Although road and vehicle safety has increased over the years, car accidents do happen almost every day. In the US, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes and 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in 2019. Hawaii, like most US states, also witnesses a considerable number of car crashes that resulted in grave injuries and even fatalities.
If you or your loved one gets injured in a car crash in Kamuela, you can get compensation by filing a personal injury claim. However, most people have a lot of questions about the compensation process. One of the most common questions is, will my car insurance cover personal injury claims in Kamuela? As this is an open-ended question, we will break down the answer for you in this post.
1. Understand Hawaii Car Insurance Laws
The first thing you need to know is that in Hawaii, it is essential to carry motor vehicle insurance along with the following:
- Personal injury Protection or PIP coverage of at least $10,000
- Liability insurance of at least $20,000 per person per accident
- Liability insurance of at least $40,000 per accident involving personal injury to multiple people
- Liability insurance of at least $10,000 in property damage
You also need to carry your insurance identification card in your vehicle at all times. Furthermore, you should make sure your vehicle remains insured throughout the registration period. You will need to surrender your registration and license if you fail to have car insurance.
2. Hawaii Is a No-Fault State
Hawaii is one of the few no-fault states in the US that also uses a modified comparative fault system. So, your insurance company will pay for your injuries as per your PIP limit, if you are injured in a car crash. You don’t have to file a personal injury claim in Kamuela against the negligent or at-fault driver.
This insurance system makes sure that everyone involved in the crash gets paid quickly and can seek the required medical treatment immediately. There is no need for the insurance companies to fight over whose fault lead to the accident. However, it works only if your injuries are minor.
If your injuries are severe, you will have to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. The at-fault driver will most probably pay for your injuries and property damage using their own liability insurance. Together PIP and liability insurance will cover the costs of property damage such as vehicle repair, pain and suffering, medical treatment, and disfigurement.
3. What If the Negligent Driver Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?
If the negligent driver doesn’t have car insurance, you can use your Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage to pay for your medical treatment. In Hawaii, however, it is not mandatory to carry UM coverage, although car insurance companies are required to offer it.
You can deny this coverage in writing at the time of purchasing your insurance. It is usually better to have UM coverage though because it can help you get the required medical treatment without wasting time.
You should also get Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage if possible. It can help you cover your medical expenses if the negligent driver’s car insurance is exhausted or isn’t enough to pay for your medical expenses.
Additional coverages you can get are collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. Collision insurance will pay for repairs if you accidentally smash your car into a pole or road divider or someone else’s car crashes into your vehicle. Comprehensive insurance will pay to repair damages caused by natural disasters like floods, storms, fires, or problems like riots, and vandalism, among others.
4. Do I Need a Personal injury Lawyer in Kamuela?
Most people believe that because Hawaii is a no-fault state, there is no need for a lawyer to help them get compensation from their insurance company or file for a personal injury claim in Kamuela. While this approach may help you save attorney fees, you will most likely end up getting less compensation than you deserve.
Your personal injury lawyer in Kamuela will make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Lawyers also have litigation and settlement negotiation experience, and know Hawaii’s personal injury laws inside out. It is, therefore, in your best interest to hire an attorney instead of self-representation.
However, make sure to find an experienced and competent personal injury lawyer in Kamuela. It is a plus if you can find someone with a successful track record of handling cases similar to yours.
In Hawaii, car insurance can help you pay for your injuries suffered in a car crash. However, the car insurance and personal injury claim process in Kamuela is complicated. While you should get immediate medical attention if you get injured in a car accident, you should also contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact the Best Personal injury Lawyer in Kamuela Now!
A car crash can lead to severe injuries that require expensive medical treatment. A personal injury claim can help you get the much-needed compensation quickly. Contact Olson & Sons, L.C. at 808-885-8533 to schedule a confidential consultation today!