When someone has suffered incapacitating injuries in an accident caused by another person, decision-making skills could be impaired significantly. This may necessitate that a loved one files a claim on behalf of an incapacitated victim. Filing a claim for somebody else is not considered overstepping one’s bounds if you are one of the people listed below. Additionally, there is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Georgia that restricts the amount of time allowable for such a filing. Learn who can file a claim for your loved one below.
Individuals Appointed to File a Claim on Behalf of an Incapacitated Victim
In the state of Georgia, guardianship or conservatorship may be granted on behalf of an adult who is unable to make or communicate important decisions. An example would be pursuing legal action against another individual.
Typically, the people who seek an appointment are spouses, parents and adult children. They generally have the best interest of the victim in mind. But others can be appointed as well.
When that happens, a notice must be given to the spouse and all living adult children (if there are any) regarding the individual’s intention of seeking guardianship and/or conservatorship. If there isn’t a spouse or adult children (or they cannot be located), the notice should be given to the two next of kin. And if there aren’t any, the notice would be given to two known adult friends. In addition, the incapacitated victim must be given notice (who has also the right to legal representation) that there will be someone filing a claim on behalf of him or her.
How the Courts Appoint a Guardian/Conservator
When petitioning for guardianship and/or conservatorship, two people who have knowledge of the relevant facts must file. One person can file if there is an affidavit from a doctor, licensed clinical social worker or psychologist who personally examined the incapacitated person.
The individual petitioning must have legal counsel. If not, the court will appoint someone.
Regardless of any medical evaluations that have already been done on the victim, the court requires an independent one to be performed by a medical professional it appoints. A written report is then submitted to the court, and a final hearing is scheduled.
It is possible for the petition to be dismissed before a hearing takes place. If it’s not, the court will make a decision regarding the petition at the hearing. Although the court may grant it, it has the authority to revoke or restrict certain rights. There could be other limitations put in place as well.
The appointment could be limited or permanent. If the victim’s injuries result in death, guardianship/conservatorship is terminated, or a court may discharge the person if it’s found the victim’s best interests aren’t being sought.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
It’s important to ensure your loved one’s rights are protected, especially when that individual is unable to make sound and reasonable decisions. With so much at stake, an attorney should be contacted as soon as possible. Waiting until your loved one is better could prevent the recovery of damages. You’ll want to begin filing a claim on behalf of an incapacitated victim as soon as all the steps listed above are taken because there are time limits for filing a personal injury claim. The law firm of Jason R. Schultz P.C. is efficient and aware of the time sensitivity to matters relating to filing a claim for somebody else. Call or email using our contact form today, whichever is more convenient for you: 404-474-0804.