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Honolulu Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

About 20% of serious medical conditions misdiagnosed

While anyone who wants to practice medicine in Hawaii most first undergo extensive training, doctors, too, are human. They, like everyone else, are prone to making occasional errors when diagnosing patients. The stakes are undeniably high when a physician makes a significant diagnostic error, however. In some instances, doctor mistakes can mean the difference between you recovering from your condition and succumbing to it.

If, for example, what you really have is cancer, but your doctor diagnoses you with something different and begins treating you for the wrong condition, your cancer can potentially progress to the point where you can no longer fight it successfully. In other words, a doctor’s mistake can have a significant impact on your prognosis when you face something serious. This is why many people who receive serious diagnoses, or who suspect they have serious conditions, seek second medical opinions.

Wrongful death lawsuit settles for millions

A significant number of wrongful death lawsuits in Hawaii stem from fatal motor vehicle accidents. Bicyclists and pedestrians may be more susceptible to fatalities as they do not have the protection offered by a three-ton vehicle. A family mourning the death of a real estate executive from Michigan was recently awarded $15,100,000 in what is believed to be our state's largest wrongful death settlement. It is reported that a significant portion of the proceeds from the settlement will be given to a charity.

In 2015, the real estate executive was riding a bicycle and killed when he was struck by a police vehicle in Hawaii County. The real estate executive's family filed a lawsuit, saying the officer driving the patrol car fell asleep behind the wheel after being awake for more than 26 hours. The family says Big Island officers were often required to work consecutive 8-hour shifts and that the officer responsible for the accident was working his second shift at the time of the crash.

Speeding may be the most dangerous form of aggressive driving

Hawaiian drivers who act negligently or recklessly behind the wheel are generally more likely to cause car accidents. However, some forms of negligent driving are more dangerous than others. A new study by the University of Waterloo found that speeding was more likely to predict a car accident than any other type of aggressive driving.

Study researchers from the university used data from various insurance companies in the United States and Canada. Specifically, they used data from vehicles with on-board diagnostic devices. They looked at approximately 28 million trips to determine how hard braking, hard acceleration, hard cornering and speeding would make it more likely for a car accident to occur.

Filing a negligence claim after a car accident

Many Honolulu residents, as well as tourists, suffer catastrophic injuries in motor vehicle accidents. A majority of these accidents occur due to the negligence of one or more parties involved. If someone or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, they may be entitled to compensation for personal injuries and accident-related expenses.

If deciding whether to file a lawsuit after a car accident, it is important to file the claim against the right people, company or both. Before one decides who to sue though, consider that many factors will determine who is legally responsible for the car accident. Generally, most two-car accidents are caused by the negligence of one, but possibly both drivers. If the party filing the lawsuit was less than 51 percent at fault of the accident, they can recover damages from the other party.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Hawaii

Losing a loved one is a painful experience, particularly if their death could have been avoided. Sadly, many deaths in our state occur due to another person's negligent actions. If a loved one passed away in an accident, there is a good chance that one or more parties are liable for their death. Many cases involving car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice or workplace accidents are caused by negligent drivers, property owners, physicians and supervisors. However, some wrongful death cases, such as assault and battery, involve intentional wrongdoing.

While nothing will ease the pain of losing a loved one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or persons responsible for their death can help the family left behind recover financially during this difficult time. In order to have the best chance at recovering wrongful death damages, one must prove a few basic elements in court. First, establish a legal right to bring a wrongful death claim in Hawaii. Under state law, surviving spouses, children, parents, a personal representative of the deceased estate and other parties that were financially dependent on the deceased can bring a wrongful death claim within two years of the person's death.

Common ways you may up end up with a traumatic brain injury

A traumatic brain injury is mild to severe damage to brain function. A TBI can lead to long-term effects such as memory impairment, mood swings and loss of coordination.

A TBI does not have to come from a traumatic event, such as war or gun violence. It can happen to anyone thanks to these common causes, according to the CDC.

Pedestrians ticketed for starting to cross the street too late

The increase in pedestrian deaths in Hawaii prompted Governor David Ige to sign a new law that lawmakers hope will prevent some of these deaths in the future, particularly at intersections. Most of us have seen intersection crosswalks with countdown timers that show walkers how much time they have to get across the street.

However, not all states use these timers in the same way. In many states, walkers have the freedom to decide when to begin their crossing journey as long as they make it to the other side by the time the timer hits zero. But, some Hawaii lawmakers believe that this encourages pedestrians to engage in risky behaviors, such as attempting to run across the street with little to no time left on the countdown timer.

Recovering damages following a dog attack

Dog owners often view their dogs as members of the family and love them unconditionally. However, even the most mild-mannered dog can bite or attack a person, causing serious injury.

Under Hawaiian law, the owner of the dog will be strictly liable for any injuries caused by the dog, even if the owner has no knowledge of the dog's vicious or dangerous propensities. In other words, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before or showed any signs of aggression in the past, the owner will generally be held liable for his or her dog's behavior. The injured party will have two years following the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog.

Skydiving plane crash in Hawaii kills 11

Many car, truck and aviation accidents are caused by negligence. Earlier this year, 11 people were killed in a Hawaii skydiving plane accident and a recent report shows that the company operating the plane did not have the necessary permits for skydiving. Reports show that this was the country's deadliest civil aviation accident since 2011.

According to investigators, the plane crashed to the ground shortly after taking off from Dillingham Airfield, northwest of Honolulu, and all 11 people on board were killed, including two solo jumpers who joined the flight at the last minute. In 2016, the same plane apparently stalled and spun multiple times during flight, forcing multiple skydivers to jump for safety.

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