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Category: Kona Personal Injury Lawyers

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!

How to Win your Personal Injury Claim in Kona

In Hawaii, accidents are more common than you think. In 2019, there were 108 traffic fatalities in Hawaii. Apart from road accidents, there are also slip-and-falls and dog bites, among other accidents that can lead to injuries or even fatalities.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim in Kona. A personal injury claim can help you get the compensation that you can use to pay for your medical treatment and ensure a speedy recovery.

However, you need to be thoroughly prepared to win your personal injury claim in Kona and get maximum compensation. While your lawyer will help you prepare your case, there are a few things that you need to do as a plaintiff.

Here’s what you can and should do.

1. Document Your Medical Treatment

When you or your loved one is in an accident, the first thing you need to do is get medical attention. However, you also need to ensure that all documents, certificates, and bills related to your treatment are in order.

Your medical treatment is the primary evidence for filing your personal injury claim in Kona. Your lawyer will calculate the amount of compensation based on the extent of your medical treatment, among other things. That’s why you have to make sure every medical certificate and bill is accounted for before filing your claim.

You must also follow the treatment and medication prescribed by the doctors. If you don’t follow the treatment, and your health worsens, the other party won’t pay for additional treatment costs. It can also affect your existing compensation demand. So, make sure to do what the doctor says.

2. Document Other Evidence

You also need to document other evidence related to your personal injury claim. Using a camera or a smartphone, take photos of the accident as well as your injuries immediately. Make sure the pictures and videos you take are good-quality.

You also need to collect the contact details of the witnesses, if any. Make sure to jot down their names and phone numbers in a notebook. Your lawyer will talk to the witnesses to get the details of the accident. But, never fabricate the evidence as it will affect your claim negatively.

3. Never Talk about Your Case

Without your attorney present, you should avoid talking about your case with anyone. Insurance companies often try to trick you into accepting compensation that is much less than what you could get by following the legal process. They may also corner you into making a commitment or a statement that might affect your claim.

To avoid this, always communicate with the insurance company and the other party through your lawyer. Never talk about your case details, including your injuries or the evidence, to anyone except your attorney. Insurance companies or the defendant may try to twist seemingly innocent comments and use them against you. Once you have hired an attorney, follow their legal advice.

4. Consult a Kona Personal Injury Lawyer

Perhaps, the most critical step you will want to take after getting the treatment is to consult a personal injury lawyer in Kona. Make sure to find a competent and experienced attorney with a track record of handling cases similar to yours successfully.

However, never exaggerate or hide anything from your attorney. Be sure to share only facts, not fiction. For example, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, whether or not they may affect your claim, make sure to share them with the lawyer. The more transparent you are, the better job your attorney can do.

But most importantly, let your lawyer decide the next course of action. Remember, your lawyer is always looking out for your best interests. They also have legal knowledge and experience to choose the best possible option. And sometimes, settling can be a good option.

Never disagree or argue with your lawyer in front of the insurance company or other parties. If there are any issues you want to discuss, make sure to do it in private.

5. Be Patient

It may seem obvious, but this is an important tip. The legal process may seem complicated and time-consuming at times. However, you can’t afford to lose patience.

If you do, you may end up with the lowest possible compensation. Don’t stop your negotiations or change the course of action unilaterally. Be patient and trust the legal system. Your lawyer knows when to stop negotiations or change your action plan. Talk to them before making any decision.

Conclusion

As they say, it takes two to tango. You can let your lawyer figure out the legal process. But, as the victim, winning a personal injury claim in Kona requires you to take a few precautions as well. Make sure to keep these five tips in mind to increase your chances of winning. Good luck!

Call the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Kona Today!

If you or your loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you. Olson & Sons is one of the most experienced and highly professional personal injury law firms in Kona. Call us at (808)-331-3113 or get in touch with us to schedule a consultation today!

What is a Kona Personal Injury Lawyer

Becoming a victim of a personal injury due to the negligence of someone else can be frustrating. The physical pain and suffering can seem never-ending when you start receiving bills, calls, and visits from insurance companies, doctors, and law enforcement authorities, while you’re still grappling with your injuries.

It can be extremely difficult to focus on recovering when you feel overwhelmed by thoughts of how you will pay for your treatment. At the same time, you also want to ensure that the party responsible for your injury is brought to book.

This is when an experienced personal injury lawyer comes into the picture.

