Everyone wants the best for their partner. When the unthinkable happens, and a spouse must suddenly make medical and legal decisions on behalf of their comatose partner, they need to know what their options are. If your spouse has been incapacitated by someone else's negligence, Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC can counsel you on making the best decisions on their behalf.
Why Hiring an Attorney for a Comatose Spouse Is Vital
Hiring a lawyer on behalf of your spouse is a crucial step to getting your partner the best medical care available while holding those at fault accountable. It can also help you pursue damages caused by their loss of income and the cost of their medical treatment.
One of the most crucial aspects of hiring a lawyer for your loved one is "power of attorney" (POA). POA grants a person the ability to make legal, medical, financial, and other vital decisions in a person's stead. Notably, a POA must be created and signed while the person it concerns is aware and able to make decisions. Typically, a POA ends once a person becomes capable of making their own decisions. However, signing a durable power of attorney makes sure the document remains effective while a person is incapacitated.
In Pennsylvania, a POA must:
- Be dated
- Contain the principal's signature (person whose power is being signed over)
- Be signed in the presence of two witnesses.
- Be notarized
Proactively creating a power of attorney document is not as simple in Pennsylvania as it is in other states. The state has not provided an official POA form for residents to sign.
Am I Allowed to Make Legal Decisions for My Partner Without a POA?
If your spouse is rendered comatose or unable to make decisions without having a signed power of attorney document, you still have legal authority for medical and financial decisions made on their behalf. The state allows a person's spouse to make legal decisions for them if they are unable to make them.
If you're not married to your partner, you might be able to obtain the authority needed to make legal decisions for them by obtaining legal guardianship. A Pennsylvania court will decide if you should receive legal guardianship for your partner. Hiring an attorney to handle this process correctly is crucial for its success.
Should I Get a Lawyer for My Spouse?
If your spouse has been incapacitated because of another's negligence, you should hire a lawyer on their behalf. Doing so can help you obtain the compensation needed to get them the medical care they need during this difficult time. It can also help you recover losses associated with the loss of their income while they are incapacitated. Essentially, hiring a lawyer for your spouse can help you bridge the financial gap created by their incapacitation.
Keep in mind that your attorney has a limited amount of time to file a case. Waiting too long to file your case might prevent you from being able to pursue liable parties for compensation. Additionally, hiring a lawyer quickly after an incident will help them ensure that time-sensitive evidence is obtained and preserved. The days after an accident are crucial for building a strong case.
Speak with Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC for Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions
You might feel alone and powerless during this experience. It's important to understand that help is available, and that an attorney may be able to solve a number of problems related to your loved one's health and well-being. Since our firm works on a contingency fee basis, you can call us knowing there is no fee for hiring us unless we win your case.
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we've made it our firm's mission to help families facing some of the most difficult moments of their lives. For nearly 100 years, we've helped clients in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation obtain the compensation they deserve after a serious accident. We're ready to fight for you and your loved one to hold the parties responsible for your suffering accountable.
Call us today for a free consultation of your case at (888) 498-3023. We're ready to listen to what happened and help you learn your options.