(1) When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another, his or her heirs or personal representatives on their behalf may maintain an action for damages against the person causing the death, or in case of the death of such wrongdoer, against the personal representative of such wrongdoer, whether the wrongdoer dies before or after the death of the person injured. If any other person is responsible for any such wrongful act or neglect, the action may also be maintained against such other person, or in case of his or her death, his or her personal representatives. In every action under this section, such damages may be given as under all the circumstances of the case as may be just.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, and subsection (2) of section 5-327, Idaho Code , “heirs” means:
(a) Those persons who would be entitled to succeed to the property of the decedent according to the provisions of subsection (22) of section 15-1-201, Idaho Code .
(b) Whether or not qualified under subsection (2)(a) of this section, the decedent's spouse, children, stepchildren, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the illegitimate child of a mother, but not the illegitimate child of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child's support.
1. “Support” includes contributions in kind as well as money.
2. “Services” means tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the heirs of the decedent. These services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and heir and shall be determined under the particular facts of each case.
(c) Whether or not qualified under subsection (2)(a) or (2)(b) of this section, the putative spouse of the decedent, if he or she was dependent on the decedent for support or services. As used in this subsection, “putative spouse” means the surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who is found by the court to have believed in good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to change or modify the definition of “heirs” under any other provision of law.
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