If you are injured or suffer a worsened medical condition because of a healthcare provider’s negligence, you can seek compensation for your damages through a medical malpractice claim. If an individual under your care, such as your minor child or an adult for whom you have power of attorney, is injured in this manner, you can seek compensation for that person’s damages on his or her behalf through a medical malpractice claim. Children, incapacitated, and disabled adults generally cannot file their own legal claims, which is why their guardians need to act as their advocates when they are victims of malpractice.

Are you the Adult’s Legal Guardian?

It is important to note the distinction between being another adult’s legal guardian and having power of attorney for him or her. Sometimes, an individual is both a legal guardian and has power of attorney for another individual. In other cases, separate individuals hold these roles.

A legal guardian is an individual appointed to make decisions that are in the disabled party’s best interest. A legal guardian may be authorized to make medical, financial, and other personal decisions for his or her ward. Legal guardians are appointed by the court, rather than chosen by the ward. They can file legal claims on behalf of the ward and may be authorized to take other actions afforded to individuals with power of attorney.

Do you have Power of Attorney for Medical Decisions on the Adult’s Behalf?

Generally, an individual chooses who will have power of attorney for him or her and the circumstances under which this power exists through a legal document. Often, this is part of the estate planning process. An individual with medical power of attorney may file a medical malpractice claim on behalf of an incapacitated individual. If the individual has an advance medical directive, a document that states the course of action to be taken to provide his or her ongoing care, the party with medical power of attorney must abide by the guidelines in this document.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you are the legal guardian for a disabled adult or if you have medical power of attorney for an incapacitated adult, you are responsible for taking action to ensure that he or she receives appropriate medical treatment and if malpractice occurs, it is your responsibility to seek compensation for his or her resulting damages. To learn more about your role in another adult’s medical malpractice claim and how you can start the malpractice claim process, speak with one of the experienced medical malpractice lawyers on our team at Baizer Kolar, P.C. Schedule your initial consultation with us today.