My mom is in a coma and cannot testify in court against the hospital can i testify for and istead of her?

Asked over 2 years ago - Brooklyn, NY

My Mother was severely injured in hospital in Brooklyn, NY. As the result she is in coma for 1 year and on mechanical ventilator and tube feeding. The defendant (hospital) says I (as her daughter) have to be her guardian to testify. Can I still do it as a witness?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Marc Sean Hurd

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . First of all, please accept my sympathies for your situation. I know it must be very difficult to go through.

    Since you have labeled this as a medical malpractice question, I'm assuming that you believe the hospital negligently treated you mom. My suggestion is that you immediately contact a local med. mal. lawyer. The evidence that gets presented to prove up the case is often (and most importantly) from people other than the injured party (namely doctors and other experts), and the job of a good PI/Med-Mal. lawyer in a situation like this is to speak for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Further, Med. Mal. cases are tricky, requiring proof that the medical provider acted "below the standard of care" AND that the below standard care actually caused the current condition.

    Seek out a good PI lawyer in your area, and good luck to you!

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it... more
  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Your attorney should be the person directing you as to whether or not you are going to be a witness or not, NOT the defendant.

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer. www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  3. Jeffrey Bruce Gold

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . Yes and No. You can testify but not for her. You can testify instead of her. You can testify as to your observations prior to procedure and after the procedure. An expert or experts will testify as to why the hospital or its doctors were negligent. You need to discuss this with your attorney so that you fully understand how the litigation will proceed.

  4. David Perecman

    Contributor Level 4

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    Answered . Please accept my humble sympathies. I think the terms you are using are ones your familiar with but may not be what they meant. You must be guardian to act on her behalf in most circumstances. But testifying is something different. In either event you should only rely on what your lawyer tells you. There are things you can't do for her without proper court documents. There are things you can do though. For example you could be a witness and testify on her behalf to things you know.

    Go see a lawyer. Most will meet with you and consult with you if there is a potential medical malpractice case for free.
    Good luck

  5. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Why are you taking legal advice from the defendant hospital? You would not need to be designated the legal guardian in order to give testimony as a witness.

    If you believe your mom is the victim of medical malpractice, you should seek your own counsel on behalf of your mother ASAP. Do not discuss the situation with the defendant or defendants' counsel or defendant's insurance carrier.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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