Hawaii Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline

Hawaii is full of majestic vistas, many accessible by car. From Mauna Kea to the stunning beaches, Hawaii offers plenty of activities for locals and visitors alike. But along with great adventure comes great potential for injury. If you were seriously injured in a car accident, you may want to avoid a lengthy trial by opting for a settlement instead of a trial. Learn more about the Hawaii car accident settlement process and timeline below.

Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Hawaii?

Hawaii statute section 287-4 requires you to report any car accident which results in property damage exceeding $3,000,injury, or death of a person within 24 hours of the accident. If you fail to report an accident which causes damage in excess of $3,000, Hawaii statute section 291C-16 sets a fine of $100.

Hawaii Car Insurance Laws

Under Hawaii statute section 431:10C-301, you must carry both personal injury protection ("PIP") coverage of at least $10,000 and liability insurance in at least the following amounts:

  • $20,000 per person, per accident/$40,000 per accident in personal injury
  • $10,000 in property damage.

Hawaii is one of the few states that employs both the "no fault" and "modified comparative fault" systems. This is good news for you if you only suffered minor injuries. In the case of minor injuries, no fault systems require driver to recover from their own insurance policies. However, if you were seriously injured you will need to file a claim against the driver at fault for your injuries. Under Hawaii statute section 663-31, you may recover damages so long as you were not more at fault than the defendant.

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Hawaii?

A car accident settlement is a legally binding contract to dismiss a car accident lawsuit and award damages. Settlements have the potential to save both parties the time and expense of fully litigating a car accident lawsuit. Per Rule 12.1, the Hawaii court may order parties to participate in a settlement conference at any time. Settlements typically come in one of two forms: lump sum or structured.

What is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Hawaii?

For minor injuries you will likely settle with your own PIP insurance policy. For more serious injuries, your settlement offer will likely be limited by the maximum amounts allowed under the at fault driver's policy. Unfortunately, if you were seriously injured, the at fault driver's policy may not offer you sufficient compensation. Before you sign any settlement agreement, be sure the award contains sufficient funds to compensate you for:

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Hawaii?

You have two years to file a car accident lawsuit in Hawaii. Hawaii Code section 657-7 sets the statute of limitations for both personal injury claims (such as broken bones or a concussion) and personal property damage (such as damage to your car).

Obtain a Free Claim Review from a Hawaii Attorney

Waiting for a jury to award you compensation for serious injuries can take months or even years. Trials take time and money, all the while you may be bed ridden with dwindling savings. If you need compensation for your injuries now, get a free claim review from an attorney experienced with obtaining fair settlements in Hawaii.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.