Meeting with and Choosing Your Attorney
Choosing a lawyer is of course a crucial step in the process. You should interview several lawyers, and you should ask them hard questions. Take notes, and feel free to bring a trusted friend or relative with you. But do be aware that the presence of a friend may negate the confidentiality of the meeting,… read more
This is a Commitment – Are You Ready?
You may be surprised to read this in a post written by lawyers who focus on personal injury and wrongful death claims, but a wrongful death claim is NOT for everyone. It will require a commitment of both time and energy – probably yours – to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. We write “probably yours,” because… read more
Role of the Personal Representative
Even if you are not considering hiring a professional, thought still must be put into who should be the PR. For example, if a woman dies leaving behind a husband and two children, ages 19 and 21, which of the three would make the best PR? One of the children may get more sympathy from… read more
Hiring a Lawyer or Other Professional to Serve as Personal Representative
Sometimes a judge may appoint a personal representative who is not a beneficiary. When this happens, the person appointed is usually a professional who does this sort of thing for a living, often a lawyer. Because it’s a job, the person gets paid. This is usually done when the only beneficiaries are all under 18,… read more
How a personal representative is chosen for an estate
The personal representative has to be approved by a judge. Usually, all of the beneficiaries will agree upon one of them to be the personal representative. There is a specific order that the law states (ORS 113.085) is the preferred way to choose a P.R. Here is the order: Executor named in a will Spouse… read more
Estate and Personal Representative in Wrongful Death
When a person dies, and leaves behind anything that is worth money, the law creates an “estate.” If John Doe dies, then it will be called “The Estate of John Doe.” For example, you may sometimes see “Estate Sales,” where the possessions of someone who has passed away are being sold. What has happened, legally,… read more
The Myth of “Cashing In”
You should be aware that insurance companies have been engaging in a well-financed advertising campaign for over 30 years to try to convince the general public that injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits are simply about greedy people trying to “cash in” on a tragedy. They do this because it saves them millions of dollars…. read more
Why Pursue A Wrongful Death Claim?
Before discussing wrongful death laws, let us focus for a minute on the propriety of bringing a wrongful death lawsuit in the first place. There are some who think it’s wrong to accept money because someone died. We understand that accepting money due to the death of a loved one can seem wrong. But when… read more
Is Murder the Same As A Wrongful Death? – Part 2
As mentioned in previous blog posts, a criminal case is separate and independent from a civil case. Some deaths result in only a criminal case (murder or manslaughter), but no civil case. Others may result in a civil case (known as wrongful death) but no criminal case. Still others may result in both. So yes,… read more
Who receives the award? Must it be shared by the entire family?
Like most things in law, this is not always clear-cut. The law simply states that proceeds shall be distributed “in accordance with each beneficiary’s loss.” In many cases, the beneficiaries can all agree to a distribution. If this is not possible, a judge will determine how to split up the proceeds among the beneficiaries. We… read more