Wrongful Death Lawyer Portland

While mourning the loss of a loved one, it’s hard to think about the repercussions of their passing. This is even more true when the death was caused by the negligent or careless actions of another person or a business. These deaths are typically sudden and unexpected, and can cause great financial and emotional devastation for the people left behind. Personal injury attorney Paul Galm has handled countless wrongful death cases on behalf of Portland families, and he can help you make sense of the legal recourse.

What is Wrongful Death?

What is considered wrongful death varies in each state, but is largely defined by legal industry experts as “the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person.” Some examples of wrongful death include a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver, a bicycle accident caused by a driver failing to obey the rules of the road, medical malpractice, intentional violence or an assault, or construction site injuries caused by negligent workers or faulty equipment.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases brought against the people or businesses believed to be responsible for the negligent and willful acts that contributed to the death of another person.

As with most matters of law, each state has their own regulations regarding wrongful death lawsuits, including who can file the cases, the damages that may be awarded, and the statute of limitations. According to Oregon law, the personal representative of the estate can file the claim and seek restitution from the responsible parties within 3 years of the death. It is still prudent to file the claim as soon as possible, to prevent the potential loss of evidence.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

This varies by state, but all 50 states allow immediate family members (spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children) to sue for recompense. Some states allow domestic or life partners, financial dependents, and distant family members (siblings and grandparents) to file.

How Are Damages Determined?

According to Oregon law, survivors of the descendant’s estate can receive damages (compensation) for the cost of pre-death medical treatment, the cost of funeral expenses, the financial support the descendant would have provided to his/her survivors, and the loss of emotional support and companionship the survivors must endure.

What is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Homicide Charges?

The task of proving wrongful death falls on the civil court, and applies to instances where the alleged conduct or negligence of a person or business caused a death. Conversely, homicide charges are brought by the state in criminal court. It is possible, however, to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a person who has been charged with homicide, even if the person was found not guilty.

If you or someone you know has experienced such a loss, you have the legal right to file a wrongful death claim and seek restitution. If you need more complete details about Oregon laws, go to Oregon.gov or contact wrongful death attorney Paul Galm to help you through this difficult time and to guide you toward healing and recovery.