Idaho Law Blog

We are pleased to announce that Mahoney Law’s medical malpractice attorney, Patrick Mahoney, has again been selected for listing in the prominent SuperLawyers publication.  Only a few of each state’s top lawyers are included in the SuperLawyers publication.  Mahoney Law was selected for medical malpractice.  We represent patients in medical malpractice cases against doctors, hospitals, and other care providers in matters involving permanent, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.  Call Mahoney Law of Idaho for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation to see if you have a case.   

The Idaho Supreme Court recently upheld a $7 million medical malpractice personal injury verdict.  The medical malpractice jury trial was against a medical clinic for failing to imobilize a patient who presented with severe back symptoms leading to paralysis.  https://isc.idaho.gov/opinions/46205.pdf

Mahoney Law PLLC is an Idaho medical malpractice law firm offering free and confidential medical malpractice personal injury attorney consultations and medical malpractice personal injury lawyer case reviews.  

Personal Injury Law: Do I Have A Case?:

Top level personal injury lawyers are very selective about the cases they accept. A highly rated personal injury attorney is required to consider several important factors in deciding whether to take a personal injury lawsuit.  First, the best personal injury law firms must assess whether they can prove that the opposing side did something wrong that rises to a negligence, or even recklessness, sometimes referred to as “liability.”  Not all harmful conduct is negligence, it depends on whether the opposing side behaved unreasonably under the circumstances, without due care, where it could be reasonably foreseen that another could be injured.  Often the personal injury lawyer will enlist the help of qualified experts in the proper field (such as accident reconstruction experts) to help determine whether liability can be proven.  Second, the personal injury attorney will assess the level of injury and harm that you suffered in the accident.  Personal injury lawsuits are very expensive to bring to trial, so usually only cases involving meaningful injuries are pursued to ensure that the costs of litigation do not exceed the damages that could reasonably be awarded to you.  A third item that a personal injury law firm will evaluate is the level of insurance or financial resources the opposing side has available from which to pay money damages, whether in the form of liability insurance or otherwise.  Finally, a fourth consideration is timing relative to the statute of limitations (time deadlines) for taking legal action on personal injury cases. There are other factors that may be considered, and each case certainly is unique, but the topics discussed above are a general starting list of the initial things a personal injury attorney will evaluate in deciding whether to take your personal injury case. 

Personal Injury Law: Basic Tips:

Mahoney Law PLLC of Idaho provides these basic tips and strategies as to personal injury lawyers, personal injury attorneys, and personal injury law firms in Idaho.  If you are searching for information on personal injury law in Idaho, here are several bullet points and pieces of quick information from our personal injury lawyer.  We strive to be your one stop shop for answers on the Idaho personal injury process. First, be aware that there are time deadlines, referred to by personal injury attorneys as “statutes of limitation.”  These time deadlines apply to personal injury cases in Idaho. These can be short and time-bar potential claims, so do not delay in consulting with a good personal injury law firm.  Second, our Idaho personal injury attorney will tell you that one of the most important things to take care of is your health and recovery.  Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Third, as Idaho a personal injury attorney, we would advise against giving a statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company unless and until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney. The liable party’s insurance company is not your friend and its obligations are to its own insured not to you.  Fourth, another piece of basic advice for a personal injury case in Idaho is to keep good records in a file so that you can bring the paperwork for your meeting with a Idaho personal injury firm.  Fifth, a top Idaho injury lawyer will tell you that you need to be patient and that if you are interested in a quick, cheap settlement, to look elsewhere.  It takes time and work to properly maximize recovery for a client on a good faith, meritorious personal injury claim.  Sixth, note that lawyers in Idaho are regulated by the Idaho State Bar for protection of prospective clients; the lawyer must clearly communicate with you and provide a written contract for contingency fee (commission) based representation.  We encourage everyone to put safety first and to treat others as you would like to be treated - that will go a long way to minimizing the types of things that require people to consult us.  You can call us for more information or to schedule a meeting to discuss your Idaho personal injury lawyer matter. 

