Wrongful Death

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Nothing can undo the loss of a loved one, and we understand that families are dealing with the many challenges that come with a sudden loss. However, the law may be able to provide compensation for family members' losses and harms if the death was caused by the wrongdoing of a business or another person. 

Oregon's Wrongful Death Laws

Oregon's wrongful death law defines that an action may be brought when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the decedent, for the benefit of the decedent’s surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents and other individuals, if any, who under the law of intestate succession of the state of the decedent’s domicile would be entitled to inherit the personal property of the decedent, and for the benefit of any stepchild or stepparent whether that stepchild or stepparent would be entitled to inherit the personal property of the decedent or not, may maintain an action against the wrongdoer, if the decedent might have maintained an action, had the decedent lived, against the wrongdoer for an injury done by the same act or omission.

In an Oregon wrongful death action, damages may be awarded in an amount which: (a) includes reasonable charges necessarily incurred for doctors’ services, hospital services, nursing services, other medical services, burial services and memorial services rendered for the decedent; (b) would justly, fairly and reasonably have compensated the decedent for disability, pain, suffering and loss of income during the period between injury to the decedent and the decedent’s death; (c) justly, fairly and reasonably compensates for pecuniary loss to the decedent’s estate; (d) justly, fairly and reasonably compensates the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents for pecuniary loss and for loss of the society, companionship and services of the decedent; and (e) separately stated in finding or verdict, the punitive damages, if any, which the decedent would have been entitled to recover from the wrongdoer if the decedent had lived.

In some fatal injury cases, an attorney may determine that it is preferable to bring a "survival action" instead of an action under these wrongful death statutes.