Portland Wrongful Death Attorneys
The sudden death of a loved one is devastating, especially if another person’s wrongful actions caused this loss or in cases where this action could have been prevented. While grieving your loss, there is the possibility of having to cover the deceased’s financial obligations as well.
If your loved one was killed due to another individual’s wrongful actions, you deserve compensation. Contact our office today via (503) 433-8340.
If a person is injured due to the wrongful actions of another, but dies of causes unrelated to the injury, then their family member may pursue what is called a survival action. Survival action allows the deceased’s family member to seek compensation for pain and suffering and loss of income suffered by the deceased between the time of the injury and the death.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when an individual dies because of another person’s wrongful action, including negligence, an omission, or misconduct. Wrongful death lawsuits are considered civil actions and must be filed within 3 years after the defendant’s death. The individual who typically files a wrongful death claim is one of the deceased’s family members.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Damages or compensation in a wrongful death case are awarded to compensate the surviving family members for their loss. This compensation might include but is not limited to:
- Funeral expenses
- Outstanding hospital and medical bills
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering the deceased endured
- Loss of care and companionship
Wrongful Death Damages
There are three types of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death case: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
This consists of a financial award, which may cover lost wages, medical coverage, or benefits.
This could include loss of care, companionship, pain and suffering, anxiety, and mental anguish.
Punitive damages are assessed to punish the defendant for his/her wrongful conduct.
How Are Damages Determined?
There is a wide range of factors that will be taken into consideration when determining damages in a wrongful death case. These factors may include the following:
- Medical bills
- Burial expenses
- Loss of wages the individual would have earned had they lived
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation to the victim’s spouse, children, and other family members for their loss
In instances where extreme negligence or intent can be proven, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Who Can Recover from a Wrongful Death Action?
Oregon statute ORS 30.020 states that the following individuals can recover from a wrongful death action of a loved one:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Stepchild or stepparent of the deceased
It is important to note that in Oregon if an individual dies without a spouse, his/her children will inherit the estate. If an individual dies without children or parents and is married, his/her surviving spouse will inherit the estate.