The ultimate personal injury due to Oregon medical malpractice is wrongful death. Even though some other injuries due to medical errors may be more painful and debilitating, the wrongful death of a loved one impacts the entire family and is irreversible. The physical, emotional, and financial burdens on an entire family after the unexpected and wrongful death of a loved one is simply overwhelming. In addition, feelings of anguish, frustration, and even anger may be common, especially if the wrongful death is caused by a healthcare provider who was supposed to heal, not kill, a loved one. Our Oregon wrongful death lawyers know how devastating this is for a family, and we can lift these burdens off of your shoulders and onto ours so you can focus on the healing process.
What is Wrongful Death Under Oregon Law?
A wrongful death is a death caused by the wrongful act or omission of another. While a wrongful death could be caused by an intentional act, such as murder, in a medical malpractice context the wrongful death is caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider. This negligence could be either the reckless, careless, or downright inappropriate care by a healthcare provider. Negligence causing a wrongful death could be a negligent act, like a surgical error, or a negligent omission, like failing to diagnose cancer.
Who May Start an Oregon Wrongful Death Case?
A personal representative can commence an Oregon wrongful death claim. The personal representative stands in the shoes of the deceased person because a wrongful death case is a claim belonging to the estate of the deceased person. Thus, the personal representative acts like the deceased person and has the same rights as the deceased person to assert in court, plus some additional rights to family members under Oregon law.
Generally, a personal representative in an Oregon wrongful death case is a surviving spouse, parent, or child. But a personal representative could also be other heirs under Oregon’s intestate laws, or laws if a person passes without a will. This includes siblings, aunts/uncles, grandparents, grandchildren, or other relatives. In addition, dependents that rely on the deceased person could also petition the court to become a personal representative.
Time Limit on Filing an Oregon Wrongful Death Action
The time to commence any action is known as the statute of limitations period. This is a time limit on a claim. If an action is started outside of the statute of limitations period, the case may automatically be dismissed if the other party asks the court to do so (which they almost always do). Thus, it is imperative to commence a wrongful death action within the applicable statute of limitations period.
Under Oregon law, the time limit to commence a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of the deceased person’s final injury. This is not the date of death like many other states, but the date of the last injury which contributed to the wrongful death. This is very important to recognize because a person may have much less time to commence a wrongful death case than he or she may realize.
Damages For an Oregon Wrongful Death
Since it is not possible to bring back the deceased family member, damages in a wrongful death case are usually compensatory in nature. This means that the estate will receive certain compensation due to the death of their loved one. Some of the most common types of compensation for the wrongful death include the following:
Bend/Portland, Oregon Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.