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Daniel T Pagliarini AAL Dec. 7, 2022

Why You Need a Motor Vehicle Accident Report in Hawaii 

Immediately following a collision, an injured person often does not have complaints of pain due to the adrenaline effect that occurs. It's quite common that an injured party doesn't feel their pain until hours later, after the adrenaline effect has worn off. Moreover, following a car accident that’s left you injured or with extensive property damage, you may feel overwhelmed with the task of seeking an insurance settlement or filing a personal injury claim. Not only are you attending to your medical needs and damage done to your vehicle, but you also may be unable to work and are concerned about how you’ll be able to pay your bills.  

During this process, it can be invaluable to work with a car accident attorney who can answer all your questions and help you get the compensation you deserve. Specifically, you should understand how to get an accident report and why it’s so important to your claims process. If you’re in the Honolulu, Hawaii, area or anywhere throughout the Hawaiian islands, including Maui, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, and Molokai, call us at Daniel T Pagliarini AAL to schedule a consultation.  

Hawaii Accident Reporting Requirements 

One of the first questions people have after they’ve been involved in an accident is, “Am I required to report the car accident?” It’s essential to understand what state law requires. If the accident resulted in the death or injury of anyone or if the property damage exceeds $3,000, you are required by law to report it to law enforcement. The costs of autobody repairs have gone up dramatically in recent years, so it doesn't take much to reach that $3,000 figure. If you call 911 and request it, an officer will come to the crash scene and collect evidence to include in a Hawaii Motor Vehicle Accident Report. 

Why Is a Vehicle Accident Report Important?   

Obtaining a copy of your official accident report is a crucial step for filing a personal injury claim, though you'll have to take other steps first. Hawaii is a no-fault state regarding car accidents, which means that regardless of fault, your insurance carrier will cover your accident-related medical bills under you "PIP" (personal injury protection) coverage, often limited to the mandatory minimum coverage of $10,000. Beyond that, you must then treat under your personal health insurance coverage. You must file a claim through your own insurance first, regardless of who was at fault. However, this coverage is often inadequate for covering all of your expenses, and you may need to file a bodily injury claim and/or pursue a lawsuit. If this is the case, you’ll need as much evidence as you can to prove fault and damages, and a motor vehicle accident ("MVA") report can be very beneficial to your claim. 

What Information Is in the Report?  

A MINOR accident report (no injuries reported or property damage of less than $3,000) contains very basic information and no details of the incident. A MAJOR motor vehicle accident report (injuries reported or property damage of more than $3,000) contains details of the collision, such as the date, time, and location; the persons and vehicles involved, including eyewitnesses; personal information of the drivers; a description of any injuries; and a description of the weather and the condition of the roadways. The report can also include details about any drugs and alcohol that may have been a factor, a narrative description of the event, and the specifics about each car such as the make and model, GVW, and how many passengers were in each car and where they were seated. 

How to Obtain a Vehicle Accident Report  

You can obtain a copy of your motor vehicle accident report by first calling the records division of the police department and first confirming its completed and ready. You then should visit the main police station and for just a few dollars can obtain a copy of the report. You can also pick this up for someone else, but you will need written authorization to do so. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Hawaii  

While you’re not required to use a lawyer, many accident victims find it invaluable to retain a personal injury attorney to pursue their bodily injury claim and bring a lawsuit, if necessary. You only have two years from the date of the last medical no-fault payment to file a lawsuit, and this will go by faster than you think. You should also be aware of Hawaii’s comparative negligence rule which states you can only seek damages if you were less than 50% liable for an accident. It’s here that an experienced attorney can be most helpful, working with you to gather evidence and build a convincing case.  

Strong & Dependable Legal Representation  

If you've suffered bodily injuries in a motor vehicle accident on any of the Hawaiian islands because of someone else's fault, call us for a FREE consultation. Daniel T Pagliarini AAL has been serving Hawaii's injured for more than 3 decades.


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