The Rules of the Road in Hawaii.
1. NO FAULT BENEFITS: No matter who is at fault in the accident, you can file for PIP (personal injury protection) benefits that will usually pay your medical bills up to ten thousand dollars. Once you or your lawyer report your accident, and once you incur at least $5,000.00 in medical bills, you've "met tort;" or stated differently, you can file a lawsuit for damages against the at-fault driver, assuming he or she is negligent.
2. NEGLIGENCE: You can only sue the other driver(s) if they were negligent, which is defined generally as failure to use reasonable care in the operation of their motor vehicle (what would a reasonable man have done?). The world does not insure you against your own negligence, so if you rear ended the other guy, it's your fault, and you can't sue. That mean's a lawyer will not take your case. But if the accident is caused by a negligent driver, or a company that put them behind the wheel, or any other responsible person or party, call us, we can help you under those circumstances.
3. DAMAGES: This is the reason they pay you. If you've been damaged (or injured) you can win or settle your case for a sum total of all the different types of damages. These are the most important ones: medical bills (past and future), disability, mental anguish, pains and suffering, and lost earnings and work capacity. It usually takes medical doctors and other experts to quantify your damages. That's why you need a lawyer. Just know this. If you do not have a physical injury, I will not accept your case for mental anguish only. Close calls are not enough.
4. INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE GREEDY-DON'T TRUST THEM: Don't trust an insurance company with your claim. Although you will probably have to talk to them in the beginning of the case, as soon as you get your claims number set up, call a lawyer. (Or, call me first and I'll set up your claims for you).
Adjustors go to adjustor school to learn how to minimize your settlement from the git-go. They do things like delay the payment of your property damage claim so you will give up. They will delay setting up your PIP claim so that you can't get immediate health care, and then later they argue that if you'd really been hurt, you would have gone to the doctor early and often. They try to block your rights by keeping your medical bills under $5,000.00. They will try to take your recorded statement so that they can trip you up later on the small details. They may change adjustors often during your claim to cause confusion and delay, or they may make you send documents many times saying they never arrived. All of these behaviors are unfortunately common in the insurance industry, and the reason you need your own advocate.
5. WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT: If you're hurt, take the ambulance to the hospital. No fault insurance will pay for it. As soon as possible, try and get photos of the cars, the scene, and your injuries . (Action shots from the scene are best). Get insurance information from the other guy. (This will be in the police report later too if you are too injured to do this at the scene). Then call Johnny Brown, the injury lawyer. We will call it in to your insurance company, and to theirs, setting up the PIP claims and the liability claims. This is fine if you do it, but DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT without consulting your lawyer first. The next thing is to get better, and that means medical care. We have a list of trusted providers that you can review and choose from, or choose your own doctor. Typically, injured plaintiffs may go to the emergency room first, and then they treat with a Medical Doctor and/or Chiropractor. These physicians will order other testing and therapy as they see fit, including MRIs, massage therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, and in some cases surgery or steroid injections.
6. SETTLEMENTS AND LAWSUITS: Once you've reached MMI (maximum medical improvement), it's time for your lawyer to gather all your medical records and bills, along with other evidence such as photos and police reports, and make a demand on the insurance company. He will consult with you, but he alone has knowledge about the value of such cases in the claims industry where you live. You should listen to your lawyer about what number is fair. Remember, he is getting a percentage of your recovery, so he is motived to settle your case as high as possible. 90% of cases settle at this juncture, if everyone is reasonable and playing ball. In the other ten percent of the cases, for whatever reasons, a lawsuit is files. Reasons include the identity of the insurance carrier (Allstate is the Devil), liability problems (an argument over fault), or you are simply hurt too badly and the case needs to be worked up in litigation, with depositions and experts, before a true number can be negotiated with the insurance company. I expect to file lawsuits early on catastrophic injuries, but not always.
7. CAN'T I DO THIS ON MY OWN?: Sometimes a client will come in for a cost-free interview, and ask me why they can't do it on their own. Well, I tell them, you can do it on your own. Just like I can do heart surgery on my own too, but by the time I go to medical school, and figure it out, my patient will be dead, because time is of the essence. Stated differently, certain things have to happen at certain times. Insurance companies love it when you do your own case. They will take advantage of you at every turn. The same is true in a lawsuit. There are a thousand moving parts. Also, being a plaintiff's lawyer is about personal relationships. I know the adjustors. I know the doctors. And I can get you to experts. All these things increase the value of your case, and so, in a manner of speaking, it costs you nothing to hire me because I will get more for your case than you ever can. Besides, your hurting. Make the phone call today, and I'll handle the stress and the paperwork, while you can concentrate on getting well.
CALL THE INJURY LAWYER, JOHNNY BROWN in Maui at (808) 243-2431.
CALL JOHNNY BROWN (808) 243-2431 now to learn more. No fault car insurance means you get up to $10,000 for medical care, whether you were at fault or not. Once you "meet tort," or incur $5,000 in medical bills, I can help you file a liability claim against the at-fault driver in the accident.
This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with Johnny Brown, The Injury Lawyer through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.
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