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Hawaii Car Accident Compensation Laws

If you're in a car accident in Hawaii, you'll want to know the laws of the state concerning car accident compensation.

Continue reading for more information about car accident compensation laws in Hawaii.

This article includes a chart laying out Hawaii's car accident compensation laws along with detailed explanations of those laws.

Statute of Limitations

Two years for personal injuries and property damages (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 657-7)

Other Limits

Modified Comparative Fault (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 663-31)

The state also caps non-economic damages to $375,000.

"No Fault" and "Modified Comparative Fault" Rules in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the few jurisdictions that employs a "no fault" car insurance and accident compensation system. Car accident claims are filed and processed through your own insurance first. Then, your insurance covers personal injury and property (car) damage claims, up to your policy limit, regardless of fault.

However, if the injuries are severe and permanent, you can file a claim against the other driver, and if necessary, a lawsuit. Furthermore, if your personal injury or property damage exceeds your policy limits, you may also be able to recover the difference from either the other driver or their insurance company.

Keep in mind, however, that fault will matter for claims against the other party. Hawaii is a "modified comparative negligence" state. Such states are also known as "modified comparative fault" states. A party can only recover damages if they are less at fault than the other party. Fault is measured by percentages which are calculated by the judge or jury after a trial, assuming the claim doesn't settle first. Fault of 50% or more prohibits a party from recovering. The limits on damage recovery are such that, for example, if a person is determined to be 40% at fault, that person will only recover 60% of their damages.

Types of Damages

Common types of damages that result from car accidents include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical Expenses
  • Auto repair or replacement
  • Rental cars
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of affection or companionship
  • Wrongful death

Car accident damages are often classified as economic damages or non-economic damages. Economic damages may include past and future medical expenses, lost income, and other calculable out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages cover things like pain, emotional distress, and disability or disfigurement.

Limits on Damages

The first question most attorneys will ask is, “When was the car accident?" This is because there is a time limit for filing your case. In Hawaii, that limit is two years for auto accidents. Other than the time limit and comparative fault rules, there are no caps on damages in car accident claims.

Need More Help? Get Help from a Hawaii Attorney

Your car accident claim might be as simple as filing a claim with your policy. Or it could involve insurance claims, lawsuits, and arguments over fault that could bar your claim entirely. With Hawaii's unique car accident compensation laws possibly limiting your claims if they aren't handled correctly, it's imperative that you discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • A lawyer can help seek fair compensation on your behalf
  • Car accident claims are complex and insurance carriers have lawyers on their side

Get tailored legal advice and ask a lawyer questions about your accident. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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