1) The driver at-fault caused a fatality. Is Oregon law different in this situation?
Yes, faulty driving causing death triggers state wrongful death laws. These laws set out unique procedures designed to protect and compensate family members of the deceased.
For example, Oregon law requires a personal representative of the deceased’s estate to be named by the court. See, ORS 30.010-ORS 30.100. Usually a family member is selected personal representative of the estate. The personal representative, through an attorney, asserts claims for beneficiaries.
Persons with potential wrongful death claims usually include the deceased’s spouse and children. Depending on the circumstances, grandparents, significant others, step children and step parents may also be eligible for wrongful death compensation.
TIP: Lawyer assistance is almost always needed to resolve a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are more complicated than injury claims and require court approval.