Wrongful Death FAQs

When another party’s negligence leads to a loved one’s death, you may have a wrongful death claim.  Portland wrongful death suits are based on the premise that when a party’s actions cause a death, not only was the deceased injured, but the deceased’s family is injured too. The families of the deceased can seek damages for financial losses due to wrongful death as well as psychological and emotional damages. It is important to note that wrongful death suits differ from criminal cases; the burden of proof in a criminal case is much heavier than in a civil case, and there are many notable instances where restitution has been secured from a wrongful death civil case but criminal penalties were not handed out (think O.J. Simpson’s famous case.)

Dawson Law Group are leading Portland wrongful death lawyers. Below are some frequently asked questions about Portland, OR wrongful death suits answered by top personal injury attorney Bryan Dawson. If you have further questions or you would like some advice on whether or not you can file a wrongful death suit, feel free to call Dawson Law Group for a free and confidential consultation where our legal team can get to know you and your case, answer any questions that you might have, and help you explore your legal options.

Who can file a Portland, OR wrongful death claim?
portland-personal-injury-lawyer-wrongful-death-97208-City-CenterThe victim’s family members can file a wrongful death claim. In most cases, the deceased’s spouse and/or dependents are the ones who file a Portland wrongful death suit.

How are damages in a Portland, Oregon wrongful death suit determined?

Awards for wrongful death suits, like other Portland personal injury suits, are based on financial and non-economic losses of the plaintiffs. In rare cases of extreme or malicious negligence and wrongdoing, punitive damages can be awarded. The typical Portland, OR wrongful death suit may encompass the following:

  • Lost future wages of the deceased had they lived to a normal lifespan
  • The victim’s medical bills and burial costs
  • The deceased’s pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship to the victim’s family

How is a Portland, OR wrongful death award divided?

If the victim has a will for his estate, the will is used to guide how the award or settlement is distributed. If the victim did not have a will, a judge will make decisions based on testimony from the victim’s family and relevant state laws.

If the deceased never held a job, can I still bring a wrongful death suit?

portland-personal-injury-lawyer-wrongful-death-97210-LinntonIf the deceased never held a job, they still contributed to the well-being of their household. A good example of this would be a stay-at-home parent. While they might not be bringing income into their household, their services, guidance, and nurturing that they bring to their household can be assigned a monetary award.

Can I file a Portland, Oregon wrongful death suit for a child or an elderly person?

You can still file a wrongful death suit for a child or elderly family member. However, these awards will usually be more modest compared to other wrongful death suits because in these cases, it will be more difficult to prove your household’s economic losses.

How long does a Portland, OR wrongful death case take to resolve?

It is nearly impossible to predict how long it will take for you to secure a settlement or award. What we at Dawson Law Group can tell you is that wrongful death cases are a top priority for our Portland personal injury attorneys. We understand how important it is to help victims’ families get the compensation they need to move on without additional unnecessary grief and sadness. Like all of our other Portland, Oregon personal injury cases, our wrongful death cases are taken on a contingent basis, meaning that until you secure the compensation you deserve, you won’t have to worry about a single dollar in lawyer fees from Dawson Law Group.

If you have questions, want to talk to someone about your case, or want to explore your various legal options, we invite you to call Dawson Law Group for a free consultation. Our passion is to help victims find justice, and before we start working with you we want to get to know you and educate you on what you can expect from the process of filing a Portland wrongful death suit. Call our knowledgeable legal team and start getting the answers you need today.