Can You Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else? – A Complete Guide For Claiming Compensation For Someone Else

By Daniel Hoppus. Last updated on 17th December 2021. If someone is injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, they could be entitled to compensation. Sometimes, though, a person injured by the negligence of others is incapable of starting their own claim. You may want to sue on behalf of someone else in this instance.

Can you sue on behalf of someone else?

Can you sue on behalf of someone else?

The reasons can vary. It may be because they’re under the age of 18, for example. Or they could lack the mental capacity to start a claim on their own behalf. Alternatively, they may have passed away before being able to claim for themself. 

If someone close to you, like a family member, has been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, you may be asking if you can start a personal injury compensation claim on their behalf. If the injured person cannot claim on their own behalf, you could potentially start the claim for them as a representative.

In this guide, we explain the circumstances and procedures that allow you to claim compensation on behalf of someone else. We also explain how you can get expert advice on making a personal injury claim for someone else.

Get In Touch With Our Team

Here at UK Law, our panel of lawyers can provide you with expert knowledge on personal injury claims. Our advisors can answer any questions you may have whether you are seeking compensation for yourself or to sue on behalf of someone else.

You’re welcome to contact us online through our online chat function or by completing our online claim form. You can also reach us on the phone by calling 020 3870 4868

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About If You Can Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else
  2. What Are Personal Injury Claims On Behalf Of Someone Else?
  3. What Is A Litigation Friend?
  4. Vulnerable People You Could Claim On Behalf Of
  5. Calculating Compensation On Behalf Of Another Person
  6. When Could You Claim Compensation For A Child?
  7. When Could You Claim On Behalf Of Someone With An Existing Condition?
  8. How To Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else With A Life-Changing Illness Or Injury
  9. How To Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else With Diminished Mental Capacity
  10. Bringing A Claim On Behalf Of A Deceased Person
  11. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim On Behalf Of Another Person?
  12. A Child, Friend Or Relative Was Injured In An Accident, What Should I Do?
  13. Do You Handle Personal Injury Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  14. Contact Us For More Help
  15. Other Information
  16. FAQs About Litigation Friends

Everything You Need To Know About If You Can Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else

In this guide, we’re answering questions you may have about making a compensation claim on behalf of someone else. We’ll simplify legal jargon, explain the different types of damages (compensation) and supply you with links you might find useful. 

There are many important questions you could have in mind if you are considering claiming:

  • How does the process work?
  • In what circumstances can I claim on behalf of someone else?
  • How much time do I have to start a claim?
  • What is someone who makes a claim for somebody else called?

Read on to get the answer to these and other relevant queries.

If you find that you would like to know more, you can call us. Our expert advisors offer free legal advice and will help you without obliging you to proceed with our services. If, however, the injured individual potentially has a formidable claim and would like help, our advisors can put you in touch with our panel of lawyers.

What Are Personal Injury Claims On Behalf Of Someone Else?

A personal injury claim made on behalf of someone else can be similar to one made on your own behalf. In order to start this sort of claim and have it be successful, you need to establish what caused the injuries to the person you’re representing. When making an injury claim against an individual or company, you need to establish the following:

  • The injured individual was owed a duty of care by the person/company you’re claiming against.
  • The duty of care was in some way breached.
  • It was this breach of duty that caused the injuries sustained.

These points need to be established with evidence to realistically succeed with a claim. That applies whether the claim is being made on your own or someone else’s behalf.

If someone wants to start a personal injury claim, they are in many circumstances expected to start it on their own behalf. In such cases, an individual could get in touch with a qualified solicitor who they could hire to work on their case.

If an injured person is below the age of 18, they are not eligible to make a claim on their own behalf. The same applies if an individual lacks the mental capacity to make a claim on their own. If someone dies because of negligence, then compensation can still be paid out even if the victim obviously cannot claim on their own behalf.

Such potential scenarios are why the law allows for a representative to claim on someone else’s behalf in some cases. A representative who can sue on behalf of someone else is called a litigation friend.

