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Hawaii Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

What is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury in Hawaii?

What is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury in Hawaii

In Hawaii, if you’ve suffered a personal injury, it’s crucial to be aware that there’s a designated time frame within which you must file a lawsuit. This predefined time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Specifically, for most personal injury cases in Hawaii, you have two years from the date of the incident or from when the injury was or should have been discovered to take legal action. The understanding of this limit is vital as missing the deadline can extinguish your right to claim. This article will delve into “What is the statute of limitations on personal injury in Hawaii”, explaining its implications, exceptions, and why swift action can be beneficial.

Key Takeaways

  • Hawaii’s statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident or from when the injury should have been reasonably discovered, not from the date the lawsuit must be concluded.
  • There are critical exceptions to the statute of limitations in Hawaii, such as extensions for minors until two years after their 18th birthday, tolling during mental incapacity, and delayed discovery due to non-disclosure in medical malpractice.
  • Missing the statute of limitations deadline can result in losing the right to seek compensation with the dismissal of the case, highlighting the importance of timely action and consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.


Understanding Hawaii’s Time Frame for Filing Personal Injury Claims

From the moment an injury occurs, it’s crucial to be aware of Hawaii’s statute of limitations in order to protect your legal rights. In Hawaii, you have a two-year window starting from either the date on which the accident happened or when the injury was—or should have been—reasonably identified. This limitation applies consistently, whether you’re exploring the urban landscapes of Honolulu or embracing the serenity of Hawaii’s Big Island. It’s important to note that this time limit doesn’t determine when your case needs to be resolved, but strictly dictates when you must initiate legal action by filing a lawsuit.

While two years may appear lengthy, personal injury cases can become quite intricate and protracted. Hence commencing proceedings promptly is advisable. Securing a skilled attorney versed in handling personal injury claims within Hawaiian jurisdictions becomes imperative here. Firms with expertise such as Olson & Sons are key assets who ensure timely filing within these critical limits set forth by law and help circumvent potential dismissal due to missed deadlines imposed by the statute of limitations.


The General Two-Year Limit

In Hawaii, there is a two-year statute of limitations that applies to most personal injury cases. It is crucial for individuals considering the filing of a personal injury claim to be aware of this time constraint. This limitation includes various types of injuries from incidents like automobile collisions, falls on other’s properties, and animal attacks, within which one must take legal action.

The commencement of the two-year period for filing an injury claim in Hawaii isn’t necessarily tied to the date when the incident occurred. Instead, it starts when the injured party either becomes aware or reasonably should become aware of both the negligent behavior and its connection with their incurred damage — a provision known as ‘the discovery rule’. This aspect becomes particularly relevant where harm or its cause might not have been evident immediately after occurrence—commonly seen in situations involving medical malpractice claims.


Variations for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

In Hawaii, the typical statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims is a two-year limit. There are specific exceptions and variations to this rule depending on the type of case. For instance, in medical malpractice suits within Hawaii’s jurisdiction, it’s possible for the commencement date of the statute to be delayed until an injury becomes known or reasonably should have been detected by the victim. This extension can prolong eligibility for legal action up to six years from discovery in certain cases where evidence was not immediately apparent.

Under Hawaiian law relating to personal injuries inflicted either intentionally or through negligence that causes emotional distress — such as instances involving libel or slander — utilizes what is known as ‘the discovery rule.’’ According to this principle, statutes begin only when an individual discovers their harm—or ought feasibly to have recognized it—allowing some latitude beyond just a straightforward timeline.

Specific exemptions also include situations like car accidents with active personal injury protection (PIP) payments engaged at play and childhood sexual abuse scenarios wherein damage associated with these incidents surfaces within two years before initiating litigation proceedings. Likewise included are issues rooted in product liability claims predicated upon infringements tied directly into breaches stemming from underlying implied warranties.

It remains critical however. One needs clearly understand that if ignorance concerning someone else’s identity who may be responsible stands central to the basis behind instigating claim forward pushes, that alone doesn’t necessarily grant application deferment privileges via invoking said ‘discovery rule’ engagement mechanisms inherently provided within overarching constructs ensconced around current legislation valid throughout state lines presiding over Hawaii accordingly.


