Sometimes a person’s death is anticipated, for example, if they have a terminal illness. Other times a person simply slips away due to natural causes in their old age. While these deaths are always sad for the deceased’s loved ones, a person’s death can be especially tragic if it is due to another person’s negligence. In such situations the deceased’s survivors may want to learn more about pursuing a wrongful death claim.
When can a victim’s survivors pursue 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 deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased’s surviving spouse, children and parents and others who would have been entitled to inherit under the laws of intestate succession. Wrongful death claims can be filed if the deceased would have had the ability to pursue a personal injury claim had they survived. Wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date the deceased’s survivors knew or should have known about the injury that caused their loved one’s death.
What types of compensation can be sought in a wrongful death claim?
If the deceased’s loved ones prevail in the wrongful death claim the court can award a variety of damages. They may be compensated for reasonable healthcare charges incurred by the deceased due to the act that caused their injury. They may also be compensated for burial expenses and funeral expenses. They may be awarded compensation for pain and suffering as well as the loss of income during the time period spanning from the time of the deceased’s injury to the time of the deceased’s death. Pecuniary loss that is just, fair and reasonable may also be awarded. The deceased’s surviving spouse and children may also be compensated for loss of society, companionship and services. Finally, punitive damages may be awarded if the deceased would have been entitled to them had they survived.
Learn more about wrongful death claims
Losing a loved one to the negligence of another is a terrible experience. A wrongful death claim can provide the deceased’s survivors with the financial resources they need to get them through a tough time. Moreover, a wrongful death claim can hold the responsible party accountable and can bring the victim’s survivors a sense of closure. This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on wrongful death may be of interest to those who want to learn more about this topic.