Before claiming for someone else, you could act as a litigation friend or have power of attorney. For example, a parent or a guardian, as it can be easier to assure the court the victim’s interests are protected.

What Is A Litigation Friend?

You may be asking what a litigation friend actually is. In short, it is a person who starts a compensation claim and makes decisions about it on behalf of and in the best interests of:

  • A child under 18
  • An adult who lacks the mental capacity to claim with or without a lawyer

If a claim goes to court, then the litigation friend may have to attend hearings. However, a litigation friend can use the services of a solicitor and they can go to court in their place. A solicitor can also act as a litigation friend. 

An adult with a litigation friend is referred to as the ‘protected party’ in court. There are certain procedures to follow in order to serve as a litigation friend.

You can become a litigation friend by being appointed by a court to represent a protected party. This can happen either through a court order or by applying to become someone’s litigation friend.

Who Is Eligible To Be A Litigation Friend?

Before you can become a litigation friend, a court will check your suitability. They do this by making sure that you do not have any conflict of interests that could work against the injured person.

A litigation friend can be someone close to the injured person. Parents, guardians, other family members, trusted friends or a social worker may be chosen to be litigation friends.

Other examples of litigation friends are:

Who may need a Litigation Friend?

A litigation friend is appointed for a compensation claim if the injured person is under the age of 18. One will also be appointed if the injured person lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf.

What Are The Duties Of A Litigation Friend?

If you’re appointed as a litigation friend, you have several important responsibilities. You’re expected to make decisions in the best interest of the injured party. You also need to communicate and cooperate with the solicitor working on the injured party’s claim (if applicable). You also need to make sure you tell the person you’re claiming on behalf of what’s happening in the case.

How Do You Stop Acting As A Litigation Friend?

If you become a litigation friend, then you may need to apply to stop being one later if certain circumstances change. Your role ends automatically when the case ends. It also ends if you or someone else applies to the court for a replacement litigation friend. It also usually ends if the injured party turns 18 or regains enough mental capacity to act on their own behalf.

Vulnerable People You Could Claim On Behalf Of

You can start a compensation claim on behalf of someone else if they are considered vulnerable. An injured person involved in a claim may be considered vulnerable if they are under the age of 18. They are also considered vulnerable if they lack the mental capacity to start a claim on their own behalf. 

Lacking the mental capacity to make a case could be a result of the injury which the claim centres on. However, a pre-existing condition could also be the reason why an injured person is unable to claim on their own behalf. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, it is possible to claim on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to do so on their own, whether it’s because of a condition or the injury they’ve experienced.

Calculating Compensation On Behalf Of Another Person

Now that you know who you can sue on behalf of, we’ll look at compensation.

If you’re claiming compensation on behalf of another person, you may wonder how much compensation they could receive. It depends on several factors. The type and severity of injuries involved are major factors. Whether the injured party is found to be partially responsible for the injuries also affects the compensation given out.

It can therefore be tricky to calculate compensation before a case concludes. However, we can provide some estimates of injury values using Judicial College guidelines. It is a regularly updated publication that solicitors may use to value injuries.

In the table below, we’ve included estimates for potential compensation payouts. The figures relate to certain injuries which you may be claiming compensation for on someone else’s behalf.

InjurySeverityCompensation
Brain InjuryVery Severe£264,650 to £379,100
Brain InjuryModerately Severe£205,580 to £264,650
Brain InjuryLess Severe£14,380 to £40,410
Eye InjuryTotal BlindnessIn the region of £252,180
Eye InjuryComplete Loss Of Sight In One Eye£46,240 to £51,460
Eye InjuryMinor£3,710 to £8,200
Neck InjurySevere£42,680 to in the region of £139,210
Neck InjuryModerate£7,410 to £36,120
Neck InjuryMinorUp to £7,410
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjurySevere£36,060 to £49,270

The injuries and payouts listed above are just some examples that will likely fall under general damages. For a compensation claim you may be involved in, the injured party may receive compensation for special damages.

This can cover financial losses caused directly by the injury or illness on which the claim is focused. For example, a loss of earnings.