What to Look for in Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer – Car Crash Cases, Automobile Accident Claims, Car Wrecks:

In your search to hire a top Idaho personal injury attorney near me, people are often confused about what to look for.  In searching for the best Idaho personal injury lawyer, you should look at whether the Idaho personal injury law firm has a proven track record of success in terms of results.  In deciding whether a firm is the best Idaho personal injury law firm, you should also look at how long that firm has been serving Idaho.  Another factor to consider in deciding on a top rated Idaho personal injury lawyer is whether the highly ranked Idaho personal injury law firm is accredited by recognized groups in the profession.  And, look at the level of customer service provided in hiring the best Idaho personal injury attorney.  For basic, straightforward information on personal injury attorneys and personal injury lawyers in Idaho, contact Mahoney Law PLLC, Idaho's go-to law firm for personal injury claims and cases, especially those involving motor vehicle collisions.  We can provide answers to common personal injury claim questions, such as: how do I hire a top personal injury lawyer?; how do the attorney fees work?; what if the other driver was at fault but was not cited?; how much will it cost?; how long does it take?; will this affect my car insurance?; how does this work with my healthcare insurance?; and how much money can I expect to recover if I go forward with a personal injury matter?  When you call, have the basic facts of your situation well in mind and have collected a file of any paperwork related to your injury matter.  

Personal Injury Law, Attorney, Lawyer Links of Interest:

If you would like to conduct additional personal injury related research, here are some links that you might find helpful.  For Idaho's "rules of the road," click here to review motor vehicle safety statutes: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title49/.  For road conditions, try the Idaho

Transportation Department: https://hb.511.idaho.gov/#roadReports?timeFrame=TODAY&layers=roadReports%2CwinterDriving%2CweatherWarnings%2CotherStates.For insurance information, the Idaho Department of Insurance can provide information: https://doi.idaho.gov, and also explore Idaho's insurance claim laws: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title41/T41CH18/.  The Idaho Supreme Court's website lists the actual jury instructions that courts typically give in personal injury cases, including the negligence instructions, cause instructions, and damages for personal injuries.  https://isc.idaho.gov/main/civil-jury-instructions.  Idaho has special statutes that may apply in personal injury cases against governmental entities.  https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title6/T6CH9/.  And, Idaho has statutorily established time deadlines that apply to personal injury claims. https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title5/T5CH2/.  Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury that has special statutes in Idaho, https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title6/T6CH10/, as does product liability which is also a type of personal injury, https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title6/T6CH14/.  Idaho has certain damages limitations that apply in personal injury cases by statute.  https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title6/T6CH16/.   The American Association for Justice provides information that may be of interest to those seeking information on personal injury matters, https://www.justice.org.   Idaho has various resource groups, such as for brain injury victims, https://biaid.org, and https://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/resources/idaho/, for example.  

While it is our job to help people involved in personal injury cases, including car crash cases, we always encourage safe, responsible driving.  Do not drive distracted, put the cell phone down (it can wait), leave a safe following distance, obey the speed limit, do not pass when it's not safe, drive defensively, and never drive on drugs or alcohol.  For more information, contact Mahoney Law PLLC in Idaho -- we provide free initial consultations and confidential case reviews.

Elements of a Car Crash, Auto Accident, Car Wreck Personal Injury Insurance Claim:

What constitutes a personal injury claim for which you need to hire a personal injury attorney, personal injury lawyer, or personal injury law firm?  In a nutshell, a personal injury claim arises when one person injures another by way of unreasonable or careless conduct.  Personal injury law refers to unreasonable conduct that hurts another as “negligence.”  The at-fault person must have had a duty to use care to not harm the injured party, such as we have when operating a car, running a business that is open to the public, or the like.  Car accidents and injuries on a business’ property (“premises liability” cases) are what may be thought of as “garden variety” personal injury claims.  Medical providers have a duty to not violate the standard of care and harm their patients, a specialized area of personal injury law referred to as “medical malpractice.”   Product manufactures who design unreasonably dangerous and unsafe products that harm consumers may be subject to a unique type of personal injury law called “product liability.”  The injuries in any of these types of cases may be physical, mental, or both.  If negligent conduct results in the death of the victim, that type of injury claim is referred to as a “wrongful death” action.  All of these types of personal injury cases have certain, very specific things that must be proven under the law, otherwise known as the “elements” of the claim.   All require that the conduct at issue be shown to have been a cause of the injury, and all require proper, documented proof of injuries and resulting money damages. Damages may include medical bills, loss of income, as well as more intangible things such as pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.  Often, personal injury cases involve insurance issues as well if the at-fault party has liability insurance.  Each type of case is unique given the circumstances of the victim and how the injuries occurred, and each has short time deadlines (“statutes of limitation”) that can bar a claim if legal action is not taken in a timely manner.

