If your loved one passed away as a result of medical negligence, you and your family may be entitled to damages. As the surviving family members, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim or wrongful death lawsuit against the medical professionals responsible for the death of your loved one.
Wrongful death v. medical malpractice: What’s the difference?
Wrongful death lawsuits differ from medical malpractice claims in that they can be filed against any party whose negligent act leads to the death of another person. In other words, a wrongful death claim can arise from a variety of circumstances including motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-falls, and medical malpractice. Medical malpractice claims, on the other hand, are solely focused on cases involving medical negligence.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Oregon
In Oregon, most wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the decedent, but other family members may also be able to file suit under certain circumstances. Those suing for wrongful death will have to prove that the medical negligence of the doctors and hospital named in the lawsuit caused the death of the decedent. Some of the most common forms of negligence among health professionals include surgical errors, errors in medication, or failing to diagnose cancer or another illness in a timely fashion.
Under Oregon law, families have three years from the date of the decedent’s death to file their wrongful death claims and their non-economic damages will be limited to $500,000, but there is no limit on economic damages. Non-economic damages include loss of companionship and care, loss of society, and loss of consortium, while economic damages cover expenses including medical bills and funeral costs.
An attorney in your area can assist with your wrongful death claim and give you the best chance at recovering damages after the loss of your loved one.