When a loved one has been killed as the result of the negligence of another, it makes a devastating time even worse. Your family and friends may be filled with questions, worry, and confusion.
Wrongful death is a claim against an individual whose negligent conduct caused the death of another individual, and under Oregon state law, there is recourse for those who have been affected by a wrongful death case.
Who may claim damages in a wrongful death claim?
On the premise that those who have been left behind by the decedent have also been harmed, family members may make a wrongful death claim against the negligent party or parties.
In Oregon, the beneficiaries are limited. Generally, a spouse or children of the victim may make a wrongful death claim.
There are statutory limitations on beneficiaries in Oregon wrongful death cases. For example, if a child’s biological parent marries a non-biological parent while the child is still a minor and in the custody of the biological parent, then the stepchild will be considered a beneficiary of the step-parent in the event of the step-parent’s wrongful death.
However, if the child is over 18 when the biological parent remarries, then the stepchild is not a beneficiary of the new non-biological parent because he or she has already reached the age of majority.
What damages can be awarded in a wrongful death claim?
When a negligent party is accused of wrongful death, certain damages may be awarded in the event of a successful jury verdict or settlement. These damages include:
- Medical, burial, and memorial services
- Loss of wages the decedent would have earned had they survived;
- Pain and suffering of the decedent;
- Compensation to the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, and other family
Additionally, if gross negligence can be proven, punitive damages may be awarded.
A wrongful death attorney can help
If you have been affected by a wrongful death, it is important to contact an attorney who is well versed in this often complex are of law – one who can help to bring you peace of mind, and answer any questions you may have during this time.
The Law Offices of Jon Friedman have experience handling Portland, Oregon wrongful death claims. We will address your concerns with care, compassion, and skill. For a free initial consultation, we welcome your call to our Portland office at (503) 242-1440.