Trends in Idaho Injury Law

As Idaho personal injury lawyers, we follow current issues in personal injury law.  As Idaho personal injury attorneys, we track trends in personal injury law.  As an Idaho personal injury law firm, we work to keep abreast of the latest developments in personal injury law.  One of the most significant trends we see in Idaho personal injury law are increased verdicts on meritorious personal injury cases resolved through jury trial here in Idaho.  There are several possible reasons for this, including an increase in Idaho’s population, a diversification of Idaho’s population, a higher education level of Idaho’s population, and informational awareness on the part of Idahoans due to traditional media coverage as well as social media.   Another development we see is a greater availability of top level expert witnesses who can assist us in understanding and presenting personal injury cases.  A third development we notice is that some personal injury lawsuits are taking longer to resolve because of crowded court dockets, as Idaho’s population grows so too does the strain placed on the federal, state, and local legal systems which are in need of increased resources to expand and keep up with growth.  The cost of healthcare is another interesting trend we see, in keeping with reported trends on the national level as to this issue.  Healthcare bills are greater and more expensive, from ambulance transport, to hospital stays, to imaging, and to specialist costs.  A night in the hospital, with associated care, from a car accident can result in bills of $25,000 or more.  This can make it more challenging to resolve meritorious personal injury claims.  Unfortunately, one thing we do not see materially changing are Idaho’s liability insurance limits for motor vehicles, which are lagging decades behind the increased costs associated with being in a motor vehicle crash. Likewise, although increased for inflation, Idaho’s statutory general damages caps for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life associated with personal injury claims remain too low for reasonable and just expectations here in our Idaho community.

Injury Case How To: Medical Aspects of Injury Cases:

As personal injury lawyers, we often receive calls from prospective clients inquiring about representation.  Often, these individuals are still in the middle of recovering from their injuries or are still undergoing treatment for their injuries.  The most important thing at this point in the personal injury process is your physical and mental health.  And, the best way to address that is: follow your treating healthcare providers' advice as to recovering from your personal injuries.  Attend all appointments.  Describe to your doctors all problems you are experiencing.  If you are given orders to get imaging done, get the imaging done.  If you are in need of a second opinion, get the second opinion.  Follow the instructions as to prescriptions.  If you are supposed to follow-up with a specialist, make the appointment and attend it.  If you are to complete a course of physical therapy, complete the physical therapy.  If you are under medically documented restrictions, abide by those restrictions.  Far too often, as personal injury attorneys, we see people who have failed to do these things.  Not only does it complicate their personal injury claim, but it can compromise their health and recovery.  So, put your health and recovery from injuries first, follow doctor’s advice, attend appointments, and get to a point of maximum medical recovery and stability.

Tips on Evaluating Personal Injury Law Attorneys:

Here are a few additional tips on hiring an Idaho personal injury attorney:  (1) Be sure not to simply hire the first law firm that sends you flyers in the mail.  These days, many so called "trial law firms" are routinely sending direct mail advertisements to injury victims.  These lawyers troll the police reports and other sources to find the names of people who have been involved in car accidents.  They send out catchy mailers, brochures, guidebooks, etc., etc. trying to convince you to hire them.  Ask yourself:  if they are really that good would they need to send out direct mailers to me?  Probably not the firm to go with.  (2) Look for a firm with a track record of actual results that they share.  Results speak louder than words.  (3) Look for a firm with the resources to actually go the distance.  The only way you will obtain maximum value on your claim is to have an attorney who has the resources to fight to the end, versus a lawyer looking for a quick settlement.  Even if your case is one that should settle relatively quickly, you will only get maximum value if your lawyer is of the sort that is prepared to go to trial, that way the opposing insurance company knows that if they low ball you, they are in for a fight.

