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Category: Kona Personal Injury Lawyers

A Kona Personal Injury Lawyer Answers: Can I Claim for Anxiety After a Car Accident Settlement?

There are numerous consequences that can come with a car accident injury in Kona, Hawaii. For many people, the physical trauma that occurs in these accidents is their primary concern. However, it is also possible to face significant emotional trauma following an accident as well.

One of these forms of trauma is anxiety. For some people, living with the worry or stress caused by a serious accident can be more debilitating than any physical injury. Unfortunately, there are a number of hurdles that can block you from recovering compensation for your anxiety.

The attorneys of Olson & Sons could review your case and help you understand where your anxiety claim stands. In some situations, you might be entitled to damages for your emotional trauma. In other cases, you could recoup the cost of medical care related to this condition. Let our firm help you pursue an anxiety claim following a car accident in Kona, HI.

Continue reading “A Kona Personal Injury Lawyer Answers: Can I Claim for Anxiety After a Car Accident Settlement?”

What Steps Are Involved in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kona, Hawaii?

There are several important steps in the personal injury lawsuit process. If you were hurt in Kona, Hawaii, you do not have to take these steps on your own. The attorneys of Olson & Sons are prepared to help you navigate the process of pursuing a civil lawsuit following a serious injury.

There are many hurdles that must be crossed during the personal injury process. A single misstep could upend your case or put your financial compensation at risk. Due to the high stakes that come with your injuries, it is important that you seek out an attorney right away. The team at Olson & Sons are ready to discuss your options with you and advise you on your rights.

The Initial Attorney Meeting in Kona, Hawaii

Before you can you get started on your personal injury lawsuit, it is in your best interest to seek out the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Once you have selected an attorney, the process begins with your initial meeting.

During the initial meeting with your attorney, you will have the opportunity to obtain answers regarding the legal process. During this meeting, you will also have the opportunity to provide your attorney with the details you have regarding your case. These important details could give your attorney a place to start when it comes to investigating your accident.

At the initial meeting, your attorney could also provide you with perspective on your case. They could lay out the strengths and weaknesses of your claim while preparing you for what to expect during litigation.

Important Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kona, Hawaii

The process of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit does not start in a courtroom or a clerk’s office. There are many important steps to take in a personal injury case long before a lawsuit is ever filed. These steps could strengthen the chances of a positive outcome—or even make a lawsuit unnecessary to begin with. Some of the important steps that should occur prior to filing a lawsuit include:

  • Investigate. Before you can file your lawsuit, your attorney must investigate the facts and build a case. This involves learning everything about your injury, including who caused it.
  • Prepare Evidence. Documentary evidence plays an important part in most personal injury cases. Your attorney could help you collect your medical bills, vehicle repair estimates, and other records.
  • Negotiate. It is not unusual for an injured party to resolve their claim without ever filing a lawsuit. Settlement negotiations happen early on in the process, and they often lead to favorable outcomes.

Filing the Lawsuit in Kona, Hawaii

To formally begin your personal injury lawsuit, you must file your complaint in the appropriate court. Your window of time to file your lawsuit will not last forever thanks to a legal doctrine known as the statute of limitations. According to the statute of limitations, you generally must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury or risk having your claim dismissed forever.

Filing the lawsuit with the court is only the first step. Next, you and your attorneys must serve the defendants with the lawsuit. This involves providing them with a copy of the lawsuit as well as a notice from the court ordering them to appear.

Awaiting the Answer in Kona, Hawaii

Once the defendant is served, they have a limited period of time to answer the allegations against them. If the defendant files an answer to the complaint, it will move the case forward toward trial. Typically, an answer will admit or deny every allegation made by the complaint.

Your personal injury case could come to an abrupt and favorable end if the defendant fails to answer. This is known as a default. Outside of certain exceptions, a default will result in the court awarding you a judgment in your favor. You could then work to collect on the judgment and secure the compensation you deserve.

Discovery

Discovery occurs early on in the litigation process. This phase of the lawsuit allows both sides to exchange the evidence they intend to use at trial. This is done to prevent unfair and unnecessary surprises. Discovery can involve anything from in-person depositions to written questions.

Trial in Kona, Hawaii

Once discovery is completed, it is time for trial. At trial, both sides will have the chance to present witnesses and evidence to make their case. At the end of the case, a jury will typically decide whether the plaintiff is entitled to damages or not. If they rule in the plaintiff’s favor, the judge will enter a judgment against the defendant.

