Personal Injury FAQs
March 1, 2023
If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim can seem like an intimidating process, especially if you don’t know how to start and what to expect during the claims process.
Our personal injury attorneys at Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, can help you get the answers you need to make informed decisions about your situation. From our office in Maui, Hawaii, we help injured victims and their families pursue the compensation to which they are entitled. We will work on your personal injury case while you can focus on feeling better and restoring your life.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Hawaii
According to a 2020 report by the Hawaii State Department of Health, an estimated 97 residents are hospitalized and more than 1,800 visit emergency departments due to injuries during an average week in Hawaii.
Hawaii is a no-fault state when it comes to personal injury claims. This means that an injured party does not have to prove that another party was negligent or at fault for the accident in order to recover damages. Instead, each person involved in an accident will be entitled to receive compensation from their own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident.
If you were injured in an accident and believe you are eligible for compensation, your first step should be to contact your insurance provider. You will need to let them know that you have been involved in an accident and provide all of the necessary details they require. Your insurance provider will then investigate your claim and determine whether you are eligible for compensation under their policy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injuries
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about filing a personal injury claim in Hawaii:
What’s the first thing I should do if I get injured?
The most important step is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor will help ensure that you receive the proper treatment and care for your injuries. In addition, you will have documentation of injuries that can be used in your personal injury claim later on.
What happens if I was partially at fault?
Under Hawaii law, even if you were partially at fault for your injury, you may still be able to receive compensation for your damages. The amount of damages awarded will depend on the percentage of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident. The higher your percentage of fault, the lower your recoverable damages will be.
Should I see a doctor if I feel fine?
Yes. Injuries don’t always present symptoms right away, so it’s always a best practice to get examined after an accident just in case something goes undetected until later on. This is especially true in cases involving head trauma or whiplash-related injuries, which can cause delayed symptoms such as dizziness or headaches weeks after the initial incident occurred. Seeing a doctor immediately following an injury can also help establish causation when filing a personal injury claim later.
I’m getting calls from the insurance adjuster. Should I answer?
It is not recommended to answer any questions posed by an insurance adjuster before speaking with an attorney who specializes in personal injury law. Anything you say could potentially be used against you during negotiations or mediation proceedings down the line and may negatively impact your case’s outcome. That is why it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney before speaking with anyone from your insurance company or another party’s insurance company.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?
Under Hawaii state law, individuals who have been injured through no fault of their own must typically bring forth their claims within two years from the date of their accident. However, there are certain exceptions that may allow for more time depending on certain circumstances, so you may want to speak with an experienced attorney who can review all aspects of your case and determine what type of timeline would work best given its unique nuances and circumstances.
When is filing a personal injury lawsuit necessary?
In some cases, insurance companies may refuse to pay out on valid personal injury claims or offer too little compensation for injuries sustained during an accident. In these cases, it may be necessary for an injured party to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. This is particularly true if there is evidence that negligence played a role in causing the accident that resulted in injuries. In some cases, filing a lawsuit is also beneficial to maximize recoverable damages.
What happens after I file a personal injury lawsuit?
Once you file a lawsuit against another party, they will typically respond with either an admission of guilt or denial of responsibility for causing the accident resulting in injuries. If they deny responsibility, then both parties will present evidence before going before a judge or jury, where it will be determined whether there was negligence on behalf of either party and what type of compensation should be awarded.
Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?
The law does not require you to hire an attorney when filing a personal injury claim or suit. However, it can be beneficial as attorneys are familiar with how to best handle such cases and can guide individuals through the process more quickly and effectively than if they attempted to do it alone. Additionally, attorneys understand how much money should reasonably be awarded and have experience negotiating with insurance companies or other parties on behalf of their clients so they can get the best outcome possible from their case.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
Knowing the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury law in Hawaii can help you make informed decisions throughout every step of the claims process when seeking compensation for your injury. If you have any additional questions about filing a personal injury claim, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law. Set up your consultation today to discuss your unique case.