If you are looking to make an injury claim for another person, you can contact UK Law for a compensation estimate which is more specific to your case.

When Could You Claim Compensation For A Child?

If a child is injured and it is at least partly due to someone else’s negligence, someone should be entitled to claim compensation on their behalf. A litigation friend is always appointed to represent the injured party if they are a child. That’s because anyone under 18 is not eligible to make a claim on their own behalf.

A compensation claim for a child is only likely to go ahead if there is enough evidence to support the argument that someone else’s negligence caused injuries to the child being represented.

If you want to represent a child in a compensation claim, you may need to submit an application to be the child’s litigation friend. A court may decide to appoint you as the litigation friend first if they deem you a suitable candidate. Litigation friends for children are often a parent, guardian or another family member of the child.

When Could You Claim On Behalf Of Someone With An Existing Condition?

You may be looking to make a personal injury claim on behalf of someone with an existing condition that affects their decision making. People with an existing condition are entitled to benefit from legal services including compensation claims under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Some of the pre-existing conditions that can fall under this act include the following:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Clinical depression
  • Dementia
  • Severe autism

The act may also apply to individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury which leaves them unable to make decisions for themselves. You can contact UK Law for advice if you are unsure that a person you want to claim on behalf of is covered under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

How To Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else With A Life-Changing Illness Or Injury

Do you wish to claim compensation on behalf of someone else who has experienced a life-changing injury or illness? If so, you may be unsure if you are allowed to or what the steps to take are. It’s understandable that the task may seem daunting at first. The process is in many ways similar to how you would start a claim if you were doing so on your own behalf.

If you choose to use a solicitor, they can support you with the case you wish to bring forward. It’s best to hire a solicitor who has experience in cases related to the type of life-changing injury/illness the person you’re representing has.

Your chosen solicitor can help by reviewing and advising on the case. They will ask questions about the injuries or illnesses affecting the person you want to represent. They will also review medical evidence and other evidence regarding the case. Your solicitor can then assess whether the case can go ahead and confirm if you’re ok to represent the injured party.

You can contact UK Law for free advice on claiming on behalf of someone else with a life-changing illness or injury.

How To Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else With Diminished Mental Capacity

Starting a compensation claim on behalf of someone else with a diminished mental capacity is certainly possible. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 enables you to make a compensation claim on behalf of a friend or family member if they lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. This applies whether the diminished mental capacity is being caused by an existing condition or a particular injury, such as one that affects the brain.

You can choose to get in contact with a solicitor who can help you with the compensation claim you wish to start. They will want to confirm that the person you’re representing has diminished mental capacity. If they have an existing condition, then some kind of medical evidence should be able to confirm this.

If a person has suffered a serious injury, it may be hard to determine whether or not they have the mental capacity to claim on their own. In such cases, they may require a mental capacity assessment. This assessment can help determine if the injured person can claim on their own or needs a litigation friend.

Feel free to contact UK Law for more specialist advice if you’re looking to sue on behalf of someone else with a diminished mental capacity.

Bringing A Claim On Behalf Of A Deceased Person

If someone close to you is killed in an accident, then it’s possible you could bring a compensation claim forward on their behalf. A claim on behalf of a deceased person can provide compensation to their estate to cover loss of life and income. You could contact a solicitor to discuss the potential claim if you wish to make one on behalf of a deceased friend or family member.

It can understandably be difficult for some people to discuss a fatal accident involving someone close to them. You may need to be prepared to discuss the circumstances of how the deceased person passed. If you use the services of a solicitor, you should be able to handle this process in the way that’s most comfortable for you, whether it’s in person, over the phone or in writing.

The amount of compensation paid out for a death caused by negligence can vary a lot. If the deceased person had family members who were financially dependant on them, then this could be factored into their final compensation.

You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice if you have any questions about making a claim on behalf of a deceased person.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim On Behalf Of Another Person?

A question you may follow ‘Can you sue on behalf of someone else?’ is ‘How much time do you have to start the claim?’ Ordinarily, when someone is claiming on their own behalf, they have a 3-year time limit.

