When someone is killed in an accident, and it was caused by someone’s negligence, it is called wrongful death. Information about negligence claims is in the process of being moved to a new website, http://simmonspersonalinjury.com, and you are invited to visit the page about wrongful death with some new blog posts on the topic.
A claim for death caused by negligence is brought under the wrongful death statute. The quotes below are from Oregon Revised Statutes 30.020.
“Action for wrongful death; when commenced; damages. (1) 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 … may maintain an action against the wrongdoer …”
The statute of limitations for wrongful death is generally three years:
“In no case may an action be commenced later than the earliest of:
(a) Three years after the death of the decedent; or
(b) The longest of any other period for commencing an action under a statute of ultimate repose …”
However, the tort claim notice statute has additional time limits for giving notice of the claim and filing the case. An attorney should be consulted on death cases.
The amount to be awarded for wrongful death is based upon these factors:
“reasonable charges necessarily incurred for … medical services, burial services and memorial services …;
… for disability, pain, suffering and loss of income during the period between injury to the decedent and the decedent’s death;
… for pecuniary loss to the decedent’s estate;
… 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
… the punitive damages, if any, which the decedent would have been entitled to recover from the wrongdoer if the decedent had lived.”
Most wrongful death claims present similar issues to other personal injury cases, including proof of the negligence of the defendant company.