What to do if an elderly loved one is injured

shu-Elderly-Man-Being-Helped-1014552487-1500x1000While not every elderly person is vulnerable, the combination of ageing and medical conditions can leave many elderly people more prone to suffering accidents.

According to statistics collected by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, nearly 500,000 people were admitted to hospital following a trip, slip or fall in England for the 2016-17 period. Of these, approximately 67% involve people over the age of 65.

However, elderly people not only face the risks that seem to come with ageing and deteriorating physical health, but they also face the increased risk of a decline in their mental abilities. In cases where an elderly loved one lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions and has suffered a fall, they will be deemed incapable of representing themselves or requesting representation for an accident claim.

If an elderly loved one has suffered an injury as a result of an accident, there is still something you can do to help them receive compensation. With the help of a specialist personal injury solicitor – such as Romain Coleman – it is possible to help your elderly loved one to get justice.

Why you may need to represent an elderly loved one

As we get older, we become more susceptible to several conditions that can impact our mental acuity and abilities. While some elderly people see very little change in their cognitive abilities, others may deal with diseases – such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease – that severely affect their ability to think clearly for themselves.

In such instances, a person may lack the ‘capacity’ to represent himself or herself. If you believe this to be the case for your elderly loved one, you can apply to be their ‘litigation friend’ by either providing a copy of the court order that appointed you as their deputy or completing a certificate of suitability, if you’re not their deputy. A litigation friend – often a relative, close friend or carer – makes decisions regarding a claim or court case on behalf of their loved one. They will also be responsible for ensuring that all of the relevant documentation is signed.

What are the duties of a litigation friend?

As the litigation friend, it will be your duty to ‘direct the proceedings’ on behalf of your elderly loved one. According to gov.uk, your duties will involve:

  • Doing everything you can to ensure they’re aware of what is going on in the case and learn about their wishes and feelings
  • Making decisions based on their wishes and in their best interest
  • Paying any costs ordered by the court
  • Talking to and getting advice from your elderly loved one’s solicitor, and give instructions to the solicitor in your loved one’s best interest

Regarding the last point, you’ll need an excellent personal injury solicitor who has experience in dealing with cases involving elderly people. This is because some specific considerations need to be made regarding your elderly loved one’s financial situation.

Personal injury claims for elderly people

There are many reasons why an elderly person may suffer from a fall resulting in injury such as trips and slips in public places, falls at home and care home negligence. Furthermore, falls often cause numerous and more severe injuries in seniors compared to those in younger people. As a result, acknowledging and understanding the medical expenses that go toward recovery and care can become complicated.

Being able to correctly determine all of these expenses, alongside any compensation for the injury, requires an experienced personal injury solicitor who knows what past, present and future costs can be sought as part of a personal injury claim.

Romain Coleman represents clients of all ages

Claiming for compensation as a result of an accident or injury can be complicated enough for most people, but when you are doing it on behalf of someone else, it can be even more difficult. That’s why a personal injury solicitor, with experience in working with cases involving litigation friends, is crucial to ensuring that your loved one’s case ends successfully with the maximum compensation having been achieved.

Romain Coleman’s team of injury claim solicitors will fight tirelessly on behalf of you and your loved one to secure the best possible outcome – ensuring that they receive the fair compensation and justice that they deserve.

To find out more about our injury claim services, talk to our personal injury solicitors today on 0208 520 4555 or complete our Contact Form.

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This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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