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Honolulu Personal Injury Law Blog

A look at a basic premises liability claim

Entering property owned by a Hawaiian business should not be a dangerous act. Yet, far too often property owners fail to ensure that their premises are safe for those they invite onto their property. This can leave unsuspecting individuals with serious injuries, whether resulting from a slip- or trip-and-fall, inadequate lighting or inadequate security. When an individual is hurt under these circumstances, then he or she may want to consider taking legal action in hopes of recovering compensation for what could be extensive damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Yet, before liability can be imposed and compensation can be recovered, certain legal elements must be proved. Generally speaking, those who enter onto the property of a business are considered invitees, which means that the property owner is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the premises is free of dangerous conditions. Therefore, in order to succeed on a premises liability claim an individual must show that the property owner either knew or should have known of the hazardous condition and failed to timely remedy the hazard or provide warning of it.

Medical malpractice and lack of informed consent

When Hawaiians go to the hospital they expect to receive appropriate and effective treatment. This may mean obtaining an accurate diagnosis, being administered the proper medication or undergoing the right kind of surgery. Yet, far too often medical professionals fail to live up to their responsibilities. When this happens, unsuspecting patients can be left with serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries.

One way medical malpractice occurs is by a medical professional providing care that is beyond the bounds of informed consent. Informed consent is when a patient agrees to a certain course of treatment, but only after being informed of his or her medical condition, the treatment options available to him or her, the risks associated with each type of treatment, the risks of receiving no treatment and his or her prognosis. This information must be conveyed to the patient in clear, easily understandable terms so that he or she knows exactly what type of care he or she is deciding on.

Maui families sue Monsanto for use of toxic pesticides

When a Hawaiian family is expecting a child, they are hoping that the child will be born with no health complications. However, some children are born with birth defects that can cause the child to suffer physical and mental disabilities that affect them for the rest of their lives. The families of these children may find themselves struggling to pay for the costly surgeries, rehabilitation and other medical expenses. While birth defects can sometimes be unavoidable, there are many cases where a birth defect was caused by the negligence of another party. Sometimes, a negligent medical professional is to blame, but in other cases, companies are responsible for using dangerous or defective products.

A 28-year-old woman and her parents, and a 17-year-old and his mother, are filing a personal injury lawsuit against Monsanto, a pesticide manufacturer. The families reportedly lived in a residential neighborhood, no more than 500 yards form Monsanto's fields in north Kihei. The lawsuit alleges that Monsanto used dangerous pesticides and other harmful chemicals in the fields that caused birth defects in the 28-year-old woman and 17-year-old boy. The families asserted claims for negligence, strict liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Wrongful death lawsuit filed following Hawaii bicyclist's death

Unless one has been through it themselves, it can be hard to imagine the pain of losing a parent or loved one in an accident caused by driver negligence. Families who have been through this may consider taking legal action against the parties responsible for their loved one's death. Filing a wrongful death claim may provide financial relief to a grieving family, as well as an opportunity to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.

A woman is filing a wrongful death lawsuit two years after the death of her father, who was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in Hawaii. The woman is seeking monetary damages, including damages to cover medical expenses, funeral expenses, economic loss, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

After a car accident, your fingers may never be the same again

As the cliché goes, if something is impossible to ignore, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The reason for the expression is because you use your fingers so much, you always notice when one of them is in pain. While you may sustain a variety of injuries in any car accident because of a negligent driver, damage to your fingers may alter your quality of life forever. 

For the first half of 2019, fatal car accidents in the Aloha State jumped 18% over the previous year. Still, you do not have to die in a car crash for it to be severe. An injury to an important part of your body, such as your fingers, may have life-altering consequences. Here are four types of finger injuries you may sustain in an automobile collision. 

