Hawaii Car Accident Law: What You Need to Know

March 8 2023

Every driver in Hawaii is required to abide by the state’s financial responsibility law, which requires drivers to have liability insurance for bodily injury caused by an automobile accident. Additionally, drivers must pay attention to speed limits and roadway regulations to help prevent potential accidents.

Hawaii’s Car Accident Law

Hawaii’s Car Accident Law is designed to protect victims, who are owed a duty of care by others operating motor vehicles on the state’s roads. When these drivers fail to uphold that duty of care, they can be found negligent and held liable for damages. Hawaii follows a fault-based system in order to assign liability and ensure that harmed individuals can recover monetary damages.

Hawaii recognizes contributory negligence when assessing car accidents in which both parties have acted negligently. This means that if an individual is proven to have contributed even partially to the cause of their own accident or injuries, then that party forfeits all rights to receive damages from another driver or from their insurance company. To prove neglegence, it must be proven that the accused driver was both legally responsible for the accident and failed to exercise reasonable care — such as stopping at a stop sign or yielding the right of way — resulting in an accident.

As a result, many cases are disputed over the proportion of blame assigned to each involved party. Each story is unique and requires careful review in order to determine which party bears most of the responsibility for the accident. For this reason, it is essential for you to obtain legal assistance after being involved in an accident in order to protect your right to receive compensation for any losses suffered because of another party’s negligence.

Finally, as we move on to discussing the next section — The Negligence Standard — it is important to keep in mind that determining fault involves more than simply considering whether someone followed the rules: it also considers what actions a reasonable person would have taken under similar circumstances.

The Negligence Standard

The negligence standard plays a major role in Hawaii car accident law, as it is the legal precedent used to determine liability for damages and injury. In a negligence claim, the victim must prove that the other party had a duty of care, failed to act with reasonable care and caused the accident that led to the injury. For a successful negligence claim, the plaintiff must provide evidence that they were owed a duty of care by the defendant, that there was breach of that duty of care due to an action or inaction, and that this breach was a direct cause of their injury.

In determining fault in a car accident case in Hawaii, the court considers whether either of the drivers involved violated any legal responsibilities, or acted in such a way that a reasonable individual would not have under similar circumstances. When someone fails to meet this standard—not driving safely or responsibly—they are found to be negligent and can be held liable for any resulting damages.

When arguing negligence in these cases, both sides have to present evidence demonstrating why the other party should take responsibility for the damage. Plaintiffs will often point to examples like reckless driving (speeding or running red lights) or distracted driving (texting while driving). Defendants may argue things such as inadequate lighting conditions on certain roads or insufficient signage warning drivers about upcoming dangers.

No matter what precedents are set in court for negligence claims for car accidents in Hawaii, all parties involved must still meet their required duties of care through responsible behavior on the road or face serious repercussions. Moving forward into the next section, civil liability outlines who may be accountable as well as how much must be paid out when negligence has been proven to be true in an accident case.

Civil Liability

Civil liability is an important factor in any car accident in Hawaii. Drivers may be held civilly liable for failure to meet their legal duty of care, resulting in damages to another person or property. This type of liability means that the defendant is responsible for compensating the injured party for damages.

Civil liability in Hawaii can be determined through various factors, including negligence and breach of warranty. Negligence involves the failure to use reasonable care when dealing with a situation, resulting in harm to another person or property. Breach of warranty occurs when a person or vehicle does not perform as expected and causes injury due to that malfunction.

Generally, when a person is found to be civilly liable for damages following a car accident, the at-fault driver is responsible for medical bills, lost wages, property damage costs, and pain and suffering. Depending on the details of each individual case, punitive damages may also be available. It’s important to note that civil liability may also extend to individuals other than the at-fault driver; this could include employers who allowed employees to drive without proper training, owners of defective vehicles, or even road crews that failed to properly maintain the roads used by motorists.

In some cases, both parties may have been partly at-fault for an accident; this is known as comparative negligence and must be considered when determining civil liability. When comparative negligence applies, each party may still be able to recover compensation depending on the specific circumstances of their case.

