If someone dies as the result of the wrongful actions of another, it can be ruled a wrongful death and a lawsuit can be started against the wrong doer. Since the plaintiff is deceased, a personal representative can be appointed to file the lawsuit. In Oregon, the statute of limitations is three years from the injury that caused the death or within reasonable discovery, depending on the facts of the case.
In the state of Oregon the monetary damages that can be awarded to the personal representative use many different factors to determining the amount:
- Compensations for medical and funeral expenses
- Reasonable compensation for pain and suffering before death
- Reasonable compensation for monetary loss to the decedent’s estate
- Reasonable compensation for monetary loss to the decedent’s family,
- loss of companionship and services of the decedent
- punitive damages if decedent had lived
Punitive damages can be awarded to set an example to others and can be deterrence to them to keep them from doing the same wrongful actions. The damages first go to medical and funeral expenses, then to costs of bringing a lawsuit into court, and finally to the decedent’s estate and family. None of the damages will go to taxes or claims against the decedent’s estate. If your loved one has died at the fault of another, you are entitled to compensation for your loss.
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Our clients in this matter were husband and wife who were involved in a “T-Bone” car collision while enjoying an evening drive. An SUV blew through a stop sign and crashed into the side of our clients’ vehicle at such a high speed that the husband died and the wife was severely injured. The SUV driver had a suspended license and was uninsured.
How We Were Able to Help
Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC filed a lawsuit and quickly obtained a judgment in the amount of $1,112,007 against the SUV driver. This judgment was significantly limited by Oregon’s cap on wrongful death claims. We were also able to settle with our clients’ under-insured motorist carrier for the full policy limits. With our help, our female client secured more than $1,242,000 in lawful compensation for her injuries and loss.