The time limit starts from either the date the injury occurred or the date they obtained knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injury or illness. However, in circumstances that justify you claiming on someone else’s behalf, the time limit works differently.

If you are claiming on behalf of a child, then the 3-year time limit is frozen until they reach their 18th birthday. When the child turns 18, they have three years to start a claim themself.

If someone injured in an accident lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf, then the 3-year time limit for starting a claim is also frozen in this circumstance. If the injured person can recover enough mental capacity to start their own claim, then the three-year time limit will come into play.

However, if an injury or pre-existing condition prevents someone from ever regaining the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf, then the time limit will be frozen indefinitely.

If you wish to start a claim on behalf of another person, then it is wise to start the process as soon as you can, whatever the circumstances are.

A Child, Friend Or Relative Was Injured In An Accident, What Should I Do?

If a family relative or a close friend gets injured in an accident, you may ask what action you should take. The first step should be to make sure that the injured person gets the medical care they require. 

When the person close to you has received treatment, you may want to determine if they can receive compensation for their injury. You will also want to check whether or not the injured person can claim on their own behalf or if they will need someone to represent them.

If you have good reason to believe your friend/relative was injured due to negligence and they cannot claim on their own behalf, then you could pursue a claim on their behalf if you wish.

Before seeking appropriate legal support, you should collect evidence related to the claim you wish to bring forward. Depending on where and how the injury occurred, the potential evidence can vary. Examples can include photos, witness contact details or CCTV footage.

After gathering the available evidence, you could then contact a qualified solicitor to support your case. Your solicitor should ask you questions about the person you want to represent and the incident and injuries they’ve experienced.

They should be able to help you if it’s appropriate for you to claim on behalf of the injured individual. Your solicitor should also review the case based on the details and evidence they receive. They’ll then determine if the case is likely to succeed.

Do You Handle Personal Injury Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?

If you are worried about how you will cover the cost of a solicitor, we have the solution just for you. All of the lawyers on our panel operate under a No Win No Fee arrangement. This is even true if you are planning to sue on behalf of someone else.

So, what is a No Win No Fee arrangement? This is when you are only required to pay your solicitor’s fees if your claim is successful. If compensation is not awarded then you don’t have to pay your lawyer anything. There are no upfront or hidden fees.

If the claim is successful then your lawyer is paid via a small percentage of the payout that’s awarded to you or whoever you are claiming for.

If making a No Win No Fee claim sounds like it would assist you, get in touch with us today.

Contact Us For More Help

Have any questions about making a compensation claim on behalf of someone else? You can contact UK Law for specialist advice. You can reach our team by:

Other Information

The resources below could prove useful if you are looking to sue on behalf of someone else. You can contact UK Law if you have any sort of question about claiming for another person.

Apply To Be A Litigation Friend

This government page advises on what you need to know about applying to become a litigation friend and the eligibility criteria.

NHS Guide to Mental Capacity Act 2005

This guide on the NHS website explains how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 supports people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

We also have guides that may be of interest to you below.

Requesting CCTV Footage

CCTV footage of the accident is a good form of evidence to have read this government guide on the subject.

Medical Negligence Claims

If you or a loved one suffered due to medical negligence, our guide could give some insight into what steps you could take next.

Car Accident Claims

If the person you wish to make a claim for suffered in a car accident, you may consider looking into our guide.

Food Allergy Claims

We also have a guide on your rights if you or your loved one suffered an allergic reaction due to negligence.

More Useful Compensation Guides

FAQs About Litigation Friends

How is a Litigation Friend appointed?

A litigation friend can be appointed by a court if someone involved in a case requests one for another person involved. Alternatively, you can apply to be someone’s litigation friend and a court will decide whether to approve the appointment.

How do you apply to be a Litigation Friend?

You can apply to be someone’s litigation friend by providing a copy of the court order that appointed you as the person’s deputy. If you are not the person’s deputy, you can instead file a certificate of suitability.

Thanks for reading our guide that answers the question, ‘Can you sue on behalf of someone else?’

Writer PD

Checked by HT