Hawaii: gorgeous beaches, beautiful waters, and endless summer. Being here can seem like a tropical paradise. With all that good weather, however, comes the injuries that accompany outdoor activities. Maybe it's you who was hurt and needs help, or perhaps it was a friend or family member. Whatever the case, if you need guidance for your personal injury case, Enjuris is a good place to start.
Hawaii Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
Hawaii statutes online
This is where you’ll find Hawaii's laws. The official website has information regarding how long you have to bring a case, damage caps on personal injury claims, and other relevant information.
In Hawaii, you have two years to bring a personal injury claim or a property damage claim. That doesn't mean the whole lawsuit must be completed in two years, but the paperwork has to be filed with the court before that time is up.
The first meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free. (Keep in mind that other legal specialties, such as real estate law or estate planning law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means that they will receive a third of the eventual reward, plus office expenses.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't set by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something different.
These are some cases of legal significance that came out of Hawaii:
Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304 (1946): This case came down when Hawaii was not yet an American state, which was a crucial turning point. Kahanamoku, a military police officer, arrested Duncan for public intoxication. As Hawaii was not yet a state, he was tried under a military tribunal. The Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional, as this was effectively martial law and they were civilians.
Baehr v. Lewin, 74 Haw. 645, 852 P.2d 44 (1993): Nina Baehr sued the state of Hawaii, claiming that its refusal to grant a marriage certificate to her and her partner was illegal and discriminatory. The Court agreed, because under Hawaii's Equal Rights Amendment, the state would have to have a compelling state interest for denying the marriage certificate. This is a strict standard. This was 1993, and it was the first time a state Supreme Court had given validity to the fact that gay people deserved to be married.
Adams v. CDM Media, SCWC-12-0000741 (2015): A 59-year-old woman who had been out of the workplace for five years to care for an ill parent applied for a sales position with a media company. She got the interview but was denied the job; instead of hiring her, they hired four applicants between the ages of 24 and 38. The woman filed an age discrimination suit that worked its way to the Hawaii Supreme Court, who decided that her case had merit and that she had provided sufficient evidence of age discrimination. The Court set forth two guidelines to employers to clarify job descriptions and hiring decisions: 1) the actual job requirements must be articulated by employers, and 2) hiring decisions should be made upon an applicant's ability to do the job.
There are many issues you can solve without the help of a lawyer. If you don't know where to begin, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like Westlaw or LexisNexis.