Monday, September 16, 2019

You Must Be Alert Driving on Maui

Maui has a large amount of traffic on its roads.  In addition to residents of our island, there are about three million visitors to Maui each year.  A significant number of those visitors rent vehicles to see the scenic beauty of the island making Maui is one of the busiest car rental ports in the nation.  Despite the recent airport expansion enabling rental car companies to park vehicles closer to airport terminals, the Maui rental market has already outgrown the expansion.  Rental companies park thousands of vehicles on vacant lots close to the airport and shuttle vehicles to the lot as necessary. 

Drivers distracted by other passengers, the ocean views or cell phones can cause accidents and despite the beautiful vistas, Maui's roads require the full attention of drivers.  The Hana Highway is narrow in places and, even though the road is maintained often, the forces of nature make the job a never-ending task.  Traffic is almost always heavy on the road to Lahaina and Kaanapali. 

Just this week, a motorcycle went over a guardrail on the Honoapiilani Highway, there was a fatal vehicle accident in Kahului and a landslide near Kipahulu.  These accidents demonstrate the need for full attention.  Already, the fatality rate for vehicle accidents on Maui is significantly higher this year than last.  (33% higher.)

Please remember to drive safely and take your time.

If you or a loved one have been in an accident, call our office for a free consultation.  We may be able to help you recover compensation for negligence, a wrongful death situation or other personal injury.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Boating Accidents and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The accident that occurred on the dive boat, Conception, in California recently has generated substantial attention due to the severity of the fire and the terrible loss of life.  Thirty-four people died when the boat caught on fire and the passengers were trapped inside.  The exact cause of the fire and accident is under investigation.

Cognizant of potential personal injury liability, the owners of the dive boat have filed a lawsuit in federal court stating that they used reasonable care and that the ship was seaworthy.  The lawsuit is an attempt to preempt and limit the owner's liability.  The strategy is based upon maritime law dating to 1851 that requires victims to respond to the lawsuit within a specified amount of time or else relinquish their claim.  The method has been used a number of times before in prominent maritime accidents and has been very effective at limiting liability.

Typically a personal injury lawsuit must be brought within two years in the state of Hawaii.  Hawaii Revised Statute §657-7.  The same two-year time limit applies in California as well.  Other states vary in their and time limits. The lawsuit was widely seen as being in poor taste since the investigation is ongoing and the families are still mourning their loved ones.

If you've been involved in an accident and have been injured, contact an experienced attorney today to protect your rights.