Skip to main content


Reeling After the Unexpected Death of a Loved One? We Can Help

The death of a loved one can leave anyone inconsolable, but when that death is the fault of an individual or organization, it’s even more complex. The good news is that you’re not alone. The wrongful death attorneys at Swanson, Lathen, Prestwich, PC — a law firm located in Salem, Oregon — can help you secure the compensation you deserve after such a momentous loss. While it will never make up for the loss of life, the right lawyer can make sure you have fair compensation to ease your stress about the future.

Get Help Now
background image of box outlines
Wrongful death intro


Get Support After the Death of a Loved One

In Oregon, wrongful death means that someone died due to another person’s negligence, actions, or recklessness. When this happens to a loved one, it can leave you reeling.

Worse yet, it can leave you with severe financial burdens you cannot handle alone. You may have to pay for a mortgage, suddenly support a family on a single income, or deal with debts and loans without the support of your family member.

In Oregon, the personal representative, dependents, and beneficiaries of the victim of wrongful death are entitled to damages up to $500,000 each.

However, you have to fight to get that amount. Our wrongful death attorneys fight for you to get you the compensation you and your family members need to get through these tough times.

Relentlessly Advocating for You

With the support of the team at Swanson, Lathen, Prestwich, PC you can find a sense of justice after your senseless loss. We’re here to guide you through the legal process. Here’s what we do.

Step One

File Your Case

Our expert legal team starts by helping you file a case. We assist you in providing sufficient proof that your loved one was killed in a wrongful death incident and gather all the paperwork for you.

Step Two

Negotiations and Demands

Once your case is filed, it’s time for the real work to begin. Our seasoned team stands up for you and handles all mediation. We make reasonable demands to get you the compensation you need and deserve to move on from this challenging incident.

If the other team won’t settle, our wrongful death attorneys won’t hesitate to take care of legal proceedings in court. They’ll ensure you’re supported and fairly represented throughout the process.

Step Three

Get Your Payout

Once the legal proceedings are over, you’ll get the compensation you deserve — most likely through a settlement or, rarely, a verdict. Our team will only take our fee if and when we win for you. That’s how confident we are that we’ll get you a fair payout.

You’re not alone in these tough times. We help you take advantage of your rights by not letting the person or people responsible for your loved one’s death walk away unaffected. Get in touch with our legal team and get the assistance you deserve.

FAQs About Wrongful Death Claims

Navigating a wrongful death claim can be confusing. Here are a few frequently asked questions to make things easier.

What is the difference between a personal injury claim and a wrongful death suit?

Both are lawsuits filed due to the actions or negligence of another individual, resulting in an injury. However, in a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim of those actions is deceased.

The victim can file a personal injury lawsuit, but with a wrongful death case, the survivors would have to file the suit. These are typically the close relatives of the person who died due to wrongful death.

How hard is it to prove wrongful death?

Proving wrongful death is no harder than proving another type of lawsuit. You’ll need to provide evidence that another person or organization breached their duty of care to show that there was a wrongful death. Then, you’ll have to prove that the breach is what led to the death of your loved one.

The best course of action is to work with a wrongful death attorney, such as the ones at Swanson, Lathen, Prestwich, PC. They can help you assemble a solid case and provide sufficient evidence in a court of law.

How long do wrongful death cases take?

Wrongful death cases aren’t quick. It can take anywhere from a few months to four years for the entire process to complete. That’s true even if your case doesn’t go to trial.

Filing a claim and negotiating compensation with the other party can take much time. In the hands of an experienced wrongful death attorney, however, we can help you reduce that time as much as possible.

Can I bring a wrongful death action based on the death of a child or an elderly person?

Yes. You can bring a wrongful death action based on the death of a person regardless of their age. The only stipulation is that you must properly prove this was a wrongful death case. Nursing home negligence or other types of lawsuits may be more appropriate in some circumstances.

The team at Swanson, Lathen, Prestwich, PC can help you with this. Our legal team will examine your case to determine what type of action you should pursue. From there, we’ll help you gather the appropriate evidence for your case.