Critical Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in Hawaii contains essential exceptions which are vital for specific scenarios. For example, the timeline within which a personal injury claim must be filed is extended for minors. They have up to two years after reaching the age of majority (18) to initiate their claim, ensuring they possess sufficient opportunity to pursue legal action.

Hawaii’s statute also acknowledges those who are mentally incapacitated by halting the countdown on their ability to file an injury claim until such time as their incapacity ends. It’s important to note that this pause doesn’t apply when suing certain state officials or agencies, where different rules may prevail.

There’s a provision in Hawaii law regarding hidden injuries. Specifically instances where harm was concealed due to healthcare providers’ failure to disclose malpractice. These noteworthy exceptions highlight the importance of being vigilant about one’s rights concerning time constraints imposed by statutes of limitations on filing personal injury claims in Hawaii.


Understanding When to Initiate Legal Proceedings

Grasping the statute of limitations and its nuances is only an initial phase. The subsequent—and arguably more vital—step involves proactive measures. It’s crucial to engage with a seasoned Hawaii personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Doing so guarantees compliance with prevailing legislation, averts lapses in deadlines from relying on obsolete information, and facilitates the securing and safeguarding of critical evidence needed to substantiate your claim for redress within the framework of Hawaii personal injury law.

Early involvement of legal counsel provides them ample time to thoroughly examine the case, gather evidence, and seek insights from specialists—all pivotal actions for mounting an effective litigation strategy for your personal injury claim in Hawaii.


The Perils of Delay

Postponing taking legal steps after incurring an injury from a fall accident can jeopardize your claim. A considerable hazard of such procrastination is the possibility that vital evidence might be misplaced or destroyed as time progresses. Material evidence could deteriorate or disappear, and digital data may become erased or overwritten.

As time elapses, witnesses’ recollections can diminish, leading to less impactful testimonies and reducing the robustness of your case. Prolonged delays in pursuing justice can also muddle assessments regarding comparative negligence, which might impact the amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive.


Why Sooner is Better

Conversely, acting quickly can be highly beneficial. Engaging a Hawaii personal injury attorney shortly after an accident provides significant advantages for victims, helping them to:

  • Ensure their legal rights are protected
  • Secure the highest possible compensation
  • Expedite the receipt of settlement funds
  • Successfully maneuver through the challenges presented by insurance companies

Enlisting an attorney’s services promptly to file a personal injury claim on behalf of someone who has been injured may enhance their prospects of obtaining underinsured motorist benefits and increase the likelihood of success in any ensuing personal injury lawsuit.

A lawyer brings multiple advantages to handling your personal injury case, including:

  • Guarding against premature lowball settlements that don’t fully account for long-term expenses
  • Allowing you peace and recovery time while they manage legal stressors and intricacies
  • Helping clarify complex laws such as ‘tort thresholds’ so you know if your injuries meet requirements for filing claims

_ Guaranteeing thorough preparation is made for building a strong case.

Retaining an attorney after being involved in a car accident significantly elevates your opportunity to attain equitable remuneration corresponding with sustained injuries.


What You Stand to Lose by Missing the Deadline

Neglecting the deadline set by the statute of limitations in Hawaii can have serious repercussions. If you exceed the typical two-year period, you might forfeit your entitlement to seek compensation. When the limitations period runs out, a court is expected to reject your case, which means losing any opportunity for monetary recompense for injuries sustained.

Essentially, not initiating a lawsuit within the timeframe dictated by the statute of limitations will strip you of any legal claim to obtain compensation. Other ramifications include deteriorating evidence and fading witness recollections as time passes—factors that could significantly undermine your legal position.


Your Partners in the Journey Through Personal Injury Claims

The intricate terrain of personal injury law requires a steadfast partner to guide you through. Olson & Co. Sons stands as that reliable ally, providing experienced legal representation in the realm of personal injury claims for individuals and small businesses alike, with their specialized expertise.

Their team of lawyers is adept at handling Hawaii’s specific laws and regulations regarding injury claims. They are dedicated to providing exceptional legal counsel with comprehensive knowledge aimed at securing fair compensation for the damages their clients have endured due to injuries.


