When somebody loses a loved one due to the carelessness of another, Oregon statute allows for a wrongful death claim. This is known as a "statutory claim" because it is the statute that gives the surviving family members the right to pursue the claim.
The first step in pursuing a wrongful death claim is to open an estate for the deceased, and have a personal representative appointed to represent the estate. When the personal representative petitions the court to be appointed, notice must be given to all "interested persons," which is defined in the statute. Typically, this includes family members, heirs, and those people entitled to inherit the estate under the laws of intestate succession.
The "laws of intestate succession" refer to the statute that determines who inherits an estate in absence of a will. The people who are entitled to recover the proceeds of a wrongful death claim are known as the beneficiaries.
We have handled wrongful death cases for personal representatives, and are sensitive to the issues of family encounters when pursuing these claims. If you have questions about wrongful death claims in Oregon, call us at 503-325-8600. We will help you learn your options.