Whether it’s distracted driving, motorists under the influence or simply unsafe driving, the number of car accidents on Maui show no signs of slowing down any time soon. If you have been in a wreck, you deserve to have an experienced legal team on your side. Car accident lawyers in Maui can help you ascertain what damages you may be able to seek in terms of medical bills, property damage as well as lost wages. Only you can decide what kind of assistance you need, but be sure to get help quickly after you follow some key steps.
One reason that car accidents on Maui can be so difficult to handle is that you or a loved one may be significantly injured as a result of the collision. You are likely trying to manage paperwork with numerous entities, including claims adjusters at car insurers, your doctors and healthcare team as well as the car insurer of both you and anyone else involved in the crash. Car accident lawyers on Maui have the experience working with these different organizations while helping people who are in the stressful position of trying to deal with several types of incidents, including:
Driving Under the Influence – According to a report cited by KHON in Honolulu, Hawaii drivers lead the country in number of car accidents caused by DUIs per capita. On Maui, a car accident lawyer can help coordinate information from ongoing criminal proceedings in order to ensure the maximum financial damages go to those most impacted. The Centers for Disease Control also show that the trend is unlikely to go away. While DUI fatalities are down, car accidents are likely to continue apace with motorists reporting that they’re 50 percent more likely to get behind the wheel if they drank too much compared to the rest of the country.
Speeding – Unfortunately, similar attitudes also put drivers in the Aloha state at risk. Reports cited by local news outlets put Hawaii motorists in the top ten percent in terms of accidents caused by traveling at an unsafe speed. Again, this is an area where people who have been injured can benefit from car accident lawyers on Maui: they can quickly access police records that can help bolster personal injury claims and speed up the likelihood of any potential settlement. Reckless driving, distracted driving and other poor behavior behind the wheel are not linked as strongly to fatal crash statistics in Hawaii. On the other hand, every person involved in car accidents on Maui is usually affected by one of the four factors. Helping to reconstruct what happened is just one of the things that car accident lawyers can do.
If you’re able and it’s safe, call the police or 911. Police will document the scene, collect witness statements, gather insurance information of all parties, and make a preliminary determination of who is the at-fault party.
Though the police do their best, sometimes they don’t get all the critical information. If it’s safe and you’re able, try to take pictures of the scene, including: cars or vehicles involved; witnesses; the road; and anything else that you think could be important. There can never be enough information to look over. Something small now may be critical later on.
If you’ve called the police of 911, chances are an ambulance with medics will arrive. Many times adrenaline will cause you to overlook injuries. Let medics examine you. Don’t be afraid to take an ambulance to the hospital if recommended.
Once you’ve been medically stabilized and recovering, it is time to begin the insurance claims process. In Hawaii, when you’re the victim in a car crash, there can be potentially up to four separate insurance claims, comprised of property claims; bodily injury claims; personal injury protection (“PIP”) benefits claims; and underinsured (“UIM”) or uninsured (“UM”) claims.
After the initial trauma and shock wears off from the crash, it will be time to start comprehensive treatment. You’ll usually start by following up with your primary care provider, who will dictate your treatment. Treatment varies: it can be conservative such as massage therapy and physical therapy. It could require surgery immediately or down the road. Whatever it may be, it is important to listen to your doctors and keep up with their treatment plan not only for your well-being, but to preserve your rights related to your case.
When the time is right, and assuming you’ve met the procedural hurdles, your case will be ready to settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The time to settle will vary, but will usually occur after your injuries have resolved or there is a reasonable determination of when they will resolve. Settling prematurely will only lead to not being made whole.
We take the guess work out of the process. Locally based with deep roots in the community, our Maui lawyers will help you with your insurance claims, reduce or eliminate the unpleasant amount of paperwork, assist you with taking advantage of your personal injury protection benefits, and even assist with the property claim.
With years of experience representing injured clients, our Maui personal injury lawyers offer a guiding hand to stabilize your life immediately after you’re hurt. When ready, we proceed with litigating the case either pre-suit or with a lawsuit if necessary.
Your case is unique, with its own nuances and details. We try to learn all those details so that we can step into your shoes to try and understand how the crash and injuries affected your life to best fight on your behalf with strength and compassion.
Hawaii is a “no-fault” state, meaning your car insurance will pay a minimum of $10,000 of medical expenses related to your injuries from the car accident. This type of mandatory coverage is typically called “no fault” coverage, personal injury protection benefits, or PIP benefits.
After a car crash on Maui, many people become confused when they’re told that their own insurance company will pay for medical expenses rather than the at fault driver. While counter-intuitive, this “no-fault” system was put in place so that victims of car accidents on Maui can seek immediate medical treatment regardless of fault.
No fault or PIP coverage is mandatory in Hawaii for every car driven on the road. If you get in a crash, you should contact your own automobile insurance carrier and begin the PIP claim process to ensure whatever medical bills your incur as a result of the crash are covered.
If you are in a rental car, then the rental car’s own automobile insurance will be responsible for PIP coverage.
If your medical expenses exceed the maximum benefits of your personal injury protection, your personal health insurance should cover the remaining costs.
After becoming our client, we will oversee the PIP claim process to ensure that all medical bills are timely and properly paid. After your PIP benefits are exhausted, we will work with your personal health insurance carrier to minimize your medical expense reimbursement.
PIP benefits are only one claim in the process after a car crash in Maui or all of Hawaii. There are also property claims related to damage to any cars of objects; and bodily injury claims against the at-fault driver related to injuries to the body and mind. If the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage can’t cover your losses, or they don’t have insurance, then underinsured (“UIM”) or uninsured (“UM”) motorist benefits may apply if you have such optional coverage. We can assist in helping you identify all your applicable coverage.
One more thing about PIP benefits: in order to make a bodily injury claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, many times you need reach a “tort threshold,” or $5,000 worth of PIP benefits paid to medical providers.
Bodily injury claims, underinsured motorist claims, and uninsured motorist claims are where personal injury attorneys become critical in the process. Bodily injury adjusters have an entirely different system when they know victims of a crash don’t have an attorney. They know it’s a confusing and intimidating process, effectively using your inexperience against you, ultimately coercing you into taking a bad deal.
We’ll make sure that doesn’t happen. When you’ve been involved in a car accident on Maui or any other outer island, the sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer the sooner you can get the necessary guidance to maximize your case.
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