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A fatal crash may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit

There are few things more upsetting in life than to lose a loved one in a fatal car accident. Whether the news is delivered by a loved one in a late night call, or by a member of the law enforcement community, there is no easy way to get through the initial pain and shock that surviving family members will go through.

While nothing can bring back a loved one, an attorney can help survivors get through the emotional and financial difficulties following such a traumatic event.

Where fault can be established, a wrongful death suit can hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. A wrongful death suit is a civil suit, and much different from a criminal case, in which the government will seek to punish the responsible party for their actions that have been deemed to be a crime. A good example of this is if someone kills another person while they are driving drunk.

In Portland, and throughout Oregon, there is a statute of limitations which states that a wrongful death suit must be filed within three years of the date of the injury that caused a person’s death. This means if a person is injured, but lingers for several weeks or months before passing away, the claim must be filed within three years from the time they were first injured.

While spouses and children normally are the recipients of wrongful death settlement compensation, awards can also be made to other family members such as parents, siblings and other relatives. Many times, if the deceased had a will in place, this will help determine how an award is made.

Compensation can take many forms:
• Medical bills and burial expenses.
• Lost wages. This can be difficult to determine and is usually based on an expert determining how much a person would have made for the balance of their lifetime.
• Pain and suffering.
• Loss of companionship.
• Punitive damages. Can be awarded in some cases where extreme negligence is proven.

Johnson & Taylor Law proudly serves Portland, Salem and surrounding Oregon communities.