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A brief overview of Oregon’s wrongful death laws

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2021 | Wrongful Death |

Losing a loved one is never easy, but the pain is only made worse when your loved one’s death could have been prevented. For example, if your loved one died after being struck by a drunk driver or died due to an act of medical malpractice, you may wonder if you can seek any remedy from the negligent party. In the right circumstances, it may be possible to pursue a wrongful death claim.

What is a wrongful death claim?

Under Oregon law, if a person dies due to the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the decedent can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim’s surviving spouse, children, parents and others who would have inherited under the laws of intestate succession. In general, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the injury that caused the decedent’s death.

What types of damages may be sought in a wrongful death claim?

There are several types of damages that may be sought in a wrongful death claim. Recovery can be sought for medical expenses incurred due to the injury that caused the decedent’s death. Funeral and burial expenses can also be sought. Reasonable compensation for the decedent’s disability, lost income and pain and suffering between the time of the injury to the decedent’s death may also be sought. Reasonable pecuniary loss to the decedent’s estate may also be sought, as can reasonable damages for loss of society, companionship and services. Finally, in a separate verdict, if the decedent could have recovered punitive damages had they survived, these may be sought after their death.

Learn more about wrongful death claims in Oregon

This is only a brief overview of wrongful death claims in Oregon. It is for educational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Our firm’s website has further information on wrongful death claims in Oregon that our readers may find useful.


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