Talk to Olson & Sons About Your Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kona, Hawaii

Every step of your personal injury lawsuit is important. To give yourself the best chance at success, let the attorneys of Olson & Sons guide you along the way. Call right away for your free consultation.

 

Does Personal Injury Compensation Affect Benefits In Kona?

If you have been hurt through no fault of your own, a personal injury claim could make a tremendous difference in your life. From paying your medical bills to replacing the wages you lost during your recovery, settling your personal injury lawsuit could help you avoid the financial strain that can follow a severe injury.

There are often a lot of moving parts when it comes to resolving a personal injury claim. While the compensation you receive could alter your life in a favorable way, there could be repercussions related to other monetary benefits you currently receive.

The attorneys of Olson & Sons could help you understand how your personal injury settlement might impact other benefits you receive. What’s more, our team could advise you when benefits might bar you from recovering a monetary award at all. Reach out today to discuss your options with Olson & Sons.

 

A Settlement Could Impact Your Medicaid Benefits In Kona

If you are on Medicaid, you could see your benefits interrupted following a personal injury settlement. Medicaid is a needs-based program, and an increase in your income could cost you those benefits.

There are some strategies that could allow you to settle your personal injury case without putting your Medicaid benefits at risk. For example, you could set aside much of your settlement for future medical bills to protect your benefits.

 

Personal Injury Compensation Could Also Affect Your SSI Benefits

One of the most important ways your personal injury compensation could impact your life is if you recover benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The problem that arises with SSI benefits following a personal injury settlement is the fact that these benefits are means tested. If you or your household make too much in direct or indirect income, you could no longer qualify for SSI benefit.

SSI is designed to support individuals facing severe financial hardship, and the income requirements are strictly enforced. If your personal injury settlement puts your total assets above the income threshold, the federal government could suspend your benefits.

The good news is that there are some strategies available that could protect your benefits in case following a settlement. It is possible to spend some of your assets on exempt resources like your mortgage payment. This type of spending could lower you beneath the income threshold and protect your SSI benefits.

 

Benefits Paid Through Social Security Disability and Medicare Are Unaffected In Kona

Thankfully, not every type of government benefit is at risk if you are successful in recovering compensation for your injuries. In general, only benefits that require some form of financial need are impacted by personal injury compensation.

One of the most common forms of benefits that are not affected by your injury settlement are those benefits that come from Social Security Disability. Social Security Disability—or SSI benefits—do not include means testing. That means you could qualify for SSI benefits regardless of your other sources of income.

The same is true for Medicare recipients. Like SSI, these benefits are not conditioned on having limited financial assets. Instead, recipients of Medicare and SSI buy into these insurance programs during the course of their careers. Because your personal injury compensation does not impact your previous work history in any way, these benefits are not affected.

 

How Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Personal Injury Settlements Interact

Your right to file a personal injury lawsuit could be diminished in cases where workers’ compensation insurance applies. This is because part of the workers’ compensation system includes a bar from pursuing a lawsuit for work-related injuries in many cases.

If you were hurt at work, the chances are good that you are unable to file a civil lawsuit against your employer. In most cases, these rules limit your ability to pursue a claim for damages against coworkers as well. There are exceptions to these rules that are best explained by an experienced attorney.

It is helpful to note that access to workers’ compensation benefits will not always bar you from pursuing legal action. If your injuries resulted from an injury caused by a third party you could file a lawsuit against that individual or entity.

 

Talk to Olson & Sons About How A Settlement Could Impact Your Benefits In Kona

It is possible for your personal injury compensation to affect your benefits. If you receive benefits through Medicaid or SSI you could find that you no longer qualify. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect these benefits.

If you have questions about what a personal injury settlement could mean to you, the team at Olson & Sons has the answers. Call right away to schedule your free consultation.

 

Do Personal Injury Cases Settle After Deposition in Hawaii?

Personal injury cases often settle after a deposition. The reality with most personal injury cases is that they could settle at any point. This is because the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved without the need for a trial. In fact, settlements are common before a lawsuit ever becomes necessary. If your wondering do personal injury cases settle after deposition, the answer depends on a number of factors.

Depositions frequently lead to settlements in personal injury cases. Although depositions are intended for developing evidence for an eventual trial, these proceedings are more likely to be used as leverage during settlement negotiations.

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is a form of legal proceeding that occurs during the course of a personal injury lawsuit. A deposition is not a formal hearing that occurs in a court room. The judge is not present during the deposition and there is no jury. Instead, depositions generally take place outside of the courthouse entirely.

