Grants Pass Woman Dies in Car Crash Hours after Wedding Proposal

Date: May 10, 2015

Location: Redwood Highway in Gasquet, California

Names: Melissa Hudson, Jake Zeliff, Brandon Randow

Grants Pass Woman Dies in Car Crash Hours after Wedding Proposal

On Sunday a Grants Pass woman was killed in a car crash hours after accepting her boyfriend’s wedding proposal at Whaleshead Beach.

The 2002 Jeep the couple was driving veered into the left hand turn lane and collided head-on with an oncoming Lexus on the Redwood Highway in Gasquet, California.

Melissa Hudson, 28, was pronounced dead soon after being taken to a hospital in Crescent City, California. Jake Zeliff was seriously injured and remains in stable but serious condition following a brain injury at Oregon Health Science University.

The driver of the Lexus, Brandon Randow, sustained moderate injuries and was treated at the hospital in Crescent City as well.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Melissa Hudson and wish Jake Zeliff and Brandon Randow 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 (SOL)(time limit on filing a claim) is different. For most car accidents, the SOL is two years, but for wrongful death, the SOL is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .”

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 such as:

  • Charges for medical services;
  • Charges for burial and memorial services;
  • Compensation that the decedent would have been entitled to for disability, pain and 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.

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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 May 15, 2015, in Automobile Accidents, Car Accidents, personal injury, Wrongful Death and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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