Helping Hawaii’s Motor Vehicle Accident Victims
The roads can be a dangerous place, and between cars, motorcycles, bikes and all the other vehicles on the road, thousands of people sustain injuries. As an injured person or the caregiver of an injured person, you have rights, and there are ways to support your family throughout your recovery. At the Law Offices of Jan M. Weinberg, we can help you if you were injured in an accident.
Understanding How No-Fault Insurance Works
Hawaii is a no-fault state, meaning that for the first $10,000 of accident costs, your insurance is responsible. This does not mean that a negligent driver is not responsible for your injuries.
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 coverage for your medical bills is always assured.
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, for example, a motor vehicle accident resulting in death where the responsible party was driving under the influence of alcohol. With today’s high cost of medical care, the bill for one visit to an emergency room is over $5,000.
Uninsured Motorist And Underinsured Motorist Coverage
It is extremely important for you to understand these basic optional coverages in auto policies. “Uninsured” motorist coverage protects you when you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident by another vehicle that has no auto insurance coverage. Likewise, “underinsured” motorist coverage protects you when you’re injured by a motor vehicle that is insured but the insurance limits are inadequate to compensate you for your injuries. The cost of this optional coverage is cheap. Also, if you insure more than one vehicle, the coverages can be “stacked.” This means, for example, that if you have three cars insured with a company, each with $100,000 in UM and UIM benefits, you can stack the coverages for a total of $300,000 potential available coverage. This UM/UIM coverage can also protect you in certain instances when you are a pedestrian, a bicyclist or a motorcyclist involved in an accident. This type of coverage is extremely important as too many vehicles on the Hawaii roads may not be insured or only have $20,000 of coverage, the minimum amount required by law. Call your insurance company or agent immediately if you are not certain whether you have obtained UM/UIM coverage and be sure to request “stacking.”
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 us for a FREE consultation to review your case. We will answer your questions and offer my candid opinion of your case and your next best steps.