If your loved one has died because of a third party, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. However, the case needs to meet certain criteria before you can claim compensation.
Signs You May Have a Wrongful Death Case
Many wrongful death claims involve negligence, meaning the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care and didn’t follow it. To classify as wrongful death, the death of a person from negligence or willful intent must be present. Wrongful death is especially common in medical malpractice cases in which the doctor failed to diagnose a condition leading to patient demise.
You also may have a claim if your loved one died because of a defective product they used correctly. Victims killed intentionally, such as a shooting or careless driving, are often signs you have a wrongful death case. Sometimes, fatal falls or other accidents on property caused by negligence are grounds to file a wrongful death case.
Who to Sue and Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Generally speaking, the surviving spouse, surviving children and any family members of the person who died, as well as anyone who is a beneficiary of the person’s estate, can bring a wrongful death action.
If the party passed because of a defective product, you could bring a lawsuit against the makers. A medical malpractice case may involve several parties, which include doctors, nurses, ER personnel, surgeons, and pharmacists. Premises liability laws allow you to sue landowners who didn’t fix a defect or set barriers for attractive nuisances.
Sometimes, a wrongful death claim is warranted for preventable incidents to get justice. However, certain groups are often protected by immunity laws, such as government officials. If you have questions, speak with an attorney at OlsenDaines before filing a claim. Our attorneys have extensive experience with wrongful death claims and can help you recover all of the damages to which you are entitled. Call us today to set up your free consultation.
What Should I Know About Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
Filing a wrongful death claim can feel overwhelming, but an experienced attorney can guide you through the process. Before beginning, however, there are a few important things to know about filing a wrongful death claim:
- Time to make a wrongful death claim is limited. In every state there is a set of laws known as the Statute of Limitations. These limit the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit. Oregon and Washington residents have up to three years to file a wrongful death claim. And if the claim is against a public entity in Oregon, there’s a one year statute for sending a Tort Claim Notice to preserve your rights against the public body. Missing this timeline could prevent you from recovering damages.
- You may be awarded specific types of damages. If your claim is successful, you may gain compensation for a variety of damages. Common wrongful death damages include medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of wages or inheritances, and loss of companionship.
- You will need documentation to prevail in your case. For a successful claim, you will need to prove negligence. One of our attorneys can help you compile documentation to show that the defendant violated a legal duty to the deceased and that your loved one died as a result of that violation.
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Washington & Oregon
If your loved one died due to the negligence of others, don’t hesitate to consult one of the experienced attorneys at OlsenDaines. We are committed to guiding you through the process of making a wrongful death claim to recover all of the damages to which you are entitled. Call us today to schedule your free legal consultation.