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Expert Wrongful Death Attorney Portland OR

Oregon Wrongful Death Legal Guide

What You And Your Family Must Know When Considering A Wrongful Death Claim

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, we offer our condolences for your loss. I lost my mother due to someone else’s negligence; emotionally and mentally it was a very difficult time in my life.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, you may have heard the term ‘wrongful death.’ This is the term that attorneys use when the loss of life occurred due to a company or person making a preventable mistake that led to a death.

Some of the most common accidents that cause wrongful deaths are:

  • Car, truck, and motorcycle crashes
  • Medical malpractice and surgical mistakes
  • Defective machinery and products
  • Dangerous drugs

When a tragedy happens and a loved one dies, the surviving family of the deceased may sue to responsible party or entity for damages.

The purpose of this guide is to help you to know what your legal rights are in wrongful death claims, and what actions you can take. When to seek help of the expert wrongful death attorney in Oregon Bart Herron

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    Things That Come First:

    After a tragedy occurs that takes a loved one away, you must first take care of yourself and your family – spiritually, emotionally, and physically. As Oregon wrongful death lawyer, I believe that no one should get in the way of the family healing from the loss.

    There can be many details and expenses following the wrongful death of a loved one. Reimbursement for funeral services, any

    medical expenses and loss of potential future earnings of your loved ones must be patiently negotiated in a wrongful death action claim. Take Your Time! Do NOT rush the wrongful death claim settlement!

    The financial burden resulting from this loss can be alleviated through careful review of the circumstances of your wrongful death claim. Become scrutinizing evidence collector!

    Oregon Law on Wrongful Death Claims

    5 Point Summary:
    • Oregon, like most US states, has laws on the books that a person or business whose negligence caused a death, can and should be held liable for the harm that their negligence produced.
    • One of the most important laws in Oregon is that the wrongful death lawsuit may only be filed by a personal representative of the estate of the person who was killed. Under state law, the personal representative and beneficiaries who receive money that is recovered in the suit can include the: Husband, Wife, Children, If none of these relatives survive, the parents, brothers, and sisters of the victim can be recognized as beneficiaries in the lawsuit.
    • More than one person or business can be named as a defendant in a wrongful death action.
    • It should be noted that there are differences in state laws on who can sue for wrongful death. All states allow spouses to sue on behalf of their deceased spouse. Parents of minors also may sue in all states. Minors also may collect damages if their parents are killed.
    • States disagree on whether parents of adult children may file suit, and whether adult children may sue for the death of their parents. There also are differences on whether extended relatives such as cousins, aunts, and uncles can sue.

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    Statute of Limitations for Filing Wrongful Death Case in Oregon

    The Oregon wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of the injury that caused the victim’s death, not from the date of death. If the victim is in a coma for a year and then dies, the claim must be filed within three years of when the injury occurred.

    Personal Injury Attorney Bart Herron

    Real Reviews & Testimonials From Real Clients

    • “Honest, intelligent and strong attorney”

      I was badly injured in an auto accident. Bartley Herron persuaded the insurance company that they needed to give me the maximum settlement of insurance coverage. The money was and is very important to my family. I recommend Mr. Herron to anyone needing an honest, intelligent and strong attorney to represent them and to fight hard for them. That is what Mr. Herron did for me.

      HERNANDEZ
      (PORTLAND, OREGON)
    • “The settlement your people obtained for me was much better than anything the insurance company had offered me”

      I recommend Herron Law to everyone. I was hurt in a car accident and the insurance company tried to get me to settle without talking to an attorney. I am glad that I talked with you instead. The settlement your people obtained for me was much better than anything the insurance company had offered me. It turned out that I went through an unexpected hardship right after the car accident. I ended up really needing the extra money. Thanks for all of your help and concern.

      GARY
      (PORTLAND, OREGON)
    • “You gave me the drive to fight”

      Thanks to you for your hard efforts and support, you gave me the drive to fight. I actually miss you guys. We think about you often. Even when things were tough you always made me smile. I can never thank you enough.

      C.
      (OREGON)
    • “Your firm… got more than three times the money the insurance company was wanting to pay”

      I contacted your law firm for help after being hurt. I had been talking with the insurance company. The adjuster wanted to settle. But I was concerned that I should talk to a lawyer. Your firm represented me and got more than three times the money the insurance company was wanting to pay. I’m very thankful for the money and what you did for me.

