Why are there so many car accidents now?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Last year was difficult for people living in Hawaii and across the country, due in large part to the sharp economic downturn and lockdowns that interrupted life and livelihoods. Even though there weren’t as many cars on the road, law enforcement noticed a sharp rise in risky driving behaviors that were contributing to deadly accidents.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) reported that although there were not as many traffic fatalities as in 2019, when considering that there were far fewer vehicles on the road, the numbers are significant. Nearly half of fatalities in 2020 were due to speeding, and a majority of these accidents occurred on Oahu.

What are the current trends?

Although traffic volumes are up to near normal levels in large parts of the country, some drivers are still acting as if they are travelling on empty roads. In the first six months of 2021, there has been a 16% rise in traffic deaths over 2020, and a 17% spike over 2019. When factoring in total vehicle miles travelled (VMT), today’s rate has gone up 24% so far compared to two years ago.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the estimated injuries from car accidents stands at 2,445,000 so far, and property damage is estimated at $241.9 billion. The top factors that are contributing to traffic deaths are impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving.

What is contributory negligence?

When distracted, impaired, or reckless driving is the cause of a car accident, it is possible for the injured party to purse a negligence claim. In such a civil action, the plaintiff must prove that:

  • the defendant had a duty of care to other drivers on the road
  • the defendant breached that duty by acting negligently
  • the breach of this duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries

Hawaii follows the 51% rule, in which any actions on the part of the injured party that may have contributed to the accident do not bar them from pursuing a claim, as long as their share of responsibility is less than the other party’s. Based on the arguments and the evidence presented at trial, it is the judge who decides what share of fault each party has for causing the accident. The plaintiff may recover damages minus any percentage they contributed to the accident.

 

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Case Results

$10,000,000 – Birth injury Medical malpractice case for newborn’s disabilities

$7,200,000 – Prison Medical Malpractice Failure to treat and diagnose an infection causing multiple organ failure and blood circulation. Such required both legs and both hands to be amputated.

$3,400,000 – Car accident Auto collision case (details are confidential)

$2,700,000 – Brain injury Failure to timely treat headaches resulted in brain injury, memory loss and ability to ambulate.

$2,500,000 –  Medical malpractice Death from a Maui medical facility’s delayed treatment of heart attack symptoms

$10,000,000 –  Birth injury Medical malpractice case for newborn’s disabilities

$7,200,000 – Prison Medical Malpractice Failure to treat and diagnose an infection causing multiple organ failure and blood circulation. Such required both legs and both hands to be amputated.

$3,400,000 – Car accident Auto collision case (details are confidential)

$2,700,000 – Brain injury Failure to timely treat headaches resulted in brain injury, memory loss and ability to ambulate.

$2,500,000 –  Medical malpractice Death from a Maui medical facility’s delayed treatment of heart attack symptoms

$2,500,000 –  Medical malpractice Settlement for the family of a man who died from a reaction to the wrong drug

$2,200,000 –  Catastrophic injury Negligence leading to disabling back and neck injury

$1,625,000 – Ship Worker Injury to a ship worker, who suffered serious permanent injuries. Details are confidential.

$1,600,000 –  Medical Malpractice Medical negligence for a delayed diagnosis of cancer

$1,500,000 –   Whale Watch Passenger For injuries suffered to whale watch vessel passenger

$1,000,000 –  Failure To Diagnose Colon Cancer Failure to perform diagnostic tests for colon cancer by a primary care physician.

$1,000,000 –  Misdiagnosis Policy Limits For misdiagnosis of lupus of a woman that resulted in kidney failure.

$1,625,000 – Ship Worker Injury to a ship worker, who suffered serious permanent injuries. Details are confidential.

$1,000,000 –  Motorcycle Collision Policy Limits Automobile turned left in front of motorcycle, causing death.

$1,000,000 – Medical Malpractice Policy Limits Malpractice of a physician who delayed a diagnosis of colon cancer.

$9,500,000 – Auto Accident Client suffered back and neck injuries from a rear end collision.

$800,000 –  Medical Malpractice for an older gentleman who was not given a test for prostate cancer, resulting in undiagnosed metastasized terminal cancer.

$600,000 –  Golf Cart Collision Our client suffered serious back injuries

$500,000 –  Pedestrian Hit By Auto Underinsured Motorist Policy Our client was on the curb when a car hit her.

$443,000 –  Defective Rental Car Judgment entered by a Maui court after a nearly 3 week trial of our client who suffered a knee injury when the rental van seat was not properly attached to the floor.

$375,000 – Dram Shop (Liquor Service) Liability Our client was hit by a person, served excess alcohol.

$375,000 –  Night Club Beating Our client was illegally assaulted

$275,000 –  Slip & Fall On Premises A slip and fall case on a Chinatown sidewalk that the City has a duty to maintain, but outside a restaurant, who did regularly maintain the area. The City and restaurant were both liable.