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 the law, having recognised this, has made provisions where a person can make a claim on behalf of another.
Can You Make A Claim On Someone’s Behalf?
The answer is yes. The Limitation Act of 1980 stipulates that an intending claimant only has a period of three years to make a medical negligence claim or personal injury claims. This time limit begins from the date the negligent treatment occurred or when it was first noticed.
However due to the nature of some claims, one may be granted the authority to act on behalf of another where the victim of medical or doctor negligence is unable to make claims or is still a minor.
These include acting on behalf of someone else who is mentally or physically incapacitated, making child injury claims for a child younger than 18 or making fatal medical negligence claims for a deceased victim of medical negligence.
A person who makes claims on behalf of someone is known as a litigation friend. Such a person to show proof that he or she is the next of kin or show proof of authority to act on behalf of another. A litigation friend is responsible for seeking and hiring a suitable medical negligence solicitor, discussing with the solicitor about the events that transpired and critical decisions regarding the claims.
It is the legal duty of the litigation friend to act in the best interest of the negligence victim because whatever he says or decides is seen as the desire or decision of the person suffering.
To be able to successfully make a compensation claim on behalf of another person, you need to demonstrate that the medical professional or another person responsible (for example in claiming after an accident) owed a duty of care to the injured party but was negligent or careless in his actions. You also have to show that the injuries suffered or the death of the person was as a result of the breach of duty of care.
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 in a case where you or a 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 who will decide on the guilty party before agreeing on a settlement fee.
Making Negligence Compensation Claims On Behalf Of A Child
A minor (a child under the age of 18) is prohibited by law from making compensation claims by themselves. Instead an adult who could be a parent or a guardian can make claims on their behalf acting as their litigation friend.
A litigation friend is not only limited to parents and guardians, rather it can include a friend, family member, a social worker or even a lawyer who takes interest in the plight of the child and decides to act on behalf of the child.
You may apply to the law court to act as a litigation friend, you may also be appointed but in a case where a suitable appointee is not found, the Official Solicitor can act on behalf of the sufferer. Taking full responsibility of the child’s personal injury claims becomes the legal duty of the litigation friend. He has to be available to have crucial meetings with the solicitor.
Also, when there is the infant settlement hearing, he has to be available preferably with the child as the judge could 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 can at the age of 18 bring claims by themselves and they have until their 21st birthday to make such claims.
Making Negligence Compensation 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”, 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;
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 Negligence Compensation Claims On Behalf Of Someone Who Has Physical Disability
A litigation friend can also make a claim for someone who lacks the physical capacity to bring a claim by themselves. In cases such as this, the solicitor can take instructions from whoever is acting on behalf of the victim as long as they have given a verbal or written authority for such to happen. This authority can be revoked at any time they choose.
Additionally, unlike in the case of mental incapability where the litigation friend may be permitted to sign on their behalf, the authority of signing on behalf of someone who is physically disable is nonexistent. The claimant will sign their paperwork by themselves as the litigation friend acts in their best interests.
In some cases, also, the solicitor will want to hear or take instructions directly from the claimant when it is possible for the claimant to do so.
Making Negligence Compensation Claims On Behalf Of Elderly Relatives
In a similar case to making a claim on behalf of a physically disabled loved one, 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 and have the right to revoke such authority at any time. 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 so that you can 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 Negligence 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. When making claims you can make claim for loss of financial dependency, loss of dependency on services as well as loss of special care and attention
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors can guide you, explaining in clearer terms how you can prove dependency and make your claims on behalf of a deceased loved one.
Benefits For Hiring Medical Negligence Solicitors
As a result 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. Legal proceedings are not very conversant to the common man and you would rather be more interested in healing mentally as well as assisting your loved one in every possible way to recover rather than 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
- Because of the endless paperwork associated with legal proceedings, filing motions, complaints, preparing questions, etc., it will be in your best interest to let a solicitor handle that for you.
- Furthermore, hiring a negligence solicitor gives you peace of mind and allows you even more spare time to focus on your loved one
- In difficult times as this, you need an ally and a support system to stand by you, a medical negligence solicitor will prove very valuable in these trying times
We therefore encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your claims, give you the needed legal advice and support you all the way from the initial consultation through to agreeing a settlement fee.
Medical Negligence No Win No Fee Compensation
We understand how difficult and traumatizing it must be for you to see your loved one suffer as a result of medical 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 having to make any payments to us. Throughout the entire claims process and even if your claims are not successful, you will not be required to pay a dime. However, in the most likely scenario that your claims are successful, we will deduct 25% of your compensation award as “success fee”. The rest belongs to you.
You have no reason whatsoever to delay making your claims. We are available whenever you are ready to talk with you and represent you in the best possible way to ensure that justice is served.