Personal Injury Laws & Rules For Car Accidents in Hawaii
January 11, 2023
For many victims, filing a personal injury claim after an accident in Hawaii might seem intimidating. Rest assured that this is normal, as an auto accident disrupts your sense of security on our roadways.
Regardless of the sort of accident you were involved in, there is one certainty: at some time during your recovery, usually within days or even hours following a crash, an insurance company may approach you and offer quick compensation.
Please consult a personal injury attorney in Hawaii before making any comments or agreements with an insurance adjuster. An experienced attorney understands how to file a personal injury claim, what it takes to win, and how to prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you at a time when you are most vulnerable.
Auto Accident Data in Hawaii
Per data provided by the Hawaii Department of Transportation, between 120 and 150 people are killed annually in automobile accidents in Hawaii. In Hawaii, speeding caused more accidents than distracted driving combined. Other reasons for these unfortunate, catastrophic incidents include failure to yield, driving in the wrong way, tailgating, and participating in dangerous maneuvers.
What’s more, there were 25 fatalities in Hawaii within the first three months of a single year. That was more than twice as much as the previous year at this time. And according to the current Highway Safety Plan of the Department of Transportation, Hawaii is not likely to meet its goals for the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries based on the available data.
Oahu consistently has the highest number of traffic deaths. In addition to these incidents, Oahu has a greater incidence of motorcycle collisions and pedestrian accidents than the other Hawaiian islands.
Steps to Take After an Accident in Hawaii
Adhering to traffic restrictions may lower the probability of being involved in an accident, but the danger remains regardless of how careful you are. This is particularly true considering the prevalence of mobile phones and other gadgets in Hawaii, which has increased the incidence of distracted driving.
You are likely to be involved in at least one automobile collision throughout your lifetime. Hopefully, this will be a minor collision, and you will escape unharmed. Nonetheless, knowing what to do next may be a mystery if you’ve never been in an accident. Here are some things you should do at the scene of the accident and beyond:
- Check for injuries on all drivers and passengers. Examine yourself and other passengers for symptoms of imminent damage. Examine the driver and passengers of other cars for injuries. Do not move a seriously wounded person since doing so might exacerbate their injury.
- Dial 911. In Hawaii, accidents resulting in physical injury, death, or vehicle damage over $3,000 must be recorded. In fact, leaving an accident site without reporting it or sharing information with the other motorist (s) is prohibited. If law enforcement is responding to the site, you are required to wait for their arrival.
- Document the scene. Take as many pictures as possible of the accident site. Include images of the damage to your vehicle, other vehicles, and the surroundings. Consider indicators such as skid marks, shattered glass, defaced signs, and damaged clothes. It is also recommended that you preserve a photographic record of your injuries from the day of the incident until your recuperation.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim
Your actions at an accident scene safeguard both your safety and your entitlement to compensation. However, your actions in the days, weeks, and months after a vehicle accident may significantly affect the result of your claim.
In Hawaii, the process for bringing a personal injury claim differs based on the nature of the event. For instance, Hawaii is a no-fault state when it comes to auto accidents. This implies that regardless of who was at fault for the collision, you will seek reimbursement via your own auto insurance coverage for any injuries you or a passenger sustained.
In contrast, other injury claims (such as those resulting from a slip and fall or a faulty product) would be filed with the insurance company(s) of whoever caused your accident.
An insurance company settlement may address the majority of personal injury lawsuits. This is often the best choice for all parties concerned since it eliminates the need for a trial, which may be more time-consuming and dangerous.
Insurance companies make it difficult to get a fair and complete payout, but you are often entitled to compensation surpassing the first offer.
Steps to File a Personal Injury Claim
From there, a number of steps are required to file an injury claim in Hawaii. Claims may be brought in either state or federal court. Every county contains state courts, and Hawaii’s federal court is in Honolulu County.
The claim filing procedure in Hawaii includes the following:
- After filing the complaint with the court, the defendant (the person or entity being sued) is informed of the litigation and given a chance to respond.
- The defendant may argue for dismissal of the lawsuit or provide a response to each claim contained in your complaint. They may accept, reject, or concede your injuries, but they should not be held responsible for your injuries.
- During discovery, lawyers from both parties seek evidence to support their respective arguments. This may include sending questions to the other party, interviewing witnesses, and delivering a deposition (or interview), which enables you to state your perspective.
- Defendants may propose to settle a case at any moment throughout the process, regardless of whether a trial is imminent. In certain instances, defendants (especially large companies or businesses) may delay offering a reasonable settlement offer until just before a trial starts.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney in Honolulu
Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner‘s personal injury lawyers are ready to defend Hawaii residents who have experienced significant injuries due to an automobile accident caused by another driver’s carelessness. Multiple factors contribute to the prevalence of auto accidents in Hawaii, including heavy traffic, intoxicated drivers, distracted drivers, and reckless driving by others.
In addition to the enormous costs connected with treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care, the emotional anguish and intense physical agony that often come from these tragedies may last for a very long time.
Our attorneys understand how difficult the aftermath of such a tragedy can be. In addition, we have been entrusted with the representation of a large number of wounded customers over our years of business. After an accident, our Honolulu-area car accident attorneys are committed to assisting our clients in pursuing justice and fair compensation. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 808-537-2525 if you are interested in a free consultation with a member of our team.