Idaho wrongful death lawsuits are subject to the Idaho Code 5-311 and include pertinent definitions, procedures, and requirements pertaining to wrongful death civil cases. Some of the main areas of Idaho wrongful death laws to know involve the time limits of filing a wrongful death claim and potential damages that can be awarded in instances where a wrongful death claim is successful in court.
Defining the Term ‘Wrongful Death’
In the state of Idaho, ‘wrongful death’ is defined as when one person’s death is caused by wrongful or negligent actions of another. A wrongful death claim is usually made by relatives of the deceased person against the person whose actions resulted in the wrongful death. Most often, the family members of the deceased are seeking damages for the decedent’s wrongful death.
A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim, except that instead of the injured person filing the claim, family or representatives of the deceased person are representing them. Family members, heirs, or representatives of the deceased person may also make claims of their own against the party who caused the death, for damages to compensate for their pain and suffering.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the state of Idaho, parties allowed to file a wrongful death claim include representatives of the decedent’s estate, heirs to the decedent’s estate, family members of the deceased such as spouses, children, parents, stepchildren, or any blood relatives that can prove dependence on the deceased individual.
Time Limits of Wrongful Death Claims
To file a wrongful death claim in Idaho, state law requires the claim to be filed within a defined time frame. According to the Idaho statute of limitations, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. If this window of time is missed, it is most likely that the court will not even hear the case. In order to ensure that you are within the two-year time period, be sure to contact a lawyer who is experienced with wrongful death lawsuits in Idaho.
Wrongful Death Damages
In the state of Idaho, wrongful death claims are generally viewed as pertaining to economic damages, or non-economic damages.
Economic damages are based on actual dollar amounts; these are usually hospital bills, medical bills, receipts, and pertinent financial documents. Under Idaho state law regarding wrongful death cases, economic damages are not capped, meaning there is no claim limit. Most often, these damages involve medical expenses of the decedent’s final care, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support to the decedent’s family, and compensation for the loss of services provided by the decedent.
Non-economic damages are usually qualitative, rather than quantitative. These damages do not refer to financial losses suffered by the family members or representatives of the decedent, but rather refer to the pain and suffering associated with the loss. These kinds of damages are capped at $250,000 per family member.