Hawaii Personal Injury Overview
Personal injury lawsuits can include cases involving slip and fall, defective construction, auto accidents, medical malpractice, and many other types of accidents. The general concepts of personal injury law are the same throughout the country, but each state is a little different and those differences can mean a lot regarding your individual case.
If you have been injured in Hawaii, you should talk to a personal injury attorney familiar with the laws specific to the state.
You may still be entitled to compensation even if you are partly responsible for your injuries
Many people mistakenly believe that if they were partly to blame for their accident or injuries, that they are ineligible for compensation. In the state of Hawaii you can still receive compensation under a doctrine called “modified comparative negligence” as long as you were less than half to blame. Your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Collecting payment from multiple responsible parties
Hawaii follows the rule of joint and several liability. Each party is responsible for the full amount of damages, so if one party is unable to pay, you can still collect their share from the other responsible parties.
Compensation to which you may be entitled
In Hawaii, if you are injured due to another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation including:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Other expenses as a direct result of your injury
Damages for pain and suffering are limited to $350,000 or less, but other non-economic damages are unlimited.
If you were injured by a defective product, your cases will be a product liability case. Product liability applies to defective vehicles, and sometimes what appears to be a simple auto accident case is really a product liability case. When you are injured by a defective product, the maker of the product may be held responsible under strict liability. Under strict liability you must prove that:
- The product was defective, making it unreasonably dangerous
- You used the product the way it was intended to be used
- The defect caused your injury
- You suffered damages
In most personal injury cases you will need to prove negligence. Negligence means that the person at fault failed to use reasonable care, thus causing your injuries. These elements must exist in order to prove negligence:
- The person who caused your injuries owed you a duty
- The person failed to uphold that duty and that failure caused your injuries
- You suffered damages
Limited time to file
Every state has a time limit for filing a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations. If you fail to take action within that time period you will forever give up your right to compensation. The statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in Hawaii is two years, but in some case your may have less time.
For more in depth information about time limits in Hawaii read our Hawaii Statute of Limitations page.
Personal injury laws vary from state to state. If you believe you have a personal injury claim and you live in Hawaii, please contact one of our Hawaii personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.