Lava tour boat passengers sue tour company for negligence

When people go on vacation, they like to have experiences they cannot have back home. Sadly, these tourist activities can sometimes go terribly wrong due to the negligence of the companies in charge. A lava tour boat company was recently sued by multiple boat passengers after a large, fiery rock came through the roof of a boat near Pohoiki, Hawaii. Multiple passengers were injured, including a 20-year-old woman from Illinois who was struck by volcanic projectile, fractured her pelvis, thigh bone and tibia, and had to undergo multiple surgeries at a Honolulu hospital.

The woman and her family, and several other boat passengers, reportedly have filed lawsuits against the owners of the sightseeing boat, Lava Tours, Inc. According to the lawsuits, Lava Ocean Tours and the captain of the boat were negligent in failing to properly warn boat tourists of the possible risks of the tour and steering the boat too close to the lava ocean entry. The lawsuits claim the captain of the boat had permission to pilot his boats inside a pre-determined safety zone created by the U.S. Coast Guard, and was leaving the zone at the time of the lava bomb. The captain apparently was warned by the Coast Guard that the tour company would assume all risks and liabilities if they chose to enter the safety zone.

Car accident victims may recover many types of damages

In Hawaii, innocent people are injured and killed in car accidents that could have been easily avoided. The reality is that many motor vehicle accidents are caused by negligent drivers who fail to abide by state traffic laws. Victims of car accidents may recover damages for any injuries or damages caused by a negligent driver.

While the types of compensation you receive in your settlement will depend on the specific facts of your case, there are some common forms of compensation after an accident. For example, many car accident victims who have suffered one or more injuries will recover damages for their past and future medical expenses. These expenses may include hospital stay costs, ambulance fees, physical therapy or rehabilitation, and medical consultations. In more serious cases, a victim may recover damages for disfigurement and permanent disability. To recover medical expenses, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after your car accident to have them do a complete medical examination.

Common medical errors cause patients injury

When a patient goes to a Hawaii medical provider for assistance, they expect to receive quality care and have their medical conditions diagnosed in a timely fashion and treated appropriately. Unfortunately, some medical providers fail to provide the level of care they are legally and ethically obligated to provide. Some of the most common forms of medical error include misdiagnosis, improper treatment or treatment without consent.

One of the most egregious errors a doctor occurs during the diagnosis process. A misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose can cause the patient to suffer additional harm that he or she would not have suffered if they had been appropriately diagnosed in the first place. Physicians are expected to establish a differential diagnosis, where a doctor will evaluate a patient come up with a list of possible diagnoses based on a patient's symptoms. The doctor will list these possible conditions from most likely to least likely. In order to determine whether a doctor has misdiagnosed a patient, courts will often consider whether a reasonably competent doctor would have come up with a condition not on the treating physician's list or whether the reasonably competent doctor would have ruled out certain conditions by ordering additional tests.

Filing a medical malpractice claim against negligent physicians

Doctors are legally required to adhere to the proper standard of care when diagnosing and treating patients. When a doctor fails to adhere to this standard, a patient may suffer injury due to misdiagnoses and medical errors caused by their doctor's negligence. Victims of medical malpractice and their families may be entitled to compensation for the unnecessary harm they have endured.

If you and your family have decided to file a medical malpractice claim against your treating physician, your first step should be to contact your doctor. Your goal is to determine what went wrong and give the doctor a chance to determine whether the problem can be fixed and offer a possible solution. You can then contact the medical licensing board responsible for issuing your physician's medical license. They may choose to discipline your doctor and give you an idea on where to go next.

Working with an attorney to file a maritime claim

Hawaii is known for some of the most beautiful beaches and bodies of water in the world. As more and more people take to the seas for work and tourist activities, getting injured on a boat is becoming all too common. If you have been injured while out on the water, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your injuries.

If you are a seaman who was injured while on-the-job, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages under the Jones Act. Generally, in a lawsuit the plaintiff will have to prove that the employer or other parties were negligent in failing to provide a safe work place, having defective equipment, or failing to provide adequate training for employees.

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