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Hawaii Court Records

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What is a Tort Case, and What does it Involve in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, a tort is an unjust deed by an entity that causes injuries or a type of harm to another individual or property. Generally, a tort case is a court proceeding where the plaintiff brings charges against the defendant. The plaintiff is the victim, while the accused is the defendant. If, after the court proceeding, the defendant loses the case, the individual is required to pay damages to the plaintiff. The State of Hawaii uses a no-fault system, which means insurance coverage compensates for personal injuries such as car accidents or property damages.

The circuit court handles all tort-related cases. Tort claims are filed to collect reimbursement for destruction, personal injury, loss, or property damage in Hawaii. The injured person or property owner must be the one to sign the claim. If the person is a minor, the guardian or parent can sign the claim. If the damage happened due to death or other reasons, the person could not sign, then an attorney or authorized agent can file the claim and present the court with evidence.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What is Hawaii Tort Law?

Hawaii Tort Law gives the victim immunity and allows monetary compensation for damages, even from the government, for injuries caused by state and federal employees.

Since Hawaii uses a no-fault system, if anyone sustains a personal injury due to an accident or any reason, the first step according to the law is to file a claim using personal insurance coverage no matter the person at fault.

What Kinds of Cases are Covered by Tort Law in Hawaii?

Cases covered by Hawaii tort law are:

  • Intentional Torts: this type of tort happens when an individual causes damage to another due to a sort of action such as punching a person in the face or destroying properties with a sledgehammer.
  • Negligence: This type of tort happens due to carelessness and might result in a person getting injured.
  • Strict Liability: This is a type of tort where an individual/company can be held responsible for damages which is not due to negligence. For instance, if a company produces a lousy product and a person purchases that product only to suffer harm due to its defect. The company will be held responsible, and the court will impose strict liability.

What are the Differences Between Criminal Law and Tort Law in Hawaii?

Criminal law is put in place to penalize and deal with people who commit crimes and go against the state law. The law helps to protect the citizens from that misconduct or offense. Criminal law is not worried about a particular victim. Tort law, on the other hand, finds a way to compensate the victims of a crime. Victims of crimes such as armed robbery, theft, rape, burglary most times have no way of suing the offenders. For example, if the offender has no money or properties to pay the victim, a lawsuit would yield no result.

What is the Purpose of Tort Law in Hawaii?

The function of tort law in Hawaii is to grant compensation to a victim of personal injury. The state put the Hawaii tort law in place to balance both parties’ rights by understanding each party’s level of care. If one party does not meet the conventional degree of care, the responsibility has been breached.

What is a Tort Claim in Hawaii?

A tort claim is a demand for compensation for injury or damages filed by a victim. Individuals can also file a Tort claim against the state by filing the Claim for Damage or Injury form. For the state to conduct thorough research and investigation, the claimant must provide full details in the form.

How Do You File a Tort Claim in Hawaii?

Members of the public can file for tort claims using the Claim for Damage or Injury form. If the claim’s value is more than $10,000, the claimant can file the case at the circuit court. For compensation less than $40,000, the district court can attend to the case. Individuals who have suffered personal injuries must file for the claims within two years from the date of occurrence.

Hawaii only allows an individual to file a claim in court against a driver who was at fault if:

  • The fees paid from the accident is over $5000 (benefits include medical costs and other expenses).
  • The victim suffered permanent and severe injuries due to the accident. Loss of a body part, mental distress caused by permanent disfigurement, body part loss, and the ability to function correctly are all examples of this.

Upon completion, the Claim for Damage or Injury form should be addressed to:

Department of Accounting and General Services

Risk Management

P. O. Box 119

Honolulu, Hawaii 96810–0119

What Does a Tort Claim Contain in Hawaii?

A Hawaii tort claim form will include the following information:

  • Claimant name, residential address, home or alternate phone, email, and occupation.
  • Date, time, and address of occurrence
  • Description of injury or damage
  • How the injury or damage occurred
  • The amount of claim
  • Names, address, and phone number of witness to the injury or damage.

What Happens after a Tort Claim is Filed in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, claims take roughly six months to process. As soon as the lawsuit has been filed in court, the defendant is informed of the case and has a chance to either accept or deny it. The Hawaii statute uses a Modified Comparative Negligence Law. This law allows the court to compare the relative fault of both parties when determining the damages. The plaintiff may not receive compensation if the individual is more than fifty percent at fault, paying little heed to the defendant’s negligence. However, the law covers payment sharing if more than one party is to blame for the mishap. In instances of shared blame, the court assigns each party’s percentage according to the blame level.

Before the trial, both representing attorneys accumulate proof by interviewing witnesses, handling questionnaires to the defendant, and so on. The defendants can decide to settle at least ten days before the trial begins. Following Hawaii Statute §663–8.7, Hawaii restricts pain and suffering awards to $375,000.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Tort Claim?

The Hawaii statute permits the plaintiff self-representation or to be represented in court by an attorney. Before filing a claim or accepting any statements or deals, it is advisable to seek a lawyer’s help. A personal injury lawyer knows how to file a personal injury claim correctly, understands what it takes to win the compensation to prevent the insurance company from exploiting the plaintiff.

How Can I Find a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?

The Hawaii State Bar Association has a ‘Find a Lawyer’ option to help the public looking for lawyers. All licensed lawyers are included in the database. The Lawyer Referral & Information Service is a free feature to use as well. The court clerk’s office is another valuable source to locate a personal injury lawyer.

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