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Honolulu Personal Injury Law Blog

Many causes may result in wrongful deaths

When a Honolulu resident chooses to pursue their losses from an injury or accident that was caused by another person, they must meet certain elements in order to prove their case. For example, they must identify the party or parties that caused the victim to suffer damages and build a case that shows how the responsible parties' actions were the cause of the event that led to the victim's losses. Put simply, a victim must show that the party they have identified is responsible for the harm inflicted upon them.

There are many causes on which wrongful death claims may be based. A wrongful death claim may arise from a fatal vehicle accident or an accident involving common carrier, such as an airplane crash or bus accident. A wrongful death may result if a doctor engages in substandard medical practices and causes a patient's death through their professional negligence.

Do medical mistakes happen in emergency rooms?

Emergency rooms across the country are revolving doors of new medical cases and crises that can push medical practitioners to their limits as they work to triage and treat the men, women and children to arrive at them for help. Any reader of this Honolulu-based personal injury blog who has spent time in an ER may know that these specialized medical departments can be relatively calm or completely stressed with activity as emergency cases roll in. In the chaos of new patients and critical cases, emergency room doctors and staff have to do their best to provide everyone they encounter with appropriate care.

It is an unfortunate truth, though, that mistakes can happen in these important medical departments. Emergency room doctors can and do fail to make correct diagnoses of their patients, and also commit errors when they perform procedures on those that they treat. When mistakes happen in emergency rooms, patients can suffer needless pain and grief.

Get help when an insurer acts in bad faith

Paying the premiums on one's automobile insurance policies can feel like a financial hassle, especially when a person never seems to make any claims. However, in the event that a Hawaii resident suffers an injury in a car accident and must seek compensation from their insurer they should be aware of their rights. In some situations insurers engage in damaging practices that leave injured parties without the financial help that they need.

These damaging practices are often referred to as bad faith and bad faith can take on many forms in the insurance world. One form of insurance bad faith occurs when an insurer fails to perform an investigation into a claim or otherwise ignores a claim made by its policy holder. Failing to make an investigation into a claim can leave a victim waiting for support from the insurer they have trusted with their policy.

Understand repercussions of settling a medical malpractice case

After a damaging or debilitating medical accident a Hawaii resident may not have the energy to think about fighting a lengthy legal battle over the recovery of their losses. The idea of engaging with the medical practitioners who caused their harm may sound unpleasant and they may be open to any options available that could shorten the time between suffering their harm and getting compensated. Possibly the most common way a person can manage the recovery of their damages before a lawsuit is through settlement, but those who choose to undergo the process should have a firm understanding of what they give up when they form a settlement agreement.

A settlement agreement provides a medical malpractice victim with compensation for their injuries. In exchange for getting a settlement payment that victim must also agree to release the other parties that were part of the agreement from any further liability. This can mean that a victim cannot sue another party for the recovery of additional damages after they have agreed to the terms of the settlement.

What constitutes a catastrophic injury?

An injury of any kind is likely to disrupt your life and routine. Whether you suffer a sprain that heals is a few weeks or a bone fracture that demands months of recovery, the frustration and pain you will experience are sure to make an impact. Some injuries have a far more devastating impact, though, and leave victims' bodies with irrevocable evidence of a traumatic accident. 

Such injuries are often referred to as "catastrophic injuries," but you may be wondering what exactly defines this category and makes it worse than other kinds of injuries. The following are three criteria that may be used to qualify an injury as catastrophic:

New report highlights frequency of pedestrian accidents in Hawaii

Both visitors and residents alike tend to spend as much time as possible outdoors when they are on the Hawaiian Islands. This can mean choosing to walk to one's favorite dining spot, beach or park in lieu of driving simply because it is so pleasant to be close to nature. However, when individuals choose to travel on foot rather than in the protective confines of vehicles they may find themselves at risk of suffering injuries or death due to dangerous drivers.

A national newspaper recently reported on a Hawaii Department of Transportation statement that claimed pedestrian accidents across the state are much higher than they were last year. According to the report, 25 people have died in Hawaii as pedestrian accident victims. This figure represents an 84 percent increase over pedestrian deaths during the same period of last year.

3 permanent injuries that may have delayed symptoms

A minor injury might not appear to inflict trauma beyond ruining your day. A more severe incident can inflict lifelong consequences and begin a process of ongoing recovery. Both may not be immediately apparent, though, regardless of how serious the injury is. If you have been in any kind of accident where you sustained physical trauma, you should seek medical treatment whether or not an injury is obvious.

Plenty of injuries do not exhibit symptoms immediately. This is true of permanent injuries, too. The following are three examples of permanent injuries that you may not experience immediate symptoms of. Consider options for treatment a recourse as you recover from the accident.

Speeding is a dangerous driving practice

Law enforcement offices throughout Hawaii patrol officers to catch individuals who operate their vehicles above the posted speed limits. Individuals who drive over the speed limit can be ticketed for their actions and if their speeding is egregious they may face more serious legal consequences such as reckless driving charges. Speeding is against the law and is penalized because it is dangerous. Individuals who operate faster than is safely possible put themselves and others at risk of serious injury or death.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that speeding contributed to more than one out of every four fatal crashes that happened in 2016 in the United States. Though drivers may think that speeding will get them to their destinations more efficiently than operating at the legal limit, the possible outcomes of speeding significantly outweigh the time they may or may not save by driving too fast.

Can I sue if I am attacked by my neighbor's dog?

Dog bites and other attacks by domestic animals can be incredibly serious and can inflict life-threatening injuries on victims. It is important that, in the wake of such an incident, a victim seeks medical attention to ensure that their injuries are attended to and that they are assessed for any potential exposure to animal-carried diseases. In Hawaii, the victim of a dog bite or attack generally may sue for their losses through a civil personal injury claim.

There are some exceptions to this rule, though. For example, if a person was trespassing onto the land of their neighbor's property when the attack occurred, their harm may not be compensable. The facts of such cases should be assessed with the help of personal injury attorneys.

Building a strong medical malpractice case

Like other forms of personal injury litigation, medical malpractice legal claims must satisfy a number of required elements in order to be considered valid in the courts of Hawaii and other jurisdictions throughout the country. Building a strong medical malpractice case based on wrongdoing by a hospital, doctor or medical team requires careful analyses of the facts and law relevant to a victim's case. This post will introduce several of the key pieces that must be included in claims of medical malpractice.

First, a person who claims to have been hurt in the medical context must prove that the person or persons who caused their harm owed them a duty. Generally, individuals owe each other a duty of reasonable care given the circumstances that they encounter each other: this standard applies in car accident cases and other personal injury claims. However, in the context of a medical mistake or accident, a victim may show a duty between themselves and the party that caused their harm through doctor-patient relationship.

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