Hawaii Accidents & Personal Injury Attorney
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Law Firm OverviewWilliam H. Lawson, Attorney at Law will help you get your life back together again, if you or someone you love has been seriously injured. Our office concentrates in handling serious personal injury claims — claims for damages arising from the wrongful conduct of others. We provide free consultations to evaluate critical injury and wrongful death cases. Most cases are handled on a contingency fee, so "No recovery: No fee". If we agree to handle your case on a contingency fee, there is "No fee unless we win".
Personal injury claims are claims for damages arising from the wrongful conduct of others. Such claims often include claims for tangible losses such as a past wage loss, a loss of future income, medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation expenses, maintenance and cure, substitute services and the like. Such claims also often include claims for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, loss of love and affection, and the like.
Every type of claim has a deadline for filing the claim in court. These differ from state to state — the deadlines we handle are those applicable in the state of Hawaii. This type of deadline is known as the "Statute of Limitations". After the expiration of this time period, the claim will, usually, be lost, regardless of its merits. There are various exceptions to the deadlines (such as minority, incompetence, etc.), so it may still be worth evaluating a claim even after the deadline has expired. Please note that because of these deadlines, you must act promptly on any claims which you believe you may wish to pursue.
As a personal injury attorney in the state of Hawaii, Mr. Lawson has worked with both local and mainland firms as co-counsel. Mr. Lawson has worked side-by-side with other firms and also in a supervisory capacity using his many years of experience to guide the client to the appropriate resources. We have used arbitration, mediation and litigation- each at its proper time. Accident Lawyer Hawaii provides legal services in each area of need for a particular case- sometimes by bringing in other lawyers and law firms to assist us on the claims. Over the years Mr. Lawson has provided the individual communications and responsive contact that assures a client of personal attention while still providing high quality legal services even in complex and difficult cases.
Year this Office was Established: 1979
Languages: English, Japanese (only for paralegal assistance); Interpreters available for: Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Korean, and all other major languages.
Areas of Law
- Admiralty & Maritime
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Animal Bites
- Animal Law
- Antitrust & Trade Regulation
- Asbestos Mesothelioma
- Back & Neck Injury
- Bad Faith Insurance
- Bicycle Accident
- Birth Injury
- Boating Accident
- Brain Injury
- Burn Injuries
- Bus Accidents
- Car Accident
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Construction Accidents
- Construction Injuries
- Pedestrian Accident
- Personal Injury
- Premises Liability
- Product Liability
- Product Liability Litigation
- Professional Liability
- Professional Malpractice
- Railroad Accidents
- Slip & Fall
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Sports & Recreation
- Surgical Errors
- Traffic Ticket
- Truck Accident
- Unfair Competition
- Workplace Injuries
- Wrongful Death
Areas of Law Description
William H. Lawson, Attorney at Law offers legal services in the following practice areas:
- Animal Attack Liability and Dog Bite Claims
In Hawaii, claims arising from an animal attack and/or dog bites are generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations. These claims most frequently arise from an unexpected attack by a dog on a person —frequently on a child.
- Automobile Liability Insurance
This type of insurance protects you from claims made against you. If an accident is your fault and you have caused damage or injury to others, your liability insurance is available to compensate the injured parties. Automobile liability insurance generally includes coverage for both bodily injury and property damage. There are usually separate limits stated for these two categories of coverage. These coverages are mandatory under Hawaii law. That means, if you are required to purchase auto insurance, you must buy liability coverage for both bodily injury and property damage.
- Boating and Other Water-related Accidents
Investigation of a water-related accident claim can be difficult and costly. Nonetheless, a timely investigation of all available evidence related to the case may be critical to a favorable outcome. Photos and videos of relevant conditions (the inside and the outside of the vessels, the waves or ocean conditions, the reefs, sandbars, signs, buoys and channels, any other dangers giving rise to the accident, the activities being carried on in the area of the accident, etc.), the dive equipment, surfboard, bodyboard or other equipment involved, the area(s) where the injuries and damages were sustained and the injuries and damages themselves may prove invaluable in proving up an accident claim to a claims adjuster, a judge or a jury. Photographic or video documentation of the accident should be done as soon as possible.
- Collision Insurance
This coverage pays you for any damage done to your vehicle. It typically is purchased with a deductible. This means that you must pay up to the amount of your deductible and then your insurance will cover the excess to repair your car. If the accident was not your fault, your insurance company should demand your deductible back from the responsible party and then return the deductible to you. Many carriers have failed to return deductibles in the past. Collision insurance carriers may also be responsible for the reduction in the resale value (even after repairs) of a car which has been involved in an accident. This coverage is optional under Hawaii law.
