Coquille Woman Killed in Highway 38 Collision

Date: January 30, 2015

Location: Oregon 38

Names: Virginia I. Whalen-Jennings, Kathleen D. Handcock, Heather R. Friedrich

Coquille Woman Killed in Highway 38 Collision

Friday afternoon, a head-on crash occurred in Douglas County when a woman was killed and two were injured in the crash.

A 2012 Honda CR-V was headed east on Highway 38 and crossed the center line hitting a 2004 Toyota Camry.

The front passenger of the Camry, Virginia I. Whalen-Jennings, 59, of Coquille, died at the scene. The Camry driver, Kathleen D. Handcock, 57, of Coos Bay, and the other passenger were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Honda, Heather R. Friedrich, 44, of North Bend, was also taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Virginia I. Whalen-Jennings and wish Kathleen D. Handcock and Heather R. Friedrich a full and speedy recovery.

Oregon wrongful death claims are allowed under ORS 30.010-30.100. But the law is much more complicated than a normal accident case. First of all, the statute of limitations (time limit on filing a claim) is different. For most car accidents, the SOL is 2 years, but for wrongful death, the SOL is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .” In other words, it’s not three years from the date of death; it’s three years from the date of the original injury that ultimately caused the death.

Additionally, there are limits on who can bring a wrongful death claim. The most common claimants are:

  • Spouses
  • Children (including stepchildren)
  • Parents (including stepparents)

Less common claimants include:

  • Grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

In a wrongful death case, you can ask for compensation for several types of damages as well.

Compensatory damages include.

  • Charges for medical services;
  • Charges for burial and memorial services;
  • Compensation that the decedent would have been entitled to for disability, pain, suffering and loss of income during the period between injury and death;
  • Compensation for “pecuniary loss” to the decedent’s estate;
  • Compensation for the loss of the decedent’s “society, companionship and services” to the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents, and parents;

Punitive damages are allowed as well, but are rare in Oregon since the State takes 70% of punitive damages awarded. If you have lost a loved one, call a Portland wrongful death attorney for help in securing the compensation you deserve.


About Sean DuBois

Sean is a personal injury attorney in Portland, OR. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as Oregon Rising Stars for the past four years because of his dedication to justice and fair compensation for his clients. If you need to speak with a lawyer about your injury case, Sean can be reached at 503-222-4411.

Posted on February 2, 2015, in Portland personal injury attorneys and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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