A deposition does have some things in common with court proceedings. Both sides will have their attorney present, and the attorneys have the opportunity to ask questions of the person being deposed. A court report is also present during these proceedings. The court report takes down what is said and prepares it into a written document known as a transcript.

In some cases, there could be numerous depositions that are taken. Depositions are usually taken of the parties to a lawsuit as well as any witnesses. This could also involve depositions for the police officers or medical professionals involved in the case. There are times when a person could face more than one deposition.

The answers a person gives are not only recorded in the transcript, but they could be used in future legal proceedings. These questions could be used at evidence at trial, especially in cases where the deposed person changes their story.

While it is true that the judge is not present during the deposition, they do oversee the process. The court can require a deposition to take place at a specific time. The judge is also responsible for adjudicating disputes that arise during these proceedings.

How a Deposition Could Impact a Settlement

The outcome of the deposition will largely determine how the proceedings impact future settlement negotiations. It should come as no surprise that a strong deposition by a plaintiff could push the at-fault part toward a settlement. Likewise, a rough showing during a deposition could increase the defendant’s resolve to take the case to trial. The answer to the question, do personal injury cases settle after deposition may be determined at this point in the process.

After the deposition is complete, the attorneys from both sides will review the transcript provided by the court reporter. During this time they will determine if the outcome of the deposition helped or hurt their cause. The testimony taken can be used at trial, which means these proceedings can have a direct impact on the case. If the defense attorneys review the transcripts of the deposition and determine it will be difficult for them to win at trial, a settlement offer might be forthcoming.

When Settlements Commonly Occur in Hawaii

The days or weeks after a settlement are only one of the times personal injury cases are frequently resolved. These cases could settle during a range of timeframes, from early on in the process to years after a lawsuit is filed.

Many personal injury lawsuits are settled right away. For some people, that includes the days or weeks after an injury victim hires an attorney. Many settlements conclude long before a lawsuit is necessary.

Do personal injury cases settle after deposition only? Settlements are also common after the filing of a lawsuit as well. Many cases are settled after the part of the lawsuit known as the discovery phase. The discovery phase is when depositions occur. These cases could settle up until the moment the case goes to trial.

There are too many factors in play to predict when a personal injury case might settle. Two cases with similar facts could see vastly different outcomes. While no attorney can promise to settle your case within a certain amount of time, the team at Olson & Sons could provide you with valuable insight on what to expect. Our attorneys could evaluate your case and consider all of the factors that could delay a settlement beyond the date depositions are taken.

Talk to a Kona Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Personal Injury Settlement

Personal injury cases routinely settle after depositions occur. Often, a deposition will provide the plaintiff with the leverage they need to secure a fair settlement offer. Of course, many personal injury cases are settled at other times. From early in the process to moments before a trial begins, these settlements are possible with the help of a right attorney.

If you are ready to move forward with your personal injury case, the attorneys of Olson & Sons are ready to help. Our team has a track record of success when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. Contact us right away to schedule your free consultation.

 

 

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do in Hawaii?

There are numerous things a personal injury lawyer can do to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Have you been injured through another person’s negligence? An lawyer could give you the best chance to maximize your financial compensation. Do you want to get granular when asking, What does a personal injury lawyer do? They develop a theory of negligence, identify responsible parties, negotiate with insurance companies, file your lawsuit, and more.

Olson & Sons’ personal injury lawyers in Kamuela and personal injury lawyers in Kona understand what it takes to win a personal injury case. We have successfully recovered compensation on behalf of our clients, and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do When They Investigate Your Accident?

The initial investigation into every personal injury case is important. Whether you were involved in a car accident or injured by a defective product, it is vital that you and your attorney understand exactly how your injury occurred.

Our team of attorneys will begin to investigate an injury claim the moment we take the case. The specific nature of the injury will depend on how this investigation unfolds. In a car accident case, we will work to determine what factors caused the vehicles to collide. In a slip and fall case, we will investigate. Could the hazard that caused the fall could have been easily addressed by the property owner prior to the accident?

These investigations often focus on interviewing witnesses. The word of independent third parties can be powerful evidence at trial. It is important to track down and speak with anyone that might have witnessed the injury occur.

Develops a Theory of Negligence

After the investigation is complete, our attorneys take that evidence and use it to determine how the injury occurred. This is known as developing a theory of negligence.

There are numerous ways that negligence could result in an injury. The specifics of these injuries will often vary based on the type of accident. For motor vehicle collisions, negligence usually takes the form of a moving violation. Speeding or intoxicated drivers frequently cause collisions.

