Calling the police after a car accident in Hawaii is not always required. But it’s always a good idea. Not all accidents are as simple as they seem. The adrenaline rush that comes with the shock of a crash can mask injuries that require costly treatment days later. A police report documents the collision and can support any future claim for compensation that you may need to file.
For more than 25 years, our Honolulu personal injury law firm has helped injured people obtain compensation for their losses after car accidents on Oahu. We know how important your case is to you, because it’s just as important to us. We’ll treat your claim with the respect and care it deserves.
Evidence is always fresher if you get an attorney started on your case quickly. Recovery Law Center will get to work right away. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.
Hawaii Car Accident Reporting Laws
You don’t always need the police at the scene of a car accident. But you do have certain legal obligations after a crash in Hawaii, no matter how minor the collision appears. Failing to take the right actions can result in fines, license revocation, and even jail time.
If the car accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage valued at $3,000 or more, Hawaii law requires you to call the police immediately. If you are the driver and unable to call the police, someone else must do so.
Even if your auto accident doesn’t seem serious, you still must:
- Stop your vehicle, pull off to the side of the road (if possible), and offer any reasonable assistance to injured individuals.
- Exchange your name, address, insurance information, and vehicle registration number to anyone else involved in the crash.
Acting responsibly after a car accident is one of many factors that can impact your claim for compensation, so it’s important to follow all of Hawaii’s reporting requirements.
What if I Didn’t Get the Other Driver’s Insurance Information?
There may be situations in which it is impossible to get another driver’s insurance information. You may the victim of a hit and run. Or you may encounter another driver who is angry or unwilling to provide that information to you. If you feel unsafe, don’t push it. Call the police. If you can, try to write down the other vehicle’s license plate number, make, model, and color. This may help the police or insurance company track down the responsible driver later.
In addition, talk to witnesses. Get their contact information. At a minimum, your insurance company will need more than “your word for it” that someone else caused the crash, especially if your injuries end up being serious.
What to Do If Your Injuries Appear Later with No Police Report
As a no-fault state, Hawaii insurance laws allow you to claim compensation without proving someone else was responsible for your crash. It also means that if you contributed to the car accident, you can still seek damages. In most circumstances, an insurance claim can proceed without a police report.
Despite these no-fault rules, Hawaii does allow you to file a legal claim against a negligent driver if someone was killed during the crash, you suffered a severe or permanent injury, or your medical expenses exceeded your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.
If you decide to sue the other driver, his or her insurance company will likely request a copy of the police report. Police reports are useful because they capture an official record of the time, date, and location of the crash, and sometimes the officer’s assessment of who is at fault.
Reports are also helpful during settlement negotiations, but might not be admissible in court if your case goes to trial. At Recovery Law Center, Attorney Glenn T. Honda can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your car accident case so that you know what to expect during every stage of the claims process.
What if I Exhaust My PIP Benefits?
Hawaii requires drivers to carry at least $10,000 per person in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. If your damages do not meet Hawaii’s serious injury threshold, you could still have other avenues for compensation.
For example, insurance carriers are required to advise policyholders about their options for uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage at the time a person takes out an insurance policy. Although this coverage is not required, it can allow you to collect more money if you were in a hit-and-run crash or the other driver was underinsured.
Some insurance companies have UM/UIM written into their policies even though it is not required. However, you will need to prove the other driver was to blame to access any UM/UIM coverage. A Honolulu car accident lawyer can help you prepare a claim that shows why the other driver in your case was at fault, even without a police report.
Can a Honolulu Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
An Oahu injury attorney can:
- Explain the law as it applies to your case: Every car accident case is different. An experienced lawyer will understand the facts and what they mean for your claim.
- Discuss your rights: Motorists in Hawaii have rights to compensation after a crash regardless of fault. A lawyer can fight to maximize your no-fault payout and explore whether a lawsuit is possible.
- Communicate with the insurance companies: This will prevent you from accidentally saying anything that could hurt your claim.
- Negotiate a fair settlement: A lawyer can determine a fair value for your case so that you don’t settle for less than what you deserve.
- Represent you at trial: Most car accident cases do not proceed to trial. However, a knowledgeable lawyer can help determine whether you are able to sue in Hawaii and whether it’s a valid option to work toward a full and fair settlement.
At Recovery Law Center, our legal team provides comprehensive and compassionate services to Hawaii residents, military service members, tourists, and business visitors alike. A car crash is never a welcome event, and Attorney Glenn T. Honda does everything possible to resolve claims quickly and favorably. That way, you can move on in life.
Contact Recovery Law Center Today
There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by scheduling a free consultation at Recovery Law Center. Call or contact us now to get started.