Auto Accident Injury in Hawaii
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in Hawaii? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in HI that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in Hawaii
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. According to reporting from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, there were approximately 103 fatalities in traffic-related accidents in the Aloha State in 2019. This number includes the deaths of 44 occupants of motor vehicles, 36 pedestrians, 20 motorbike riders and three bicyclists. Regrettably, speeding was the leading cause of car accident deaths that year. Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration also indicates there were about 10,000 injury-causing accidents in Hawaii in 2019.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
Section 291C-16 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes places a reporting requirement on drivers who are in certain types of car accidents. You must notify law enforcement using the quickest communication possible if any of the following applies to your crash:
- The accident causes someone’s death
- Accident causes someone’s injury
- The accident causes more than $3,000 in property damage
In addition to calling 911 or otherwise alerting law enforcement about the accident, you must file an official report within 24 hours with the chief of police who has jurisdiction over where the accident occurred. Among other obligations, this form requires you provide proof of at least the minimum required insurance coverage.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Car accidents take a tremendous financial toll on the citizens of the Aloha State. According to official government estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total cost of crash-related injuries and fatalities in 2018 in Hawaii was $164 million. While this estimate represents more than a million dollars in medical bills, it includes mostly lost work.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in Hawaii
Liability Laws for HI
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process. Hawaii takes a no-fault approach to car accidents, so your insurance company is likely to pay for your injuries and property damage. Nevertheless, if you choose to file a legal claim, you must be less than 51% responsible for the accident to recover financial damages under the state’s comparative negligence statute.
Statute of Limitations in HI
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years. Hawaii has a two-year statute of limitations for most car accident claims, although there are limited exceptions to this rule.
This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer In Hawaii
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in HI!
Having doubts about wether this area of law is fitting your situation? Learn about other areas of Hawaii law, or return to our home page to get started with an attorney near you!