The following are answers to questions frequently encountered at the Law Offices of James J. Stone about personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice claims. If you have further questions or need immediate assistance in a personal injury matter, contact the Law Offices of James J. Stone to speak with a Hawaii personal injury attorney with over 30 years of experience.
Q. Do I need a lawyer if I was hurt in an accident?
A. If you were injured in a car crash or another type of accident, seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. It is very important to obtain legal advice as early as possible in order to protect your rights and preserve the evidence in your case. Although you may be offered a settlement by the insurance company of the person who was at-fault in the accident, these offers are often much less than you need and deserve. A personal injury attorney can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Q. How much compensation will I get if I win my case?
A. When an injury or death was caused by the carelessness, recklessness, or wrongful acts of another person, money damages are sometimes available to compensate the victims. A lawyer can help you determine the extent of your losses. For example, you may be able to obtain compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The facts of every case are unique, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney such as James J. Stone can assess your accident and the circumstances involved and make certain you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Q: How does Hawaii’s “No-Fault” Insurance Law Work?
A. “No-fault” means that no matter who is at fault, your insurance company will pay for your injuries and your passengers’ injuries, up to your policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) limit. Under “no-fault” you cannot sue or be sued unless the accident results in serious injuries. If you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may seek recovery from the other driver if your damages exceed $5,000.
Q: How much insurance are drivers in Hawaii required to have?
A. Hawaii law requires each driver to maintain the following minimum amounts of motor vehicle insurance:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $20,000 (with a $40,000 limit per accident)
- $10,000 per person in PIP benefits for paying medical expenses and rehabilitation costs
Q: I got injured in a car accident. How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
A: Under Hawaii Revised Statute Section 657-7, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your injuries.
Q. How much are attorney fees in personal injury/wrongful death/medical malpractice cases?
A. Our fees are contingent on us obtaining a successful recovery. If you do not recover through a settlement or verdict, then you will not be charged attorney’s fees – in other words, if there is no recovery, there is no fee. If you do recover, we charge a percentage of your recovery. We will discuss the details of this arrangement with you during our first meeting. Assuming there is an agreement between you and our firm, we will represent your interests through settlement and/or trial as necessary.