A 28-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter after his Mustang slammed into a guardrail in Portland at the intersection of NE Marine Drive and Blue Lake Road. His female passenger died at the scene.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Oregon
When a driver’s negligence leads to another person’s death, the surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Oregon. In the above case, the fact that he has been charged with a crime may bolster the wrongful death lawsuit, if the family files one. If he driver convicted of manslaughter, this proves he was negligent. It would make it a little easier to get a complete legal settlement for the young woman’s death.
Who Can File The Claim
Because the deceased party cannot file their own legal claim, another party must do so. Usually, the person who brings the lawsuit is a member of the direct family. In most cases, the wrongful death attorney will advise that a spouse, child, or parent. or other family members to file the lawsuit. But Oregon law allows other family members to bring wrongful death lawsuits, including grandparents, stepparents, or stepchildren.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in Oregon are intended to compensate the family for the losses stemming from the deceased’s death.
The compensation can include money for:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical and hospital bills related to the injury or illness
- Lost earnings and benefits. This includes the value of the wages the deceased would have earned if she had lived.
- Compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased endured just before their death.
- Loss of companionship, comfort, care, and guidance suffering by the surviving family.
In rare circumstances, a jury may award punitive damages to the family if the driver was especially reckless or negligent. For example, if the driver above was extremely intoxicated, the family might be able to receive punitive damages.
Note that there can be cases where the negligent party has few assets and limited auto insurance. In such cases, you should have a capable wrongful death attorney working for you.
At Herron Law Firm wrongful death attorney will look for any available insurance policies that may be available to compensate the family.
There have been cases in Portland where the negligent party had no insurance. But he lived with his mother, and Oregon law recognizes insurance coverage under the mother’s policy for every blood relative. So, the decedent’s estate was able to collect the full Underinsured Motorist coverage to pay for damages, including funeral costs, and lost income. Other fatal car crashes.
What To Remember
It is important to remember that Oregon has a time limit or statute of limitations that limits how long you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court. Because the date of the deceased’s death is not controlling for the purposes of state law, if a long time passes between the date of injury and death, the time to file the claim may be shorter than you think.
What To Do If You Have Questions
If you have any questions about when you should file a wrongful death lawsuit in Oregon, please contact The Herron Law Firm for more information.