We are blessed to live in the State of Hawaii where headlines rarely include murder and mayhem like we see in larger cities on the mainland. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that car accidents killed more people in the United States than guns. We do not handle guns but we do get into our cars and drive almost every day. We drive to work, we drive our children to school, we go shopping for groceries and visit with friends and family. No matter how cautious we are, there are drivers on the road who may be under the influence of alcohol, using their cell phone or preoccupied with something else other than driving safely. Did you know that statically texting on your cell phone is more dangerous than drinking and driving? Unfortunately, many drivers who would never drink and drive, do not think twice about texting and driving.
Before you can file a claim for an injury arising out of an automobile accident, you need to meet a minimum of $5,000 in medical expenses. That is the law to prevent minor injuries from clogging up the court system.
Hawaii is a No-Fault state. What that means is simply that each injured person own automobile insurance pays for his or her medical insurance under the Personal Injury Protection coverage otherwise known as PIP. The law only requires $10,000 of PIP coverage but we recommend $100,000 to protect you and your loved ones. $100,000 PIP coverage is the minimum that we recommend given the fact that a visit to the emergency room and a two-night stay in the hospital can easily cost more than $10,000 which is the current minimum required by law.
You may think that your other medical insurance will cover your medical bills from the automobile accident and you are correct, however, your medical insurance carrier will request a reimbursement of the payment of the medical bills not paid by PIP beyond the $10,000. Many of our clients are surprised to learn that after an award or settlement, their own medical insurance company will file a "medical lien" on their case so that the medical insurance company can be reimbursed after your case is concluded against the driver that injured you. The law allows this because it is the insurance companies that lobby to have these laws put into place.
We have successfully handled the full range of motorcycle accidents ranging from wrongful death cases to permanent disability cases as well as those where the motorcyclist made a full recovery from his injuries. Your automobile uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) coverage can apply in motorcycle accidents.
PEDESTRIAN vs. AUTOMOBILE accidents usually involve serious injury or death because flesh and bone against steel are no match. When a pedestrian is injured by an automobile, the driver's PIP coverage pays for the pedestrians medical bills. Also, the pedestrians UM and UIM policy from the injured pedestrians automobile insurance may provide coverage.
Was the pedestrian in a crosswalk?
Did the pedestrian have the right of way?
There is no greater loss in this life than that of a loved one. What we do in wrongful death cases is present the meaning of the loss to the insurance company by way of a claim or lawsuit. Wrongful death cases have two separate types of claims. The first is the claim based upon the loss of the surviving members of the decedent's family. Spouses, parents, and children. No amount of money can ever compensate the decedent's loved ones the tragic loss suffered. In this difficult time, we take extra care to be sensitive to the needs of the family members. When minor children are surviving members of the decendent's family, special petitions need to be made to the probate court to ensure that the minor's needs are met. This is done with court oversight until the child becomes an adult. The second is the claim of the estate of the decedent which may include lost wages, loss of inheritance, and pain and suffering of the decendent. If you have lost a love one and you believe that the death was wrongfully caused by another, you need to consult with an attorney
We have a successful track record in litigating a wide range of personal injury cases including wrongful death, permanent injury, slip and fall, dog bite, auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, moped accidents and all other types of personal injury cases. Our philosophy is to use the most up to date strategies and technology together with our advocacy skills in resolving our clients' injury case quickly and effectively. We represent clients in all facets of the claim resolution process including litigation in the court system, private arbitrations, and mediation and administrative hearings.
Litigation-What does it mean? It is the legal term for a lawsuit. Did you know that of all lawsuits that are filed over 95% are settled before trial? How do you get a good settlement knowing this? You must prepare the case properly treating it as if it is going to trial. The preparation is where the battles are won. The trial is merely a platform to display the preparation that was done prior to the trial date. The Auto Accident Law Center is a leader in the area of personal injury litigation. John Choi is the lead attorney on all trial cases.
INSURANCE is like putting money in the piggy bank for when you need it. Now consider this, the insurance company controls who enters the room where the piggy bank is kept and will not let you in. That is exactly what happens when an insurance company denies your claim or undervalues your claim. That's not fair, it's your money, right? If the insurance company fails to put your interest equally to their interest, the company has committed what is known as "bad faith". This means that your insurance company should have paid you, but refused to do so. Bad faith litigation is a complex area of law and you should consult with an attorney if you believe that your insurance company has wrongfully denied or delayed your claim and/or is making an offer to settle with you that is unreasonably low.
There are no bad dogs, only negligent owners who fail to properly train or lease their dog. Lead attorney John Choi has owned several dogs which have provided valuable insight into handling dog bite claims. When a person is injured by a dog, the owner of the dog or the property owner may be liable. Usually, a "home owner's" insurance policy usually provides coverage. If the incident occurred on rented property, then the landlord's property insurance may provide coverage. There are several things to consider. Were there any prior incidents of injury to humans by that dog? What did the owner of the dog do to restrain the dog? Was the dog provoked?
Hawaii has a dangerous dog law. Did the dog fall under that law? If it did, what did the owner do to protect the public from that dog?
In previous cases, we have hired professional licensed dog trainers to examine the dog and provide a report to the court on the dog's character and nature.
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Slip and fall cases are complex. There are several different types and the below will only cover a few types. Each case is unique in its facts so the best thing to do is to consult with an attorney.
Liquid substance on a floor-If you are injured because there was a liquid substance on the floor that you fell on, a few things must be determined first. Was the liquid an obvious danger in plain sight? Was the liquid substance on the floor for a period of time long enough for the store personnel to have a reasonable chance to detect and to clean up the liquid substance before you slipped and fell? Did the responsible party have a lot of cleaning? We handled cases ranging like the following: rain water dripping from a leaking roof at a supermarket causing a fracture, a tenant breaking his ankle on a slippery staircase, a customer tripping over a neglected cargo net from the back of a delivery pick up truck in a parking lot. Another aspect that must be determined is whether the design or construction of the floor was defective.
A famous case in Hawaii involves a superstore chain where a customer slipped on a french fry and was seriously injured. The french fry came from a fast food chain who was a tenant of large superstore chain. The courts held that because the superstore chain had rented space to the fast food chain within its property, it was reasonably foreseeable that someone would buy food, drop food on the floor creating a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm and held the superstore chain responsible for the injuries sustained by the customer.
Again, this area of law can be complicated so please consult with an attorney.
Bicycles can travel as fast as cars. Injuries sustained from bicycle accidents can be serious, permanent and in some cases deadly. The lead attorney, John Choi, trained for five years competing in triathlons and has intimate knowledge about bicycle safety and regulations. Combine that with our firms experience in automobile accident litigation, and you have a winning combination.
Some factors to consider: