HAWAII AS A “NO-FAULT” STATE
Drivers/ Passengers of a Vehicle
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Hawaii, your auto accident-related medical treatment will be
governed by Hawaii’s “no-fault” system. “No-fault” generally means that no matter who is at fault for causing the accident, your own vehicle’s insurance will pay for you and your passenger’s medical bills under personal injury protection (PIP) up to your policy limits. If you are unsure how much coverage you have, contact your car insurance company and confirm your coverage limits. In Hawaii, it is required that you have at least $10,000 PIP benefits per person, but you may be entitled to more.
If you are hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or moped rider, your medical benefits will follow the vehicle involved in the accident. This means that your medical bills will be paid through the vehicle owner’s insurance under PIP, despite who is at fault.
If your bicycle, moped, or personal items are damaged, you can claim property damage benefits under the vehicle’s
insurance as well. Hawaii requires a minimum property damage policy of $10,000, so you should be covered at least that amount.
If you’ve been injured while riding your motorcycle, you may or may not have PIP benefits under your Hawaii policy. Unlike motor vehicle insurance, Hawaii does not require you to have PIP coverage under your motorcycle policy. Therefore, if you did not purchase the optional PIP coverage for your motorcycle, you may need to seek medical coverage through other avenues such as your vehicle insurance or private insurance. It may seem overwhelming, so contact Pafundi Law to go over your options.
Bodily Injury Compensation
Hawaii is a comparative negligence state. This means that in order to seek compensation, it must be determined that you are less than 51% liable for the accident (different standard from PIP).
If you are less than 51% liable for the accident, there is then a threshold that must be met under Hawaii statute. If you incur more than $5,000 of paid medical bills for your accident-related injuries, or if you’ve suffered from a permanent and serious disfigurement, or loss of a use of a part of function of your body, you may claim bodily injury compensation from the
Pafundi Law understands that your injuries may not be as simple as meeting a threshold requirement. There are several factors that we consider when evaluating each case. Factors include, but are not limited to, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and lost wages.
Protect Yourself with Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
It is not uncommon for a vehicle to be uninsured or underinsured at the time of an accident. You do not want to be a victim to this. Protect yourself by purchasing UM/UIM coverage with your insurance company.
In the case you get into an accident with an uninsured vehicle, your own insurance will take the place of the other vehicle up to your policy limits. In the case that the other vehicle is underinsured, meaning their policy covers some but not all of your physical and financial hardships, your “underinsurance coverage” will kick in and compensate you up to your policy limits.
The addition of UM/UIM coverage to your policy does not cost much upfront, but it will surely pay off when you really need it.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Unlike Hawaii’s no-fault statutes that protect you while on the road, slip and fall accidents are governed differently. Medical and liability coverages vary depending on where the fall took place, so it is extremely important to note the exact location of your fall.
Slip and fall accidents can be very complex and time sensitive. File an incident report or police report right away, take plenty of photos of the ground’s defect and surrounding areas before its altered, and preserve your footwear and items of clothing. Property owners will strongly attempt to place the fault on you, so you can never have enough physical evidence on your side. Pafundi Law is here to help you with every step and seek the recovery that you deserve.
WHAT TO DO
AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT