What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Personal injury claims can be made when a person suffers injuries that were caused by someone else. A wrongful death claim occurs when a person dies because of the injuries that they’ve suffered due to another party’s negligence.
There are technical differences between injury claims and wrongful death claims, but both will involve allegations against a negligent person who caused harm to a victim. When families lose a loved one because of another person’s negligence, a wrongful death claim can help to hold the liable party responsible and provide compensation to reduce the financial burden on the victim’s family.
What Accidents Can Lead to Wrongful Death Claims?
A wrongful death claim might arise from many different kinds of accidents. Some common causes for these claims include:
- Car accidents
- Truck crashes
- Motorcycle collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bike accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
When someone suddenly loses their life because of the negligence of another party, their family is left to struggle with grief and financial burdens. Filing a claim can help the family to recover compensation for their loss.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim may involve economic and non-economic damages. The economic damages can include burial and funeral costs, coverage for medical bills incurred before death, and lost financial contributions to the family from the deceased.
Non-economic damages cover a victim’s pain and suffering before their death, as well as the family’s loss of companionship and care that result from the loss of their loved one. Oregon will also permit punitive damage in some cases. Punitive damages only apply when the defendant’s conduct was intentional or extremely negligent.
Oregon Statute of Limitations
In Oregon, families must file a wrongful death claim within three years or less. The clock begins to run when the victim suffers their primary injury. It is important to note that the date of the victim’s death is not the one that matters for the purpose of the statute.
If the victim suffers severe injuries in a car crash and dies three months later in the hospital, the family must file a suit within three years from the accident date, not from the date of death. Courts will not hear claims after the time limit has expired.
Hiring an Attorney
If you lost someone in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you can hold the person who caused that tragedy accountable for their actions through a wrongful death suit. At the Harlan Law Firm, our dedicated lawyers will advocate for you and your loved ones. Call us today to see how we can help.