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Honolulu Personal Injury Law Blog

State high court rules on falling rock case

A motor vehicle accident may have many causes in addition to a drunk, reckless or distracted driver. The Supreme Court of Hawaii recently ruled on a personal injury case involving a couple who were seriously injured when their car was crushed by a 160-ton rockfall. This was the first published opinion on highway rockfalls by the Court.

The victims were diving home from their jobs when a rockslide took place on Highway 11 in Ka'u in March 2007. A state-commissioned study in December 2004 classified the location as a Class A site or one with the greatest rockfall potential.

Few silver linings in 2015 motorcycle accident data

Motor vehicle accident data is always a year or so behind, because compiling all that data and churning it out in a timely manner is difficult. With that said, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has data on motorcycle accidents from 2015 in the United States. The figures show an increase in fatalities in motorcycle accidents, but somewhat surprisingly a decline in injuries in motorcycle accidents.

4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015, whereas 4,594 people died in 2014. About 88,000 people suffered injuries in motorcycle accident in 2015, whereas that figure was about 92,000 in 2014.

Injuries in Hawaii waters can mean complicated legal claims

Water means life for many us in Hawaii. Commercial fishing is important industry. Tourists come by the millions every year from the mainland and all parts of the globe. Thousands take to the water every day to nature watch, explore reefs or just to get from one island to another.

One accident can cause injury to passenger and crew alike, but obtaining compensation for victims means working through different laws. Federal laws cover the work injuries suffered by the crew. State laws apply to passengers. To seek optimal results, it's important to consult with an attorney who knows the lay of the land and the water.


Moving walkways, overhead luggage bins, security staff, cab rides ... 

Statistically, airplanes are safer than traveling by car, bus or train. But air travel does involve a number of potential injury hazards - from air turbulence and airport falls to taxi accidents and TSA screeners.

The recent case of the United Airlines passenger who was beaten and forcibly removed from a plane illustrates that the actual flight may be the least dangerous part of the journey. If you are injured during any phase of airline travel, a personal injury attorney can assess your possible legal claims and identify who may be liable.


Medical malpractice "reform" on the front burner again

Legislation could stifle valid claims and limit patients' compensation.

We have written in the past about the myth of a medical malpractice crisis. Now the new Congress and incoming White House administration are talking again about "frivolous" lawsuits against doctors and the need for tort reform.

First of all, medical malpractice lawsuits are almost never frivolous. And complaints by some lawmakers about an avalanche of jury awards and skyrocketing rates for malpractice insurance are just fake news. Industry experts say there is no crisis - medical lawsuits and malpractice premiums have actually declined.

Victims of malpractice do not get rich. But doctors, medical centers and insurance companies do benefit financially from tort reform, by making it harder to sue or placing artificial caps on monetary damages.



Roughly a dozen states have no-fault insurance systems, Hawaii being one of them. Essentially, this means each driver will go through their own insurance provider to cover the cost of their injuries up to a certain set personal injury protection (PIP) limit, no matter who was at fault for the accident.


Why does Hawaii have the highest fatality rate in the nation for auto/pedestrian accidents with 6.81 deaths per every 100,000 adults 65 and older? It is even worse for pedestrians 75 or older who have a fatality rate of 9.75 per 100,000. Read the article.


A phony medical malpractice crisis was created in the State Legislature to increase insurance company profits, by enacting laws that created statutory caps on "non-economic damages" also referred to as "pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life." The Florida Supreme Court found that these limits violate the right to equal protection under the Florida constitution. The Court said the damage caps unfairly single out the victims of medical negligence by capping their damage recoveries. "This inherently discriminatory action and resulting invidious discrimination do not pass constitutional muster."

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