It would be wise to know your legal options if you were hurt or your car was damaged in any traffic collision in Hawaii. We’ll review a few state rules that could significantly affect any vehicle accident claim you decide to file. Keep in mind that Hawaii has no-fault auto insurance. This implies that regardless of who caused the collision, you will likely need to claim your personal injury protection coverage to get restitution for medical costs and other financial losses following a car accident. You can only overlook the no-fault and pursue a claim directly against the at-fault driver if your injury claim meets specific requirements.

Hawaii statute of limitations

State regulations known as “statutes of limitations” place stringent time restrictions on your ability to file a case. Note that a car insurance claim is exempt from the statute of limitations. Any insurance company, whether it be yours or the other driver’s, will demand that you file a claim or, at the very least, notify the insurer of an occurrence that may result in a claim “promptly” or “within a reasonable period” following the collision. In most cases, that means a few days or, at most, a few weeks.

Nearly all lawsuits resulting from auto accidents must be filed by the deadline specified in Hawaii Revised Statutes section 657-7. According to this law, lawsuits seeking damages for harm done to people (personal injury) or property must be brought forth no more than two years from the claim’s validity.

Simply put, you have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages. Otherwise, you lose your claim regardless of your evidence. If the claims adjuster is challenging to work with, be mindful of the statute of limitations date. The insurance provider is not legally required to resolve your claim before the deadline.

Hawaii comparative negligence rule

Suppose you file a lawsuit after suffering severe injuries in an automobile accident in Hawaii, and the jury determines that you are also somewhat to fault after reviewing the evidence. What follows? How will this decision impact your ability to seek compensation?

The state of Hawaii employs a modified “comparative negligence” rule, as stated in Hawaii Revised Statutes section 663-31. This implies that, as long as your share of responsibility does not exceed that of others, you may still get reimbursement in a case involving an automobile accident. However, your award will be diminished in proportion to your degree of negligence.

In such a situation, engaging a Honolulu car accident attorney is helpful since the case can get complicated. Since there is no objective method of determining fault, the success of any attempt to assign liability will depend on your capacity to convince a judge or jury or to bargain with a claims adjuster.

Closing words

Hawaii car accident laws can be complicated, so it is advisable to seek legal counsel to avoid costly mistakes and protect your rights.