Did you lose a loved one due to another’s negligence in Boise? Check out these 3 wrongful death facts for guidance, then give us a call to get started.
Partial Fault Wrongful Death Claim
What if a decedent is partially at fault for causing their own death; what happens in Idaho? The first part of that question involves the legal aspect, meaning what the law provides. In Idaho, if a decedent is determined to be 50% or more at fault for their death, then the plaintiffs, or the heirs who bring the claim, do not receive anything. If the defendant, the person who caused the death, is determined to be 51% or more at fault, then the plaintiffs will recover that portion of their damages.
Let’s say a jury says your damages are worth a million dollars, and that the defendant is 51% at fault. You would recover $510,000. That’s strictly the law. This does become an issue sometimes because a decedent didn’t follow up properly with medical providers. The defense will argue that he should have followed up with his medical care, and that caused his death.
If you have any questions about this, about medical deaths, and how someone can be found partially at fault for their death, please feel free to give our office a call.
Wrongful Death Punitive Damages
One of the questions that comes up sometimes in wrongful death cases or wrongful death claims is, “Can I recover punitive damages?” Punitive damages are a specific type of damage that are available, in some cases in Idaho, if the defendant has acted particularly badly. They’re damages that are designed to punish somebody, and you can recover them in a wrongful death case in the right circumstances.
Not every death case, no matter how much the loss has been to you, is a death case in which punitive damages can be recovered in Idaho, but some are if there’s been an extreme deviation of reasonable standards of conduct. That’s a standard that has to be met and requires high-quality lawyering to be able to get to that level of proof to prove that extreme deviation and the appropriate bad state of mind.
These things will allow you to recover punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages that are available, the economic losses that you’ve incurred, and, of course, for the general damages, the pain and suffering, the mental anguish, the loss of the relationship – all those things that are a component of the tragedy of a wrongful death claim.
Reach out to us. We’re happy to discuss with you the facts and the circumstances in your situation that will allow us to evaluate a wrongful death claim and the punitive damages in your wrongful death claim here in Boise.
Heirs Hiring Separate Attorneys
The question is, can heirs in a wrongful death claim hire separate attorneys in Idaho? The short answer is yes, but frankly there’s a much longer answer. We have represented numerous heirs in a wrongful death claim in Idaho. We represented four women in the death of their mother that was caused by a drunk driver, and what we had to tell them from the beginning is that ethical rules do not allow us to represent people who have a conflict. We told them if we received a judgment, went to trial of course, then there’s no issue; the jury awards each person the damages that they think are appropriate for that heir.
If we receive a settlement, we can’t be involved in a discussion between our clients, those four women, regarding who gets what because that would create a conflict of interest. They can decide or we can hire separate attorneys for them to decide and negotiate who gets what. Certainly, heirs in a wrongful death case can hire a single attorney, but they have to be careful about any conflicts that arise. They have to come to some sort of agreement regarding who is going to receive what portion of the settlement.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to call our offices.
Did you lose a loved one from the negligence of another in Boise and have questions about these 3 wrongful death facts? Contact experienced Boise Wrongful Death Lawyers at Hepworth Holzer today for a free legal consultation and case evaluation.
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