Filing a personal injury claim for a loved one
In most cases, someone who is injured due to negligence is able to file a claim against the responsible party and recover damages. What if the person who is injured is unable to file a personal injury claim due to a severe injury or disability? If a loved one finds himself or herself in such a situation, can you take legal action?
The answer is yes, but certain criteria must apply. It's also important to understand that pursuing a claim on behalf of someone else can be complicated.
Am I eligible to file a claim on behalf of my loved one?
In order to file a personal injury claim on behalf of someone else, guardianship must first be established. If you are the parent the injured person, then you are automatically granted guardianship. Otherwise, the injured person must have appointed you guardianship or as a medical proxy.
If you were not granted guardianship, then you must petition for it with the State of New Hampshire Judicial Branch. You can find the guardianship petition here.
Under what circumstance can I file on behalf of someone else?
In order to file a personal injury claim on behalf of someone else, the person must be incapacitated. That means that the injured person can't physically or cognitively go through the process of pursuing a claim.
In most cases, a person may be incapacitated due to:
- A severe traumatic brain injury
- Loss of a body part
What documentation and evidence will I need to pursue a claim?
An incapacitated person will likely not be able to tell his or her side of the story. In order to truly find out how the injury occurred, the evidence will have to speak for itself.
Some evidence and documentation you should consider compiling includes:
- Police reports or incident reports
- Medical records and bills
- Expense receipts for any losses relating to the injury
- Surveillance camera footage (if available)
- Dash cam footage (if available)
- Witness statements
How can a personal injury attorney help me?
Your attorney can conduct an investigation into the incident that led to your loved one's injury and use the evidence and documentation you provide. In addition, your attorney acts as a buffer between you and the insurance company representing the negligent party.
If an injured loved one is incapable of filing a personal injury claim, the attorneys at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A. can help. We'll ensure that an accurate value is placed on your claim (including future medical expenses, loss of consortium and loss of future earnings) and fight to maximize your compensation.
To find out how we can help you, fill out our contact form online or call our Dover, New Hampshire law office at (603) 742-2332.