      LAURIE
      (PORTLAND, OREGON)

    Reasons You Should Consider a Wrongful Death Claim

    ORS section 30.020

    Wrongful death in Oregon is defined in ORS section 30.020 and is defined as a death that was caused by a wrongful act or omission of another. In most cases, wrongful death is due to negligence, recklessness, or a deliberate act. These are generally the same kinds of actions that would have supported a legal claim for a personal injury case if the deceased had survived.

    You can think of a wrongful death claim as a different type of personal injury claim. The only difference is that the injured party is no longer here to bring a claim in court. Rather, another party, usually a relative, must bring the claim on behalf of the deceased person and his estate.

    One of the most important reasons to pursue a wrongful death claim is to make sure that your loved ones, especially your children, have their financial needs met. This is really important when the victim of the accident was the mother or father whose employment provided financial support for family members.

    Second, holding a reckless person or company financially responsible for the death can provide family members with a feeling of closure. This is incredibly beneficial for the long-term emotional and psychological health of family members.

    Evidence that is collected to obtain a wrongful death settlement or verdict can allow the family to really understand what happened and come to terms with the tragedy.

    That evidence, and also the payment from the responsible person or company, can bring to light the dangers and deficiencies that made the wrongful death happen. This process can make it clearer what should have been done to avoid the tragic death. The at-fault person or entity has to face what went wrong and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.

    A wrongful death claim that is successful can give the grieving family more peace of mind. After all, you now know what happened and know that someone else will not have to suffer a similar fatal accident.

    Do you need Herron Law team to take over your wrongful death case?

    Contact Us 24/7 by calling or texting 503-367-0829

    Who Can Be Sued in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

    These lawsuits can be brought against people, companies, government agencies, and employees. For instance, if there is a car accident involving a drunk driver, a defective roadway, and the driver was working for his company at the time, a wrongful death action could have many defendants:

    • The driver and employer at fault in the crash
    • The designer and builder of the road
    • A government agency that did not provide enough warnings about a road hazard
    • The manufacturer of the vehicle, if it is proven to have failed and contributed to the crash
    • Possibly the people who gave or sold alcohol to the driver
    • Possibly the owner of the restaurant, bar, or store where alcohol was purchased or served

    The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Trial

    You may remember the famous OJ Simpson murder case where he was found not guilty in the criminal trial, but was found to be liable in the wrongful death case. How is this possible?

    A criminal murder charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high bar to clear. On the other hand, wrongful death claims simply need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was likely to have caused the death.

    Wrongful death lawsuits do not result in putting the defendant in prison, although that is possible. The primary reason to file a wrongful death lawsuit is to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering. Also, many people who are killed in an accident may have left young children behind. The money won in a lawsuit can be used to provide for the children’s welfare.

    Damages in Wrongful Death Claims:

    Wrongful Death attorney will claim under Oregon wrongful death statutes the following damages:
    • Payments for medical costs that were administered before the victim died
    • Funeral and burial expenses
    • Loss of future income for those who were financially dependent upon the deceased. This is an estimated amount and requires testimony from an expert economist.
    • Compensation to the spouse and children
    • Loss of companionship, loss of care, love, guidance, and advice
    • Punitive damages are possible if it is proven that the conduct leading to the death was reckless. These damages are designed to punish reckless behavior. They usually are awarded in cases where the judge or jury wants to ‘send a message’ that extremely reckless behavior will not be tolerated in Oregon. DUI cases where the driver was well over the legal limit of .08 BAC is one type of case where punitive damages could apply. Punitive damages can be awarded in a wrongful death action even if there has been a criminal conviction for the homicide case.
    How do wrongful death lawyers prove economic losses:
    • Past Tax returns
    • Employment records and earnings
    • Employee benefits
    • Health insurance benefits
    • Education records
    • Past medical records
    • Charitable contributions

    How do wrongful death lawyers prove the non-economic losses:

    • Through family members and friends
    • Through co-workers and bosses
    • With help from doctors and economists
    • Hobbies, photos, videos, posts, etc

    When To Retain Wrongful Death Attorney in Lake Oregon?

    It is urgent that you contact us without delay to begin the process. Contact attorney Herron for a complimentary in-depth consultation and allow him to help you through this difficult time.

    How to Prepare For Meeting With Wrongful Death Lawyer?

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    What Can I Do If I Lost My Spouse?

    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.

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