Auto accidents, falls and other injuries can result in extensive medical costs and long-term disability. When another person’s careless behavior caused your injury, you can seek legal damages for related expenses.
Review the Hawaii laws that govern personal injury lawsuits to determine whether you may have a case.
In Hawaii, you can sue for damages only if the cost of your injuries exceeds the state’s personal injury protection insurance threshold of $5,000. Otherwise, you must file a claim with the responsible driver’s auto insurance company.
The state distinguishes between monetary and nonmonetary damages. Monetary damages include the actual costs associated with your injury, such as medical bills, transportation to medical appointments, lost wages, loss of ability to perform household tasks, loss of earning capacity and the cost of ongoing therapy such as vocational rehabilitation.
Hawaii caps nonmonetary damages such as pain and suffering at $375,000.
Under this law, you can seek financial damages even if you have partial responsibility for the accident. If the court finds you have less than 51% fault, the judge will decrease your damage award by the fault percentage. For example, if the total of your monetary and non-monetary damages is $50,000 but you have 20% fault, you would receive $40,000.
In Hawaii, you have two years from the injury date to file this type of lawsuit. When the statute of limitations expires, you lose the right to pursue a personal injury claim even if you would have had a valid case.