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Honolulu Personal Injury Law Blog

Sunroofs exploding on certain models of cars

Bucking the trend of improving safety equipment on cars, an optional vehicle feature designed for aesthetics and enjoyment has become an increasing personal injury threat. Reports of exploding sunroofs have grown over the last few years.

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have especially multiplied since 2011, according to this agency and Consumer Reports. There were 859 occurrences reported to the NTSB since 1995 and 71 percent of these cases were filed during the last six years. The reported explosions usually occurred within the first two years of the vehicle's life.

Distracting technology in the driver's seat

New vehicles are being equipped with technological devices that are also threatening auto safety, according to a recent report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This complex equipment has increased distracted driving, which, in turn, leads to the threat of a motor vehicle accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 3,477 people were killed and 390,000 suffered injuries in accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2015. However, these figures may not be accurate because distracted driving is underreported because drivers do not admit to it.

The risks of skydiving

When it comes to tourists, Hawaii offers something for every taste. Want to lounge on the beach under blue skies? We have that. Interested in exploring the fascinating mix of cultures that makes Hawaii like no place else on Earth? We have you covered.

Then there are the multitude of options our state has for outdoor adventure-seekers. From surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling to hiking and sailing, Hawaii offers some of the best opportunities in the United States for adrenaline junkies to get their fix.

Kauai beaches' history of drownings

Kauai Island beaches have been a popular tourist destination and the location of movies such as "Blue Hawaii." These beaches have also been the site of several fatal accidents, including 316 drownings from 1970 through 2012. Frank Sinatra, in fact, almost drowned in a riptide during the filming of "None but the Brave" in 1964.

Drowning is the top cause of death for tourists in this state. Tourists comprised 75 percent of the drowning victims. From 1990 through 2008, there were 166 deaths from drownings compared to 144 deaths attributed to traffic accidents. The average age of the drowning victims was 46, while men suffered more drownings than women by a ratio of 9 to 1.

When the surgeon removes the wrong organ; a painful ordeal

With all the training and expertise the average surgical team has, you would think that wrong-site surgeries would be a thing of the past. And yet, these incidents keep happening with chilling regularity in the United States.

In one of the most recent examples, a woman is accusing her surgeon of operating on the completely wrong organ, leaving her in severe pain and putting her life at serious risk.

Car crashes into business again

A restaurant interior would appear to be the least risky place for a motor vehicle accident in Hawaii. However, a car crash into a Hawaii Kwai restaurant earlier this month is only the latest crash into businesses in that area over the last several years.

According to police, a 72-year-old woman drove her Honda Accord right into a café at the Koko Marina Center. The crash occurred on a Saturday after 4:00 pm. Seven people received treatment for cuts and bruises. The crash damaged at least four other vehicles in the parking lot. The damage will keep the restaurant closed for at least one month.

Fatal leg infection lawsuit settles

In Hawaii, medical malpractice cases are not always related to complicated medical procedures or a birth injury. Mistakes over simple medical diagnoses or treatment can be fatal. Earlier this month, the parents of an eight-year-old girl settled a lawsuit over the failure to treat a strep infection that led to the girl's death after three trips to the emergency room.

The second grader's mother took her to a clinic in Hilo for treatment of a cut on her leg on Aug. 29, 2012. In a few days, lab results showed her infection had staph and strep bacteria. The parent's attorney claimed that the treating nurse practitioner never studied the girl's culture and gave her the broad spectrum antibiotic Bactrim. This drug is appropriate treatment for a staph infection but not for strep.

Woman dies in car accident in Honomu

Most people when they leave the house to go to work, run an errand or visit friends and family don't anticipate that they'll never return home. Unfortunately, an unanticipated car accident can happen to just about anyone in Hawaii, with disastrous results.

For example, a fiery car crash in Honomu resulted in the death of a woman. The woman was sitting in the front passenger seat of an SUV being driven by a 23-year-old man. A three-year-old girl in a car seat was also in the car at the time of the crash.

No excuse for driving a school bus while intoxicated

The school year is starting up again in Honolulu. Each weekday morning, your kids walk to the bus stop, where they wait for the school bus to pick them up.

You probably assume that the bus driver is qualified and prepared to transport your children to and from school safely. While that is true most of the time, occasionally there are disturbing reports of bus drivers showing up to work impaired, exhausted or without the training needed to operate a large school bus.

Workers comp may cover suicide attempts

Workers' compensation may not cover suicide even though several experts argue that there may be a connection between a work-related physical injury and a long and difficult recovery process that can lead to the taking of one's own life. Last month, in fact, a federal court in Hawaii ruled that a worker was entitled to compensation benefits for an attempted suicide attempt.

The claimant in that case began working for a Hawaiian-based marine company in 2001. At work, he fell off a barge and landed on the steel floor of a dry dock. He suffered many injuries including blunt head trauma. Two years later, he attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. He argued that this attempted suicide was related to his fall and stress over his workers' compensation claim.

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