Injury Lawyer Hawaii

Injury Lawyer Hawaii

Personal injury attorney

William Lawson - Injury Attorney Hawaii


General Info

What is a Personal Injury Claim? (basic)

Do I Need an Accident Lawyer in Hawaii?

Finding a Personal Injury Accident Lawyer in Hawaii

Get Legal Help at
Injury Lawyer Hawaii

Maui, Kauai, Lanai & Big Island Injuries

Preparing a Claim or Case After an Injury

About Injury Lawyer Hawaii- Christian Attorney Wm Lawson

Insurance Coverage for Injuries - Hawaii

Types of Injury

Brain & Head Injuries - Hawaii

Spinal Cord Injuries- SCI - Hawaii

Catastrophic Injury Claims - Hawaii

Wrongful Death Claims - Hawaii

Broken Bone Injuries - Hawaii

Burn Accidents (Fire or Chemical) - Hawaii

Disc | Disk Injuries - Hawaii

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car Accidents - Hawaii

Drunk Driver Accidents - Hawaii

Truck and Bus Accidents - Hawaii

Moped and Pedestrian Accidents - Hawaii

Auto Claims and Insurance - Hawaii

Motorcycle Claims & Insurance - Hawaii

Other Accidents

Defective Products Liability - Hawaii

Ocean, Boating & Maritime Accidents - Hawaii

Construction & Equipment Accidents - Hawaii

Drowning and Swimming Pool Accidents - Hawaii

Recreational Accidents - Hawaii

Electrical Accidents - Hawaii

Elevator Accidents - Hawaii

Explosion Accidents - Hawaii

Insurance Claims and Bad Faith - Hawaii

Medical & Professional Malpractice - Hawaii

Dog Bites, Animal Attacks - Hawaii

Fall Accidents- Trip, Slip, etc. - Hawaii

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What is a personal injury claim?

Personal injury claims are claims for damages arising out of the wrongful conduct of others. For individuals harmed through the fault or negligence of another party, Hawaii state law generally provides that the victim is entitled to assert a personal injury claim. Such a claim is an opportunity to receive compensation for the costs associated with the injuries and the resulting damages and loss. Personal injury claims require that the claimant show that they suffered damages and that another party is responsible for those damages, due to their lack of reasonable care, recklessness, intentional conduct or otherwise. Most personal injury claims are filed in response to negligence or failure to exercise the appropriate care situations; strict liability, recklessness, intentional conduct and other bases for liability make up only a small portion of personal injury claims. Intentional conduct, for example, is often not covered by insurance. There are many different reasons why personal injury claims arise. These include car accidents, other motor vehicle accidents, product defect accidents, construction accidents, dangerous dogs and other animals, boating, ocean and maritime accidents, wrongful death, drunk drivers, injuries from falls, electrical accidents, burn accidents, elevator accidents, medical malpractice, other professional negligence, dangerous conditions on property, safety violations and so forth.

Negligence and the "reasonable man" standard

Negligence is the most common type of wrongful conduct which gives rise to liability. In brief- neligence is generally defined as the doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not have done or the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would have done. Hawaii's leading case on this "reasonable man" standard- and hence on the meaning of negligence- is the case of Knodle v. Waikiki Gateway Hotel, Inc., 69 Haw. 376 (1987). Some excerpts from that case help to demostrate the meaning of the "reasonable man" standard which must be met in order to avoid being negligent:

(beginning on page 387 of the Knodle decision)

"Whether the defendant had a duty to take reasonable action to protect the plaintiff from unreasonable risk of harm is, of course, a question for the judge. But what is reasonable and unreasonable and whether the defendant's conduct was reasonable in the circumstances are for the jury to decide. Put simply, perhaps simplistically, what is reasonable care on the part of the defendant is "what a reasonable and prudent person would . . . have done under [the] circumstances." Wong v. City & County, 66 Haw. 389, 394-95, 665 P.2d 157, 161 (1983) (quoting Martin v. Wilson, 23 Haw. 74, 88 (1915))-[footnote 6- see below] "The conduct of [this mythical] person will vary with the situation with which he is confronted." W.P. Keeton, supra, Section 32, at 175. For what is reasonable and prudent in the particular circumstances is marked out by the foreseeable range of danger. Bidar v. Amfac, Inc., 66 Haw. at 552, 669 P.2d at 159.