Drivers involved in car accidents should always seek counsel from an experienced attorney before taking any legal action or filing a claim against someone else. This will ensure that all aspects of a potential case are adequately explored and any legal or financial claims are supported with evidence.

It can be complicated to understand civil liability for those unfamiliar with varying state laws and court rulings related to accidents. Thankfully, these issues are rarely decided without competent legal representation from an experienced lawyer who can navigate complex aspects of car accident law in Hawaii.

Now that we’ve discussed civil liability following a car accident in Hawaii, let’s take a look at making an accurate claim so you’re able to receive fair compensation for any losses incurred.

Making an Accurate Claim

Making an Accident Claim in Hawaii

In the aftermath of a car accident, you may be wondering if you can make an insurance claim and if so, what’s involved. The process of making an accident claim in Hawaii will vary according to the specific circumstances and policies of your insurance company. Generally speaking, however, here is what you may expect.

First, it is important to notify your insurer as soon as possible following the incident. The law requires that you provide prompt notification of a claim to ensure that any subsequent claims or lawsuits are properly evaluated. If you do not give timely notification, certain benefits may be denied. However, your provider should offer a reasonable amount of time for you to make a claim after the accident.

Once a claim has been made, investigations into the cause and effect of the incident will begin immediately. Depending on the severity and complexity of thesituation, the investigation can take anywhere from several weeks to several months before any determinations are made or assessed damages are paid out.

As well as conducting their own investigations, your insurer may also require that you undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME). This is important for them to assess the extent of your injuries or other financial losses associated with the accident. An IME may also be necessary should there be discrepancies between your medical records and those provided by other parties involved in the incident. Conversely, if all parties agree on the extent and cause of personal damage, then additional medical evidence would not be necessary.

Making an accurate claim requires a thorough understanding of your insurance policy coverage and it is not uncommon for disagreements to arise over coverage limits and exclusions. If this happens, both sides must negotiate in good faith in order to resolve any disputed issues before moving ahead with additional proceedings such as filing a lawsuit or litigation.

Without proper documentation such as accounts from witnesses or photographic evidence to support your claim, it’s difficult for insurers to accurately determine fault and ascertain liability for damage and/or injury compensation. As such, it is essential that claimants thoroughly document all elements of their cases before proceeding further with their claims.

By understanding Hawaii’s car accident laws and following best practices when making an accurate claim, claimants can confidently pursue justice while avoiding unnecessary delays or added expenses. In addition, having the right information available when filing a claim is essential in successfully obtaining fair compensation in an efficient manner.

The next section will discuss Information Needed for a Proper Claim.

  • In Hawaii, drivers must stop at the scene of a crash and exchange insurance and contact information with everyone involved.
  • The statutes of limitations for filing legal claims against the responsible party in a car accident in Hawaii is two years from the date of the accident.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 there were 35,983 traffic fatalities in the United States, making it highest number of fatalities since 2007.

Information Needed for a Proper Claim

Information needed for a proper claim following a car accident in Hawaii is vitally important to making sure that you get the compensation you deserve. In order to present an accurate and effective case, injured parties should provide the insurance company with various types of evidence, documentation and details of the incident. This will help ensure that their claim is not only accepted but also given full consideration.

To start, injured individuals must produce proof that they were indeed involved in a car accident. This could be anything from eyewitness accounts of what happened, photos or videos taken at the scene, medical records detailing any injuries sustained and police reports. Additionally, other evidence like repair and replacement estimates for vehicles, a police officer’s logbook recording entry of the accident and details about the specifics of each party involved are important to provide as well.

Furthermore, it’s important to include personal information such as driver and passenger contact information, addresses and license plate numbers for both drivers at the time of the accident. Having insurance coverage documentation for all parties involved is essential for settling claims involving motor vehicle accidents in Hawaii. Ultimately, having thorough records regarding the incident can make or break an insurance claim, so it pays to be prepared with all relevant paperwork before filing.

