In most cases, when someone is injured due to negligence or recklessness, he or she is able to make their own legal decisions. There are some cases when an injury is so severe that someone is incapacitated, and therefore, incapable of making decisions.
A traumatic brain injury can leave the victim in a state where he or she is cognitively impaired, and therefore, unable to make decisions. Sometimes a coma, paralysis, or other severe injury can leave a person incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently.
This is when a close family member or loved one is legally permitted to act on his or her behalf.
Eligibility for guardianship
Before filing a personal injury claim on someone else's behalf, you must first show proof of guardianship. To be granted guardianship under these circumstances you must show:
- You are the parent of the injured person
- You were appointed as a power of attorney or medical proxy for the injured person
If you don't meet either of these requirements, then you must fill out a court petition for guardianship with the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania.
Building your case
In order to have a strong legal case against the negligent or reckless party, you must have supporting evidence.
Your loved one could have been injured in a car accident, workplace accident, slip and fall, through medical malpractice or by violent assault. Evidence of wrongdoing can be found in:
- The police report or incident report
- Video footage from surveillance cameras or dash cams
- Pictures of the scene where the incident occurred
- Previous complaints regarding the scene where the incident occurred
- Arrests made or citations issued
- Witness statements
The value of your loved one's claim may be determined by:
- Medical bills and records
- Estimated future medical costs
- Loss of wages and future earnings
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium, support or companionship
- Non-economic damages due to pain, suffering and reduced quality of life
- Punitive damages for gross negligence, recklessness or malicious intent
Why hire an attorney?
Since your loved one likely can't offer a statement regarding how the incident occurred, a thorough investigation will need to be conducted. At The Hanamirian Firm, PC, our Philadelphia attorneys have the knowledge and experience to get you the highest amount of compensation possible. Our dedicated legal team will:
- Gather the facts to support your claim
- Place a fair and accurate value on your loved one's losses
- Deal with insurance companies and other responsible parties on your behalf
- Advocate for fair compensation for you and your loved one
- Prepare to go to trial if we can't reach an agreement with the insurance companies
You and your loved one deserve to be treated fairly and compensated to the fullest extent. To find out how our personal injury lawyers can help you, contact us for a free consultation.