A Kona personal injury lawyer can be your strongest ally if you have sustained injuries in an accident. Not only will they fight to protect your rights, they will also help you recover financial compensation from the responsible party for your injuries. You can use the compensation money to pay your medical bills while also making up for lost wages. Your compensation may also include certain non-monetary damages.

A. What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law. This law covers all civil litigation for injuries and offenses caused due to negligence. Personal injury layers who practice tort law primarily aim to make their injured client or the plaintiff receive justice and deter others from committing similar offenses.

Some common personal injury practice areas include motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, slip-and-fall accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home accidents, and defective products.

B. What Does a Kona Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

A personal injury lawyer is well-versed with personal injury law. He/she uses his knowledge and skills to bring victims justice as well as peace of mind. Let’s take a look at the various tasks that a Kona personal injury attorney performs.

1. Explains and Upholds Your Rights

You may have several legal queries and doubts about personal injury law on your mind after your accident. You can turn to a personal injury lawyer to get reliable answers. The lawyer will explain how an accident and the various legal considerations can affect your rights.

Different states have different personal injury laws, especially for the statutes of limitations or how Hawaii negligence laws can affect your case. A seasoned lawyer will be well-versed with all the laws applicable in your state, and be fully equipped to protect your rights.

2. Investigates Claims

It is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation after the accident to determine who is legally liable for the injuries you have suffered. Insurance companies may conduct their own enquiries before offering you a settlement. However, insurance companies may spend little time investigating your claim as they tend to have heavy caseloads. They may, therefore, offer you a settlement amount that is much lower than the actual worth of your case.

A dependable Kona personal injury attorney, on the other hand, will do a thorough job. He/she will dedicate the necessary amount of time to discover all the facts and evidence related to your case. He/she will also be in a position to better assess the damages to you and arrive at an accurate estimate of the settlement amount.

3. Gathers Evidence

Having strong evidentiary backup is critical to support your claim. You can count on your personal injury lawyer to gather the required evidence. This means getting police and/or incident reports, tracking down witnessing, getting their statements, photographing the accident site, and more.

Evidence also includes the victim’s medical bills and reports, medical records, employment documents, and property damage reports. He/she may also retain certain evidence for case-related research purposes.

4. Negotiates with Insurance Companies

Most people are not used to conducting negotiations, especially with professional negotiators like the ones at insurance companies. However, experienced personal injury lawyers are adept at it.

He/she will review the insurance policy details and determine the maximum compensation that you stand to gain, depending on your case facts. Your Kona lawyer will also manage all communication with the insurance company. He/she will guide you throughout the process so you do not end up jeopardizing your claim in any way.

5. Sends Demand Letters

After a detailed investigation of your case, your personal injury lawyer may send a demand letter to the concerned insurance company. This letters is sent to state the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. It also mentions the amount of damages for the personal injury caused by the responsible party.

6. Prepares Pleadings

In case the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, your personal injury lawyer will prepare a formal complaint against the responsible party (defendant). The complaint will mention the legal arguments that establish that the defendant is responsible for the accident. It will also include the settlement amount that the victim is seeking.

7. Works with Medical Providers

Most personal injury lawyers share a good working rapport with medical practitioners who may be willing to provide medical services in favor of a lien on any impending settlement or verdict.

They may also have considerable experience in understanding serious injuries. They may, therefore, recommend a particular expert medical professional who has provided desirable results in past cases.

8. Represents You in Court

Most personal injury cases are settled before going to trial. However, if the insurance company denies the victim’s claim, going to court may be the only option.

Litigation can be complicated and requires strict compliance with proper procedures and rules of evidence. A reputed Kona personal injury lawyer is your best bet if you need to go to trial.

Conclusion

If you’re inflicted with a personal injury due to another person’s recklessness, you should have an experienced Hawaii personal injury lawyer by your side. He/she will ensure that you are fairly compensated as per the legal stipulations. You will also be relieved of the daunting task of dealing with insurance companies and creditors.

Connect with an Accomplished Kona Personal Injury Attorney

To schedule a confidential consultation with a practiced Kona personal injury lawyer, contact Olson & Sons, L.C. Reach us at our Kona office at (808) 331-3113. We do not charge upfront legal fees in personal injury cases.

 

What is Considered a Personal Injury in Hawaii?

If you or a loved one was injured because of someone else’s negligence, Hawaii’s personal injury law usually applies. As outlined below, negligence is generally a lack of ordinary or statutory care.

