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How Do I Get Guardianship of Someone Injured in an Accident?

Accidents can cause serious injuries and in some cases, an accident can result in a debilitating injury. When a loved one is severely hurt in an accident, they may become incapacitated. This can be extremely devastating for the family and loved ones. When someone is unable to make decisions on their own, they may require a guardian to look after their interests. In that case, you will need to understand how to get guardianship of someone who was injured in an accident.

Guardianship of an Adult

Guardianship is the legal role of an individual to manage the personal and/or financial needs of an individual when they are unable to do so for themselves. You may think guardianship applies only to minor children, but it can also be necessary in cases where an adult requires assistance. Guardianship may be needed, for example, in situations where an adult has dementia or in cases where a person is incapacitated following a serious accident. Adult guardianship applies when the person who requires guardianship is 18 years of age or older.

Types of Guardianship

In Wisconsin, there are two main types of guardianship. These are guardianship of the estate and guardianship of the person. Guardianship of the estate means the management of a person’s financial affairs. Guardianship of the person is when a guardian has to make medical or lifestyle decisions on behalf of someone. The court will appoint a guardian in the best interests of the person. Guardianships may be full, limited, temporary, or emergency.

Obtaining Guardianship After an Accident

An accident that causes a person to be incapacitated often occurs suddenly. In these cases, the person likely did not have a plan in place to appoint someone to handle their business, such as a living will or a power of attorney. To seek guardianship, you will need to file a petition with the court. It is important to request emergency guardianship because you will probably need to start handling a person’s finances and medical decisions immediately.

The court will require medical proof of incompetence. Wisconsin law states that the court will only be allowed to authorize guardianship over an adult when the court finds “by clear and convincing evidence that the individual lacks the evaluative capacity to exercise power.” The court will give a guardian only the powers they need to provide for the person’s safety and rights.

Temporary guardianships are in effect for a period of 60 days. If you require additional time, you may request an extension for an additional 60 days, for a total of 120 days. Lengthier guardianships may need to be permanent rather than temporary. A guardian may have the right to make decisions about medical treatment as well as living arrangements, such as when someone requires nursing home care.

Guardianship can be complex and you might need to get guardianship very quickly in an emergency. A knowledgeable attorney will help guide you through the guardianship process. To find out more, call us today at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or online.

Published June 24, 2024
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