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What to Do When Seeking Damages on Behalf of an Incapacitated Relative

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Campbell County personal injury attorney

No one ever wants to think about this happening: Your loved one gets involved in a car accident while driving. It was not your family member’s fault, and the resulting personal injury from the collision caused him or her to become incapacitated, at least temporarily. You may believe that your relative should seek compensation in a court of law, but how? A coma or other mental incapacity could prevent a personal injury case from being initiated. Worse yet, your loved one might eventually die, making you wonder if a wrongful death lawsuit would be necessary on the family’s behalf. Not many people anticipate such dreadful thoughts and scenarios nor do they prepare for them. However, there are some things you can do if faced with such a situation that can help you protect your relative’s rights and obtain a positive outcome.

What to Do Before Pursuing Compensation through a Personal Injury Claim

So you know that your family member’s incapacitating injuries are the other driver’s fault, and you and your attorney agree that a personal injury lawsuit would be very appropriate in such a situation. Do you even have the right to file on your loved one’s behalf? That depends. Before attempting to litigate anything, you should look at your family member’s will, if he or she has one. Here are some things to consider first:

  • If you already have your loved one’s durable power of attorney, you can make these types of legal decisions on his or her behalf. As such, you can pursue the personal injury case as if it were your own—hiring lawyers, explaining the situation, providing testimony and evidence, making other important decisions (legal or otherwise) on his or her behalf, and more.

  • If your loved one has given the power of attorney (POA) to someone else, that person can make certain legal decisions on his or her behalf. If you know for a fact that your relative has granted such rights if incapacitated to another friend or family member, then you should meet with that person immediately to discuss pursuing the personal injury case.

  • If your relative does not have a will and has not designated a power of attorney or another representative, then you might need to petition the court to appoint someone. The judge will first determine whether your relative is incapacitated. If the judge does confirm incapacitation, the court will appoint a person without any connection to your relative. You can petition the judge to find a guardian or other representative who would act in your relative’s best interests. This might be you or someone else in the family, as long as you can convince the judge of that fact.

Contact a Campbell County Personal Injury Attorney

The top priority if your loved one becomes incapacitated in a vehicle crash is to first determine who, if anyone, has the power of attorney. If you or the POA wishes to pursue compensation on your relative’s behalf, be sure to consult an experienced Jacksboro, TN car accident lawyer to properly advise you as to how you should proceed. Call the skilled professionals from the Law Office of William F. Evans today at 423-449-7980 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/power_of_attorney/

http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/rules/supreme-court/8

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/special-power-attorney.asp

 

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