Negligence could look very different in medical malpractice cases. Malpractice could occur when a doctor fails to diagnose an illness or operate on the wrong body party. It is the role of the personal injury attorney to build a theory on how negligence caused an injury in your case.

Identifies Responsible Parties

Developing a theory of negligence is only one step in the process. It is also necessary to identify the negligent parties. While many personal injury cases only have one defendant, it is not unusual for multiple parties to share liability for a serious injury.

Multiple factors can combine to result in a personal injury. For example, the negligence of an intoxicated driver could combine with a defect in a car’s braking system to cause an accident. In that situation, it could be possible to pursue legal action against the driver and the manufacturer of the braking system.

Negotiates with Insurance Companies

Once a theory of negligence is developed and the at-fault parties have been identified, the next step typically involves settlement negotiations. The reality is that very few personal injury cases ever go to trial. Settlements are common in these situations, as there is little doubt in many personal injury cases who was responsible.

The fact that settlements are common does not mean that compensation you deserve will come easily. Insurance companies often aggressively pursue settlements early on in the process in hopes of settling them for pennies on the dollar. These insurers know that injury victims without an attorney are more likely to accept a settlement offer that seems fine on paper but will not cover the full amount of damages.

An attorney can use their experience with negotiating to ensure you never accept an unfair settlement offer. These negotiation skills could maximize your compensation bring about a resolution to your case sooner than you might expect.

What Does a Personal Injury Layer Do When They File Your Lawsuit?

Not every personal injury case will come to an end through a negotiated settlement. There are times that a case can only be resolved through litigation. These cases are when the guidance of an experienced attorney becomes invaluable.

Our attorneys understand the ins and outs of litigation. They are prepared to build a winning personal injury lawsuit. From filing your case to taking it to trial, our team can take your claim throughout the litigation process.

Talk to an Attorney About Your Personal Injury Case

The advantages that come with hiring a personal injury law cover every phase of the claims process. An attorney could help you investigate your case and develop a viable theory of negligence. If your claim cannot be through negotiation fall short, an attorney could also litigate your case on your behalf.

The attorneys of Olson & Sons have a track record of success when it comes to personal injury cases. If you’re ready to pursue the compensation you deserve, contact us right away to schedule a free case evaluation.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kamuela or Kona, Hawaii?

If you have suffered an injury in Kamuela, Kona or in Hawai’i through no fault of your own, it is understandable if you have a lot of questions. What are my legal rights? How long will I be out of work? Do I need a personal injury lawyer?

The reality is that most people benefit from the guidance of an attorney after they suffer an injury due to another person’s negligence. If your injuries have resulted in serious pain, medical bills, or time away from work, handling a legal claim on your own is a serious risk. The attorneys of Olson & Sons are ready to advise you of your rights following a serious injury.

When an Attorney May Be Necessary in Hawai’i

While most personal injury cases are best resolved with the help of an attorney, there are some cases where legal counsel might not be necessary. If your case is entirely property damage—for example, a car accident where no one was injured—you might be able to resolve that claim on your own. When injuries are involved, the guidance of legal counsel becomes crucial. Some of the situations where an attorney may be necessary include:

Your Injuries Are Serious

The more serious your injuries, the more likely you are to need an attorney. This is the case for a number of reasons. First and foremost, serious injuries can result in substantial monetary awards. As the potential for compensation grows, the risks associated with serving as your own attorney grow as well.

Serious injury cases are also complex. This is especially true if you require ongoing medical treatment. There are important legal deadlines that must be complied with, and it can be a delicate balance to do so while still pursuing ongoing medical care. An attorney could dramatically reduce the risks associated with your serious injury claim.

The Defendant Won’t Take Responsibility

Any personal injury claim will have its challenges. While most of these claims will come to a resolution through a negotiated settlement, that is not always the case. Resolving an injury claim is especially difficult if the other side refuses to take responsibility for your injuries.

In some cases, a defendant might simply believe that they were not responsible for your injuries at all. In other cases, they might agree they were responsible but disagree on the severity of your injuries.

If your case is contested, the chances are much greater that it could eventually go to trial. Trying a case without the help of an attorney is a risky proposition, especially given that the defendant will likely be represented by legal counsel. If the defendant is disputing liability, it is in your best interest to talk to a lawyer.

There Are Multiple Parties

An injury accident that involves two parties is complicated enough on its own. When there are multiple parties involved in a claim, a case can become far more complex. This is especially true in cases where limits on insurance policies come into play. If you are involved in an accident with multiple injury victims, an attorney could represent your best chance of securing the compensation you deserve.

Benefits of Hiring Legal Counsel in Kamuela and Kona

There are numerous reasons why you might need a personal injury lawyer. In all of those situations, an attorney could improve your chances of a favorable financial settlement. Some of the benefits of hiring an attorney for you injury claim include:

  • Adhering to Deadlines. There are strict deadlines associated with personal injury cases, including the statute of limitations. Your attorney could ensure you meet each of those deadlines.
  • Negotiating a Settlement. Negotiations with an insurance company are rarely simple. An attorney could help you secure the best settlement offer possible.
  • Investigating Your Claim. There is a lot of legwork that goes into developing a theory of liability for a personal injury claim. Your attorney could handle the investigation while you focus on your medical care.
  • Advocate at Trial. Litigation can be a taunting task, especially without the guidance of a lawyer. An attorney could serve as your advocate at trial and give you the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve through a favorable verdict.

Discuss Your Injury With Olson & Sons Personal Injury Lawyers in Kamuela or Kona

Are you asking, Do I need a personal injury lawyer? The reality of personal injury cases is that you should consider hiring an attorney for a claim if you care about the outcome. The more severe your injury or the greater your financial need, the higher the stakes are for your personal injury case.

The attorneys of Olson & Sons can evaluate your case and advise you on whether or not you need the guidance of an attorney. In most cases, your injury claim is best served with the experienced counsel we can provide. If you are ready to discuss your case, contact us right away for a free consultation.

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers in Kona Do?

Personal injury refers to the physical, mental, and emotional damage suffered by you due to the negligence of another individual.

Getting medical help should be your top priority after suffering a personal injury. However, it can be difficult to concentrate on recovery when you are constantly worried about paying for your treatment, especially if you cannot attend work. Also, you will want to seek fair compensation from the party responsible (defendant) for your personal injury.

This is when consulting personal injury lawyers in Kona becomes important.

A personal injury lawyer will fight to protect your rights. They will represent you in the best possible way and help you recover fair financial compensation for your losses.

Who Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law, which encompasses civil litigation for injuries resulting due to the negligence of others. They aim to win justice for the plaintiff (victim) and also deter others from committing similar crimes.

Typically, cases related to personal injuries involve:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Workplace injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective products
  • Nursing home accidents
  • Slip-and-fall accidents

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kona Do?

In personal injury cases, damages can be of different types. A specialized tort attorney can assess them appropriately.

Let’s take a closer look at the role of personal injury lawyers in Kona.

Explains Your Rights

A personal injury case involves several intricate facts. Moreover, different states have different statutes of limitations for filing personal injury cases.

Further, you may be curious about what to expect from your claim, whether to settle it out of court or go to trial and how Hawaii personal injury law will affect your case.

Your attorney will be well-versed in the various statutes and torts applicable to your specific case. They will elaborate on the legal aspects of your case and explain the law to you in simple language so you can understand and navigate your case with more confidence.

Gathers Evidence

Your personal injury lawyer in Kona will visit the site of the accident and gather crucial evidence, like witness statements, to strengthen your claim.

Personal injury lawyers in Kona may also procure “physical” evidence (tangible evidence like broken stairs, a defective product, bloodied clothing), police and/or incident reports, photographs and video footage, medical reports as well as bills, and more.

Offers Sound Legal Counsel

Your personal injury case documents may include medical and insurance terminology. You will also have to partake in several legal procedures involving complex paperwork. Attending to these matters while still recovering from your injuries may leave you perplexed and frustrated.

Your personal injury lawyer will be experienced in dealing with legal formalities and be familiar with the jargon. They will walk you through the procedures of the Hawaii legal system with relative ease.

Also, personal injury lawyers in Kona may advise you not to communicate directly with insurance companies as they may find loopholes in your statements and deny liability. You can entrust this responsibility to your experienced Kona lawyer. They will know how to deal with the tricky questions posed by the defendant’s insurance company.

Your personal injury lawyer will further recommend seeking early medical treatment for your injury. This helps establish a clear relationship between the accident and your suffering.

Prepares Demand Letter

The defendant may not take your claim seriously until you communicate your intent via a legal document, called the demand letter.

Sending the responsible party a demand letter conveys your willingness to invest funds and time for seeking restitution for your financial losses. Your personal injury lawyer will know exactly how to frame and present your demand letter to the responsible party.

