Bend Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one can be devastating, particularly when that death was caused by someone else’s negligence. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC are tough advocates for wrongful death victims and their families. Contact our legal team as soon as possible for dedicated legal assistance in seeking justice for your loved one and compensation for your family’s losses.
Why Choose Us?
- We are honest and transparent with our clients and will act at all times in your best interests.
- We are experienced negotiators and aggressive trial lawyers with a successful track record, both in and out of court.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis and do not charge any fees until we win a recovery for you.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death can be defined as the death of a person resulting from the wrongful act of another. It is the basis for a lawsuit filed against the responsible party by surviving family members of the deceased. In a wrongful death action, the victim would have had a personal injury claim against the responsible party had he or she survived.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death claim can arise in any situation where someone’s negligence or wrongdoing results in the death of a human being. Common causes include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Workplace Accidents
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Bend, Oregon?
As stated in Oregon Revised Statutes Section 30.020, a wrongful death action may be brought by the personal representative – the person who administers the estate of the deceased. The personal representative may be named in the will of the decedent or agreed on among the beneficiaries, but must be ultimately approved and appointed by the judge.
Requirements for filing a wrongful death claim
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless, negligent, or reckless actions of another person, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation. In Oregon, a wrongful death claim may be brought by a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The following people are typically allowed to recover compensation in a wrongful death claim – a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased. However, if none of those people are able to or are no longer living, surviving grandparents, stepchildren, and stepparents are also able to recover damages in a wrongful death claim.
It is important to understand that wrongful death claims are civil actions. These differ from criminal cases. There does not have to be a criminal case involved in the loss of a loved one in order for a wrongful death claim to be made.
The individual, company, or entity responsible for the death of a loved one will most commonly be the one held liable for damages. Many wrongful death cases involve more than one liable party.
What is the statute of limitations for these cases?
Each state is allowed a statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. These are time limits in which the family members are allowed to file a claim. In Oregon, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years from the date of the deceased person’s final injury.
It is important to note that state law does not define the statute of limitations by the date of the person’s death, but rather from the date of their final injury. This has implications for wrongful death cases. If a significant amount of time passes from the date of a person’s final injury and their death, the time to file a wrongful death claim may be much shorter than expected.
For example, if a person is involved in a serious car accident and sustains severe injuries, that does not mean the incident will be fatal. Medical personnel will do what they can to save a person. It is not uncommon for victims of serious accidents to live for significant periods of time as doctors work to save them. Sometimes a person lives for months or even a year before succumbing to their injuries.
While this is happening, the last thing a family is thinking about is having to file a wrongful death claim. Families are hoping for the best. If a person does die from accident injuries, the family may be left scrambling to file a wrongful death claim in time. A Bend wrongful death attorney will be able to ensure you understand and meet the deadlines imposed by Oregon law.
Types of compensation available in an Oregon wrongful death claim
There are various types of compensation that a person may be entitled to in a wrongful death claim. With the help of a Bend wrongful death attorney, you will calculate your total losses that resulted from your loved one’s death. This could include:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits your loved one would have earned
While those are calculable, economic expenses, there are also non-economic damages that you may be entitled to as well. The unexpected loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things anyone could endure, and they may be entitled to:
- Loss of companionship, care, comfort, and guidance suffered by the family as a result of their loss
- Pain and suffering damages suffered by the deceased prior to their death as a result of the incident
If the defendant’s actions that contributed to the death of a loved one were intentional or grossly negligent, the plaintiff may be able to seek punitive damages as well. These are typically awarded to punish the at-fault party and designed to prevent the defendant from doing the same thing in the future.
How to prove an Oregon wrongful death claim
Proving a wrongful death claim is often the most difficult part of the process. As the claimant in the case, you must be able to show the cause of your loved one’s death. You must provide clear evidence that the defendant’s negligent or intentional actions were the cause of death. You must also show that there were losses (damages) resulting from the death.
A Bend wrongful death attorney will most likely be necessary to help with this process. Your attorney will gather all of the evidence necessary to prove the defendant’s liability. This will include:
- All accident reports
- Photo and video surveillance
- Eyewitness accounts of the incident
- Your loved one’s medical records
- Safety records from companies, drivers, etc.
It is often necessary to take depositions in a wrongful death case. This questioning can become complicated, and an attorney will handle the process. It may be necessary to secure expert medical witnesses or accident reconstruction specialists in order to prove liability and damages.
Who Can Benefit from a Wrongful Death Claim?
The statute provides that a wrongful death action is for the benefit of the decedent’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Individuals who would be entitled to inherit under the laws of intestate (without a will) succession
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Damages in a wrongful death case may be awarded for:
- Medical expenses related to the last illness or injury of the deceased
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Disability, pain and suffering, and lost income of the deceased from the date of the injury to the date of death
- Pecuniary loss to the decedent’s estate
- Pecuniary loss and loss of society, companionship, and services of the decedent suffered by surviving family members
- Punitive damages (designed to punish the defendant) that the decedent would have been entitled to recover if he or she had lived
Why You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Fault may be difficult to prove in some wrongful death claims. Your best course of action is to consult with an experienced Bend wrongful death attorney like the ones found at our law firm. Our wrongful death attorneys can investigate the accident or injury to determine and establish fault, assess the full extent of your family’s losses, and negotiate skillfully or fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.
Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC case results
When you are choosing a wrongful death attorney in Bend, it is important that you choose a firm that has a track record of results. At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, you can count on having a team by your side that has consistently secured compensation for clients who have suffered devastating losses.
Some of the wrongful death cases we have been successful in include:
- A $10 million judgment for the estate of a 26-year-old woman who was incarcerated while suffering from opioid withdrawal. She was denied medical assistance, which ultimately resulted in her death.
- A $1.4 million settlement for a delayed diagnosis case concerning a person’s cancer. The delayed diagnosis ultimately resulted in the death of a female patient.
- A $1.3 million U.S. District Court of Oregon bench verdict for a widower who lost his leg, and whose wife died, when a Fish and Wildlife semi-tractor crossed the road and hit the couple head-on.
- A $1.3 million settlement to a family who lost a 40-year-old husband and father as a result of a head-on collision.
These examples are only a sample of the successful results that Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC has secure for clients. We take pride in the service and dedication we provide to each client and strive for the best results in each case.
At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we are dedicated to personal injury and wrongful death law. This has allowed us to develop a deep understanding of the tactics used by defendants. We have more than 50 years of combined experience to bring to your Bend wrongful death case.
How much does a Bend wrongful death attorney cost?
The last thing grieving families need to think about after losing a loved one is how much an attorney will cost. At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we take our cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will face no up-front costs and will pay no out-of-pocket expenses over the course of the case. You will not be responsible for paying legal fees until we successfully recover the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact Us Today
A wrongful death claim can help you seek justice for your deceased loved one along with compensation for your family’s future.
When you are ready to get started on your wrongful death case, Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC today to schedule a free consultation if you have lost a family member through the negligence of another.