7/09/2020 – Updated As Of
When a family member dies due to someone else’s negligent actions, there is a strong chance that they have a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death suits are based on the understanding that when a person’s actions cause a death, not only the deceased, but the deceased’s family is injured. Damages in wrongful death suits are not limited to financial damages, but can also span the emotional and psychological damages involved.
There is a different standard of proof between an Oregon wrongful death case, which is a civil suit, and a criminal suits relating to deaths. While happening in a different state, O.J. Simpson’s court cases are a famous example of the difference between civil suits and criminal suits. Simpson was acquitted in his murder trial, which was a criminal suit, because his guilt could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. However, he lost the civil suit because the standard of proof in a civil suit is that his actions more like than not caused the victim’s death.
Oregon wrongful death claims can be complicated, so Greg Veralrud, one of Oregon’s foremost personal injury lawyers, offers some answers to frequently asked questions about Oregon wrongful death suits.
Who Can File an Oregon Wrongful Death Claim?
The victim’s family members, in most cases the deceased’s spouse and/or dependents are the ones who usually file an Oregon wrongful death suit.
How are Damages in an Oregon Wrongful Death Suit Determined?
Wrongful death suits are based on financial losses, non-economic losses, and, in rare cases, punitive damages. This can encompass the following:
- The deceased’s medical bills and burial costs.
- Loss of companionship to the victim’s family.
- Lost future wages of the deceased had they lived to a normal lifespan.
- The deceased’s pain and suffering (in between the injury and death), and in some cases disability.
- In cases of extreme negligence or extreme malicious intent, punitive damages (damages beyond the monetary, emotional, and psychological damages to the deceased family) may be considered.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Suit for a Child or Elderly Person?
You can file a wrongful death suit in Oregon for the death of a child or elderly family member. Awards for these types of suits are usually smaller than those of a parent or spouse because the lost future wages component is oftentimes not included for these Oregon wrongful death awards.
How is an Oregon Wrongful Death Award Divided?
If the deceased has a will for his estate, the will can be helpful in guiding the disbursement of the award from an Oregon wrongful death suit. If there is no will, a judge will listen to testimony from the deceased’s family and apply relevant state laws to decide the award’s distribution.
How Long do Oregon Wrongful Death Cases Take?
It’s difficult to predict how long it will be until you get a settlement or award. There are many factors that come into play. However, wrongful death cases are a priority for Veralrud & Fowler. We want to help victims’ families get the compensation they deserve as quickly as possible so they can move on with as little unnecessary grief as possible. Many of our Oregon personal injury suits are taken as contingency cases, meaning that we will not take a single dollar from you until we get you the settlement or award that you deserve.
Free Consultation with an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney
We encourage you to give us a call for a free consultation. Greg Veralrud has secured millions of dollars in both settlements and awards for personal injury claims including wrongful death suits in Oregon. Before we take you on as a client and before you incur even a dollar in legal fees, we want to get to know you and make sure that we are the best fit for you. If you have any questions, contact us today, and our legal team will get to know you, listen to your case, and explain your options. Mr. Veralrud will stop at nothing to get you the compensation you deserve.
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