Can I Sue on Behalf of Someone Else?

San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyers

To Sue on Behalf of Someone Else

A frequent question Stolmeier Law receives is whether one person can sue on behalf of someone else for personal injuries? The short answer is yes, depending on the relationship between the two individuals. This article will help explain how you will be able to sue on behalf of someone else.

Standing:

As with any lawsuit, you must have standing to bring the suit. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, standing is a person’s right to challenge the conduct of another person in a court. In a personal injury lawsuit this means you must either be damaged by a person’s actions or you must have authority to sue on behalf of another person who was damaged by a person’s actions.

Generally, to have authority to sue on behalf of someone else, you must be:

  • A parent or guardian of the personal injury victim
  • Have power of attorney to file suit on behalf of that person
  • Be the administrator of that person’s estate.

A parent or guardian:

A parent or guardian can sue on behalf of someone else who has not yet reached the age of majority in Texas or who suffers from a mental incapacity. The age of majority in Texas is 18. As a parent or guardian who brings a lawsuit on behalf of a minor child or a person with a mental incapacity, you and the minor child or person suffering a mental incapacity will work directly with your attorney. This is important because a minor child or person suffering a mental incapacity will not be able to enter into an enforceable legal contract or settlement.  Of course, just because a parent or guardian brings the lawsuit does not mean the parent or guardian gets to determine the course of the lawsuit. The minor child or person suffering from a mental incapacity will be able to determine if a settlement will occur and how much the settlement will be, as well as if the case will proceed to trial. During a settlement, any award may be placed in a trust with specific instructions to determine when and how much the minor child or mentally incapacitated person will receive.

Parent or guardian lawsuits on behalf of another person are quite frequent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, leading to almost 2.8 million children each year.

Additionally, the CDC found motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.  In 2017, 2,364 teens in the United States aged 16-19 were killed, and about 300,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. That means six teens aged 16-19 died every day due to motor vehicle crashes, and hundreds more were injured.

Stanford Children’s Health reports approximately 12,000 children and young adults, ages 1 to 19 years, die from unintentional injuries each year. Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury for children. Children ages 19 and under account for about 8,000 fall-related visits to hospital emergency rooms every day. Each year about 100 children are killed and 254,000 are injured as a result of bicycle-related accidents. 

Power of Attorney:

A power of attorney gives you the power to act on another person’s behalf. A power of attorney enables you to make legal decisions, such as whether to file a lawsuit, on behalf of another person. In order to use power of attorney to sue on behalf of someone else, that person needs to provide you with that authority. Typically, power of attorney is given by one spouse to another or by an elderly person to a trusted person.

Power of attorney is a strong legal tool for the elderly. Stolmeier Law provides services to give you the ability to gain power of attorney for a loved one. While power of attorney may not be a top priority for you, it is important to provide the best personal injury security to those that are most important to you.

The CDC reports that 30 million adults 65+ fall each year, resulting in 30,000 deaths. Of the 30 million adults 65+ that fall each year, 300,000 are hospitalized for hip fractures.

Estate Administrator:

You can be appointed an estate administrator by a court or in a decedent’s will. As an estate administrator, you may be given the duties to manage the estate, pay the estate’s debts, distribute property, and take any legal action necessary. One legal action that may be necessary is to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf a decedent. A wrongful death lawsuit will originate when a person causes the wrongful death of the person that made you the estate administrator. In this case, you will be allowed to sue on behalf of someone else.

Contact Stolmeier Law, San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyers

We are San Antonio Slip and Fall lawyers. Stolmeier Law has served personal injury victims in San Antonio and South Texas for 35 years. We can help you sue on behalf os someone else. Our commitment is to you. So if you or a loved one has suffered serious personal injuries, contact Stolmeier Law, San Antonio Slip and Fall lawyers. Slip, Trip, or Fall? Call Stolmeier Law.