What to do if you have been in a car wreck, automobile accident, car crash:

A brief summary on automobile accident personal injury claims:  If you have been in an auto accident or car crash and have sustained personal injuries through no fault of your own, it makes sense to consult a personal injury law firm. Mahoney Law offers free case evaluations, free initial consults, and contingency fees where you pay no attorney fees unless we win your case through settlement or trial to verdict.  The deadline for filing a lawsuit arising from an injury accident is usually two years in Idaho, although this may be longer in certain cases (such as those involving minor children).  You should not give statements to the opposing driver's insurance company because, often, they will try to obtain admissions from you to establish fault on your part, and they may try to minimize your injuries or recovery process.  You should always follow your medical doctors' advice and seek follow-up appointments with appropriate specialists.  Your first order of business is attending to your health and reaching maximum medical improvement and stability.  We will need to gather police report documents, insurance information, and relevant medical records.  Often, car accident cases can be resolved through the insurance claim process, particularly with strong legal representation.  We are often successful in getting your healthcare insurance company to reduce the amount it must be paid back from any settlement, leaving more net settlement proceeds for our clients.  If you, a family member, or other loved one have been injured, take the time to know your legal rights in the area of personal injury law and injury claims so you can make an intelligent, informed decision on how to best move forward.

While Mahoney Law’s legal team strives to promote safe driving, you may find yourself having been in a car crash and having suffered a personal injury ranging from minor, to moderate, to very severe.  The first thing we encourage prospective personal injury clients to do is to focus on getting medically better – attend to your health and wellbeing first, it’s the most important thing.  Attend your doctors’ appointments, follow their advice, and follow through with the care and treatment plan.  Second, report the automobile collision to both your insurance company and the insurance company of the opposing driver. Even if you are unsure of what your insurance coverage is, the best thing is to report it.  If the at fault driver who hit you does not have insurance, you still should report it to your own insurance company because you may have under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage.  There also may be medical payments coverage through the automobile insurance as well.  And, report the matter to your health insurance if you are fortunate enough to have health insurance.  Who is responsible for paying what in terms of medical bills will get sorted out.  You may also have rental car coverage to help with a vehicle.  The property damage aspect is usually taken care of fairly promptly by the insurance companies' property damage departments, but you may need to call and remind them to move along your claim for vehicle repair or replacement.  Third, if you are uncertain on how to proceed from a legal standpoint, particularly as to damages for future medicals and past and future pain and suffering, research and hire a top personal injury lawyer.  A good personal injury attorney will help you navigate the liability (fault) issues, the nature of your injuries, and the damages side of things, and help you either settle the personal injury claim for a monetary amount, or proceed with litigation in court if the other side refuses to fairly compensate you through its insurance.  There are time-deadlines that apply to personal injury cases, so do not delay in consulting legal counsel.

http://www.patrickmahoneylaw.com/areas-of-practice/personal-injury-attorney

Mahoney Law is leading Idaho car accident and personal injury law firm that is five-star rated.  We have a perfect Better Business Bureau rating based on our client focused, results-oriented approach.  We offer free case evaluations.  We have over two decades of experience with personal injury and car accident law here in Idaho. We handle cases all over Idaho. We take all types of personal injury and car accident cases, including cases involving drunk drivers, pedestrians, rear end collisions, failure to yield, driving too fast for conditions, and distracted driving.  Call us for a free and prompt case evaluation and for answers to your personal injury and car accident claim questions.  

Types of Injury Law Claims, Injury Cases, Insurance Claims for Injuries:

