Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether you should hire a lawyer after a car accident. Because Hawaii is a no-fault state, car accident victims will usually be required to turn to their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance through their own insurance company to cover crash-related expenses, regardless of who was at fault.
However, PIP policies are limited. The cost of medical care, recovery, property replacement, and other losses could easily exceed the amount of coverage you have after a car accident.
But if you suffered severe injuries in a traffic accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you could potentially step outside Hawaii’s no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In either circumstance, you can only benefit by seeking advice from an experienced Oahu car accident attorney. While it could be possible to settle a personal injury claim with the insurance company on your own, a lawyer can investigate the case, gather evidence, and negotiate aggressively for maximum compensation on your behalf.
If you’re looking for a law firm with extensive experience handling car accident cases, look no further than Recovery Law Center. Call or contact us today for a free initial consultation with a dedicated Honolulu car accident attorney.
Hawaii No-Fault Insurance Laws
Hawaii is a no-fault auto insurance state. That means motorists must follow Hawaii’s no-fault insurance laws. Drivers in Hawaii are required to have:
- A minimum of $10,000 in PIP/no-fault insurance coverage
- A minimum of $10,000 in liability coverage for property damage
- A minimum of $20,000 in liability insurance coverage per person and $40,000 per accident
Notably, Hawaii’s no-fault laws only pertain to car accident injuries. So, if the at-fault driver damaged your vehicle, you could still hold them liable for the cost of repairs and other costs associated with vehicle damage.
Do I Need a Lawyer in a No-Fault State?
While your Personal Injury Protection benefits might be sufficient to cover minor injuries, serious injuries after a car accident could require costly medical treatment that exceeds your policy limits. According to Hawaii state law, you could be eligible to step outside the no-fault insurance system and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The financial cost of your injuries is greater than $5,000 under your PIP policy.
- You sustained an injury that resulted in permanent disfigurement or an injury that resulted in permanent loss of use of a body part or function.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer If It’s Not My Fault?
It’s not enough to say the car accident wasn’t your fault. You’ll need solid proof to back your claims against the other driver, especially if the case goes to trial. Trying to navigate the legal process on your own is a dangerous bet to take. You could end up with far less than you need or deserve based on a minor technical error that could have been avoided with help from a car accident lawyer.
The higher the potential value of a claim, the more insurance companies tend to stall when making a fair settlement offer. A skilled car accident attorney will be your advocate throughout the process and will fight tirelessly for the full amount of compensation you deserve. Here’s how hiring a car accident lawyer can benefit your case:
- Free consultations – At Recovery Law Center, we provide a free initial consultation to our prospective clients. An experienced lawyer will look at the details of your case and determine your legal options. Working together, we’ll determine the best course of action ― and that may be going ahead with your car accident claim on your own. We’re OK with that. Our legal team just wants you to make an informed choice.
- Resources – Car accident attorneys have access to resources that individuals simply don’t. We can work to independently verify the facts of your car accident case, collect evidence to support it, and craft a winning legal strategy to help you seek the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.
- Thorough investigations – An auto accident attorney will gather as much evidence as possible to support your case’s facts, such as the police report, crash scene photos, and witness statements. We could even work with accident reconstruction experts, if necessary, to analyze the scene and determine what went wrong.
- Calculate damages – We will identify every possible source of compensation for you. We will also document the losses you’ve incurred, including medical bills, lost income, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, and potential future losses to put a full and fair value on your insurance claim.
- Negotiate a settlement – The insurance carrier will use various tactics to try and minimize their payout. Often, this is done by offering an initial lowball settlement that doesn’t come close to covering your needs after a car crash. At Recovery Law Center, our experienced attorneys understand these tactics and will aggressively negotiate for a settlement that considers all of your current and future losses.
- Take your case to trial – If settlement talks fall through, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial and fight for your right to compensation before a judge and jury.
Types of Compensation
If you sustained a severe injury or incurred more than $5,000 in medical expenses due to your injuries, then you could be entitled to recover compensation for costs related to the car accident.
While PIP benefits generally only cover medical expenses (up to the policy limits) and lost earnings after auto accidents, you might be able to obtain additional types of compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Some common types of compensation include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage/vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress, mental trauma, and lost enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Honolulu Today
If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the Honolulu car accident lawyers at Recovery Law Center can provide the knowledgeable legal representation you deserve. Let’s discuss your situation during a free consultation today.
Our law firm has a reputation for excellence, and we’re dedicated to providing top-tier legal services that deliver results. We represent injury victims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless we recover compensation for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by scheduling a free consultation. Call or contact us online today.
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