The civil courts in Hawaii hear many different types of cases, including personal injury lawsuits. One of the most common reasons that people to file a lawsuit seeking injury-related compensation is a severe motor vehicle collision. The worst car crashes could cause injuries that affect someone for life or even lead to someone’s death. An injured person or their immediate family members could file wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits as a way of recouping the expenses generated by a serious crash.
Some people mistakenly believe that such lawsuits are likely frivolous because everyone driving in Hawaii theoretically should have insurance. Despite the rules mandating insurance coverage, many people take their cases to court because they would not otherwise be able to fully recover their losses through insurance alone.
Basic coverage isn’t nearly enough
Although buying liability insurance is one of the most expensive aspects of driving, it may not cover as much as people anticipate after a collision. The rules in Hawaii require two forms of liability coverage. Every driver should have at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage and $20,000 of bodily injury liability coverage. The bodily injury coverage typically doubles in situations where more than one person gets hurt in a wreck.
Those low basic coverage amounts are not enough to fully reimburse someone for the cost of moderate injuries, let alone extensive medical costs related to catastrophic injuries or a lifetime of wages lost because someone dies. No matter how costly a crash is for the people affected by the wreck, the insurance company will only pay, at most, the policy limit for the insured motorist.
Many people turn to civil litigation because the costs created by the crash are well beyond what the policy of the driver will pay. In some cases, an uninsured driver may have caused the crash. The people hurt in the wreck will need to go to court because there won’t be any liability coverage available whatsoever.
The greater the total costs generated by a collision, the more likely people are to require compensation beyond insurance coverage. Those affected by a car crash in Hawaii need to have a realistic idea of the long-term financial impact of a collision if they hope to avoid absorbing those losses themselves. Recognizing when going to court is an option can help people more fully recover the losses they have experienced because of a collision caused by another’s negligence or intentional conduct.