What constitutes a personal injury claim for which you need to hire a personal injury attorney, personal injury lawyer, or personal injury law firm?  In a nutshell, a personal injury claim arises when one person injures another by way of unreasonable or careless conduct.  Personal injury law refers to unreasonable conduct that hurts another as “negligence.”  The at-fault person must have had a duty to use care to not harm the injured party, such as we have when operating a car, running a business that is open to the public, or the like.  Car accidents and injuries on a business’ property (“premises liability” cases) are what may be thought of as “garden variety” personal injury claims.  Medical providers have a duty to not violate the standard of care and harm their patients, a specialized area of personal injury law referred to as “medical malpractice.”   Product manufactures who design unreasonably dangerous and unsafe products that harm consumers may be subject to a unique type of personal injury law called “product liability.”  The injuries in any of these types of cases may be physical, mental, or both.  If negligent conduct results in the death of the victim, that type of injury claim is referred to as a “wrongful death” action.  All of these types of personal injury cases have certain, very specific things that must be proven under the law, otherwise known as the “elements” of the claim.   All require that the conduct at issue be shown to have been a cause of the injury, and all require proper, documented proof of injuries and resulting money damages. Damages may include medical bills, loss of income, as well as more intangible things such as pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.  Often, personal injury cases involve insurance issues as well if the at-fault party has liability insurance.  Each type of case is unique given the circumstances of the victim and how the injuries occurred, and each has short time deadlines (“statutes of limitation”) that can bar a claim if legal action is not taken in a timely manner. If you think you or a loved one might have a personal injury claim, please call us here at Mahoney Law to discuss the facts of your situation.

http://www.patrickmahoneylaw.com

Here are some of the more common types of personal injury claims:  motor vehicle accident cases; injuries on property caused by dangerous aspects of the property; boating accidents; motorcycle accidents; trucking accidents; bicycle accidents; drunk driving accidents; trumatic brain injury personal injuries; concussion cases; product liability is a specialized type of personal injury; medical malpractice is a unique type of personal injury; and other types of conduct that is unreasonable, unsafe, and negligent that leads to harm.  If you think you or a loved one might have a personal injury claim, please call us here at Mahoney Law to discuss the facts of your situation.  We provide personal injury lawyer services to all of Idaho, including Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Mountain Home, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, McCall, Grangeville, Lewiston, Moscow, Coeur d'Alene, and Sandpoint.   http://www.patrickmahoneylaw.com  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL43OhTkPsA

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https://twitter.com/MahoneyLawIdaho/status/1107727312458407936

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Injury Law Bullet Points, Quick Personal Injury Lawyer Information, Injury Attorney Basics:

If you are searching for information on personal injury law in Boise, here are several bullet points and pieces of quick information from our personal injury lawyer.  First, be aware that there are time deadlines, referred to by personal injury attorneys as “statutes of limitations.”  These time deadlines apply to personal injury cases in Boise. These can be short and time-bar potential claims, so do not delay in consulting with a good personal injury law firm.  Second, our Boise personal injury attorney will tell you that one of the most important things to take care of is your health and recovery.  Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Third, as Boise a personal injury lawyer, we would advise against giving a statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company unless and until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney. The liable party’s insurance company is not your friend and its obligations are to its own insured not to you.  Fourth, another piece of basic advice for a personal injury case in Boise is to keep good records in a file so that you can bring the paperwork for your meeting with a Boise personal injury firm.  Fifth, a top Boise injury lawyer will tell you that you need to be patient and that if you are interested in a quick, cheap settlement, to look elsewhere.  It takes time and work to properly maximize recovery for a client on a good faith, meritorious personal injury claim.  Finally, we encourage everyone to put safety first and to treat others as you would like to be treated - that will go a long way to minimizing the types of things that require people to consult us.  You can call us for more information or to schedule a meeting to discuss your Boise personal injury lawyer matter.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL43OhTkPsA

Personal Injury Law Summary, Injury Attorney, Injury Lawyer, Personal Injury Law Firm Summary

For basic, straightforward information on personal injury attorneys and personal injury lawyers in Idaho, contact Mahoney Law PLLC, Idaho's go-to law firm for personal injury claims and cases, especially those involving motor vehicle collisions.  We can provide answers to common personal injury claim questions, such as: how do I hire a top personal injury lawyer?; how do the attorney fees work?; what if the other driver was at fault but was not cited?; how much will it cost?; how long does it take?; will this effect my car insurance?; how does this work with my healthcare insurance?; and how much money can I expect to recover if I go forward with a personal injury matter?  When you call, have the basic facts of your situation well in mind and have collected a file of any paperwork related to your injury matter.  If you would like to conduct additional research, here are some links that you might find helpful.  For Idaho's "rules of the road," click here to review motor vehicle safety statutes: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title49/.  For road conditions, try the Idaho Transportation Department: https://hb.511.idaho.gov/#roadReports?timeFrame=TODAY&layers=roadReports%2CwinterDriving%2CweatherWarnings%2CotherStates.  For insurance information, the Idaho Department of Insurance can provide information: https://doi.idaho.gov, and also explore Idaho's insurance claim laws: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title41/T41CH18/.  While it is our job to help people involved in personal injury cases, including car crash cases, we always encourage safe, responsible driving.  Do not drive distracted, put the cell phone down (it can wait), leave a safe following distance, obey the speed limit, do not pass when it's not safe, drive defensively, and never drive on drugs or alcohol.  For more information, contact Mahoney Law PLLC in Idaho -- we provide free initial consultations and confidential case reviews.  http://www.patrickmahoneylaw.com

