Traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries that can arise from many different types of accidents, including car crashes and falls. If the accident that caused a brain injury could have been prevented, one or more parties may be financially responsible for the victim’s medical bills and other losses. There are scenarios where someone other than the victim may file a brain injury lawsuit on behalf of the injured party in Kansas City.
Can Parents or Guardians File on Behalf of a Child?
Yes. In Missouri, if your child is under the age of 18 when he or she suffers a brain injury, you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit on his or her behalf as the parent or legal guardian. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, brain injury is the leading cause of disability and mortality in children. An average of 564,000 minors are seen in hospitals for brain injuries each year.
If your child is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, you can file the paperwork to bring a claim on his or her behalf. You must file a lawsuit for your child within five years of the date of injury diagnosis, according to Missouri’s statute of limitations. This type of claim could pay for your family’s related medical expenses, visits with brain injury specialists, brain surgeries, lost wages if you had to take time off of work, your child’s pain and suffering, and mental anguish as a parent.
If a child suffers a brain injury, another legal option is to wait until the child can file a related claim or lawsuit on his or her own. In Missouri, the statute of limitations is extended to 5 years past the age of 21 for an injured minor. This means that your child has until age 26 to file his or her own brain injury lawsuit. This type of case could pay for your child’s medical care, disability, lost capacity to earn, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, and more.
What Happens if the Traumatic Brain Injury Victim Is an Adult?
Some adult brain injury victims suffer permanent brain damage and cognitive effects that make them too incapacitated to file injury claims on their own. If a traumatic brain injury left an adult loved one mentally incapacitated, you can file a personal injury claim on their behalf if you are the power of attorney or executor of the victim’s estate. You can take these roles by working with an attorney and your loved one to create the required legal documents that will place you in legal control of the victim’s finances, medical care and/or estate.
Filing a claim on behalf of an adult loved one who is still living could result in financial compensation being awarded to the victim and his or her estate for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, property damage, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. If you also suffered losses associated with the traumatic brain injury – such as the loss of your loved one’s company, guidance, love, household services, income and care – you could also recover financial compensation for your own losses.
What if a Loved One Passes Away From a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If your loved one passes away because of complications related to a traumatic brain injury, you and your family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Kansas City. State law says that a surviving spouse, surviving child or surviving grandchild can file this type of lawsuit. A sibling may also have the right to file a wrongful death claim if there is no surviving spouse or child.
If there are no surviving family members or dependents, the executor of the decedent’s estate can file a survival action instead. Finally, if no family member or executor files a claim, the courts can appoint a “plaintiff ad litem,” or a designee who is entitled to share in any financial compensation accomplished by a wrongful death claim.
To find out if you have grounds to file a traumatic brain injury claim on behalf of a loved one in Kansas City, contact us for a free consultation.