[Footnote 6 on page 387:

["The courts have gone to unusual pains to emphasize the abstract and hypothetical character of this mythical person. He is not to be identified with any ordinary individual, who might occasionally do unreasonable things; he is a prudent and careful person, who is always up to standard. Nor is it proper to identify him with any member of the very jury which is to apply the standard; he is rather a personification of a community ideal of reasonable behavior, determined by the jury's social judgment. W.P. Keeton, supra, Section 32, at 175 (footnotes omitted).]

"Danger in this context "necessarily involves a recognizable danger, based upon some knowledge of the existing facts, and [p. 388] some reasonable belief that harm may possibly fellow." W.P. Keeton, supra, 31, at 170 (footnote omitted). The test of what is reasonably foreseeable is not one of a balance of probabilities. "That the danger will more probably than otherwise not be encountered on a particular occasion does not dispense with the excise of care." Tullgren v. Amoskeag Manufacturing Co., 82 N.H. 268, 276, 133 A. 4, 8 (1926). The test is whether "there is some probability of harm sufficiently serious that [a reasonable and prudent person] would take precautions to avoid it." Id.; see also Griggs v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 513 F.2d 851, 859 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 865 (1975); Moran v. Faberge, Inc., 273 Md. 538, 552-54, 332 A.2d 11, 20 (1975); Bean v. Ross Manufacturing Co., 344 S.W. 2d 18, 25 (Mo. 1961). "As the gravity of the possible harm increases, the apparent likelihood of its occurrence need be correspondingly less to generate a duty of precaution." W.P. Keeton, supra, Section 31, at 171 (footnote omitted). [footnote 7- see below] And "[a]gainst this probability, and gravity, of the risk, must be balanced in every case the utility of the type of conduct in question." Id. Thus, the judge's task of imparting what may be reasonable care or the converse to enable the jury to decide if a breach of duty occurred is, to say the least, difficult."

[Footnote 7 on page 388:

["For example, [t]he odds may be a thousand to one that no train will arrive at the very moment that an automobile is crossing a railway track, but the risk of death is nevertheless sufficiently serious to require the driver to look for the train and the train to signal its approach. If may be highly improbable that lightning will strike at any given place or time; but the possibility is there, and it may require precautions for the protection of inflammables. W.P. Keeton, supra, Section 31, at 171 (footnotes omitted)."]

Initial steps for a personal injury claim

For some of the initial steps that should be taken when a personal injury claim arises, please visit:

Initial Steps in Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim

Successful resolution of a personal injury claim can be critical to the future of the claimant. The funds recovered in a personal injury claim can pay back bills and ensure proper medical care for the future. They also can help to prevent enormous financial problems related to the injuries. Such claims often include claims for tangible losses such as a past wage loss, a loss of future income, medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation expenses, maintenance and cure, substitute services and the like. Such claims also often include claims for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, loss of love and affection and the like. A personal injury claim may never get your life back to what it was before the injury, but with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you may at least be able to recover some of the losses from the accident.

An older page on this website addressing how to determine if you need a Hawaii personal injury attorney is preserved here for reference purposes.

Contact Injury Lawyer Hawaii now for a free evaluation of your case.



Injury Lawyer Hawaii

William Lawson, Esq.
Century Square
1188 Bishop St. Suite 2902
Honolulu, HI 96813

New client hotline:
(808) 524-5300

Main business phone:
(808) 528-2525

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Accidents and Personal Injury Claims Hawaii -
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Recent Personal Injury and Car Accident News

An important victory in the fight for individual rights (as opposed to insurer rights) is the case of Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara. In that case on May 26, 2017, the Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the efforts of a health insurer who tried to convert its insurance coverage into a 'loan agreement' and recover its medical expense payments from Mr. Yukumoto when he had a 3rd party claim - in spite of the fact that he was not being fully compensated for his losses. This insidious insurance practice has been damaging the citizens and members of the Hawaii community for many years. For more info, see the decision here: Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara, Hawaii Sup. Ct. No. SCAP-15-0000460 (May 26, 2017).

The information provided in these pages is intended to be preliminary and informational ONLY. It is not legal advice by Injury Lawyer Hawaii nor may it be relied upon as such. The use of the Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer Hawaii webpages does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This page is Copyright Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer Hawaii 1999-2017 by Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer Hawaii All rights reserved. Its contents are the property of William H. Lawson-

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