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Honolulu Personal Injury Law Blog

A review of Hawaii's medical malpractice statute of limitations

When a doctor makes a mistake during a surgical procedure, the error may be discovered immediately. For example, it is very clear when a patient suffers a wrong-site surgical error because they may come out of their procedure to see that their operation was performed on the wrong side of their body. However, not all medical mistakes are obvious at the time they occur. In some cases, affected patients may not know that they are victims of medical malpractice for a number of months or even years.

As such, Hawaii's medical malpractice statute of limitations is somewhat flexible. A patient has at least two years from the time that they should have reasonably discovered the mistake to file their claim; that may be extended to a maximum of six years.

Cyberattackers find new target: healthcare. Are patients at risk?

Thanks to the massive data breaches of Equifax and other credit-reporting agencies last year, hopefully you know better than to click on that link from an unrecognized email or weird-sounding forward from a coworker. Unfortunately, all of the increased attention on cybersecurity means hackers have turned to another source of unprotected data: your health records.


What damages are available in a wrongful death case?

If a Honolulu resident loses a loved one in a tragic negligence or recklessness-based accident, then they may have the right to sue the party or parties who caused their loved one's passing. Spouses, children, parents, personal representatives and individuals who relied on the victim for financial support may all have rights to initiate these legal claims. When a wrongful death lawsuit is filed the pleading parties may seek a variety of damages.

In Hawaiian courts, surviving victims in wrongful death cases may seek their pecuniary losses as well as their losses related to the surviving victims no longer receiving the decedent's love and affection. Pecuniary losses are those that may be quantified with a dollar amount, such as the medical costs associated with attempting to keep the decedent alive or the expenses needed to pay for their funeral. Losing the decedent's love and affection may be grouped into different damages' categories.

Standard of care is a key part of medical malpractice law

Malpractice claims arise when medical professionals fail in their duty to provide reasonable care for the patients in their care. Cases of medical malpractice occur in Hawaii.and when they do ,victims are left in worse states of health than they were in prior to engaging the services of medical practitioners. This post will review one important component of pleading a medical malpractice case: the standard of care that a medical professional is expected to offer to the patients under their care.

Before standard of care may be addressed, though, a patient must have a relationship with the medical profession that allegedly caused their harm. For example, the patient and the doctor may have a doctor-patient relationship established, and this legally recognizable relationship is sufficient to serve as a bond through which the doctor would have a duty to the patient.

Pursue compensation after an accident

Accidents happen all across the Hawaiian Islands each and every day. When they do, individuals who are harmed due to the negligent or reckless behavior of others find themselves facing serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries that are in no way the result of their own conduct. Often, these victims discover that despite the fact that they played no role in causing the accident, they are still responsible for paying the costs associated with getting their lives back to normal.

The victim of an accident may face astronomical medical bills to repair their body and treat the lingering ailments that plague them after their incident. They may lose opportunities to earn an income if their injuries prevent them from working and receiving pay. They may suffer emotional and personal losses as a result of losing enjoyment in the life they once lived and from the fear of a future that no longer seems as promising to them as it may have once appeared.

What to do when your Uber is in an accident

Many people visit Hawaii every year for vacation. In 2016, tourists spent a combined 5,461,879 days on the island of Oahu alone. That number does not even include all the beautiful islands Hawaii has to offer. 

When tourists visit, they may not feel comfortable driving themselves. They may not even have a car readily available. Therefore, many tourists rely on services such as Uber and Lyft to take them around. While most of these rides go smoothly, there is the possibility of your Uber driver ending up in an accident. It is important to remain calm and collect yourself so you can get through this incident safely. 

Owners are responsible for the harm their dogs cause

Dogs are wonderful additions to Hawaiian homes and in some cases the animals become cherished parts of their families. While most pet owners take their responsibilities seriously, from time to time a domestic animal such as a dog is involved in a dangerous personal injury incident. Dog bites can be serious medical conditions and this post will generally discuss how Hawaiian law addresses these unfortunate situations.

If a dog bites a person, the general rule of law suggests that the victim may have a claim against the dog's owner for the harm that the animal inflicted upon them. This could include medical costs associated with remedying the injury the dog caused, lost wages for time the victim had to take off of work, and pain and suffering for the trauma they had to experience. Dog owners are, in most cases, responsible for the actions of their pets.

Austrian city pads street posts because of texting pedestrians

Have you ever run into something because you didn’t watch where you were going?

Honolulu made international news this fall when the city passed a law aiming to reduce pedestrian accidents. The reason is because it fines walkers who look at their phone while crossing the street. The law acknowledges a growing problem: pedestrians looking down for directions or texts from the friends instead of watching where they are going. Salzburg, Austria, which is also a popular tourist attraction, took a more creative approach to the problem: wrapping street light posts with airbags to cushion the inevitable collisions.

What does it mean for a vessel to be unseaworthy?

The water that surrounds the islands of Hawaii provides both beautiful scenery and opportunity for commerce for the people of Honolulu. Many individuals enjoy spending time on the ocean for pleasure, but also many individuals rely on incomes from the work that they do on vessels and seagoing crafts.

When a boat or ship is used for commerce and individuals work upon it for their jobs, the vessel must meet certain requirements. One of those requirements is that it is seaworthy. A seaworthy vessel is one that is reasonably fit for its intended use. Put simply, a vessel must be able to withstand the conditions that nature will subject it to while providing individuals upon it with safe ways of doing their work.

What must be pleaded in a birth injury claim?

Birth injury legal cases are a subset of the wider legal field of medical malpractice. All cases of medical malpractice must be supported by evidence of negligence or other wrongdoing in order for an injured party to prevail and receive the damages they may need to get past their incident-related losses. In Honolulu, a child harmed in a preventable or negligence-based labor and delivery incident may have a claim for damages based on their sustained birth injuries.

In order for a victim of a birth injury accident to plead a successful claim there are several elements that must be met. First, a victim must show that the responsible medical provider owed them a duty of care. Usually when a doctor, nurse or other medical practitioner takes on a person as their patient a link can be formed between that practitioner and the victim that establishes the existence of a duty.

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