Hawaii Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Motor Vehicle AccidentMotor Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury in Hawaii. Each year, thousands of our residents and our visitors are seriously injured on our roads. These accidents include: automobile; truck; bus; motorcycle; moped; bicycle; and pedestrian. Many are injured by drunk drivers.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you understand your basic legal rights in order to protect yourself and your family.

Understanding How No Fault Insurance Works

Hawaii is a "no fault" jurisdiction for motor vehicle accidents. This does not mean that nobody is at fault for the collision. It simply means that the insurance company for the owner of the vehicle in which the injured person is a driver or passenger is responsible for payment of the first $10,000 in medical bills. This amount is owed by the insurance company for the vehicle's owner regardless of any fault on the part of any motorist.

Most vehicle owners in Hawaii are insured for $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Optional PIP coverage of up to $100,000 is also available, so that the amount of coverage for your medical bills should always be confirmed.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and moped operators are also covered under the no-fault insurance of the vehicle involved in the accident without any requirement that the injured person prove the negligence of the vehicle's driver.

In order to have a legal claim against the party responsible for your injuries you must have $5,000 in medical bills paid by the no-fault insurance company. There are exceptions to this requirement where there has been a death and where the responsible party was driving under the influence of alcohol. With today's high cost of medical care, the bills for one visit to an emergency room frequently are over $5,000.

What To Do After A Motor Vehicle Accident

If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, keep in mind the following suggestions:

  1. Obtain complete identifying information on the adverse party, including full legal name, current address, telephone and cellphone numbers, employer, auto insurance company and policy number. Exchange driver's licenses and no-fault cards.
  2. Request the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident or its aftermath. You will find that, unfortunately, the police do not necessarily make a record of this information.
  3. If you have any doubts about the severity of your injuries, accept or request an ambulance for a trip to the emergency room. The Queen's Medical Center probably is the best equipped of the hospitals on Oahu to provide emergency treatment.
  4. If possible, be accurate in describing the collision and your injuries to the police and to the ambulance crew. You may be asked to complete a written report by the police. If you are inaccurate in describing the collision, then your statement can and will be used in a subsequent lawsuit to impeach your credibility. Do the best you can to be accurate under the stressful conditions following an accident.
  5. The same advice applies to your medical treatment, beginning with the ambulance and including all health care providers who request a description of the accident and the symptoms you claim to be suffering as a result.
  6. Notify the no-fault insurance company of the accident and of your injuries. Be as complete as possible in describing your injuries. Also, you should notify your private health plan that you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. If your medical bills exceed the PIP limits of $10,000, the benefits under your health plan become available. You should avoid having your health plan pay any of the first $10,000 in medical bills. If this occurs, as it often does, the mistake can be corrected between the health plan and no-fault insurer.
  7. Do not provide a written or recorded statement to any insurance company without consulting with an attorney. Although a written application for no-fault benefits is required, the form requests only basic information. You should nevertheless consult with a personal injury lawyer, especially if you feel that you have suffered significant bodily injuries.
  8. The Hawaii statute of limitations on motor vehicle accidents runs two years from the date of the accident, or two years from the date of the last no-fault payment made for medical treatment. The statute of limitations is two years against the state of Hawaii. If a claim is made against the city and county of Honolulu, a notice of claim should be filed within six months of the accident to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney without delay so that you can be apprised of your legal rights and about the statute of limitations.

Act Now To Protect Yourself And Your Family

If you have significant injuries, or if you simply want to be advised of your rights, contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in representing the victims of motor vehicle accidents. Contact me, Jan Weinberg, for a FREE consultation to review your case. I will answer your questions and offer my candid opinion of your case and you next best steps.

I have successfully represented over 1,000 clients in motor vehicle accident cases in more than three decades of practice and have a record of distinction in obtaining compensation for accident victims. See the Results page of this website for recoveries made by the Law Offices of Jan M. Weinberg for my clients in motor vehicle accidents and in other cases. To speak directly with me call 808-523-9477 or fill out this online form and I will promptly respond to you. Serving all of Hawaii.