Hawaii Wrongful Death Lawyer - Hawaii - Wrongful Death Attorney Hawaii

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Wrongful Death Claims Hawaii

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

For those who are unsure what constitutes a wrongful death claim, this is simply a personal injury claim in which the victim is not only injured, but actually dies as a result of the accident. In many cases, the representatives of the victim of a wrongful death may still be able to pursue the injury claims of the victim- even though the victim is no longer available to seek the compensation for his/her losses or those of his/her family directly.

Under "common law" (the general legal principles passed from England to the United States over hundreds of years ago) this type of claim did not exist. It was reasoned that the claim died with the victim, and the surviving family members could not claim damages from the person who caused the victim's death. To correct this injustice, the individual states have passed "wrongful death statutes" over the years, and some form of wrongful death claim action exists in all state jurisdictions today, including Hawaii. While they all follow some general principles, each state jurisdiction is different, since each state has drafted its unique form of "wrongful death statute."

The Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Claim

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The deadline for filing most wrongful death claims in court in Hawaii is two (2) years from the date when (a) the victim was exposed to the danger and (b) SOME injuries resulted therefrom. The time is NOT measured as two years from when the death occurs. It should be noted, however, that there are exceptions to this rule- for example, claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the various other Counties must be filed with the appropriate agency within six (6) months of the date of the accident. You must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost—regardless of their merit. To be wise it is recommended that you immediately contact an attorney after an accident giving rise to injuries occurs- please do not hesitate to :

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

Wrongful Death Claim Information

A wrongful death is a devastating event, yet the families of the wrongful death victim sometimes feel that pursing legal action will only increase their feelings of distress. Some families also do not immediately realize the impact that a wrongful death can have on their lives. A reputable and experienced wrongful death attorney understands the delicacy of the situation and will try to resolve the wrongful death claim as quickly as possible in a sensitive, tactful manner.

Wrongful death suits can recover the expenses associated with the wrongful death itself, in addition to the economic loss of salary and benefits and increased household expenses, and the general damages, such as limitations, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other factors that will increase burden on the family already suffering a grave loss. Since all wrongful death suits will differ, an experienced wrongful death attorney will properly assist you in determining the losses experienced by the estate of the wrongful death victim and by each individual wrongful death survivor.

It is important to understand a wrongful death suit can be a lengthy process, however, by retaining an expert wrongful death attorney the matter is likely to proceed quickly and along the way the wrongful death survivors will treated sensitively and represented capably. A qualified wrongful death attorney has the resources and knowledge necessary to expedite this type of claim in a prompt and successful manner. While no amount of money can replace a wrongful death victim, financial losses suffered because of someone else's negligence can often be reduced or avoided.

Wrongful Death Cases in Hawaii

LEALAIMATAFAO v. WOODWARD-CLYDE CONSULTANTS, February 11, 1994 The Hawaii Supreme Court holds that a significant other of 19 years and a hanai child can have wrongful death rights as one "dependent" upon the decedent- even if not legally related nor even receiving financial support- a "relational" basis of dependency is sufficient. Moreover, for those who qualify- loss of companionship, love and affection is recoverable as well as pecuniary loss.
(See also BOULEY v. LONG BEACH MEM'L, No B168667 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. March 15, 2005) holding that in California a domestic partner has standing to sue for wrongful death (even though the California statute was not amended to allow such suits until after the decedent had passed away).)

OZAKI v. AOAO DISCOVERY BAY, JANUARY 22, 1998 The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals holds that loss of enjoyment of life damages are recoverable in a wrongful death action in Hawaii.



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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 Wrongful Death Attorney Hawaii webpages does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This page is Copyright Wrongful Death Lawyer Hawaii 1999-2017 by Injury Lawyer Hawaii All rights reserved. Its contents are the property of William H. Lawson.

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