Mopeds are popular in Hawaii because they are affordable, eco-friendly, and easy to maneuver, especially on busy streets. But riding a moped also comes with some significant drawbacks. Mopeds offer less protection to drivers than other vehicles, which puts them at risk of severe harm if an accident occurs.
If you suffered injuries in a Hawaii moped accident, obtaining full and fair compensation can help you pay for your medical bills and other crash-related expenses while you heal. The experienced moped accident attorneys at Recovery Law Center can help you understand your legal options and fight for the money you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Does Hawaii’s No-Fault System Apply to Moped Accidents?
Hawaii is a no-fault auto insurance state. Under this system, vehicle drivers must purchase at least $10,000 in no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their medical expenses after an accident. These benefits are available regardless of who is responsible for the crash.
However, mopeds are not classified as vehicles in Hawaii. This means the state’s no-fault rules apply differently to moped accidents. Moped riders are treated similarly to bicyclists and pedestrians in injury claims. In those cases, victims can claim a minimum of $10,000 in no-fault PIP benefits from the at-fault driver’s policy after a wreck, not their own.
PIP benefits could help pay for medical care and related expenses after a Hawaii moped accident. This includes the costs of ambulance rides, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, and physical therapy. In some cases, you may be able to step outside of Hawaii’s no-fault system and claim additional compensation from an at-fault driver if you meet the state’s serious injury threshold. A skilled moped accident lawyer can determine whether you have a separate personal injury claim in addition to the PIP claim.
Importantly, you may be required to show proof of moped ownership and that the moped engine is 50 cc or smaller. If your moped engine is larger than 50 cc, it is legally considered a motorcycle, and you will not be entitled to no-fault benefits from the other driver’s policy.
How Are Damages Calculated in Hawaii Moped Accident Claim?
You may have grounds to step outside of Hawaii’s no-fault system and claim additional damages, or compensation, after a moped accident if you meet one of the three following criteria:
- The costs of the medical care you require to treat your injuries exceed the policyholder’s PIP insurance limits.
- The injuries you sustained resulted in the permanent loss of the use of a body part, the significant and permanent loss of a bodily function, or substantial and permanent disfigurement.
- You are seeking compensation on behalf of a loved one killed in an accident.
If you meet any of these criteria, you may be entitled to additional compensation for your injuries. You can file a third-party insurance claim against the other driver’s liability insurance coverage.
Motorists in Hawaii must carry at least $20,000 per person for injuries they cause in an accident. If this is still not enough to cover your medical bills and other losses, you could also file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
Comparative Negligence in Hawaii Moped Accidents
If you pursue an injury claim or personal injury lawsuit, you should understand how Hawaii’s comparative negligence laws could affect your total compensation. Hawaii follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which says you can still recover compensation for your losses even if you are partly to blame for the wreck ― as long as you are less than 51 percent responsible. However, if you are found more than 51 percent at fault, you will be ineligible to recover any money. A lawyer can collect the compelling evidence you need to build a strong case for moped accident compensation.
Should I Settle or Go to Court after a Moped Accident?
Whether you settle or go to court will often depend on your injuries and their impact on your life.
If you’ve been severely injured, the other party’s insurance company might try to deny or diminish your injury claim. Don’t assume they will look out for your best interests and offer you fair compensation without a fight.
Instead, seek legal advice from a trusted moped accident attorney who can place a value on your case and either negotiate for a fair settlement or file a lawsuit to take your case to court.
What is the Average Settlement Amount for a Moped Accident?
No two moped accidents are the same, so there is no specific amount to expect for a moped accident settlement.
However, if your circumstances allow you to step outside of Hawaii’s no-fault insurance system and file a claim against the at-fault driver, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills, prescription medications, medical devices, and more
- Out-of-pocket expenses you incur due to the accident, such as the costs of travel to and from medical appointments.
- Repairs or replacement of your moped
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering