Can I File a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of an Injured Family Member?
It’s hard to see a family member in serious pain or incapacitated after an accident. As their loved one, it’s natural to want to do something to help them fight for justice if they’re in a situation where they can’t take legal action for themselves. If they’re incapacitated, they may not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. So what can you do?
If your loved one has legally appointed you to manage their affairs, you can file a personal injury claim normally through power of attorney. Otherwise, you can petition in court to appoint yourself as their guardian. This way, you can handle their legal endeavors similarly to power of attorney.
In case you don’t have power of attorney or can’t get legal guardianship, you can file a loss of consortium claim. Whether you’re their spouse, partner, child, or parent, you can file for loss of consortium, which is a personal injury claim by you on their behalf.
What Can I Include in my Case?
If someone commits a wrongful act intentionally or from negligence and seriously injures a family member, your loved one may be eligible to be compensated by the responsible party for the injuries they’ve received and the ways those injuries have impacted their life. We refer to this compensation they’re eligible for as ‘damages’. Depending on the case and your loved one’s situation, those damages could include past, current, and future medical bills, loss of wages and future earning potential, emotional suffering, or even death. When you file a personal injury case on your loved one’s behalf, you’re attempting to receive a repayment for what was done.
Past trials in Mississippi have shown that you cannot get loss of consortium damages because your loved one requires extra care from you after their injury. In order to win, you have to prove that your loved one can no longer provide for you or your family like they used to. The main factors that the court looks at in a loss of consortium case are:
- Affection and love. A serious injury, like a traumatic brain injury, could hinder your loved one’s ability to show affection like they used to. They might seem cold and distant.
- Social life and companionship. You and your loved one might not be able to return to activities you used to love to do together, like dancing, or going for walks.
- Sexual intercourse. The bond between partners is strengthened through physical connection. If your loved one can no longer perform sexually because of an injury, you might have a claim.
- Financial support. If your loved one is unable to return to work, you could struggle financially. On top of that, they could be acquiring steep medical bills for their care.
- Household and emotional support. If your loved one is no longer able to do household chores, take care of the children, or offer emotional support, you could include that in your case.
If your loved one has passed, you could have a wrongful death case that includes loss of consortium damages.
What Should You Do Next?
If you think you might have a loss of consortium case, you want to act as quickly as possible. It might be tempting to wait until your loved one tells you to file or wait until they’re coherent enough to file themselves, but you shouldn’t delay. The trouble is that the longer you wait, the less evidence can be collected. Your best bet is to file a case so that attorneys can immediately start gathering all the information and evidence they will need to win your case.
On top of that, the more quickly you file, the less time you spend worrying about the legal side of things because the attorneys can handle all that for you. You’ll be able to focus on supporting your loved one through their recovery.
If your loved one has been seriously injured by another person’s wrongdoing in Mississippi and you don’t know where to start, you can turn to us at Pittman Roberts & Welsh. We can help you figure out your claim and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today so we can start working for you and you can start focusing on your loved one.
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