How are damages determined?
This is perhaps is the most complicated issue in Oregon wrongful death laws because so many factors have to be taken into consideration, including:
- Medical bills and burial expenses.
- The loss of wages the person would have earned had they lived. This is usually determined by an expert economist who will take into account the deceased person’s education, training, prior tax returns, and more.
- Pain and suffering of the deceased person between the time of the accident and the time of death.
- Compensation to the victim’s spouse, children, step-children, parents, and other family for loss of companionship, society, and pecuniary losses. (“Pecuniary” is a legal term that includes loss of money, but can include more than this as well.)
- Compensation to the victim’s estate for pecuniary losses.
- In cases where extreme negligence, recklessness, or intent can be proven, punitive damages may also be awarded in Oregon wrongful death cases.
For more information, order your free copy of Oregon Wrongful Death Laws here and see chapter 8 for more information about damages.