Under Hawaii law, any person riding a bicycle, moped, skateboard, electric scooter, or walking on foot is considered a “pedestrian”. More pedestrians on sidewalks and in the roadways means increased risks motor vehicle accidents.
If you are a “pedestrian” and have been struck by a motor vehicle, there are a few important steps you should take to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Hawaii’s pedestrian accident attorney, Daniel T Pagliarini AAL, provides trusted legal guidance and skilled representation to individuals who were struck by a motor vehicle anywhere on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Big Island, Lanai or Molokai.
Seeking Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident in Hawaii
Under Hawaii’s no-fault system, drivers are required to carry no-fault insurance with Personal Injury Protection (PIP), regardless of who is at fault in an accident. “PIP” is medical auto insurance coverage. If you are a pedestrian who has sustained injuries in an accident with a motor vehicle, you will likely turn to the driver’s PIP coverage for your medical expenses, with a $10,000 minimum of medical coverage. If you have not had medical treatment and are only claiming property damage, you can seek compensation from the driver’s auto insurance property damage coverage.
Hawaii’s Comparative Fault Rule
Hawaii follows something known as the “comparative fault” rule. This rule applies to both drivers and pedestrians and determines how much compensation each party can receive based on their level of fault. For example, if a driver hits a pedestrian who was jaywalking, the pedestrian may be held partially responsible, and their compensation for damages could be reduced accordingly. If an arbitrator or jury finds that the pedestrian was more than 50% at fault, they will not be eligible for any compensation at all.
While it is common for drivers to be held responsible for pedestrian accidents, pedestrians can also be held liable for causing accidents. Pedestrians who violate state laws or local ordinances could be held partially responsible for their injuries. For example, if the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they could be held partially or even entirely responsible for their injuries.
What to Do if You Were Struck by a Car as a Pedestrian
If you are a pedestrian and have been struck by a motorist, you need to know what steps to take to protect your health and your right to compensation:
1. Move to a Safe Area
The first step after being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian is to move to a safe area. If you can, try to move out of the roadway and onto the sidewalk or another safe location. This will help prevent further injuries and keep you out of the way of traffic.
2. Make Sure the Driver Does Not Leave the Scene
It is important to make sure the driver of the vehicle stays at the scene of the accident. If the driver attempts to leave, try to get their license plate number or any other identifying information. This information will be helpful when you later file a police report and insurance claim.
3. Call the Police
After you have moved to a safe location and ensured that the driver is still at the scene, call the police, or ask a bystander to do so. The police will come to the scene of the accident and file a report.
4. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention is crucial after being involved in a pedestrian accident. Even if you do not feel any pain at the moment, get evaluated by a medical professional. Keep records of all medical treatment you receive and all expenses you incur after the accident.
5. Document the Scene of the Accident
After the accident, you also need to document the scene of your accident. Take photos of the location of the accident, any visible injuries you may have sustained, and any damage to the vehicle that struck you. This evidence can be valuable later on when proving fault and negligence.
6. Contact a Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, reach out to an attorney who concentrates in personal injury law. A skilled Hawaii personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process, handle your insurance claim on your behalf, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering and wage-loss.
Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii
The minutes and hours following a pedestrian accident can be especially traumatizing and overwhelming. If you or your loved one was struck by a motor vehicle in Hawaii, Daniel T Pagliarini AAL will fight to protect your legal rights and recover the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a free case review.