Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in Honolulu, HI

Being involved in a car accident is frightening. A panicked driver may speed off after causing an accident rather than stopping at the scene as required by law. However, the fear of being involved in an accident is no excuse for any driver to flee the scene.

Not only is leaving the scene of an accident an unconscionable thing to do, but it is also illegal. Unfortunately, statistics from AAA show that hit-and-run accidents are on the rise and happen somewhere in the U.S. every 43 seconds.

If you have been injured by a hit-and-run driver in Hawaii, don’t count on the insurance company to make things right. Contact Attorney Glenn T. Honda at the Recovery Law Center. Seeking an attorney’s guidance following a hit-and-run accident shows you protect your rights. You do have legal options as the victim of a hit-and-run driver.

The legal team at Recovery Law Center understands that you may be in a financial bind, with time off work and medical expenses piling up, and you may be hesitant to contact an accident lawyer. At the Recovery Law Center, we handle hit-and-run accident claims on a contingency basis. We don’t get paid until you get paid.

If you’ve been hurt in a hit-and-run accident, don’t wait another day. Contact us online or call us at (808) 597-8888 to schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

What Is a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?

A hit-and-run car accident is any type of accident where the driver of a vehicle collides with someone or something such as another vehicle and leaves the scene of the accident. Drivers involved in accidents have a legal obligation to render aid to those who are injured, alert the nearest police department and exchange information with others involved in the accident. Hawaii law dictates that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident must immediately stop at the scene and remain there until all obligations are fulfilled.

If a driver leaves the scene of an accident after hitting another car, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist and leaves the scene, that constitutes a hit-and-run accident. You are required to stop whether or not the accident is your fault. If someone else hits you and you leave the scene, that is also considered a hit-and-run accident.

Hawaii Hit-and-Run Laws

The Hawaii Revised Statutes § 291C-13 (2013) outlines the penalties that a hit-and-run driver may face if found guilty of violating the law. Hawaii considers a hit-and-run accident to have taken place when any driver is involved in an auto accident that results in damage to another vehicle or to property, then flees the scene.

Penalties for a hit-and-run accident in Hawaii vary from a fine up to a Class B felony if the accident causes serious bodily injuries or death. The penalties include:

  • Striking an unattended vehicle – $100 fine for trauma system special fund
  • Causing damage to an occupied vehicle – $100 fine for trauma system special fund
  • Penalties for bodily injury
  • Misdemeanor – imprisonment for up to one year plus the possibility of a fine up to $2,000
  • $100 fine for neurotrauma special fund
  • $100 fine for trauma system special fund
  • Penalties for substantial bodily injury
  • Class C felony – imprisonment of up to five years and a possible fine of up to $10,000
  • $250 fine for neurotrauma special fund
  • $250 fine for trauma system special fund
  • Penalties for death and serious bodily injury
  • Class B felony – imprisonment for up to ten years in prison and a possible fine of up to $50,000

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident

hit and run accident victimBeing involved in a hit-and-run accident can be distressing, but staying calm and taking appropriate steps to address the situation is essential. Here’s a general guideline on what to do after a hit-and-run accident:

  • Ensure Safety: Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, seek medical assistance immediately. If possible and safe, move your vehicle to the side of the road to prevent further accidents.
  • Call Emergency Services: Call 911 and seek medical attention if you are seriously injured or anyone else needs emergency medical help. If you don’t need immediate medical assistance, you must still contact the police and report the car accident.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle, skid marks, road conditions, and nearby landmarks. Also, gather information from witnesses who may have seen the incident.
  • Note Details: Write down the license plate number, make, model, and color of the fleeing vehicle. Any information you can gather about the other driver can be crucial for the investigation.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance provider about the accident immediately. They will guide you through the claims process and advise you on what steps to take next.
  • File a Police Report: Even if the other driver is not found immediately, filing a police report is essential for documentation purposes and may aid in tracking down the responsible party later.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Depending on the severity of the accident and the extent of damages or injuries, you may want to consult with an accident lawyer specializing in hit-and-run cases. They can provide guidance on your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation.

Does Car Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents?

Hawaii is only one of a handful of states that follows a no-fault car insurance plan. No-fault means that injured drivers and passengers must first turn to their own car insurance company for payment of their medical bills. Your insurance will pay for injuries to you and any passengers in your vehicle up to the limits of the Personal Injury Protection policy.

If the accident causes a serious bodily injury, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver if the hit-and-run driver is caught. However, there may be another complicating factor if the driver fled the scene and has not been identified.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to file personal injury claims against the UM policy for the harm caused by the hit-and-run driver.

How Can I Recover Compensation for My Injuries?

If the hit-and-run driver is identified, the victims of hit-and-run accidents in Hawaii may file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, lost income, a loss in earning capacity, property damage, vehicle repairs, and pain and suffering. All car accidents are different and have their own unique circumstances, especially hit-and-run accidents.

An experienced car accident attorney with Recovery Law Center will be able to review the facts in your particular case and determine the maximum amount of compensation available to you. We strive to gain the best possible outcome for your case. A hit-and-run accident shouldn’t send you into financial tailspin. Attorney Glenn Honda can help you determine the best way forward after a hit-and-run accident.

Legal Process and Timeline for Hit and Run Accident in Hawaii

In Hawaii, the legal process and timeline for a hit-and-run accident follow state law’s procedures. Here’s a rough outline of what you can expect:

  • Police Investigation: The police will investigate the accident. They will gather evidence from the scene, interview witnesses, and attempt to locate the driver who fled the scene. 
  • Notification of Insurance: If you have insurance, immediately notify your company about the auto accident. They can provide guidance on the claims process and, depending on your policy, may help cover damages. 
  • Filing a Police Report: You must file a police report detailing the hit and run accident for legal consequences. Be sure to provide as much information as possible, including any details about the vehicle and driver if known. 
  • Legal Proceedings: If the driver responsible is identified, they may face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident. Additionally, you may pursue a civil lawsuit against the driver to seek compensation for damages. 
  • Statute of Limitations: In Hawaii, there is a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to a hit and run accident. Typically, this is within two years of the date of the accident, but it’s essential to consult with a legal professional to understand the specific time constraints in your case. 
  • Court Proceedings: If you pursue a civil lawsuit, the case will proceed through the court system. This may involve mediation or settlement negotiations or go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. 
  • Compensation: After a successful lawsuit, you get compensated for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After I Am Injured in a Hit and Run Accident?

Glenn T. HondaInsurance companies are for-profit entities, which means it is in their best interest to pay out as little as possible to resolve a claim. While this helps insurers’ bottom line, it does little to account for the pain and suffering you are going through following a hit-and-run accident.

That is why you need to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable and caring personal injury lawyer if you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Hawaii. Glenn Honda and the legal team at Recovery Law Center have the experience to deal with all possible outcomes of a hit-and-run case.

If the responsible driver is found, we’ll take legal action and hold them accountable for their recklessness. If the driver remains unidentified, we’ll work with your insurance company to secure your rightful compensation. Schedule a consultation with our expert hit-and-run accident lawyer to give you the justice and financial compensation you deserve.

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Glenn T. Honda

Glenn T. Honda

As the founding attorney of the Recovery Law Center, Glenn is passionate about finding the best possible outcome for his clients [...] Meet Glenn

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