In the state of Oregon, a wrongful death case can arise from a variety of situations, from car accidents to medical malpractice. In these cases, surviving family members of the deceased can file a claim seeking compensation for their loss.
According to the National Safety Council, unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In Oregon, these types of accidents resulted in 2,843 deaths in 2019 alone. While many of these deaths were the result of accidents, some were caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of others.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. In this article, we will outline the components of a wrongful death case in Oregon.
In order to win a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent and that this negligence caused the death of their loved one. Negligence is defined as a failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation, resulting in harm to another person.
Proving negligence in a wrongful death case can be challenging, as the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, that this duty was breached, and that this breach caused the death of the victim.
For example, if a driver is texting while driving and causes a fatal accident, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim against the driver, arguing that the driver breached their duty of care to others on the road by engaging in distracted driving.
If negligence is established in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff may be entitled to receive compensation for damages. Damages in a wrongful death case may include:
*Funeral and burial expenses *Medical expenses related to the deceased’s final illness or injury *Loss of income and support *Loss of companionship and consortium *In Oregon, there is no cap on the amount of economic damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death case. This means that the plaintiff can potentially recover a substantial amount of compensation for their loss.
Statute of Limitations
It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations on wrongful death cases in Oregon. This means that there is a time limit on when a claim can be filed. In Oregon, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is three years from the date of the deceased’s death.
It is important to file a claim within the statute of limitations, as failing to do so can result in the claim being dismissed by the court.
In many wrongful death cases, expert witnesses are called upon to testify in court. These witnesses may include medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, or other professionals who can provide testimony related to the cause of death and the defendant’s negligence.
Expert witnesses can be crucial to a successful outcome in a wrongful death case. They can provide objective evidence and help to establish the defendant’s negligence, making it more likely that the plaintiff will receive a favorable outcome.
Losing a loved one is always a difficult and traumatic experience. If your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of another person or entity, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Oregon.
In order to win a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent and that this negligence caused the death of the victim. If negligence is established, the plaintiff may be entitled to receive compensation for damages, including funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, and loss of companionship.
It is important to file a wrongful death claim within the statute of limitations and to work with experienced legal professionals who can help to establish negligence and maximize compensation. With the right legal representation, surviving family members can find justice and closure in the wake of their loss.