Works with Medical Providers

Personal injury lawyers in Kona maintain long-standing business relationships with several local doctors, surgeons, and medical practitioners. These practitioners may be ready to offer their services in favor of a lieu on future judgment and settlement.

Your personal injury lawyer may also refer credible practitioners, who have delivered satisfactory results in other cases. The medical professionals can share detailed information about the severity of your injuries, treatment plan, and any physical therapy that may be needed in the future with your lawyer. Accordingly, your lawyer will work out a compensation amount that will help you pay for all these expenses.

Represents You in Court

The majority of the personal injury cases are settled outside court. However, if your claim is denied by the insurance company, the only way to recover compensation may be through trial.

Court proceedings can be long and complex and involve several aspects that the layman will be unaware of. This may reduce your chances of achieving a positive outcome.

Depending on your case facts, your personal injury lawyer can help you address all legal nuances, represent your case emphatically, and win you fair compensation.

Wrap Up

If you have suffered a personal injury because of the negligence of another person, it is best to contact personal injury lawyers in Kona. They will ensure that your case is managed in the best possible way to obtain fair compensation. Your personal injury lawyer will communicate with insurance companies, educate you about the different nuances of your case, and support you throughout the court proceedings.

Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today!

Are you looking for assistance with your personal injury case in Kona? Reach out to an accomplished personal injury lawyer in Kona like us. Contact Olson & Sons, L.C. by calling our Kona office at 808.331.3113.

Lawyers in Kona Explain How to Know If You Have a Personal Injury Claim

Accidents, whether slip-and-falls or car crashes, are more common than you think. In fact, road crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Every year, with more than 38,000 people dying in crashes on U.S. roadways. An additional 4.4 million are injured seriously enough to require medical attention.

An accident can leave you or your loved one with temporary or even permanent disability, significant medical bills, and property damages, and even result in loss of work. The best way to recover the cost of medical expenses lost wages, and property damage is to file a personal injury claim. You can file such a claim with the help of personal injury lawyers in Kona. However, you will first need to make sure you have a claim.

Here are a few things you need to know to understand whether or not you have a claim.

1. Hawaii Is No-Fault State

Hawaii is still one of the very few states in the US with a “no-fault” system. The system applies to car accidents and personal injury claims arising from them. In this system, there is no need to establish whose fault caused the accident. When you file the claim with your own insurer, you will get paid per the extent of your injuries.

As your insurer will have to pay for your and your passenger’s treatment, all vehicle owners in Hawaii need to carry minimum car insurance coverage during the vehicle’s registration period. Remember, your insurance company will pay only up to your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) limit.

However, as per this law, the at-fault driver is responsible for the property damage. So, you will have to sue the at-fault driver for the damages caused to your vehicle. Under Hawaii’s personal injury law, you can get compensation for special or economic damages and non-economic or general damages.

2. Stepping Outside No-Fault System

Usually, you can’t step outside the “no-fault” system in Hawaii. However, if your medical bills exceed $5,000, the law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit (also called third-party car insurance claim) against the at-fault driver.

In this case, you will need to establish the following:

  • The at-fault driver was responsible for the accident
  • The accident lead to your present injuries
  • The injuries caused you significant pain and suffering

You can also pursue a personal injury lawsuit if you have suffered grave injuries, such as loss of a body part, permanent disability, or severe disfigurement. Unlike in a no-fault claim, you can also ask for compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.

However, Hawaii also has a comparative negligence rule. As per this rule, if you were also responsible for the accident, you will get compensation according to the degree (percentage) of your fault. Given how complicated this system is, you should consult qualified personal injury lawyers in Kona to know exactly where you stand.

3. Other Types of Cases

Car crashes are just one of the most common types of personal injury cases. You can also file a claim in case of medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, injury caused by faulty products, and even dog bites, among others. Depending on your type of personal injury lawsuit, different rules will come into play.

For example, Hawaii has a strict liability rule for dog bites or attack claims. In most states, dog owners get protection from personal injury lawsuits if their dog bit someone for the first time. It is called one bite rule. However, this exemption is not present in Hawaii’s dog bite rules. As per the law, the owner is strictly liable for the injuries caused by their dog.

4. Consider Damages Caps in Hawaii

Hawaii also has a few unique rules for damage recovery. As per the personal injury law, you can get paid for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. While there is no limit on economic or punitive damages, the non-economic damages usually have a limitation of $375,000.

There is also a time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Usually, you have to file a claim within two years, starting from the date of the accident. There are a few exceptions to this rule. However, in most cases, if you fail to file a claim within the said time limit, it’ll be lost regardless of the evidence you have.

In other words, you need to consult experienced personal injury lawyers in Kona as soon as possible. Your attorney will evaluate your case and help you take the next step quickly and confidently.

Conclusion

Accidents often lead to life-threatening injuries and even permanent disability. That’s why getting maximum compensation through a personal injury claim is necessary. Hopefully, this post will help you understand if you have a personal injury claim and how this system works in Hawaii. You need to consider all the facts related to your claim and make sure to consult a seasoned personal injury attorney before making any decisions.

Talk to The Most Trustworthy Personal Injury Lawyers in Kona

At Olson & Sons, you will find the most skilled personal injury lawyers in Kona working on your case. If you are looking for legal help, call our Kona office at 808.331.3113 today. You can also contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take in Kona

No one wants to be in an accident or suffer injuries due to someone else’s reckless behavior. Usually, a personal injury in Kona includes car crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, and medical malpractice, among others.

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim. It can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, emotional harm, lost wages, and disabilities arising from the said accident.

When filing a personal injury claim, the most common query people have is how long it will take to settle their case. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question because each personal injury case is unique. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to settle.

Let’s see how the process works and what factors will affect the timeline of your personal injury claim in Kona.

A. The Timeline of a Typical Personal Injury Claim in Kona

The timeline of a typical personal injury claim includes the following steps:

1. Medical Treatment

The first step is getting the required medical attention and following through with the treatment advised by your doctor. Your medical records are the key evidence supporting your claim. That’s why you need to focus on your complete recovery and follow the doctor’s advice to the letter.

2. Consultation with Your Lawyer

The next step will be to find a suitable personal injury lawyer and talk to them about your case. Most attorneys offer a free first-time consultation. After the lawyer has decided to take your case, they will investigate it further.

3. Sending the Demand Letter

After an in-depth investigation of your case, your attorney will write and send a demand letter to the other party. Usually, your lawyer will send the letter once you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI to make sure your claim can cover your expenses.

4. Filing the Lawsuit

In some cases, a personal injury claim in Kona may settle at this stage if the insurance company or the at-fault party finds your demand reasonable. If not, your lawyer will file the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

5. Discovery Phase

During this stage, personal injury law in Kona allows lawyers from both sides to investigate the legal claims, evidence, and defenses. It usually involves cross-checking evidence and witness testimony, and also depositions. The lawyers will request documents from each other and study the case with the possibility of going to trial.

6. Negotiation and Mediation

This is an important step in the case timeline. At this stage, lawyers from both sides will try to negotiate a settlement either themselves or through a court-appointed mediator. Most claims will settle at this stage as trials are often expensive and time-consuming.

7. Trial

Sometimes, all efforts to settle out of court fail, and your case goes to trial. The trial phase can last for a few days, weeks, months, or longer, depending on your case. The court offers a verdict once the trial is over.

B. Factors Affecting the Timeline of a Personal Injury Claim in Kona

Here are the three key factors that will affect the timeline of your case:

1. Severity of Your Injuries

As you can see, severe injuries, such as neurological damage, complex fractures, and disabling physical or mental damage, require a longer time to reach MMI. It is also complicated to determine the long-term effect of such injuries compared to simple fractures and soft tissue injures. In other words, if your injuries are severe, your personal injury claim in Kona will take longer to settle.

2. Amount of Damages

The amount of damages is often the reason behind the delay in settling your case. In most cases, the insurance company is not willing to pay the damages if the amount demanded is high. If you have suffered severe injuries, you will want more money from the insurance company, which they may not find reasonable.

In such a case, the insurance company is less likely to settle until the date of trial is set. Only when they realize that paying the damages is less expensive than going for time-consuming and costly litigation, the insurance company will settle. Sometimes, it will take several rounds of negotiations and even mediation to settle the case before it goes to trial.

3. Complexity of Your Case

Straightforward cases where people suffered minimal injuries or suffered only property damage will settle quickly. It is often more manageable for your personal injury lawyer to collect the required documents, figure out the compensation amount, and negotiate a settlement in such cases.

However, if your case involves severe injuries and requires disputing facts with the help of expert witnesses, your personal injury claim in Kona will take considerably longer to settle. This type of case often needs thorough discovery and research, which is time-consuming.

Conclusion

No two personal injury cases are the same. That’s why, it is difficult to say precisely how long your case will take to settle. The best course of action is to choose a reliable and experienced personal injury attorney and follow their advice when making decisions related to your claim. Hopefully, understanding the personal injury claim process and the factors that affect your case’s timeline will help you make an informed decision.

Call the Experts in Personal Injury Law in Kona

 If you or your loved one is thinking of filing a personal injury claim in Kona, talk to the experienced and skilled attorneys at Olson & Sons first. We will leave no stone unturned to help you get the best possible compensation. You can call our Kona office at 808.331.3113 to schedule a consultation.

Can Child Support be Taken from a Personal Injury Settlement in Kona?

If you suffered a personal injury in Kona due to someone else’s negligence and have been awarded a much-deserved settlement, you’re probably heaving a sigh of relief. However, if you owe child support, you’re probably thinking about whether or not your past-due child support payments will affect your settlement amount.

The simple answer to this question is, yes. A lien may be placed on the settlement received, which will garnish funds from it to pay for the past-due child support.

If you’re surprised to learn this, you’re not alone. In fact, this can come as a rude shock to someone who owes thousands of dollars in child support arrears. In case you find yourself in such a situation, make it a point to explore your legal options by consulting a personal injury attorney in Hawaii.

Legal Terminology That You Should Understand

Before moving ahead, you should familiarize yourself with two legal terms that are often used in cases that involve the garnishment of personal injury settlement to pay child support. These are:

I. Lien: This refers to an individual’s right to take possession of property owned by another person until the latter repays the money owed by them. For example, a lien may be placed in your house title if you borrowed money from a loan company.

II. Arrear: This refers to money that an individual owes, which should have already been paid. “Unpaid child support arrears,” for instance, means missed child support payments.

In this context, if you have child support arrears, the state can place a lien on the settlement awarded for your personal injury claim in Kona.

As per law, it is absolutely legal to put a lien on a personal injury settlement. If you’re due to receive a personal injury settlement soon, you should know how a lien can impact the amount.

As mentioned, a lien is a legal right over an asset to procure payment for a debt. As experienced Kona lawyers, we know that the state can garnish the income you receive if you are lagging in your child support payments. In order to put a lien, the other parent can seek legal help and enforce child support.

If you owe child support, you will be notified about it by mail. If the state decides to intervene by taking a part of your settlement, they will notify you as well as the insurance company. The insurance company will then act on settling the payments.

Through all of this, it is crucial that you take the help of a seasoned Kona lawyer, who can liaise with the insurance company and make them aware of the damage and injuries caused to you, your current and future medical bills, and so on.

How a Lien Affects the Payments in Kona, Hawaii

Once your personal injury settlement amount is decided, the money is first directed towards paying your medical bills and attorney fees. The remaining amount is either given to you or held up for paying child support arrears.

You may be concerned about whether or not you need to pay all the child support you owe. There is no straightforward answer to this query. It greatly depends on the state in which you owe child support.

Some states mandate that you clear all your child support arrears before the payment is given to you. Other states set a minimum amount that will be given to you. Anything remaining after the payment of your medical bills and attorney fees will be directed towards child support.

Working with a well-practiced Kona lawyer may help you figure things out as well as negotiate and lower the amount you owe.

Paying Child Support When You Are Not Employed

If you are not working and are unable to pay child support, it is best to petition the court for help. A good Kona lawyer may be able to get your payment deadlines postponed until after you receive the settlement amount.

Moreover, you might be able to formulate a payback plan to keep your past-due child support from being taken out of your settlement monies. It is recommended to consult a qualified personal injury attorney in Hawaii to understand the best way forward in your case. Depending on your case facts, your lawyer can work something out in your favor.

Getting Child Support Payments Legally Modified in Kona

When someone is awaiting a settlement, they are usually unemployed and still recovering from the injuries caused by another party. Also, people’s situation keeps changing, and they may lose their job for one reason or another.

In keeping with this, most states allow the modification of child support payments every three years. If you’re unable to afford child support payments, you should consider putting in a modification request in court. You can work with your trusted attorney and ensure that the payments do not become a financial burden on you.

Conclusion

By hiring a Kona lawyer at the right time, you can ensure that your child support payments don’t turn into arrears and a lien is not placed on your personal injury settlement amount. Your lawyer can be your best ally and help you work out a way to deal with your specific situation in the most prudent manner.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Hawaii Today

If you’re expecting to receive a personal injury settlement and wondering how it will affect your child support obligations, speak to a Kona lawyer at Olson & Sons immediately. We will help you figure out the nitty-gritty of fulfilling your support obligations with confidence. Schedule a consultation by calling at our Kona office on 808-331-3113 or our Kamuela office on 808-885-8533 today!