Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Hawaii
January 4, 2023
Not only can motor vehicle collisions often result in significant property damage but depending on the intensity of the impact, drivers and passengers may also suffer serious injuries. Obviously, a number of factors may lead to automobile accidents in Hawaii and intensify their consequences.
But despite inclement weather and other challenges, drivers in Hawaii must often navigate crowded metropolitan streets and narrow, winding roads. It goes without saying that this leads to a number of serious, injury-causing collisions. However, if you have been involved in one of these collisions, you may take measures to protect your legal rights.
Statistics on Hawaii’s Auto Accidents
According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, between 120 and 150 persons die in vehicle accidents yearly in Hawaii. In Hawaii, speeding causes the most accidents, even more than distracted driving. Not yielding, driving in the wrong direction, following too closely, and engaging in risky maneuvers are other causes of these tragic, devastating collisions.
What’s more, Hawaii saw 25 deaths in the first three months of a single year. That was more than twice as much as the same time the year before. And according to the current Highway Safety Plan of the Department of Transportation, Hawaii is not expected to reach its goal targets for the reduction of deaths and severe injuries based on the available statistics.
Consistently, the bulk of road fatalities occurs in Oahu. In addition to vehicle accidents, Oahu has a higher rate of motorcycle wrecks and pedestrian collisions than the other islands in Hawaii.
What to Do After a Car Crash in Hawaii
Adhering to traffic regulations may reduce the likelihood of getting involved in an accident, but the risk remains regardless of how cautious you are, especially given the proliferation of cell phones and other devices causing distracted driving in Hawaii to surge.
In fact, there is a high probability that you will be involved in at least one car accident in your lifetime. Hopefully, there will be a little fender-bender, and you will come away uninjured. However, determining what to do next may be a mystery if you’ve never been in an accident. Here are a few actions you should do at the accident site and beyond:
- If safe and feasible, relocate your car to the shoulder of the road. Get out of the car and go to the side for protection.
- Examine all drivers and passengers for injuries. Check yourself and other passengers for immediate signs of injury. Inspect the driver and occupants of other vehicles for signs of injuries. Do not move a severely injured individual since doing so might compound their injuries.
- Make sure that you call 911. In Hawaii, accidents resulting in bodily injury, death, or vehicle damage over $3,000 must be reported. It is essential to deploy paramedics and law enforcement to the site of an accident. It is illegal in Hawaii to leave the scene of an accident without reporting it or exchanging information with the other driver (s). If law enforcement is responding to the scene, you must wait until their arrival before leaving.
- Since Hawaii is a no-fault state, your first accident claim will be sent to your insurer. However, you may also need to file a claim with the insurance carrier of the other motorist. Share insurance information with every motorist impacted. Collect their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and license numbers. Document the license plate number, make, model, and year for each vehicle in the study. Additionally, now is the time to collect the contact information of any accident witnesses.
- Take photos of the scene. Get as many photographs of the accident scene as you can. Include photographs documenting the damage to your vehicle, other cars, and the environment. Look for evidence such as skid marks, smashed glass, vandalized signage, and torn clothing. It is also advisable to keep a photographic record of your injuries, starting on the day of the event and continuing until your recovery.
How to Handle the Aftermath of a Car Accident
Your actions at the site of an accident protect both your safety and your right to reimbursement. But your actions in the days, weeks, and months after a car accident may also substantially impact the outcome of your claim. Utilize the below recommendations as a guide.
- See a doctor: Some injuries, such as whiplash from a crash and other similar wounds, are not readily apparent. Even if you do not think you are injured, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. While in Honolulu, you may still get a checkup at urgent care, walk-in clinic, or emergency room. This proves to the insurance company that you took your car accident seriously and responded promptly in the case of injuries.
- Notify your insurance provider of the accident: Examine your insurance policy. The majority of organizations have an accident reporting deadline. Remember that you are only obligated to report the occurrence of an accident. Before speaking with an attorney, do not submit a recorded statement or respond to questions about injuries.
- Contact a reputable auto accident attorney: You would be surprised at how quickly insurance companies seek to contact you to settle your claim, and not due to the fact that you are getting superior customer service. Because most insurance companies are aware that unrepresented claimants are less likely to understand the value of their claims, they may try to settle your claim quickly.
Keep in mind that you are often entitled to compensation that exceeds what is first offered. A lawyer may also assist you in determining if you may submit a claim outside of your Hawaii no-fault auto insurance policy. In certain situations, you may be allowed to file a lawsuit against the other driver, but your injuries and the crash must meet certain criteria.
Contact a Hawaii Car Accident Lawyer
The personal injury attorneys at Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner are available to defend Hawaii residents who have sustained severe injuries as a result of a car accident caused by the negligence of another party. Auto accidents are widespread in Hawaii for a variety of causes, including congested traffic, inebriated drivers, distracted motorists, and irresponsible actions on the part of others behind the wheel.
In addition to the massive expenditures associated with treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care, the mental misery and excruciating physical pain that often result from these incidents may last for an extremely long period.
Our lawyers recognize how difficult the aftermath of such an event can be. And over our years of practice, we have been entrusted with the representation of a huge number of injured clients. Our Honolulu-area car accident lawyers are devoted to supporting our clients in seeking justice and fair compensation for their losses after an accident. Please contact us at 808-537-2525 if you are interested in a free introductory consultation with our staff.