Is an autopsy necessary in a wrongful death case?

It depends. Autopsies are not always necessary to prove wrongful death cases, nor are they generally required.

However, in many circumstances, you have a much greater chance of winning your case if you choose to conduct an autopsy. This can provide crucial evidence that helps prove wrongful death.

Who pays in a wrongful death suit?

In a wrongful death suit, the at-fault party’s insurance company will be responsible for paying any compensation. This is generally the case with most organizations that have wrongful death policies as part of their general insurance.

In the event that the at-fault individual or organization doesn’t have insurance, they will have to pay for your compensation personally.

Client Reviews

Arthur PorterArthur Porter
19:21 04 Jan 23
I was involved in an accident, and was having difficulties dealing with my insurance company.One of my neighbors recommended me to Brian Lathen, after a very prompt meeting I retained his services.Durring a long and tiring process, the staff at Swanson Lathen and Prestwich made me feel so much more comfortable, and helped greatly in getting through it.Along with now having a trusted lawyer/allie to call if anything unexpectedly happens in the future. I feel like I had made a friend.Thank you.
Mindy MichelleMindy Michelle
21:53 15 Dec 22
Swanson Lathen Prestwich is a Godsend!I was in a terrible car crash, literally caused by another person who admitted fault to the police, to their own insurance, to my insurance and I STILL had to fight for fair compensation. Realizing I needed to get a lawyer involved, an acquaintance recommended Travis Prestwich.After meeting Mr. Prestwich, I was immediately at ease. He was very knowledgeable, kind, welcoming and realistic. I appreciated that he actually listened to me and provided information that helped me get into the right mind frame. Travis was very patient and kind and responded to questions rather quickly. I appreciated his realistic approach and learned quickly that other lawyers, judges and community members, highly respect him; which was a huge sign that he was the right person for my situation!His staff, Carrie Meeker and Jennifer Hiser were equally phenomenal during the process! They were also very kind, empathetic, knowledgeable and responded to inquires in a timely manner and were just wonderful to work with. As odd as this sounds, I really enjoyed talking with them and knew that once my case with over with that I would miss all three of them.When the time came, and I had to go through a settlement hearing, Travis was by my side the whole way through. The unknown always frightens me but he found a way to keep me at ease with his calm demeanor. This review doesn’t even do this trio justice! They are wonderful people and did a phenomenal job on my case.I pray I never have to go through this process again however if I do, Travis will be the very first person I call. I HIGHLY recommend Swanson Lathen Prestwich and Travis Prestwich, Carrie Meeker and Jennifer Hiser!! I wish there were more people out there like them! I give them an A+++
04:43 21 Oct 22
Mr. Prestwich and his entire staff were nothing but kind, supportive and professional through the entire process of helping me with my car accident settlement. The outcome was exactly what I had hoped for and it was all because of the hard work that was done by this office.
Captain MorganCaptain Morgan
13:53 17 Oct 22
Myself and my family have worked with Keith Swanson since the late 80's.Unfortunately when an accident occurs you need to make good decisions.You can't go wrong with Keith.He's an amazing man. Honest, straight forward and well respected in the industry.Not to mention one of the best accident attorneys in the profession.Thank you Keith, and Chris.
Nathan CookNathan Cook
00:34 18 Jan 18
Great Services! Helpful reception. Brian Lathen was great and helped a lot.


Hillsboro car accident introCar AccidentsMotor Vehicle Accidents
May 16, 2024

Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident near Salem, Oregon

No matter how a car accident happens, it can be a stressful experience for all parties involved. After an accident, drivers…
Attorney & client shaking hands. What is my case worth.Car Accidents
September 26, 2023

What is my car accident case worth?

One of the most common questions among car accident victims is, “What is my case worth?” Even though this is a…
Injury attorney meeting with client and spouseCar AccidentsInjuries
August 2, 2023

What to look for in a personal injury attorney

After you’ve been the victim of an accident or injury that wasn’t your fault, the best thing you can do is…

Let Us Help You

We offer free consultations to all prospective clients and if we take your case on, there is no fee unless we win. Let us know how we can help you!