Friday, September 27, 2013

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED) is a civil claim of action to recover payment for damages negligently inflicted on you by another person. 

This tort is somewhat controversial and some courts around the United States do not recognize this cause of action.  Hawaii, however, was one of the first states to recognize a claim for NIED and has been at the forefront of its development. The Supreme Court of Hawaii has decided several cases that leave no doubt as to the existence of the tort in Hawaii. 

Generally, to win an NIED claim, you must show that someone owed a legal duty to use reasonable care to avoid causing you emotional distress. Typically you usually must have a physical manifestation of your injury. There are some exceptions to the physical manifestation requirement and the Supreme Court of Hawaii has specifically held that it is possible in certain circumstances, to recover damages based only on serious emotional distress. Emotional distress is defined as mental worry, anxiety, anguish,suffering, and grief. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hawaii Dog Bite Law

An attack by a dog on you or a family member can be a terrifying event.  If you have been attacked and bitten, the reminders below will help you receive compensation for your injuries. 

1. Document the attack.  Have a friend or relative record the names and contact information of witnesses and call the police to make a report.  If possible, take pictures of the dog and the area where you were attacked. 
2. Seek medical attention quickly and be sure to tell your doctor everything that happened including a detailed description of the dog. Document your injuries by taking pictures and keeping a journal of your recovery. 
3. Call animal control to make sure that the animal is quarantined and nobody else is attacked by the same dog. 
4. Speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  An attorney can start an investigation and help gather evidence necessary for you to receive compensation for your injuries. 

For more information about dog bite liability click the following links: 

Hawaii Revised Statute 663-1 Liability
Hawaii Revised Statute 663-9 Liability of Animal Owners

Hawaii Courts have interpreted the statutes in a way that may not seem obvious at first glance.  If you have been attacked by an animal, contact an attorney today to help you receive compensation for your injuries. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

How to Win Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Here is an article with good advice for winning a personal injury lawsuit.  The article was written by William Abel, an attorney in Florida, however, the advice is still the same no matter what jurisdiction you live in.

1. Get medical treatment.
2. Be consistent with your medical history. 
3. Be descriptive with your symptoms.
4. Be accurate with your medical history.
5. Communicate with your attorney. 

For the full text of the article, click here.  Win Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Personal Injury and Car Accident Statute of Limitations

An accident involving serious personal injury can be traumatic.  Depending on the type of accident, recovery can be tedious and involve medical appointments, physical therapy or other rehabilitation.  Although you may be busy recovering, it is important to remember that Hawaii law limits the time period within which you may sue someone to recover damages for your injuries. 

If you feel that someone else is responsible for causing your injury, you must file a lawsuit to recover damages within two years.  While the law allows two years to file a lawsuit you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.  An attorney will need to investigate the incident by interviewing witnesses, obtaining medical records and gathering as much information as possible. 

A proper investigation into an accident can take months and much work on a personal injury lawsuit is done before a lawsuit is filed.  It may be possible to obtain an agreeable settlement without a trial or filing a lawsuit.  Settlement negotiations are always more effective on your behalf if you have left enough time to negotiate without worrying about a looming statute of limitations deadline. 

If you have been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney today.

Hawaii Statute of Limitations
Hawaii Revised Statute §657-7 Damage to Persons or Property. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Home Prices Continue to Rise

A recent report indicates that home prices nationwide continue to rise.  Core Logic Home Trends

As locals to Hawaii know, homes in the 50th state are in short supply with sellers typically receiving several full priced offers for a property.  There is limited availability and high demand for houses under $500,000.

Some local real estate experts attribute the lack of inventory to the 2011 foreclosure law that forced many houses through time-consuming judicial foreclosures.  However, even though the time-line for some foreclosures has been extended, many lenders do not seem eager to foreclose and have left scores of delinquent homeowner in their houses without making mortgage payments.

The strange result of lower inventory and lack of follow-through with foreclosures is that prices are rising rapidly, pricing many potential homeowners out of the market while others are living rent free. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

How to Buy Foreclosure Property on Maui - Part 2

This post is Part 2 of a series on how to purchase foreclosed property on Maui.

When selling a property, a Commissioner must advertise the property in a newspaper of local circulation.  The Commissioner must also conduct open houses of the property.  The dates and times of the open houses will be listed in the legal advertisement.  An open house is your chance as an investor to perform due diligence and investigate how high you should bid on the property. 

Due diligence is particularly important when purchasing foreclosure properties because they are sold “AS IS.”  This term means that if the house has termites, structural damage or a serious mold problem you have no recourse after you complete the purchase and you should price your bid accordingly. 

Typically a Commissioner will hold two open houses of the property, however, some Commissioners will also arrange a private viewing for interested bidders.  When you have access to the property, take pictures, make notes and if necessary, take an expert with you to examine the premises. 

In addition to inspecting the physical condition of the property, you should also investigate the possibility of liens, back-taxes, homeowner’s associations arrearages, property encroachments and problems with the title.  A Commissioner may be able to give you some relevant information but will not be able to give you legal advice about the importance of this data.  If you have questions about the legal consequences, you should hire an attorney to guide you through the process. 

After you have completed investigating the property and have decided you want to purchase it, spend time with a calculator determining your maximum bid.  If you are the highest bidder, you will be responsible for all closing costs including the costs of escrow, conveyance and back taxes.  You should also consider the cost of repairs and improvements to the property. 

Do not bid higher than your predetermined maximum bid.  Many potential investors become excited with the thrill of an auction and bid more than they originally intended.  Savvy bank representatives will happily prey on your enthusiasm and counter your offer, trying to drive your bid higher. 

In the next part of the Foreclosure Investment Series we will discuss what happens in the judicial foreclosure process after the auction.