Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of personal injury actions. We regularly assist individuals harmed in accidents involving cars, trucks, bicycles, or motorcycles, and have assisted numerous pedestrians who have been hit by a vehicle, or people whose injuries were caused by a drunk driver.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Drinking and speed are involved in the most serious motor vehicle and pedestrian injury cases. Often these cases involve a bar serving alcohol to the drunk driver when they should refuse to serve her or him. These cases are referred to as Dram Shop cases, and bars that over serve customers violate Hawai‘i liquor laws. Dram Shop cases require quick action to obtain videotapes from the bar and to notify the Liquor Commission of the facts so they can investigate before the evidence is lost or destroyed.
Hawai‘i is a wonderful place to ride motorcycles but island roads are crowded with traffic and motorists often fail to notice the smaller motorcycle. Motorcycle crashes almost always result in serious injury or death and there are important cases.
Medical Malpractice is the general name given to cases where an injury occurs because a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other care provider fails to act according to the generally accepted standard of care. Injuries include abuse or neglect that occurs in nursing homes, surgery errors, birth injuries, improper diagnoses, and incorrectly prescribed or monitored medications.
Misdiagnosis is a type of medical malpractice, and it is so serious that we put it into a separate category. Many of the most serious injuries from medical negligence involve the misdiagnosis of cancer, internal bleeding in head injuries and all sorts of other injuries and diseases that the doctor or hospital miss. Not only does this occur from a misdiagnosis but it also includes delay in diagnosis. For instance, cancer is always a race against time and delay in diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. The office has considerable experience with the medical aspects of cancer and other common areas of avoidable medical errors in diagnosing injury or illness.
Medication errors are also a subcategory of medical malpractice but these errors are so serious that we also put them in a special category. Medical studies show that 45,000 Americans die each year because of medication errors. One out of six medications given to patients in hospitals is wrong either in the type of drug or the dosage.
Admiralty and Maritime Accidents
Passengers and crews on ships traversing Hawaii’s waters result in injuries from what we classify as maritime accidents. We are well versed in various Federal, State and International laws that apply to injury at sea. Laws such as the Jones Act provide remedies crew members and general maritime and admiralty law protects crew, passengers and tourists. Admiralty and maritime accidents are also common while tourists are engaged in recreational activities such as swimming, diving, parasailing, and fishing in Hawai‘ian waters.
Construction sites often contain scaffolding, heavy equipment and machinery, giving rise to hazardous conditions where serious injuries often occur. Injuries from scaffold collapse , fires, explosions, falls, electrical shock, and exposure to toxic substances are common. While workers’ compensation covers many of the expenses for a construction site injury, recovery is often available from other sources. For example, if a defective tool or other product contributed to the injury, or if another company put up the scaffolding that collapsed, a claim can be made against that company for all of the losses suffered by the injured worker.