Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of Another Person

6/16/2020 By Andrea Gold Read in 3 minutes

You may be able to sue on behalf of another person if you're the parent of a minor, legal guardian, have power of attorney, or the executor of their estate.

Sometimes, when a person is injured due to another person's negligence, he or she cannot file a personal injury case due to particular circumstances. 

That doesn’t always mean that you can step in and file the claim for them, though. If a loved one has been injured in a car accident, slip or fall, nursing home abuse incident, or they are unable to file their injury case, find out how and when you can help them file a lawsuit below.   

Can I File a Personal Injury Case on Behalf of Another Person? 

Yes, but only under certain circumstances. You can’t file a lawsuit on behalf of the person based on your friendship or even as a relative in many situations. You may be able to sue on behalf of another person if you are the parent of a minor, a legal guardian, you have power of attorney, or if you are the executor of their estate. 

Filing a Personal Injury on Behalf of a Minor 

If your child is injured due to someone else's negligence, you can file a legal claim on behalf of your child. If your child has been injured you may want to consider the timing of the lawsuit. You should file as soon as possible. There may be expensive medical bills and possibly rehabilitation expenses connected to the injury that you can recover through a lawsuit. 

If you win the lawsuit, you may be required to create a conservatorship so the money can be managed on your child’s behalf until he or she reaches adulthood. 

Personal Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of a Nursing Home Resident

If you have a loved one in a nursing home and think that he or she was injured or neglected, but your loved one is mentally incapacitated, there are a few things you can do. 

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimers, she or he may need someone to help them get the care they need and file a legal claim for them. If you have power of attorney or you’re their legal guardian in many cases you will be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf. 

What is a “Next Friend” Lawsuit? 

If you have a friend or relative and know that they have been injured by someone else's negligence and that person is mentally incapacitated in a nursing home or elsewhere you may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf as a “next friend.” As a next friend, you’re not technically a legal guardian, but you may be able to file a legal claim on behalf of someone who can’t do this for him or herself. In most cases like this, the person is a minor, or the person has been declared incapacitated or incompetent. 

Wrongful Death Claim 

If a family member died due to a car accident or an accident and you are an immediate family member such as a child, parent or spouse you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

Keep in mind that laws vary from state to state. You should speak with a personal injury attorney to find out what the laws are in the state where you live or the state where your loved one resides.

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