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Daniel T Pagliarini AAL Dec. 21, 2022

Dos & Don’ts After an Injury 

Every day, we have clients asking questions about filing a personal injury claim: “What should I do if I sustain an injury in an accident?”, “What if I’m injured but don’t have insurance?”, or “Should I talk to the insurance adjuster?” Like it or not, the steps you take following an accident can have a major impact on your total settlement.  

If you live anywhere throughout the islands, including Maui, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, or Honolulu, Hawaii, and would like to speak with a personal injury attorney, call our firm, Daniel T Pagliarini AAL, to make an appointment.  

Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Hawaii  

In most cases, you’ll have two years after an incident to file a personal injury claim, although the steps you take before this will make the most difference in how successful your lawsuit is.  If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you have up to two years from the last no-fault insurance medical payment to file your lawsuit.

Additionally, most people typically can’t start a claim immediately after they’re injured because there are other steps to take first. For example, if you were in a car accident, you’ll first have to seek compensation through your own insurance since Hawaii is a no-fault state. If this doesn’t cover all your expenses, you can then file a claim with the at-fault driver, and only after this has been done can you file a lawsuit. 

Dos and Don’ts After an Injury-Causing Accident  

  1. Don’t leave the scene: Stay at the site of the accident to exchange information with the other driver as well as gather evidence. Call 911 and request police to file an MVA report. Let the responding officers know of any injury(ies) you have sustained. If you don't call for police, be sure to obtain driver's license info, insurance info, photos, videos, and contact information from any witnesses. You’ll want to do this both to be sure you get everything you need and to avoid claims of a hit and run.  

  1. Don’t talk about the case: It’s always best to keep the details of the crash and your pending insurance settlements or lawsuits between you and your attorney. Don’t post anything on social media and don’t go around telling everyone what you know about what happened as this could negatively affect your case. 

  1. Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster first: Insurance adjusters will often call you a day or two after an accident requesting an official statement, but you do not have to give this to them. You can provide basic information about yourself and the accident (who, what, where, etc.), but don’t assume responsibility or try to explain why the accident happened. Tell the adjuster you’ll provide them a statement in a timely manner after you’ve spoken with your lawyer. 

  1. Don’t accept the first deal: Insurance adjusters are busy and will often try to offer you a low initial settlement hoping you’ll accept so they can move on to the next claim. However, this offer might not account for all your future costs, like unforeseen medical expenses and time missed from work. 

  1. Don’t neglect your injuries: Your physical health is your top priority, and you should always seek medical care, even if you’re uninsured or underinsured. Hold on to all your receipts, and if you’re pressed to pay, you can tell your provider you were in an accident and are in the middle of negotiating your settlement.  

  1. Do contact a personal injury attorney: One of the best things you can do for yourself is hire an experienced attorney who can help you negotiate with the insurance company, gather evidence, and stand by your side throughout this difficult process.  

  1. Do keep records of everything: This includes police reports, witness statements, medical bills, property damage bills, and records of missed work, including missed paychecks and documentation of how your injuries are affecting your daily life.  

  1. Do write down everything: As soon as you can, write down what happened so you have a record of it while it’s fresh in your mind. Alternatively, use the voice recording function on your phone and narrate all you can remember leading up to and following the accident. 

If you need a skilled personal injury attorney who can help you build a successful claim, call attorney Daniel T Pagliarini AAL in Honolulu, Hawaii. 


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