https://www.avvo.com/attorneys/83702-id-patrick-mahoney-4433010.html

https://lawyers.justia.com/lawyer/patrick-e-mahoney-1518074

https://profiles.superlawyers.com/idaho/boise/lawyer/patrick-e-mahoney/a8a8e018-a03d-41f4-a8d6-fde3ff6c0e5e.html

The Idaho Supreme Court upheld a $2 million medical malpractice personal injury verdict recently.  The medical malpractice jury trial was against a surgical rehabilitation facility.  The jury found that the facility failed to timely report lower leg symptoms leading to amputation.  https://www.isc.idaho.gov/opinions/45980.pdf

For medial malpractice attorney consults and personal injury case reviews, contact Mahoney Law PLLC of Idaho.  

            As Idaho attorneys and Boise lawyers, we are often asked what “damages can I get in a lawsuit?”  Some ask, “in a personal injury settlement, what damages am I entitled to?”  In medical malpractice cases, claimants question, “what categories of damages can the jury award money for?”  Clients in product liability cases inquire “what can I get money damages for?”  Here are some basic answers and bullet points to these questions on damages under Idaho law. 

            In Idaho, in medical malpractice, product liability, and personal injury cases, the law allows for two general types of money damages: (1) economic damages; and (2) non-economic damages.  The first category, economic damages, are your hard, out of pocket damages, provable with a receipt, so to speak, that were caused by the negligence of the defendant.  These include past damages, for things like medical care, attendant care, miscellaneous of pocket expenses, and loss of income, and future damages, for medical care, attendant care, loss of income.  The other category, non-economic losses, are the more intangible losses, sometimes referred to as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.  You don’t have receipts for these.  They are the human toll the defendant’s negligence has taken on your, your family, and loved ones.  They are the value of living with the consequences of preventable harm, sometimes permanently, forever.  There is no specific formula by law for non-economic damages, and it is what the jury determines is just.  

            The official Idaho Jury Instructions spell out money damages as follows:

                                                      IDJI 9.01 – Damage instruction for injuries to plaintiff – general case

If the jury decides the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant, the jury must determine the amount of money that will reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for any damages proved to be proximately caused by the defendant’s negligence.

            The elements of damage the jury may consider are:

            A. Non-economic damages

            1.         The nature of the injuries;

            2.         The physical and mental pain and suffering, past and future;

            3.         The impairment of abilities to perform usual activities;

            4.         The disfigurement caused by the injuries;

            5.         The aggravation caused to any preexisting condition.

            B. Economic damages

            1.         The reasonable value of necessary medical care received and expenses incurred as a result of the injury [and the present cash value of medical care and expenses reasonably certain and necessary to be required in the future];

            2.         The reasonable value of the past earnings lost as a result of the injury;

            3.         The present cash value of the future earning capacity lost because of the injury, taking into consideration the earning power, age, health, life expectancy, mental and physical abilities, habits, and disposition of the plaintiff, and any other circumstances shown by the evidence.

            4.         The reasonable value of necessary services provided by another in doing things for the plaintiff, which, except for the injury, the plaintiff would ordinarily have performed [and the present cash value of such services reasonably certain to be required in the future];

            5.         [Any other specific item based upon the evidence.]

            Whether the plaintiff has proved any of these elements is for the jury to decide.

 

            In wrongful death cases, for loss of a loved one, the official Idaho Jury Instructions define damages as follows: 

                                                      IDJI 9.05 – Damages for wrongful death

            If the jury decides the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant, the jury must determine the amount of money that will reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for any damages proved to be proximately caused by defendant’s negligence.

