What Can I Do?
Losing your husband or wife in a crash is devastating. But having to also worry about the legal consequences of this tragic event can be overwhelming.
In many cases, it is okay to wait a few days after the truck crash to grieve and determine the funeral arrangements. Because of the increased duties the Oregon State Highway Patrol has due to there being a car accident fatality, the police should be doing a complete forensic study of the crash, including getting statements from witnesses, taking video and pictures, and reconstructing the crash with computer simulations. Law enforcement can go for weeks to have a complete accident report from a fatal car accident.
Depending on the case circumstances and the parties involved, the driver who was negligent and killed your husband or wife could be aggressive in trying to influence how the police investigate the crash. Police usually are good at limiting access to crucial evidence, but if the other side has any control over evidence, the police might miss it.
For instance, if the negligent driver is a truck driver who works for a big company, their lawyers may send out an investigative team to try to get a head start on the defense. This is a financial threat to the company, and they usually have the resources at hand to try to push a narrative of the accident that favors their driver. They could use lawyers to prevent police from getting information and generally frustrate police efforts to charge their truck driver.
A non-commercial driver may not have the same means to influence the crash investigation. But their insurance company may try to get witness statements that favor their driver. They could scrap their driver’s vehicle to try to destroy the black box if it exists. They also may coach their driver on how to talk to the police. None of these tactics are necessarily illegal or wrong, but the fact that parties favoring the negligent driver could influence the investigation mean you should hire The Herron Law Firm to represent you as soon as you have lost your loved one in a crash that was not their fault.
Your attorney can work quickly to preserve critical evidence. A good attorney can send a ‘spoliation’ letter that orders the insurance companies and other parties helping the other driver to keep all vehicles and evidence as they are.
Under Oregon law, you could have two separate cases for your spouse’s death. The first could be a ‘survivorship’ legal claim. If your spouse survived the wreck and died later, then their pre-death medical bills, pain, fear, and suffering can result in compensation for your family. The survivorship lawsuit is brought by the representative of the estate. This person is usually the surviving spouse.
The other legal case is the wrongful death claim. Wrongful death is the legal term in Oregon that intends to get compensation for the full value of life lost. The money is intended for the surviving spouse and direct family members affected by the loss. Talk to The Herron Law Firm today if you have lost an loved one in an Oregon car accident.
Please contact our law offices today for a Free consultation. We can determine quickly if you have a strong case