Any time members of your family leave the house and drive or ride in motor vehicles, there is a tiny degree of risk that they won’t come home again. Although most motor vehicle trips are uneventful, they sometimes end in tragedy.
If a member of your immediate family crosses paths with a drunk driver or someone who falls asleep at the wheel, they could get into a collision despite being a very safe driver themselves. Someone else’s bad choices or dangerous habits can do permanent damage to your entire family.
Losing someone that you love in a senseless car crash is a heartbreaking experience. Your family deserves justice for that kind of loss, and the Oregon civil courts provide an opportunity for you to secure that justice.
Your family may have grounds for a legal claim
When one person or a business does something wrong or fails to do something necessary, people can get hurt. Oregon state law allows an individual hurt by someone else’s misconduct or ommissions to pursue personal injury claims. In situations involving a fatality, surviving family members have similar rights.
Under Oregon’s wrongful death statute, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can bring a claim in civil court against the driver who caused the crash or the business with liability for the wreck. If they can prove that misconduct or omissions caused the loss, then the courts may award damages for losses ranging from funeral and medical expenses to wages that the deceased will not be able to earn in the future. This compensation will go to the family members affected by the death.
A civil suit is an option in addition to or instead of criminal charges
If there was obvious misconduct involved in the situation, Oregon state prosecutors might bring charges against the other person involved. Regardless of whether or not the state successfully convicts the other party, a wrongful death lawsuit is still an option.
Family members denied justice because the state could not pursue charges or struggling to deal with the financial consequences of their recent loss can file a lawsuit. A successful wrongful death claim not only names the other party ultimately responsible for your loss but also awards you compensation for your family’s misfortune. Learning more about Oregon wrongful death claims could help your family after a deadly crash.