What to Expect During a Hawaii Personal Injury Lawsuit: A Step-by-Step Guide
May 24, 2023
If you’ve never before dealt with a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you may be concerned about the particulars: from how long it takes to secure a settlement to the filing process, personal injury cases can get complicated.
Moreover, no two personal injury cases are the same. Resolution times may vary widely, even for scenarios under ideal circumstances. Consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney is your best bet for learning about your case’s potential personal injury timetable.
In the meantime, read more to learn about what you can expect during a personal injury case or lawsuit in Hawaii.
When to File a Claim for a Personal Injury
Most cases involving injuries are settled out of court. It’s not uncommon for disputes to be resolved amicably before legal action is taken. However, in the face of fresh evidence or other legal concerns, even the most clear claim may become convoluted.
Personal Injury Timeline
There are many steps in the personal injury timeline once you’ve sought medical attention and retained legal representation:
- First, your attorney and an insurance adjuster will launch separate preliminary inquiries into the incident. Information about your accident and injury, such as medical documents, wage statements, medical bills, and any other background details, will be gathered.
- From there, you will file an insurance claim or settlement demand. Depending on the circumstances, you may file a claim with your insurance provider or sue the person who caused your accident in court. After an automobile accident in Hawaii, the injured party will first contact their own no-fault insurance provider.
- A claim might be made against the property owner’s insurance if the incident took place on their premises. If there is no insurer involved, a demand letter will be sent to the responsible party directly.
The insurance company’s response to your settlement demand will depend on the results of their investigation into the claim and may take the form of acceptance, rejection, or a counteroffer. Talks may continue until both parties reach an agreement. The alternative to settling out of court is seeking legal counsel.
Remember that Hawaii has a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits, beginning on the date of the accident. Taking the insurance company to court is riskier, so filing a lawsuit first may prompt a more favorable settlement offer.
What is Discovery?
During discovery in Hawaii, attorneys on both sides collect information to buttress their arguments. Both parties may evaluate the validity of the other’s case throughout the discovery process.
After discovery, pre-court mediation is an option for parties to explore before taking the claim to trial. A mediator (often a lawyer or judge) will listen to both sides of the dispute and facilitate a settlement by asking pertinent questions and offering suggestions.
Generally, going to trial is a last resort for everyone involved. Trials are more time-consuming, expensive, and unpredictable than other methods. However, trials are often the only method to recover major financial losses.
What Factors Affect a Personal Injury Settlement?
A settlement might be reached in a matter of weeks, or it could take years. The extent of your injuries and the time required to make you whole again are the two most important factors in the length of your personal injury lawsuit. You may be able to settle your lawsuit within a few months if your injuries are not too severe.
If your injuries are very serious or complex, your lawyer may advise you to hold off on filing until you have attained maximum medical improvement or MMI. Your doctor will use this word to describe when you’ve made the maximum potential recovery.
The recovery period for a personal injury may also be affected by other variables, such as:
- Emerging case law: The defense may find evidence that undermines your case during discovery. You must tell your lawyer the truth, no matter how harmful you believe it may be to your case.
- Relevant case value: Insurance companies become more resistant to paying out claims when a large sum of money is at risk.
- Preparing for trial: Trials take more time than hearings because of the need for more preparation, scheduling difficulties, and the need for the judge or jury to deliberate.
Personal injury cases may be difficult to predict, but your attorney should be able to give you a ballpark estimate. You and your lawyer have the same goal: maximizing your financial recovery as swiftly as possible.
Can an Attorney Speed Up the Personal Injury Process?
Unfortunately, if your personal injury case is not yet ready for settlement, your attorney cannot do much to hurry things along. Perhaps you were injured and are still in need of time to recuperate. If the whole cost of your injuries and treatment is unknown, your attorney will advise against signing any settlement agreements.
However, having legal representation during discussions with the insurer might speed up the process. When lawyers represent claimants, insurers may rest certain that they have advocates on their side who know how much their claims are worth. That way, they won’t be as tempted to lowball you from the start. However, if your attorney determines that you will not get a fair settlement via talks, he or she may advise you to file a personal injury case as quickly as possible.
Your attorney may potentially be able to expedite the trial process. Knowledgeable lawyers can gather the necessary evidence via discovery, depositions, and interrogatories. In addition, they will have the best plan of action to fight your case.
Call Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner For Personal Injury
At Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner, our team of personal injury lawyers is ready to fight for our client’s rights. We will stop at nothing to secure the financial recompense you need and deserve if you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an accident that was not your fault.
Our Hawaii personal injury attorneys are committed to guiding you and yours through every step of the personal injury process as we fight for justice and fair recompense on your behalf. Feel free to call us at 808-537-2525 with any questions or schedule a no-obligation, in-depth review of your case.