There are times when injuries sustained in an accident are so severe, the individual is unable to act on his or her own behalf when it comes to pursuing legal action. Therefore, a family member might have to learn how to file a personal injury claim for the victim. It’s important to understand who can do this and how it works.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim on a Loved One’s Behalf
In Texas, the court must appoint someone as a guardian when an adult is incapacitated. This appointment can be for a limited period of time, for instance, until the person recovers. Or it could be for a lifetime if the individual is permanently disabled.
Guardianship can be granted not only to individuals, but also entities. However, family members are preferred. Common examples include a husband when a wife has been severely injured (and vice versa) or parents of an adult, unmarried child. Of course, each circumstance will vary and could include any number of relatives.
What is the process for establishing guardianship in Texas?
Establishing guardianship is part of how to file a personal injury claim in Dallas. An application must be filed with the court, which will then schedule an appointment for a hearing. At this point, the incapacitated adult is considered a ward of the state. Whoever is ultimately granted guardianship has the legal responsibility to act in the ward’s best interest.
Sometimes the courts will place limitations on the guardian’s tasks and authority. Depending on the circumstances, the ward might have some input into decisions. Of course, this is determined by the severity of his/her injuries.
The process not only includes appointing a guardian, but also establishing the injured adult does not have the capacity to act on his/her own. A certificate of medical examination or a written letter must be submitted to the court by a physician who has examined the proposed ward.
It’s not enough that someone is physically disabled. There must be intellectual impairment that prevents the person from making legal decisions, such as filing a personal injury claim against the party whose negligence caused the physical harm.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim: Is an attorney necessary?
It’s important to note that because obtaining guardianship is a legal process, it usually requires help from an attorney. There will be complicated paperwork to fill out and documentation to gather.
Of course, an attorney would also be necessary when someone suffers incapacitating injuries, like a brain injury. There is a lot of work that goes into how one files a personal injury claim in this case. For instance, fault must be established. It could have been a serious accident that occurred on Interstate 35 caused by a drunk driver. Evidence will need to be gathered that proves this — such as the results of a Breathalyzer, statements from witnesses who saw the driver prior to the crash at a drinking establishment, or a copy of the police report.
Another important element is establishing the severity of someone’s injuries. There must be ample medical evidence that clearly shows the nature and extent of the physical harm suffered, including its impact on the person psychologically. Personal injury lawyer Julie Johnson of Dallas has experience dealing with medical experts, hospitals and the police when it comes time to pursue compensation for a claim. Call 214-290-8001.