            The elements of damage the jury may consider are:

            1.         The reasonable cost of the decedent’s funeral.

            2.         The reasonable value of necessary medical care and expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death.

            3.         The reasonable value to the plaintiff of the loss of the decedent’s [services] [training] [comfort] [conjugal relationship] and [society] and the present cash value of any such loss that is reasonably certain to occur in the future, taking into consideration the life expectancy of the plaintiff, the decedent’s age and normal life expectancy, habits, disposition and any other circumstances shown by the evidence.

            4.         The plaintiff’s loss of financial support from the decedent, and the present cash value of financial support the decedent would have provided to the plaintiff in the future, but for the decedent’s death, taking into account the plaintiff’s life expectancy, the decedent’s age and normal life expectancy, the decedent’s earning capacity, habits, disposition and any other circumstances shown by the evidence.

            Death is inevitable.  Although the law compensates for the untimeliness of a death caused by another, no damages are allowed for grief or sorrow.

            [There can be no recovery for any pain or suffering of the decedent prior to death.]

 

            It should also be noted that, in Idaho, non-economic damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are capped, currently at about $375,000 per claimant.  This cap can be removed and lifted if the jury determines that the defendant’s conduct was “reckless,” i.e., that the defendant knew or should have known of a high risk of harm but did the act or omission anyway. The Idaho Code section on this is as follows: 

6-1603.  LIMITATION ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES. (1) In no action seeking damages for personal injury, including death, shall a judgment for noneconomic damages be entered for a claimant exceeding the maximum amount of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000); provided, however, that beginning on July 1, 2004, and each July 1 thereafter, the cap on noneconomic damages established in this section shall increase or decrease in accordance with the percentage amount of increase or decrease by which the Idaho industrial commission adjusts the average annual wage as computed pursuant to section 72-409(2), Idaho Code.

(2)  The limitation contained in this section applies to the sum of: (a) noneconomic damages sustained by a claimant who incurred personal injury or who is asserting a wrongful death; (b) noneconomic damages sustained by a claimant, regardless of the number of persons responsible for the damages or the number of actions filed.

(3)  If a case is tried to a jury, the jury shall not be informed of the limitation contained in subsection (1) of this section.

(4)  The limitation of awards of noneconomic damages shall not apply to:

(a)  Causes of action arising out of willful or reckless misconduct.

(b)  Causes of action arising out of an act or acts which the trier of fact finds beyond a reasonable doubt would constitute a felony under state or federal law.

 

            In certain cases, additional money damages may be awarded, if certain criteria are met and the court allows the jury to consider them, to punish the defendant, called “punitive damages” under Idaho Statute:

6-1604.  LIMITATION ON PUNITIVE DAMAGES.(1) In any action seeking recovery of punitive damages, the claimant must prove, by clear and convincing evidence, oppressive, fraudulent, malicious or outrageous conduct by the party against whom the claim for punitive damages is asserted.

(2)  In all civil actions in which punitive damages are permitted, no claim for damages shall be filed containing a prayer for relief seeking punitive damages. However, a party may, pursuant to a pretrial motion and after hearing before the court, amend the pleadings to include a prayer for relief seeking punitive damages. The court shall allow the motion to amend the pleadings if, after weighing the evidence presented, the court concludes that, the moving party has established at such hearing a reasonable likelihood of proving facts at trial sufficient to support an award of punitive damages. A prayer for relief added pursuant to this section shall not be barred by lapse of time under any applicable limitation on the time in which an action may be brought or claim asserted, if the time prescribed or limited had not expired when the original pleading was filed.

(3)  No judgment for punitive damages shall exceed the greater of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or an amount which is three (3) times the compensatory damages contained in such judgment. If a case is tried to a jury, the jury shall not be informed of this limitation. The limitations on noneconomic damages contained in section 6-1603, Idaho Code, are not applicable to punitive damages.

(4)  Nothing in this section is intended to change the rules of evidence used by a trier of fact in finding punitive damages.

 

            As each case is unique, contact Mahoney Law at our headquarters in Boise, from where we serve all of Idaho, to discuss what money damages you might be entitled to in your personal injury claim, product liability case, or medical malpractice case.   

For a free, no obligation consultation with Mahoney Law