What is “Wrongful Death” in Idaho?

When a person dies due to the fault of another person or entity, this is a wrongful death. Such cases include death due to medical malpractice, a vehicle accident, defective products, and workplace accidents. They also include death due to a crime such as abuse, murder, or manslaughter.

An individual at the scene of the incident would typically report wrongful death to the police. Law enforcement officials, EMTs, and in some cases firefighters would respond to the incident. A police report and medical records from first responders are important pieces of information that a person should keep if he or she intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a third party.

Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Idaho?

Idaho law states that, in the event of a wrongful death, a deceased person’s spouse, children, stepchildren, or parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased individual left a will, the executor of the estate and the estate’s heirs can also file a suit. Other individuals can file a wrongful death lawsuit only if the deceased individual provided them with support and services. Potential plaintiffs include blood relatives and adoptive siblings.

How Long Do I Have to File an Idaho Wrongful Death Claim?

A person who intends to file an Idaho wrongful death suit is required by law to do so within two years of a person’s death. If a person files a suit after this time period has passed, the court will not hear the case.

Is There a Cap on Damages?

According to Idaho law, a person who files a wrongful death lawsuit can claim both economic and non-economic damages. Individuals claiming economic damage would need to show evidence of expenses and loss of income directly related to a person’s death. A plaintiff can also claim economic compensation related to the loss of household services provided by the deceased individual. If, for instance, a stay-at-home mother is killed by a drunken driver, her husband can claim compensation for the cost of having to hire someone to care for the children while he is at work.

Non-economic damage cannot include pain and suffering; however, it does include loss incurred from losing a loved one’s companionship and advice. While there is no limit on the amount a person can claim in economic damages, a person can only claim up to $399,430.74 in non-economic compensation.

How an Idaho Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

A person who has lost a loved one due to another person or entity’s actions or lack of action will want to hire an Idaho Wrongful Death Attorney as soon as possible. It takes time to collect evidence and build a case; hiring an attorney early on can ensure that one is able to meet the state’s statute of limitations.

An attorney will start by going over the facts of the case and collecting evidence on behalf of the plaintiff. In instances when it is unclear who is at fault for the wrongful death, the attorney will seek expert advice to ensure that each party responsible for a wrongful death is held accountable. For instance, it may appear that a drunk driver was responsible for the accident; however, a close look at the facts may reveal that the vehicle’s manufacturer knowingly sold defective vehicles rather than issue a recall.

Once all the evidence has been collected, an attorney will offer advice on how to proceed with a wrongful death case. In some cases, settling out of court is the best option as it saves a person the time, hassle, and expense of a court case. On the other hand, in cases where the other party is unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement, a good lawyer will be prepared to take the case to court to claim the compensation that is the client’s due.

Craig Swapp & Associates has decades of experience taking on and winning wrongful death cases in the Gem State. Our team of experts provides the caring professionalism, legal expertise and passion for justice that you need to claim compensation in the wake of a loved one’s wrongful death. Get in touch with us today to start the process of filing a wrongful death claim in your city.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp