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Can You File A Personal Injury Claim On Behalf Of A Family Member?

Posted on 04/01/24

Recovering compensation after an incident caused by another party’s negligence is challenging enough, but it becomes even more so if the injury victim is unable to file a personal injury lawsuit themselves. In these situations, Texas law permits certain individuals to act on behalf of an injured family member to file a personal injury claim in civil court. This is important, particularly if the injured individual is incapacitated or otherwise unable to legally represent themselves.

When a Family Member Is Seriously Injured

Serious injuries can render individuals unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves. In these instances, another family member can step in to ensure the injured party receives the justice and compensation they deserve. This often involves consulting with a personal injury attorney who can assist you and your loved ones through the legal process and help file the claim on your family member’s behalf.

Filing on Behalf of a Minor

If the injured party is a minor, a parent or legal guardian will typically file the personal injury claim on their behalf. This process includes seeking damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any long-term care the child may require due to the injury.

Acting as a Legal Guardian for Adults

For adults who are unable to file a claim due to their injuries, a legal guardian, also known as a conservator in Texas, may be appointed. This person, often a close family member, is granted the authority to make legal decisions, including filing a personal injury claim with an insurance carrier or in civil court on behalf of the incapacitated adult.

The Role of a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is another way a family member can legally act on behalf of an injured relative. A POA grants one person the authority to make decisions and take legal actions for another person. However, it’s important to note that for a POA to be utilized in filing a personal injury claim, it must specifically include provisions that allow for such actions. There are different types of power of attorney.

Steps to Take When Filing a Claim for a Family Member

  1. Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney. Seek out a reputable personal injury attorney in Laredo who is experienced in handling cases similar to yours. They can provide valuable guidance and take on the legal burdens while you focus on your loved one’s recovery.
  2. Gather Evidence. Collect any evidence related to the accident and the injuries, including medical records, accident reports, and witness statements. This type of documentation will be a good way to build a strong case.
  3. Understand the Damages. Be aware of the types of compensation you can seek, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney can help you gather the right documents to prove your losses and even enlist assistance from financial experts if necessary.
  4. File the Claim. With the help of your attorney, submit the personal injury claim against the responsible party or their insurance carrier.
  5. Negotiate a Settlement. Your attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurance company or opposing legal team to help reach a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, the case may proceed to trial.