Saturday, March 2, 2013

Car Accidents and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Hawaii is one of about a dozen “modified no-fault” states in the nation that require insurance companies to pay for many of the injuries in a car crash regardless of who was responsible.  No-fault insurance was a trend among states in the 1970’s with the goal of reducing the number of lawsuits and lowering insurance premiums.  In many areas, the no-fault system actually increased insurance premiums and some states are now moving away from the no-fault concept. 

Hawaii requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum amount of insurance.  If you are in an accident on Maui, your insurance company will pay for your injuries up to the limit of your policy which is called the personal insurance protection (PIP) limit. 

Even though insurance will pay for some injuries and damages in an accident, in many situations, Hawaii law allows recovery from the driver at fault.  As a result, Hawaii is a “modified no-fault” state and not a “pure no-fault” state.  You may be able to sue the other driver for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering from your injuries.  You may also be able to sue for serious bodily injury or death. 

Remember, if you are going to file a lawsuit, you must do so within two years of the accident to meet the statute of limitations requirement.  

For more information on no-fault insurance in Hawaii, follow this link.  Hawaii motor vehicle insurance information.

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