When a person is negligent, or commits a wrongful act which in turn causes the death of another human being, a wrongful death has occurred. Family members who have lost the companionship, financial support and emotional guidance of a loved one can file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death can bring significant devastation to the lives of those family members left behind, and while no one immediately thinks of money after losing a loved one, there are often those who were wholly dependent upon the deceased for financial support. The goal of a wrongful death claim is to hold the person or entity who is responsible for the death liable. The number one cause of wrongful deaths among those under the age of 35 is automobile accidents. Additional causes of wrongful deaths include:

  • Slip and falls
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dangerous drugs and medical devices
  • Workplace accidents
  • Industrial accidents
  • Boating and swimming accidents
  • Train accidents
  • Asbestos exposure cancers
  • Manufacturing defects

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in the State of Idaho?

Under Idaho’s wrongful death statute, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased is under the age of 18, either of the child’s parents, or both parents together can file a wrongful death claim, or if the child has no living parents, his or her legal guardian can file the wrongful death claim. Those who bring the wrongful death claim are required to bring the claim to court with the help of an attorney, and, unlike a criminal case, liability is expressed in terms of monetary damages.

What are the Damages in a Boise Wrongful Death Claim?

A Boise wrongful death claim is intended to compensate the estate or the surviving family members for losses suffered as a result of the death of their loved one. The damages involved can be either economic or non-economic, with both types of damages recovered in a single wrongful death case. Economic damages are those which clearly have a dollar amount attached—in other words, there are pay stubs, bills or receipts to back up the claim. Economic damages can include lost wages, funeral expenses and medical bills. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, but are still real losses sustained by those left behind. Non-economic damages can include emotional distress, pain and suffering the deceased may have endured prior to his or her death, and loss of guidance and companionship faced by the survivors.

Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis in Nampa, Idaho

Failure to diagnose a medical condition and misdiagnoses of medical conditions are the primary reason for medical malpractice claims. A physician could fail to order a test which could definitely allow him or her to diagnose a medical issue, could delay a diagnosis by failing to recognize the urgency or could misdiagnose the medical issue, any of which could cause a significant delay in proper treatment. The failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis could result in significant harm to the patient. As an example, a patient sees a physician for chronic, severe headaches.

Rather than running tests or asking further questions, the physician diagnoses the patient with migraines and prescribes a migraine medication. In reality, the patient has a brain tumor, which the doctor does not properly diagnose for another eight months, by which time the tumor has grown too large to remove. The patient could sue for medical malpractice under the theory that had the doctor found the tumor when the patient first complained of headaches, the tumor could have potentially been removed, and the life of the patient saved. This example shows both a failure to diagnose the actual problem (a brain tumor) as well as a misdiagnosis of migraines. Any time a doctor fails to diagnose a serious medical condition—like cancer, heart disease or a stroke—the results can be devastating.

Boise Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Every state sets certain time limits in which to file different types of claims. These time limits are known as statutes of limitations. In the state of Idaho, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date the person died, although if the death was the result of a criminal homicide, that time period is extended to ten years. If you fail to file your Boise wrongful death claim within the allowed time, you will be forever barred from bringing the claim at all.

How to Prove Wrongful Death

When the death of your loved one is the result of reckless or negligent behavior, a wrongful death suit could be warranted. Negligence refers to whether a reasonable person or medical professional would have acted in the same manner under the same circumstances. There must be a duty of care owed, and it must be shown that duty was breached, that the wrongful actions resulted in a death, and that there are damages stemming from that death. In other words, if a person is driving 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, speeds through the intersection on a red light and hits another person, killing that person, you could say that person had a duty to drive in a responsible manner, following traffic laws and signs, the person breached that duty, that breach caused a death, and the surviving family members have damages.

Getting Help from a Boise Wrongful Death Lawyer

The single most important decision surviving family members can make during this difficult time is the decision to speak to an experienced Boise wrongful death lawyer. Your Boise wrongful death lawyer can handle the complex matters associated with a wrongful death claim, allowing family members the time to heal without worrying about finances. The burden of attempting to file a wrongful death claim on your own is usually more than grieving families can deal with. Your Boise wrongful death lawyer’s goal will be to ease your financial and emotional burdens, protecting your rights and your future.

If you have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence - we can help. While we know that no amount of compensation could ever replace the loss of your loved one, you and your family should not have to endure unnecessary financial burdens at this time.

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