Frequently Asked Questions | Disclaimer
About Your Case
Do I have a personal injury case?
The answer to this question is specific to your particular case. The best and quickest way to find out if I think you have a case is to call me directly. There is no charge. After our initial contact, which is often through the telephone, I can then determine whether or not I think your case will probably result in a recovery of payment for your injuries. If I think you do not have a case or if I decide that I am not able to take it, you still obviously need to consult with other attorneys about whether or not you have a case. Some reasons why I would not accept a case include:
- minor or not serious enough injuries,
- cause of injuries is not clear,
- negligence of other party is not clear,
- my workload does not allow for a new case,
- conflict of interest, etc.
However, another attorney may think you have a good case and want to accept it. Call me. It doesn't cost you anything.
How do I become your client?
If I am interested in your case, we will quickly setup a meeting, either at my office or at a more convenient place for you. Our first meeting will usually take an hour or two. You will usually need to bring any necessary records in your possession to this meeting. If after receiving this additional information, I still want to handle your case then you will sign an agreement to hire me. My legal fee will be contingent upon you getting a recovery (no legal fee if no recovery).
What are the damages that I can hope to collect from my injuries?
Normally, damages in a personal injury case include claims for the following if caused by another's negligence:
- physical pain and suffering,
- mental and emotional distress,
- loss of enjoyment of life,
- healthcare and other expenses,
- any income loss,
- disfigurement, etc.
There are numerous other types of damages that might be claimed under Hawaii statutes and/or case law. Please call me to discuss your case.
How do I know if I still have time to make a claim for my injuries?
If I am otherwise interested in your case, I would need to determine this in a face-to-face meeting after being presented with all of the facts. This can be a very complex question and it will often depend on who caused the injuries, how they were caused and, in some cases, your knowledge and the knowledge of the other party about the wrongdoing. There are often different rules for motor vehicle accidents, injuries on premises such as slip and falls, medical malpractice cases, government caused injuries, etc.
How long will it take for me to get a recovery for my case?
The short answer is "I don't know"; it depends on your injuries and the adverse party's willingness to settle. The first step is to contact the insurance company or attorney representing the adverse party. That step is not normally taken until enough time has passed for your injuries to stabilize so that your doctors know the nature and extent of all of your injuries.
Most of my cases are settled with the adverse party without having to take the next step, which is to file a claim with the Court, arbitration panel, or administrative agency. In order to receive the best settlement possible, you have to be ready to proceed through the Court system or even through a trial. However, before trial there are still numerous opportunities to resolve the case through direct negotiation, mediation or arbitration. If the adverse party is willing to be reasonable, I favor mediation in some of the more complex cases; it gives you an opportunity to have a voice in your result, and it reduces the time and expense of a trial. In a trial, the result is determined by a judge or jury after hearing from both sides.