Filing a civil case on behalf of somebody

Asked about 2 years ago - Oakland, CA

My mother suffered neglect and abuse in a nursing home. Can I sue this nursing home? In other words, my mother was a victim, can I be the plaintiff in this case?

Also, can my mother be a plaintiff and can I ask the court to appoint an attorney for her because she has no income?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, you cannot be the plaintiff because you are not the real party in interest.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/litigation...

    The court will not appoint an attorney for her, but you ought to be able to find an attorney willing to represent her on a contingency fee basis.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  2. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Chen is correct about you not suing the nursing home if the claim is violation of the Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Act. That can only be your mother. I have successfully sued a care facility on behalf of the sibling who found the facility and visited with her father on a regular business. The jury awarded the daughter compensatory and punitive damages for fraud. This would not be available in every case, but if you were separately harmed by lies or other conduct directed at you, or if you were present when injury occurred to your parent, there are creative ways to state claims for you in addition to your mother.

    Mr. Chen is right about appointing a lawyer. However, if your case has merit and damages that are substantial enough to support one, these are the kinds of cases that are handled on a contingency basis.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  3. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your mother is the only one, at this time, who may sue. A court will not appoint an attorney in a matter such as this. You need to search avvo, call your state's trial lawyers, ask those you trust and respect for recommendations. Interview and look to hire the one you are most comfortable with and confident in. Your mother can give you permission, or a petition may be filed with the court, for you to be the plainitiff, in limited circumstances.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  4. Michael James Perillo Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I am not licensed in California and cannot give you any advice regarding the laws of that state. With that said, I offer the following.

    Your mother would be the plaintiff in any suit brought against a nursing home for negligence and/or abuse she experienced at that facility. You could possibly bring the suit on her behalf. In order to do so, you would have to be in a legal position to do so. That is, you would have to have what the law refers to as legal standing to file the suit.

    One way to do this would be if you were your mother's court appointed guardian. If that were the case, you could file suit on behalf of your mother in your capacity as her guardian.

    Regarding representation, you may well be able to find an attorney experienced in the area of nursing home litigation who would be willing to take your mother's case on a contingency basis.

    I urge you to contact lawyers in your geographic area who represent plaintiffs in nursing home cases. Your local county bar association may be able to refer you to these practitioners. The lawyer

    Disclaimer: The information contained in this answer is not legal advice, does not establish an attorney-client... more

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Personal injury

If you suffer a personal injury as the result of the actions or negligence of another, you may seek financial compensation for physical or emotional damages.

Personal injury lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits allow an injured person to seek compensation for the injury, either by court decision or through a settlement.

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