Oregon Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Losing a loved one is one of the most devastating things a family can experience. Unfortunately, many deaths are caused by the negligence and wrongful doing of others, which means death could have been prevented. If you feel your loved one’s death could have been prevented, our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss your options. You might be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered.
However, there is a limited amount of time to pursue compensation because of Oregon's statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. If your lawsuit is not filed before the deadline passes, you will lose the right to pursue compensation. One of the advantages of working with a trusted Portland wrongful death lawyer from our firm is that he or she will have detailed knowledge of this deadline and all the exceptions to it. This allows us to determine when the deadline is and how much time we have left to take legal action. We take cases on contingency so there is no charge for working with us unless you receive compensation.
Deadline for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Oregon
A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within three years from the date the injury that caused death was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. There are many situations when the death occurs on the same date as the injury. However, sometimes there is a gap between the date of the injury and the victim's death. The important thing to remember is that the date of the injury is the date the statute of limitations starts to run, not the date of death.
Once the injury is discovered or should have been discovered by using reasonable care, the three-year clock will begin to run. Using reasonable care means that the person who had a right to take legal action must act the way a reasonable person would in a similar situation.
If you do not file a lawsuit before the deadline passes, you lose the right to file this type of lawsuit and will not be able to recover compensation.
There are some exceptions to this time limit:
- Lawsuits about deaths caused by intoxicated bar patrons or guests off the premises of a person licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), social host or a person holding a permit issued by the commission have a notice requirement (Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 471.565(3)). You have one year from the date of death or the date you should have reasonably discovered you had grounds for a lawsuit to provide notice of your lawsuit. However, this one-year deadline does not apply if the person filing a lawsuit is under the age of 18, he or she is unable to give notice because he or she is incapacitated or financially unable to do so, or the person who caused the death will not reveal the identity of the social host or person holding the OLCC permit.
- For claims involving an act or omission by a public body or officer, employee or agent of a public body, notice of the lawsuit must be given within one year after the loss or injury. Every public body in Oregon can be subject to a lawsuit, with certain exceptions. These cases often involve car accidents where the at-fault driver was a government employee.
- Wrongful death lawsuits involving defective products must be filed before one of the following dates, whichever is earliest (ORS 30.905(4)):
- Three years after death
- Ten years after the date the product was first purchased for use
- The date the statute of repose for the same type of civil action in another state where the product was manufactured runs out
Wrongful deaths resulting from construction, alteration or repair of an improvement to a small commercial structure must be filed not more than 10 years after substantial completion or abandonment of such construction, alteration or repair (ORS 12.135(1)(b)). However, this might only come into play if 10 years from the date of the alteration occurs before the three-year statute of limitations runs out.
Wrongful death cases involving construction, alteration or repair to large commercial structures must be filed within six years of substantial completion of these alterations.
Our attorneys at Rizk Law can help you determine the deadlines that apply to your claim and provide proper notice before the deadline passes. Give us a call today so that we can get started on your case as soon as possible.
When Should I Contact an Attorney?
You should contact a lawyer right away because it takes a vast amount of time to investigate and build a case, determine the fair value of your damages and deal with the many other issues involved in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The sooner you contact a lawyer, the faster he or she can get to work. This can help ensure that your claim is filed before the statute of limitations runs out and you lose your chance to pursue compensation. Our compassionate attorneys are ready to give your case the attention it deserves.
Call us today for a free consultation. 503.245.5677.
Contact Rizk Law About Your Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death lawyer can not only help ensure your case is filed before the statute of limitations expires, he or she can also guide you through every step of the legal process, aggressively pursuing the fair compensation you and your family deserve.
At Rizk Law firm, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee required to hire a lawyer. The fees we collect are only a percentage of any recovery that is made so you will not have to come out of pocket for any costs.
We understand that this is a traumatic moment in your life. We are a compassionate team that will work tirelessly to pursue the justice you deserve. We know that no amount of compensation can change what occurred, but it can be an important part of the process of moving forward. Your consultation is 100 percent free, which means there is no risk in contacting us.