved one can be a complex and confusing process. Before you file, it's important to first determine whether or not you qualify.
Here's what you must prove before filing:
- You are the parent or guardian of a child who was injured
- You're in a position to act as a guardian for the injured person
- Biologically related to the person
- A spouse or a partner of the injured person
- Appointed as a medical proxy
- If you are not related to the injured person, or you are not appointed as a medical proxy, you must file a court petition for guardianship. Your guardianship may only be valid until the person makes a recovery.
Why hire a personal injury attorney to get started?
Any personal injury claim can be difficult to take on alone. When your loved one is unable to take legal action, there is so much more at stake. That's why the best course of action is to speak to an experienced Maine personal injury lawyer and find out which legal options are available to you.
Jabar LaLiberty & Dubord, LLC has helped injured people throughout Portland and Waterville pursue some of the most complex claims since 1979. Our legal team is dedicated to helping victims and their families build strong cases and get the compensation and justice they deserve.
To schedule your free consultation, fill out our online contact form and one of our attorneys will get back to you.