Portland Wrongful Death Attorney

When a loved one’s death is the result of someone else’s negligence, the case can be considered wrongful death. Families of wrongful death victims are often left emotionally and financially devastated. The legal system, therefore, provides families with a way to bring a claim against the negligent party (or company) to hold them accountable for their negligence. These lawsuits can also help families recoup some of the costs associated with an unexpected death, including burial and funeral expenses.

Portland wrongful death lawyer

Pursuing Justice for Wrongful Death Victims

At Paulson Coletti, we know that losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things to face, especially when that loved one was lost needlessly due to someone else’s negligence. Our ability to provide effective and compassionate counsel for families of wrongful death victims sets us apart.

We accept cases we are confident have merit. Paulson Coletti gives bereaved families the voice they deserve after losing their loved one through negligent or wrongful acts.

If you are interested in learning more about representation for a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, contact Paulson Coletti today.

Wrongful Death Settlements & Verdicts

Through passionate advocacy and years of honed trial skill, the attorneys at Paulson Coletti have secured some of the following verdicts and settlements for wrongful death clients –

What is Wrongful Death

When we look specifically at Oregon law, we can see that a death is considered wrongful if it is “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another” (ORS 30.020). The definition is rather vague, and the reality is that wrongful death claims can arise in a wide variety of ways in this state. Some of the most common ways that wrongful death claims arise include incidents involving:

This is absolutely not a complete list of the ways that wrongful death claims arise in Oregon. Anytime a person’s negligence causes someone to lose their life, a wrongful death claim could arise against that individual.

How is This Different From a Criminal Case?

It is important to point out that wrongful death claims are different from criminal charges that a person could face for taking the life of another. Prosecutors in Oregon are responsible for pressing charges against individuals accused of causing a death. Not every wrongful death claim will also involve a criminal charge against the individual. In many cases, the negligence that causes a wrongful death is not the same thing as a criminal action that causes the death.

Individuals face charges when they willfully or recklessly cause the loss of life. In many cases, a person can face criminal charges for the death of an individual as well as a civil lawsuit from the family for the death of the individual. There do not have to be any criminal charges in order for family members to file a wrongful death claim in Oregon. Even if a person does face charges and the charges are later dropped, or if they are found not guilty, a wrongful death claim can still proceed forward and be successful.

Because of the time limits placed on wrongful death claims, we strongly encourage you to work with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible, even if the person responsible for your loved one’s death is facing criminal charges. Prosecutors are not responsible for filing wrongful death claims, and they will not be able to assist you with this. You need your own wrongful death lawyer who has experience handling these types of civil matters.

Who Can Seek Wrongful Death?

In many states around the country, the family members of the deceased are responsible for filing the wrongful death claim in civil court. However, in Oregon, only the personal representative or executor of the deceased person’s estate is allowed to file these lawsuits.

Typically, if the deceased individual had a will, they would likely have named the personal representative there. More often than not, the personal representative or executor of the estate will actually be a member of the family, but that does not have to be the case. If the deceased did not have a will or if the personal representative named is not able to serve, the court is allowed to appoint someone else.

Portland wrongful death attorney

Types of Compensation Allowed in Portland Wrongful Death Suits

There may be various types of compensation available to a deceased individual’s estate or the surviving family members. This includes, but is not limited to, coverage of the following:

How Much Will You Receive After a Successful Claim?

There is no set amount of compensation an estate or family members will receive as a result of a successful wrongful death claim. There are various factors that will be taken into account when coming up with these total dollar values, including:

A skilled wrongful death lawyer in Portland will work with trusted medical and economic experts who can help adequately calculate the total expected losses on behalf of the estate and the family members.

How Long do I Have to File?

It is imperative to file a wrongful death claim in Oregon as soon as possible. In this state, the wrongful death statute of limitations is three years from the date of the deceased individual’s final injury. It is important to point out that, unlike other states where the statute of limitations clock starts ticking from the day the person dies, that is not the case in Oregon. It is the date from when the person received their final injury. In other words, if a person is injured in a vehicle accident but does not pass away until a few months later as a result of their injuries, the time frame for filing the wrongful death claim is from the day the accident occurred, not the date of death.

Additionally, insurance carriers involved in these claims will also have their own reporting deadlines. Typically, insurance carrier deadlines expire long before the personal injury or wrongful death statute of limitations. You need to work with a skilled wrongful death lawyer who has experience handling these cases and can file the claim with the necessary parties before the deadlines expire.

Will You Have to go to Court?

Many personal representatives and family members of a deceased individual wonder if they have to go to court in order for their case to be successful. The vast majority of wrongful death claims in Portland are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. When a claim is resolved in this manner, individuals will typically never set foot in a courtroom.

However, there are times when insurance carriers and legal teams for the other party put up a fight from having to payout compensation. When this happens, it will certainly be necessary to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. However, this still does not mean that you will have to go to the courtroom for your case to be heard.

When a lawsuit is filed, this means that the discovery process will start, where attorneys for both sides will exchange evidence and information with one another. Investigations will typically continue, and so will negotiations throughout this process. As more evidence comes to light, this often means that one side or the other decides to settle the claim or drop the case altogether.

If a settlement is reached during this time frame, you will not have to go to court. However, if the two sides cannot reach an agreement, a jury trial will become necessary, and this does mean you have to go to court in order for your case to be successful.

Your lawyer will prepare you for any of this. Your attorney will walk you through the entire process, and they will keep you apprised of all developments with your case. You will not be “surprised” by a sudden court appearance.

Everyone Deserves a Passionate Advocate — We’ve Got Three

Our Portland wrongful death lawyers represent clients throughout Oregon and Washington. We have  more than 100 years of combined experience among us — a decided advantage that enables us to handle cases with authority and insight.

As you focus on healing and being with your family during this difficult time, our firm will assume responsibility for handling the legal concerns you and your family face by pursuing justice on your behalf. We are prepared to take the necessary action to hold responsible parties liable for your loved one’s death.

Several principles guide our approach when handling wrongful death cases:

Contact a Portland Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If you have lost a loved one as a result of the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity in the state of Oregon, you need to reach out to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. These claims can become incredibly complicated, particularly when going up against insurance carriers or legal teams for the other party. When you have a skilled lawyer by your side, you will have an advocate that will have your back the entire way through the claim.

Your lawyer will understand how challenging these wrongful death claims are for you and your family. Our team will work diligently with the personal representative of your loved one’s estate to ensure that the estate and the surviving family members recover the compensation they are entitled to.

To learn more, or to schedule a free case review with our caring and knowledgeable Portland personal injury lawyers, please call Paulson Coletti today.