Car crashes, medical malpractice, and other such injuries are not “accidents.” People accidentally leave the water on. They do not accidentally drive drunk and cause car crashes. They certainly do not accidentally misdiagnose their patients.

That being said, personal injuries are usually unintentional. Some people might call them “mistakes.” We all make mistakes, and we all must accept responsibility for our mistakes. In this context, that responsibility means paying compensation for damages. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Vehicle Collisions

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of injury-related death in the United States. Driver impairment causes about half of these wrecks. Some specific kinds of impairment include:

  • Alcohol/Drugs: These substances impair motor skills and judgement ability. This impairment usually begins with the first sip of alcohol, the first pill, or the first puff.
  • Fatigue: Drowsiness and alcohol have roughly the same effect on the body and brain. Driving after eighteen awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. Additionally, most people are naturally drowsy early in the morning and late at night, no matter how much rest they had the night before.
  • Distraction: Hand-held cell phones are not the only source of distracted driving. Other sources include hands-free cell phones, eating while driving, and drinking while driving.

Impaired driving is generally a lack of ordinary care. The duty of reasonable care requires non-commercial drivers to concentrate on the road and be physically fit enough to safely operate a motor vehicle. If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) breached the duty of care and that breach substantially caused injury, the tortfeasor is liable for damages.

Traffic violations, mostly speeding and making an illegal turn or lane change, also cause a number of vehicle collisions. Legally, these claims work differently, because of the negligence per se doctrine. In Hawaii, tortfeasors who violate safety laws and cause wrecks are presumptively liable for damages. So, it is easier for a Kona personal injury attorney to obtain compensation in these cases.

Falls Leading to Personal Injuries in Hawaii

Many fall injuries occur away from home. These incidents are especially common in nursing homes. Other away-from-home falls occur in grocery stores and hotels. Property owners are liable for fall-related damages if:

  • Legal Duty: Many jurisdictions draw duty distinctions based on the relationship between the owner and victim. But in Hawaii, most property owners have a duty of care to protect most visitors from injury. This duty also includes a responsibility to conduct periodic safety inspections.
  • Knowledge of Hazard: Owners are only liable for damages if they knew or should have known about the hazard that resulted in the fall. This evidence can be direct, like a restroom cleaning report which indicates a spill was on the floor, or circumstantial.

Common defenses in fall injury claims include the “open and obvious” defense and assumption of the risk. Owners are not liable if an open and obvious hazard, like a grocery store aisle display, caused the fall. Assumption of the risk usually involves a “Caution: Wet Floor” or other sign. The insurance company has the burden of proof, and the burden of persuasion, in these matters.

Fall injuries are the most common type of premises liability negligence claim. Other claims include dog bites, third-party assaults due to inadequate security, and swimming pool drownings. The same basic principles discussed above apply in all premises liability claims.

Medical Negligence

Property owners and vehicle operators have a duty of reasonable care. Because of their education and experience, doctors have a higher duty of care with regard to their patients. Most physicians have a fiduciary duty. That’s the highest level of legal responsibility in Hawaii law.

As mentioned above, misdiagnosis is one of the most common forms of medical negligence. Some commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:

  • Head Injuries: Many head injury victims show no serious symptoms, other than disorientation and nausea. As a result, doctors frequently misdiagnose car crash-related head injuries as shock from the accident or early onset dementia.
  • Cancer: General and specific misdiagnosis is common in these situations. Since many doctors consider cancer a lifestyle or genetic disease, they do not consider cancer unless the patient fits a certain profile. Specific misdiagnosis means the doctor mistakes an aggressive form of cancer, like mesothelioma, for a non-aggressive form, like non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Heart Disease: Many heart patients do not exhibit signature symptoms. For example, female heart attack victims often do not experience severe chest pains. As a result, doctors often mistake heart disease for something simple, like indigestion.

The higher duty of care makes it easier for a Kona personal injury attorney to establish negligence in these situations. The higher duty of care also raises the possibility of additional punitive damages. These damages are available if the tortfeasor intentionally disregarded a known risk.

Connect with Seasoned Kona Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal injuries can occur at any time. We understand that victims of personal injuries need physical and emotional support to move forward with their lives. If you or your loved one has been hurt in a car crash, slip-and-fall, misdiagnosis, or other serious accident caused due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to fight for justice and claim fair compensation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Kona personal injury lawyer, contact Olson & Sons, L.C. at 808-331-3113 . We do not charge upfront legal fees in personal injury cases.