Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Someone Else
Generally, personal injury lawyers will work alongside the victim injured in an accident, but there are some circumstances when a family member or loved one is needed to file a lawsuit on his or her behalf. The licensed New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC can discuss these instances in greater detail and determine if you have the legal authority to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
Victim Unexpectedly Passes
In cases where the victim would have had the legal grounds to file a personal injury case but dies before the claim is processed, New Jersey law allows for the filing of a wrongful death claim. Generally the executor or personal representative of the estate files the lawsuit on behalf of the family.
Any damages awarded are paid to the surviving family members, including the spouse, dependent children, parents, or other family members who were financially dependent on the deceased person or who stood to inherit from him or her with priority given to the closest existing family members. A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim’s death.
Victim Is Incapacitated
Individuals who have physical or mental disabilities are often targets of abuse, neglect, fraud or mistreatment. However, they may not have the capacity to assert their own legal claims. In these situations, the court may appoint a power of attorney, allowing that person to make medical, financial and legal decisions on behalf of the victim. Once this legal relationship is established, the power of attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit for the victim.
If a power of attorney is necessary to file a claim, the first step of the process is to file a petition with the court asking for this form of relief. The petition must contain specific information about the victim, the nature of his or her disability or incapacity and the type of court ordered guardianship being sought. The power of attorney will also have to provide medical evidence to establish the need for this relief.
Victim Is a Minor
If the victim is a minor, he or she cannot file a personal injury lawsuit on their own. Minors can wait until they legally become adults to pursue their claim, or their parent or legal guardian can file a lawsuit on their behalf while they are still minors. Unless a child is disabled, the parent or legal guardian usually does not have the right to file a lawsuit on the child’s behalf after he or she reaches the age of 18.
Contact Our Team to Discuss Your Legal Options
If your loved one was injured due to someone else’s negligence and you would like to know if you can file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf, it is important that you work with a legal team who has this experience. There are certain procedures that must be followed in these situations to assert your rights, whether as a surviving family member or a power of attorney.
Our skilled lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC can guide you through the entire legal process, explain the options available to you and describe your legal duties related to the victim and any recovery we may be able to obtain on your loved one’s behalf. If you elect to take legal action, you can trust us to fight tirelessly to recover compensation for you and your loved one.
Call us now at (800) 518-0508 .