Wherever truck accidents happen, they are serious and often devastating. Even in Hawaii, a state renowned for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere, truck accidents all too often result in catastrophic injuries. If you have suffered severe injuries in a truck accident in Hawaii, you need not only excellent medical care but the powerful legal representation of Cummings Law.
Over and above the economic damages you are entitled to for your healthcare expenses, income loss, and property damage, you deserve non-economic compensation for your physical pain, emotional trauma, and any long-term disability. If the party responsible for your injuries was intentionally reckless or malicious, you may be entitled to punitive damages as well.
The legal team at Cummings Law is skilled, experienced and compassionate. We have a track record of winning millions of dollars in damages for our personal injury clients and are prepared to fight hard to hold the appropriate party accountable for all you have endured. As soon as you are able, contact us to obtain justice for yourself and your family.
What Makes a Truck Accident So Dangerous?
When a car collides with a truck, it is not a fair fight. The enormous differential in size and weight between the two vehicles, particularly if the truck is a tractor-trailer, puts the driver and any passengers of the smaller vehicle at far greater risk. Also, commercial trucks require more room to navigate turns than cars do which makes trucks more prone to tipping over and possibly crushing a smaller vehicle.
Additionally, if you file a personal injury lawsuit against a large trucking corporate enterprise that has high-priced attorneys on retainer, you need a personal injury attorney with clout as well as compassion to level the playing field. Remember that Cummings Law has a well-earned reputation for strategic legal maneuvers and well-honed negotiation skills. Brian Cummings, our keen lead attorney, is well-equipped to litigate from a position of strength.
How Cummings Law Can Help
We know that you need time to recover and get your bearings. Brian Cummings, will meet with you at your convenience and listen attentively to the details of your case. Our team will examine the police report and medical data, investigate the accident site, take necessary photographs, and interview any witnesses. We also have connections with experts in relevant fields (e.g. automotive defects, truck maintenance, various medical specialties) with whom we can consult and who will be able to testify on your behalf if it becomes necessary.
No-Fault Insurance in Hawaii
As you may know, each state has its own policy regarding car insurance. In Hawaii, we have a no-fault car insurance system. According to the no-fault principle, each person’s insurance company is responsible for paying up to a certain amount for certain medical bills that result from a traffic accident injury, no matter who is at fault for the collision.
What this means is that if you have sustained a personal injury in a truck accident, the law requires you to first file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your own insurance company. Every driver must carry a certain amount of property and personal liability coverage, but if you sustain injuries that result in costs over $5,000, you are permitted to sue the responsible party. It should be noted that the at-fault party may be:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The driver of another vehicle
- The truck manufacturer
- The county or state (if the road or traffic signals have been poorly maintained)
Cummings Law has extensive experience in determining fault in truck accidents; you can trust us to uncover party responsible for yours.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Hawaii
Hawaii adheres to the rule of modified comparative negligence which makes it possible to hold more than one party responsible for a truck accident. An example would be if the truck driver drives recklessly and goes through a red light, but the car he/she hits is making an illegal turn. In cases in which more than one party is to blame, the court assigns a percentage of blame to each.
If you, the injured person, are assigned 10 percent of the blame, the compensation the court awards you will be decreased by 10 percent (i.e. if you win $1 million, you will actually receive $900,000). In this context “modified” comparative negligence means that if you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for your own injury, you cannot receive any damages at all.
Hawaii’s Statute of Limitations
Like many other states, Hawaii has a two-year statute of limitations from the date of a truck accident to the time the claim is filed. Nonetheless, if someone dies as a result of injuries sustained in the crash more than two years after the event, a wrongful death claim may be filed within two years of the death itself.
Common Causes of a Truck Accident in Hawaii
Although many causes of traffic accidents are common to all vehicles, some factors are unique to trucks. Truck accidents are often the result of:
- Driver fatigue, since truck drivers drive long distances and work long hours
- Distracted driving, such as eating, texting, or reaching, also more common in long-distance hauls
- Improper maintenance by the trucking company despite laws requiring regular inspections and repairs
- Inadequate training
- Improper Loading (e.g when cargo has not been safely stacked or secured for transport)
Though trucking companies, like all businesses, are concerned with their bottom line, they are not permitted to cut corners when it comes to safety and may therefore be held liable for any personal injuries that have been caused by their negligence.
Types of Truck Accidents and the Kinds of Injuries They Cause
There are many kinds of truck accidents, including:
- Runaway trucks
- Collisions caused by large blind spots
- Rear-end collisions
- Wide turns
Any truck accident may result in catastrophic injuries such as amputation, crush injuries, organ damage, hemorrhage, spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries. Tragically, all may be deadly.
Call Our Experienced Honolulu Truck Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you are likely overwhelmed by anxiety. The sooner you contact the consummate professionals at Cummings Law, the sooner you will feel the stress subside. We have in-depth knowledge of the complex laws surrounding truck accidents and personal injuries in Hawaii. You can put your trust in our skill and determination. Contact us now to protect your future and the future of those you love. Your initial consultation is free and we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we win you the damages you need and deserve.