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Portland Wrongful Death Lawyer

Assistance with Wrongful Death Claims in Oregon

At Pacific Cascade Legal, we understand the devastating impact that a wrongful death can have on a family. Our Portland wrongful death attorneys are here to help you and your family navigate the legal process and seek justice for your loved one.

To speak with a Portland wrongful death lawyer, start by filling out an online contact form.

What Constitutes Wrongful Death in OR?

In Oregon, wrongful death refers to a situation where a person's death is caused by the negligence, misconduct, or intentional actions of another party. The state has specific laws that govern wrongful death claims and provide legal recourse for the surviving family members or personal representatives of the deceased individual.

To establish a wrongful death claim in Oregon, the following elements generally need to be proven:

  • Duty of care:The responsible party must have owed a dutyof care to the deceased person. This duty of care can arise from various relationships, such as a doctor-patient relationship, employer-employee relationship, or driver-passenger relationship.

  • Breach of duty: It must be demonstrated that the responsible party breached their duty of care. This means that they failed to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in similar circumstances.

  • Causation: There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and the death of the individual. It must be shown that the actions or negligence of the responsible party were a substantial factor in causing the death.

  • Damages: The wrongful death must have resulted in damages to the surviving family members or the estate of the deceased person. Damages can include financial losses, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of future income, and loss of companionship.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Oregon, the right to file a wrongful death claim is typically granted to specific individuals or parties who are considered "beneficiaries" under the state's wrongful death statute.

The order of priority for filing a wrongful death claim is as follows:

  1. Personal Representative: The personal representative of the deceased person's estate is typically the first eligible party to file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative is usually appointed through a will or by the court if there is no will. The personal representative acts on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members.

  2. Surviving Spouse: If there is a surviving spouse, they have the right to file a wrongful death claim if there are no surviving children or stepchildren of the deceased.

  3. Surviving Children: If there are surviving children or stepchildren of the deceased, and there is no surviving spouse, they have the right to file a wrongful death claim.

  4. Parents: If there is no surviving spouse or children, the deceased person's parents may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.

  5. Personal Representative of a Deceased Child: If the wrongful death claim involves the death of a child, and there are no surviving spouses, children, or parents, the personal representative of the deceased child's estate may be eligible to file the claim.

Oregon law has specific rules regarding the distribution of damages awarded in a wrongful death claim. These damages are typically distributed among the eligible beneficiaries in a specific order established by the statute.

Types of Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims can arise from various circumstances and situations. Here are some common types of wrongful death claims:

  • Medical Malpractice: When a healthcare professional's negligence, such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital, leads to the death of a patient. This can include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, or failure to provide appropriate treatment.

  • Car Accidents: Wrongful death claims can result from car accidents caused by negligent or reckless driving, including drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, or failure to obey traffic laws.

  • Workplace Accidents: If a worker dies as a result of a workplace accident due to unsafe conditions, inadequate training, equipment failure, or employer negligence, a wrongful death claim may be pursued.

  • Defective Products: If a defective product causes someone's death, such as a faulty vehicle part, dangerous pharmaceutical drug, or a defective household item, the manufacturer or distributor may be held liable.

  • Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect: If a nursing home resident dies due to abuse, neglect, or inadequate care, the facility or its staff members may be held accountable in a wrongful death claim.

  • Criminal Acts: If someone is killed as a result of a criminal act, such as assault, murder, or manslaughter, the perpetrator can face criminal charges, and the surviving family may pursue a wrongful death claim against them in civil court.

Discover Your Rights – Let Us Help

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident or negligence, please contact Pacific Cascade Legal today. Our Portland wrongful death attorneys are here to help you seek justice for your loved one and provide you with support and guidance for a tragic loss.

Request an initial consultation by dialing (503) 573-5566 now!

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