It’s worth noting that if a person attempts to mislead or falsify information when filing a claim (by submitting inaccurate or forged documents), they run the risk of severe legal repercussions and may even face criminal charges. Therefore, providing truthful and complete information is critical when filing a claim related to an auto accident in Hawaii; accuracy during this process is key to obtaining successful results.

Leading into the next section:

Having established what information needs to be provided while filing an insurance claim after a car accident in Hawaii, now it’s time to discuss the claim process itself.

The Claim Process in Hawaii

When involved in a car accident, the majority of damages are typically covered by an insurance claim process. In Hawaii, the process is fairly straightforward. Both parties must exchange information and file a claim affidavit through either their own insurance company or that of the other party; whichever company ends up providing coverage for the accident. It’s important to get together as much evidence as possible to support one’s case, including pictures of the scene, police reports, and witness statements if applicable.

The Claims Adjuster is responsible for resolving the claim and negotiating the amount of compensation for damages. When filing a claim, victims have the right to submit a demand letter outlining specific details of their injuries in addition to requesting a specified dollar amount for coverage. The adjuster will review all evidence and decide whether to settle or deny it. If there are any discrepancies between what was reported and what is found in their investigation, they may also negotiate further before agreeing on terms.

It’s important to keep in mind that while filing a claim can help with receiving compensation, there is a risk to doing so if it’s proven that you were at fault for the accident. Although Hawaii follows contributory negligence laws which allow drivers to recover some of their damages even if partially at fault, it does not limit liability in cases where one driver was deemed completely at fault. Ultimately, claimants should seek legal advice from an experienced attorney well-versed in Hawaii car accident law to ensure that they safely navigate the claim process.

Understanding how to navigate the claims process can be essential when trying to receive fair compensation after a car accident in Hawaii. Next we will discuss the court process for car accident victims in Hawaii who choose to proceed with litigation rather than settling through insurance or out of court arbitration.

Court Process for Car Accident Victims

When filing a car accident claim in Hawaii, victims have the right to seek compensation in court. The process of going to trial is complex and can be intimidating. It is important to understand the court process and become familiar with it so that you have the best chance of receiving a favorable outcome.

For most car accident cases, the lawsuit begins when the victim files a complaint against the at-fault driver. The complaint will state the plaintiff’s claims for damages and relief from the defendant. Once the complaint is filed, it must be served on the defendant before any legal proceedings can occur. This can be done through an appointed agent or via certified mail.

Following service, each side will have an opportunity to file a response or answer to the initial complaint and provide evidence to support their case. In some cases, this includes filing motion papers if necessary to resolve preliminary issues such as jurisdiction or document requests. Depending on what transpires, the judge may rule on one or several motions before moving on to trial.

The next stage of the process is discovery, where both parties produce documents related to each other’s claims and information relating to witnesses and expert testimony that may be used during trial. After discovery concludes, pre-trial conferences will involve both parties or their attorneys in order to discuss issues prior to trial that may affect its length or outcome. It also provides an opportunity for settlement proceedings if desired by both sides. If a settlement is reached, then no trial would need occur; however, if none is achieved then a formal trial will take place before a jury at a later date.

At trial, each side presents their case along with ensuring all evidentiary rules are followed throughout. This includes providing witness testimony via examination along with validating evidence between both sides in order for the jury to decide upon how much damages (if any) should be awarded by either party for loss or suffering incurred due to the accident.

Finally, after all testimonies are given and closing arguments are made by both sides, deliberations will ensue until finally deciding upon who has prevailed by either finding liability on one party or more often than not reaching a conclusion that both sides share responsibility for earnings potential losses caused by such accidents occurring.

Ultimately, going through this long process of adjudication can be needless and costly without proper help; therefore it is usually advised that prior to undertaking legal action one consult with an experienced car accident attorney who can provide insight into what strategies can be utilized in order better ensure recovering maximum damages based on your current situation and needs relative to proving one’s case in court properly.

