Losing a loved one to another person or party’s negligence can be quite devastating and painful. The sad thing is, there is nothing anyone can do to restore life after loss. Yet, filing a wrongful death action may give surviving loved ones a sense of closure and justice and provide the deserved monetary compensation for the loss.
Unfortunately, wrongful death cases can be quite complex. One must prove that the alleged liable party caused death due to negligence or strict liability. Going about this could mean that family and friends have many questions.
Wrongful Death In Oregon Explained
Oregon law defines a “wrongful death” as a death “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another,” when the act or omission would have allowed the person to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived. A wrongful death occurs when one person dies due to the legal fault of another person or entity. This legal fault may be a negligence-based incident (such as a car accident), medical malpractice, or an intentional act (including a crime).
Wrongful death claims are cases against a person or party for a death caused by their negligent or reckless actions or inaction. Wrongful death claims are like personal injury claims. But here, the injuries result in death. The goal is to recover a variety of damages, discussed below.
What Are The Common Causes Of Wrongful Deaths In Portland?
The definition of wrongful death under the statute is broad. This means that many different factors can lead to the loss of a loved one. When negligence is a factor, there is no limit to the types of wrongful death claims you can file against the liable party.
Examples of common causes of wrongful deaths include automobile accidents, defective medical equipment, pedestrian accidents, premises liability, product liability, workplace accidents, truck accidents, etc.
Who Can Pursue A Wrongful Death Claim In Oregon?
Oregon law provides that only the decedent’s personal representative can file a wrongful death claim. Also, the personal representative can only bring forth the action to benefit the “surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents,” and other individuals entitled to inherit the decedent’s personal property.
If the deceased has prepared a will, they will have named a personal representative there. But, if there is no will, or if the appointed personal representative cannot serve, the court will appoint someone as the personal representative.
Time Limit For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Oregon is three years from the date of your loved one’s death. In other words, you have three years to file or settle your claim. Failure to abide by this statute of limitations can destroy an otherwise valid wrongful death claim.
What Type Of Compensation Can I Pursue During A Wrongful Death Claim?
Oregon wrongful death statute allows the personal representative of the deceased to pursue financial compensation for their losses.
The family can seek financial compensation for damages such as reimbursement for medical, burial, and funeral expenses. Also, there could be claims for the current and future income the deceased would have contributed to the home. The family can further claim damages for pain and suffering for the survivors and other applicable costs.
Reach Out To Our Experienced and Skilled Wrongful Death Attorneys
In Oregon, the law limits the non-economic damages awarded to the beneficiaries in a wrongful death case to $500,000. Non-economic damages include loss of care, comfort, and companionship or loss of consortium. But, there is no limit to economic damages or punitive damages that survivors may recover. This limit means that much of your financial compensation will need to relate directly to the economic impact of your family’s loss.
Overall, it is crucial to have an attorney help you through the wrongful death claim process. An experienced attorney will make sure that you get full and fair compensation based on the unique circumstances of your case.