How Olson & Son’s Can Assist

Olson & Sons provides comprehensive support from the beginning of the claims process, ensuring clients’ complete damages are accounted for and presented. They offer services that encompass:

  • Direct negotiations with insurance companies on behalf of their clients
  • Utilization of their vast experience and understanding of legal intricacies to benefit the client
  • Pushing for increased settlement amounts in favor of those they represent

Olson & Co. Sons works under a contingency fee structure which removes any initial charges for its clientele. This means that fees are only incurred upon successful resolution of a case, leveling the playing field by allowing individuals from all financial backgrounds to pursue fair legal recourse without economic barriers.


The Olson & Son’s Advantage

The legal team at Olson & Sons, comprised of John L. Olson and his descendants, Robert K. Olson and Peter S.R. Olson, bring an extensive background in litigation to the table. They have achieved successful outcomes in a multitude of personal injury cases through both jury trials and bench trials alike. With strategic office locations in both Kona and Kamuela on the Big Island, their firm has been steadfastly offering its services to local residents since 1973.

John L. Olson alone boasts experience trying more than 500 court cases before juries as well as judges—evidence of the firm’s significant expertise in trial proceedings. The attorneys at Olson & Sons are strategically equipped to escalate personal injury disputes to court whenever necessary, ensuring vigorous advocacy for those they represent while reaffirming their dedication to serving the people living within Kona and Kamuela communities.


Taking the Next Steps: Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer

Understanding the intricacies of Hawaii’s statute of limitations and the importance of swift action, your next step should be to engage a proficient Hawaii personal injury attorney. It is imperative when approaching Olson & Sons to discuss their legal expertise and set expectations for ongoing communication between attorney and client.

Data indicates that clients represented by attorneys typically secure greater net compensation for their injuries after accounting for legal fees. Olson & Co. Sons stand out due to their commitment to:

  • superior client service
  • astute legal guidance
  • meticulous case management
  • dedicated engagement in communication

You are advised to arrange a complimentary consultation with Olson & Son’s as an initial step in pursuing your claim.


It’s important to remember that the timeframes for resolving personal injury cases can differ based on several elements such as:

  • complexity level of the case
  • severity of sustained injuries
  • required preparation steps
  • responses from insurance companies and defendants involved.



Understanding the statute of limitations in Hawaii’s personal injury law is vital for anyone seeking to file a claim. From the general two-year limit to the critical exceptions and the perils of delay, every facet of the statute plays a crucial role in securing just compensation for your injuries. More importantly, having a seasoned Hawaii personal injury attorney like Olson & Sons by your side can make the difference between a successful claim and a missed opportunity. So don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your rights, secure your future, and get the justice you deserve.


FAQs About Personal Injury Timelines in Hawaii

What is the statute 657 7 in Hawaii?

Under Hawaii statute 657-7, any legal action to obtain compensation for injury or damage inflicted on an individual or property needs to be initiated within a two-year period following the accrual of the cause of action. The imposition of this time frame is specified in section 657-13 of Hawaii’s statutes.

What is the limitation for personal injury cases?

If you intend to file a lawsuit for personal injury in Hawaii, it is crucial to act promptly as the statute of limitations restricts the filing of such cases to within two years following the date on which the injury occurred.

What is the bodily injury threshold in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, to lodge a claim for pain and suffering due to an injury, it’s necessary that the No-Fault Insurance covers at least $5,000 of your medical bills. This amount serves as the “Tort threshold,” also referred to as the bodily injury threshold.

How far back can you claim personal injury?

In the majority of instances, it is usually possible to file a claim for personal injury within two to three years following an accident.

The time frame for filing claims related to medical malpractice can vary and may range from one year up to three years, contingent upon the laws of the state.

Are there exceptions to the two-year limit for personal injury cases in Hawaii?

Indeed, within Hawaii for personal injury cases, the standard two-year statute is subject to exceptions. An instance where this can be extended is in medical malpractice situations, whereby if the injury wasn’t evident right away, the time limit may stretch up to six years.