Knowing your rights regarding court processes for car accidents is key when looking to receive fair compensation. Next we’ll discuss common forms of relief and payment available when pursing legal action following a car accident in Hawaii.

Common Forms of Relief and Payment

When an individual is involved in a car accident in Hawaii, there are a variety of forms of relief and payment that may be available. While it will depend on the specifics of each incident and the laws in place, some common forms of relief could include medical bills compensation, rehabilitation costs, lost wages compensation, property damage coverage, and pain and suffering damages.

Medical Bills Compensation: One form of payment or relief is coverage for medical bills incurred by the victim. This includes both immediate medical care after an accident as well as long-term treatments such as physical therapy or chronic pain management if needed. The responsible party could be expected to cover all reasonable medical costs related to the injury.

Rehabilitation Costs: In addition to medical expenses, costs associated with rehabilitation may also be covered by the responsible party. Injury victims may need specialized rehabilitative care or tools to help them adjust to life after their accident. If a victim was unable to return to normal life after their injury and requires ongoing care, such expenses may be covered depending on the circumstances.

Lost Wages Compensation: Injury victims may also be able to seek compensation for lost income due to their inability to work following their accident. Calculating this number can be more complicated because it might involve taking into account future earning potential losses in addition to any income already lost due to time away from work. It is important for injury victims to keep careful records of any missed days of work so they can prove exactly how much income has been lost due to the incident.

Property Damage Coverage: In Hawaii, auto insurance policies typically have separate sections dedicated to covering property damage resulting from an accident—unless it is a “no-fault” state where both drivers’ insurers are liable for damages regardless of who caused the accident. If only one driver is found at fault, then their insurer can be expected to provide payment for any damages resulting from the crash such as repairs or replacement of anything damaged in the collision (e.g., vehicles).

Pain and Suffering Damages: In some cases, victims may be entitled to receive compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering caused by their injuries. This can vary greatly between cases since it is largely subjective—and depends upon various factors including how severe the injuries were, whether they left permanent disability or disfigurement, etc.—but pain and suffering payments could play a role in helping victims gain some justice from those responsible for causing the incident.

These are just some of the forms of relief that may be available when pursuing legal action after a car accident in Hawaii. However, understanding how much compensation is possible requires assessing various issues—which we discuss in the next section about how much compensation is possible after a car accident in Hawaii.

How Much Compensation is Possible?

When it comes to car accidents, it’s important to understand that compensation is not a guarantee. Depending on the individual circumstances, you may or may not qualify for any financial compensation for damages. The amount of possible compensation also varies dramatically from one case to another. After assessing the facts surrounding the accident, a court or a settlement negotiation process might decide that some compensation is due or that none is warranted.

If you are entitled to compensation after an accident, the kind of damages you can receive will depend on whether the incident was a minor fender-bender with no serious injuries, or an accident involving multiple cars and resulting in wrongful death. Generally speaking, financial awards may range from minor amounts of repair money to large settlements covering medical expenses and lost wages. State law dictates how much a victim can collect for pain and suffering.

In addition to payments for medical expenses, lost income and pain, car accident victims are sometimes subject to punitive damages as well. This kind of damages is awarded when fault is clear and the defendant acted out of malice or gross negligence; they add extra punishment on top of whatever amount has already been determined as compensatory damages. It should be noted that punitive awards are always determined by a jury trial rather than an administrative settlement process.

Therefore, it’s difficult to quantify potential payouts in advance – what an individual victim is entitled to depends heavily on the factors involved in each crash. As such, it’s important to seek legal advice so you’re aware of all your rights and options before making any major decisions after a Hawaii car accident.

Now we turn our attention to finding legal counsel who can help you with your Hawaiian car accident claim. In the next section, we cover how to go about finding a trustworthy Hawaii car accident lawyer….

Finding a Hawaii Car Accident Lawyer

When faced with a car accident in Hawaii, one of the most important things you can do is to find an experienced Hawaii car accident lawyer. An attorney with experience in handling accident cases can offer invaluable advice on the best way to proceed and help you determine what kinds of damages you are entitled to.

