Majority of people who suffer from medical negligence are able to take legal actions by themselves and make personal injury claims for the avoidable harm they have suffered. However, this is not always the case and so the law has made provisions where you can make a claim on behalf of another.
Can You Make A Claim On Someone’s Behalf?
The answer is yes. Usually, the Limitation Act of 1980 gives a three-year window to make a claim. When the person is unable to make a claim by themselves, a litigation friend can make claims for them. A litigation friend is simply a person who makes claims on behalf of another person.
Sometimes also, more time can be given for claims even beyond the limitation period. It is however important that you start your claims as early as possible to boost your chances of winning.
You can make a claim for your loved one if they fall in these three categories;
- If he or she is still a minor
- If they are mentally or physically unable to make claims as a result of the injury they suffered
- If the person died as a result of the negligent treatment
To make a claim for another person, you will have to show some proof that you are either a guardian or next of kin. In other cases, you may have to provide proof of authority to act on behalf of another person.
A litigation friend hires a suitable medical negligence solicitor and discuss with them about the events that transpired. They also provide all the relevant details of the claim.
To successfully make a claim on behalf of someone, you should prove that the defendant was negligent despite owing a duty of care to your loved one. You also need to show that breach of duty of care caused the injuries suffered or death of the person.
This is what is termed “liability” and “causation”. Both events have to be established to make a successful negligence claim.
It is also allowed by law to claim on someone else’s insurance. For instance, where your loved one is involved in an accident because of the fault of another driver. In this case, you will submit a letter of claim to the driver at fault or their insurer. If you successfully prove your case, you will agree to a settlement fee with the insurer.
Making Negligence Compensation Claims On Behalf Of A Child
A minor (a child under the age of 18) cannot make compensation claims by themselves. Instead an adult who could be a parent or a guardian can be their litigation friend.
A litigation friend is not only limited to parents and guardians. It also includes a friend, family member, a social worker or a lawyer who takes special interest in the child. Taking full responsibility of the child’s personal injury claims becomes the legal duty of the litigation friend. You have to be available to have crucial meetings with the solicitor.
Also, when there is the infant settlement hearing, you should be present and most preferably with the child. This is because the judge may have some questions to ask directly to the legal friend or the child affected. This will help the judge review the case properly to ensure that the right settlement payout is decided upon.
On the other hand, persons who suffered negligent treatment as a child but did not make claims before they turned 18, have until their 21st birthday to make such claims.
Making Claims On Behalf Of Someone Who Is Mentally Incapacitated
Additionally, you can make a claim for someone who is incapable of making decisions for themselves. A person who lacks the mental capacity to think and make critical decisions known legally as a “protected party”. He can be represented by a litigation friend. In a case of mental incapability, there is no limitation on the time frame for bringing claims. However, if they regain their mental capability, they will have three years from their recovery date to make a claim.
According to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, you can act on behalf of a person with diminished mental capacity. Such mental incapability could be as a result of;
- Alzheimer’s or Dementia
- A traumatic brain injury or stroke
- A mental illness
- Learning difficulties
Our medical negligence solicitors can explain to you better during our free consultation sessions how you can make such claims in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Making Claims On Behalf Of Someone Who Has Physical Disability
You can also make a claim for someone who lacks the physical capacity to bring a claim by themselves. In such cases, the solicitor takes instructions from you as long as you have provided a verbal or written authority. This authority can be revoked at any time they choose.
Additionally, the authority of signing on behalf of someone who is physically disabled is nonexistent. The claimant will sign their paperwork by themselves as the litigation friend acts in their best interests. Sometimes, the solicitor will want to take instructions directly from the claimant when this is possible.
Making Claims On Behalf Of Elderly Relatives
You may also want to make claims on behalf of an elderly parent, grandparent or another relative. They will also need to give you the authority to act on their behalf. They also have the right to revoke such authority at any time. Additionally, they will also sign their paperwork and can give instructions directly to the solicitor.
In some scenarios, it is wise to obtain a Power of Attorney for an elderly relative. This will allow you to make vital decisions on their behalf. This is important as if they lose their mental capacity, it is too late to get a Power of Attorney.
If you need further explanations about this call us today on 0800 644 4240. We are happy to discuss this with you.
Making Compensation Claims On Behalf Of Someone Who Is Deceased
You can also make fatal medical negligence claims for a deceased loved one. The following sets of persons can actually make claims for a deceased;
- The deceased’s spouse
- The former spouse of the deceased may in certain cases make claims
- Someone who had been living with the deceased for at least the last two years before the death (civil partner)
- Children of the deceased or any other person considered by the deceased as a child of the family such as adopted children and legal step-children
- A parent of the deceased
- Any other family member of the deceased such as brother, sister, uncle, aunt or other relatives
- The Executors or personal representatives on behalf of the deceased’s Estate
In making fatal medical negligence claims, the claimant has to prove dependency. You have to show that you were dependent upon the deceased for either care, services or financial assistance. It is also possible to make claims if you were only partially dependent.
You can also make a claim for loss of financial dependency, loss of dependency on services as well as loss of special care and attention. Our specialist negligence solicitors can guide you on how you can prove dependency.
Benefits For Hiring Medical Negligence Solicitors
Because of the complex nature of medical negligence claims, it is in your best interest to hire a medical negligence solicitor to assist you with your claims. You may not be very conversant with legal proceedings. Additionally, you may be invested in taking care of your loved one and will not be able to worry about legal matters, negotiations and filing complaints.
The following reasons are why you should hire a medical negligence solicitor;
- Hiring a Solicitor speeds up the claims process ensuring that the case is settled successfully as quick as possible
- There is a greater chance of success and getting a favorable compensation award when you hire a specialist solicitor
- Negotiating With insurance companies can be a very daunting task which you don’t want to get into. Medical negligence solicitors know exactly how to do this on your behalf.
- Endless paperwork associated with legal proceedings, filing motions, complaints, preparing questions, etc.
- Furthermore, hiring a negligence solicitor allows you even more spare time to focus on your loved one.
- Your solicitor can be a very valuable ally and a support system to stand by you in these trying times
We therefore encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your claims, and give you the needed legal advice. We will also support you all the way from the initial consultation through to agreeing a settlement fee.
How We Support You?
We understand how difficult it must be for you to see your loved one suffer as a result of negligence. We also know that you are burdened mentally and financially following such an event. This is why we provide you with an opportunity to make claims without any financial risks whatsoever.
With our No Win No Fee policy, you can make claims on behalf of your loved one without paying us. Throughout the entire claims process you will not be required to pay a dime until the claim is won. This is when we will deduct 25% of your compensation award as “success fee”. The rest belongs to you. And even if your claims are not successful, you do not owe us a dime.
You have no reason whatsoever to delay making your claims. We are available whenever you are ready to talk with you about your claims. You can fill out our free claims assessment form or call us on 0800 644 4240 to get started.
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