An Overview of Wrongful Death Actions in Oregon and Washington

Posted by Schauermann Thayer | Apr 04, 2018 | 0 Comments

If you are suffering the death of a loved one due to someone else's misconduct, you may be eligible to receive compensation from a wrongful death claim. Many people are not familiar with these types of lawsuits. The following provides an overview of this form of lawsuit. If you are considering a wrongful death action, the attorneys at the Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS Vancouver, Washington office are ready and willing to help you through this complicated and difficult time.

What is a Wrongful Death Action?

When a person is killed in an accident, his or her family may not only suffer emotional grief but might also suffer devastating financial impacts. A wrongful death action may provide financial compensation to surviving members of the deceased individual's family for that individual's death. Such an action is brought against the person who caused the deceased individual's death. Circumstances in which wrongful death actions are commonly filed include:

Who is Able to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Who is allowed to benefit from a wrongful death claim depends on the state in which the claim is filed. In Washington and Oregon, a husband, wife, domestic partner, child, or step-child of a deceased individual can bring a wrongful death action against the individual who caused the death. Oregon's wrongful death statute is even broader than that of Washington; it allows anyone who would be entitled to recover under intestacy (when a person dies without a will) to file a wrongful death action. This may include parents or step-parents.

The wrongful death action in either state must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person's estate, on behalf of the beneficiaries of the action.

What Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Action?

If you are an eligible beneficiary, then you may be entitled to a variety of forms of compensation, which are known in the legal world as "damages." Such damages may include:

  • Funeral expenses to cover cremation, burial, and reasonable funeral costs;
  • End-of-life medical expenses;
  • Income which you relied upon from your loved one, including loss of earning capacity of your loved one had he or she survived;
  • Loss of your loved one's love, care, and companionship; and,
  • In rare circumstances and only in Oregon (not in Washington), punitive damages when a person's actions were particularly egregious.

Can you File Wrongful Death Action? Contact Us Today

If you are debating filing a wrongful death action following the loss of someone you loved in Washington or Oregon, the time to contact an experienced attorney is now. The team of personal injury attorneys at Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS have successfully represented many clients in their search for justice following the death of a loved one. Don't try to fight a wrongful death action alone; let our attorneys take the stress of a lawsuit off your shoulders and fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call (360) 695-4244 today.

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Experienced Attorneys

The attorneys at Schauermann Thayer handle personal injury, wrongful death, and insurance actions for clients throughout the Southwest Washington and Portland, Oregon area.


Schauermann Thayer is committed to answering your questions and addressing your concerns about potential personal injury and wrongful death cases in Washington and Oregon.

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