Finding a lawyer who is knowledgeable and skilled in representing vehicle accident victims is the first step towards recovering financially from an accident. A good lawyer will understand the legal nuances involved in these cases and take necessary steps to achieve the best outcome for their client. Depending on the severity of your injuries, as well as the insurance coverage available, finding a lawyer who can help guide you through the process should be done as soon as possible.

While having an attorney is generally beneficial, it’s important to weigh both sides of the argument. In some cases, consulting with a lawyer may not be necessary depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, such as whether the other party admits fault or if there are no significant injuries sustained. It is also essential to consider any potential fees associated with hiring an attorney. Prior to making a decision regarding representation, it’s important to have a full understanding of all costs that may be incurred during legal proceedings.

It’s also worth noting that many lawyers provide free initial consultations which allow time to evaluate your case and discuss potential next steps without having to commit upfront financial resources. For those considering engaging an attorney for representation, this provides an opportunity to explore legal options without any immediate financial commitment.

Before making any decisions about representation, it’s important to do internal research and explore all available options when determining which Hawaii-based lawyer is best suited for your case. Asking questions is key and taking the time to find representation should always be taken seriously; hiring a Hawaii car accident attorney may be one of the most important decisions you make when filing an insurance claim or civil lawsuit following a crash.

CONCLUSION: Now that we have discussed how best to find a suitable Hawaii car accident lawyer, it’s time to move onto our next section which focuses on understanding relevant laws surrounding automobile accidents in Hawaii and how they can affect your case.


Hawaii car accident law can be somewhat confusing and difficult to understand, which is why it is important for drivers to educate themselves on the laws that apply to their situation. In cases involving liability for a crash, there are two sides of the argument: whose fault was it, and who should pay for the damages incurred in the incident. Depending upon the specifics of the case, such as how many vehicles were involved, if one party had consumed alcohol prior to driving, the speed each driver was traveling at, and other factors, determining liability can be very complicated.

It is essential that all individuals involved in an auto accident contact a Hawaii car accident attorney to ensure they are receiving appropriate legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer understands the nuances of this area of law and can use their knowledge to help determine liability, uncover any relevant evidence or witness statements, negotiate settlements with insurers, and provide additional insights into the legal processes associated with these types of claims. Additionally, an attorney can explain the different options available to those that have been injured in a crash and take steps to protect their rights throughout any legal proceedings.

Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

What are the consequences for causing a car accident in Hawaii?

Causing a car accident in Hawaii can have serious consequences, both financially and criminally. Financially, you may be liable for property damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, or other expenses that result from the accident. You may also face criminal charges such as negligent driving, reckless endangerment, or even vehicular homicide if someone is injured or killed as a result of the accident. Additionally, depending on the severity of the accident, you may also face administrative punishments such as license suspension and/or points on your record. It is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities when driving in Hawaii so that you can avoid causing an accident and suffering these consequences.

Does Hawaii have comparative fault laws for car accidents?

Yes, Hawaii does have comparative fault laws for car accidents. The law states that liability for an accident can be shared among all the drivers involved, and each driver may recover part of their damages from the other drivers based on their respective degrees of fault. The amount of compensation a driver may receive from a car accident is proportionately reduced by their own degree of negligence. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault in an accident, you can still receive 70% of the total damages awarded after subtracting your share due to negligence. This law helps to ensure motorists who are involved in car accidents take responsibility for their actions while also providing fair and balanced outcomes when more than one motorist is found to be at fault.

What are the legal requirements for car insurance in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, each driver is required to carry a minimum of liability insurance coverage. The required minimums are:

• $20,000 per person for bodily injury or death

• $40,000 per accident for bodily injury or death

• $10,000 per accident property damage

These minimums will protect you in case you cause an accident and you’re held responsible for the other party’s medical costs and car repairs. While the state’s minimum is the lowest required by law, it may not cover all damages in a serious accident. It’s important to understand that purchasing more coverage than the state-mandated minimum could help limit your financial responsibility after an accident.