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Filing an Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of a Family Member

Posted on June 18, 2019
Filing an Injury Lawsuit on Behalf of a Family Member

There are certain instances when parents, spouses, and legal guardians can pursue compensation for injuries suffered by their loved ones. When the individual is unable to pursue compensation on their own, these individuals can step in and pursue the claim on their behalf. A personal injury attorney in Reno can help family members understand their rights and the requirements associated with filing a claim for compensation in Nevada.

Incapacitating Injuries

If the work-related injury results in significant brain damage or another form of incapacitating injury, parents, spouses, and guardians can pursue the claim on their loved one’s behalf. In these instances, the courts permit these individuals to proceed as a conservator of the victim.

To do this, the family member must petition the court to appoint them as conservator. This requires a hearing to go over the facts of the injury and the individual’s specific situation. The court will then consider the facts and whether a conservator will act in the best interests of the injured worker. When multiple family members seek to serve as the conservator, the courts will determine who has the greatest right to act on the injured person’s behalf. 

Injuries Involving Minors

Workers under the age of 18 are prohibited from filing a lawsuit. However, their parents or legal guardians can do this for them. The courts refer to the parent or guardian as the injured minor’s “next friend,” which essentially means that they are involved in the legal process, but not actually filing the lawsuit themselves.

If compensation is awarded to an injured minor in Nevada, these funds are placed in a blocked trust to be given to the minor once they reach the age of 18. Until such time, there are strict rules on how the funds may be accessed and used. It is important to thoroughly understand these requirements.   

Workplace Fatalities, i.e. Wrongful Deaths

Surviving relatives including parents, spouses, and children can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of workers who are killed on the job. In some cases, close relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased worker can file wrongful death claims. The funds recovered can be applied to accrued medical expenses and future household expenses.