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Oregon Wrongful Death Claims: Laws and Time Limits

If your loved one has been killed in an accident, you can file a wrongful death claim. In Oregon, however, there are time limits as well as limits on who can file the claim, and what damages can be compensated. Who can bring a wrongful death claim? ORS 30.020 says that the following people (or their legal representatives) are entitled to bring wrongful death claims against the person who caused the death:
- Surviving spouse;
- Surviving children;
- Surviving parents;
- Step-children or step-parents;
- Anyone who would have been entitled to inherit the deceased's personal property if they died without a will.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

In Oregon, most wrongful death claims must be filed within 3 years. But there are important exceptions, so speak to a wrongful death attorney ASAP to protect your rights. If your loved one's death was caused by an employee of the state, for example, you will need to file a Tort Claim notice within 1 year.

What damages can be claim in a wrongful death suit?

- Medical costs;
- Burial expenses;
- Funeral expenses;
- Compensation for pain, suffering, loss;
- Monetary loss to deceased's estate;
- Compensation for monetary loss like lost income;
- Punitive damages.

Awards are distributed, most often, according to any will left by the deceased. If there is no will, the court will determine each person's award based on the amount of loss suffered by surviving family member.