In Seattle, Washington, one of the most common causes of personal injury is road accidents. They are usually the result of the negligence of another driver. Back in 2018, there were no less than 10,249 crashes that occurred in the city. Many people seek a Seattle injury lawyer to claim compensation after such events.
But what happens when the injured individual cannot sue the other person? Can someone else sue on their behalf? Each case is different, and depending on the circumstances, a family member or friend could sue on behalf of the injured individual.
Keep reading to find out when this could be possible.
Filing a Personal Injury Case for Someone Else – Is It Possible?
Suing someone on behalf of another individual is possible. However, it depends on the situation. In a lot of cases, you will not be allowed to start a lawsuit for a person simply based on them being a relative or based on your friendship.
There are special situations when suing on behalf of someone else is permitted, but certain criteria must be met. Consulting a lawyer is always recommended if you want to know for sure whether you’re qualified in the current circumstances or not.
What Are the Situations When You Can Sue on Behalf of Someone Else?
Here are some situations when you will be allowed to sue another person on behalf of a friend or relative:
Wrongful Death Cases
If you have a family member who dies as a result of an accident caused by another individual, you will be able to file a lawsuit if you are an immediate family member. For instance, you could sue the responsible person in a fatal car accident case.
You just need to be very closely related to the deceased, such as a spouse, parent, or child.
Physical or Mental Impairment
There are cases involving older individuals who are either mentally or physically impaired. Therefore, it means they do not have a proper understanding of the legal matters and processes or may not comprehend why filing a lawsuit is even necessary. Not to mention, they may not even be able to make the best decisions due to their condition.
As such, a family member will be able to sue someone on behalf of the physically or mentally impaired relative.
Obviously, in situations that involve minors, there should be an adult in charge of the case. Victims who are less than 18 years old may not be able to deal with the legal proceedings or may not make the best decisions.
That being said, a parent can sue on their behalf. Even a legal guardian is allowed to sue in this case.
Class Action Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits are filed when a group of individuals has been harmed or injured by a group of people or a single entity. Medical malpractice situations could lead to class action cases, as more than one person can be affected by the situation, including individuals who are not related to each other.
Statute of Limitations
When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, it’s important to know that you should file them on time. Usually, you must file a lawsuit within one year or three years after the passing of the victim. You would not be allowed to do it if this deadline passes.
Also, there may be some exceptions. If the plaintiff was a minor when they passed away, the laws may be a bit different. The same goes when the death was not intentional or when the plaintiff was mentally impaired.
Can a Lawyer Help You?
If you want to sue someone on behalf of a relative, you can get a personal injury lawyer to help you out. Those who survived will be able to get help if their family member has been left incapacitated or has died.
Due to the suffering and mental anguish caused by the passing of their family member, relatives may be able to get a settlement. It would be hard to achieve this alone, though, so seeking a personal injury attorney would be the best thing to do to increase your chances of success.
You can sue an individual on behalf of another person, but it depends on the situation. Some cases allow family members or unrelated people to file a lawsuit for someone else, but certain criteria must be met for this to happen.
You could sue for someone else in class action lawsuits, wrongful death cases, for someone who is mentally or physically impaired, or a minor victim.
Make sure to meet these criteria first before trying to sue on behalf of someone else.