- Construction Accidents and Injuries
A construction accident claim may arise in a number of different ways. One contractor may conduct their business in a dangerous or negligent fashion, causing injuries to others —such as a property owner or the employees of a different contractor. (Under Hawaii law, if the contractor's employees themselves are injured, this would generally give rise to a workers' compensation claim and not an independent construction accident claim.) A property owner may fail to warn of dangerous conditions on their property and this may cause an employee of a contractor to be injured. A contractor may be using equipment which is dangerous or defective and which causes injury to a worker or to a property owner.
- Recreation and Recreational Accidents
A claim arising out of a recreational accident may be subject to the two-year statute of limitations in Hawaii in some situations. It should be noted, however, that there are exceptions to this rule- for example, claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the various other Counties must be filed with the appropriate agency within six (6) months of the date of the accident. You must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost—regardless of their merit. To be wise it is recommended that you contact an attorney, lawyer or law firm experienced in recreational accidents right away after an accident giving rise to injuries occurs.
- Electrical / Electrocution Accidents
The deadline for most electrical accident - electrocution claims in Hawaii is two (2) years from the date of the injury. Accident Lawyer Hawaii- Deadlines It should be noted, however, that there are exceptions to this rule- for example, claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the various other Counties must be filed with the appropriate agency within six (6) months of the date of the accident. You must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost—regardless of their merit.
- Elevator / Escalator Accidents
Escalator and elevator cases are generally hard fought by the defense. Escalators and elevators are typically purchased from a third party and then maintained under an ongoing third-party agreement. These maintenance agreements are generally written to keep the maintenance company primarily responsible for the operation and condition of the escalator or elevator; however, the owner probably still has a common carrier's duty of inspection and maintenance that in most states cannot be delegated. Maintenance and inspection logs are often critical to establishing liability in this type of case.
- Explosion, Demolition & Blasting Accidents
In many explosion accident cases, the claim deadlines of other jurisdictions come into play and choice of law rules may shorten the deadlines to one year or another length of time. Whatever the deadlines may be, you must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost—regardless of their merit.
- Swimming Pool Accidents
Investigation of a swimming pool accident claim is very important to the outcome of the claims. A timely investigation of all available evidence related to the case may be critical. Injury Lawyer Hawaii- Maritime Photos and videos of relevant conditions -the inside and the outside of the pool, the surrounding conditions, the signs, and any other dangers giving rise to the accident, the activities being carried on in the area of the accident, etc., the area where the injuries and damages were sustained and the injuries and damages themselves may prove invaluable in proving up an accident claim to a claims adjuster, a judge or a jury. Photographic or video documentation of the accident should be done as soon as possible. We here at Accident Lawyer Hawaii generally provide a high level of this type of assistance for cases in which we are retained.
- Truck and Bus Accidents
Hawaii is a "no fault" state. That means that all drivers of motor vehicles are required by law to maintain minimum insurance coverages applicable to their vehicle under Hawaii law. The minimums for a truck or bus are generally the same as for an automobile. These coverages are required by Hawaii law and generally should be available to help to compensate a person for loss as the result of negligent operation of the vehicle. (Optional additional coverages may also be available.)
- Moped and Pedestrian Accidents
Hence, at present if you are on a moped or you are a pedestrian and you are injured in a motor vehicle accident with another vehicle, there are generally supposed to be minimum coverages on the other vehicle and these minimums are supposed to be available to help to protect you from your losses.
- Motorcycle, Motorbike and Motor Scooter Accidents
After a motorcycle, motorbike or motor scooter accident, there are several immediate steps which should be considered. Many accidents are fortunately quite minor in nature and are easily dealt with. An attorney is not generally needed in the aftermath of a minor accident. However there are certain procedures that should always be considered after an accident has occurred. Unfortunately, some motorcycle, motorbike and motor scooter accidents are severe in nature and serious injuries or death may result. Under such circumstances- especially if someone else was responsible for the accident- you may wish to consider making a personal injury claim.
- Drowning, Diving or Swimming Accidents
Investigation of a drowning, diving or swimming accident claim is very important to the outcome of the claims. A timely investigation of all available evidence related to the case may be critical. Injury Lawyer Hawaii- Maritime Photos and videos of relevant conditions -the inside and the outside of the vessels, the waves or ocean conditions, the reefs, sandbars, signs, buoys and channels, any other dangers giving rise to the accident, the activities being carried on in the area of the accident, etc.- the dive equipment, surfboard, bodyboard or other equipment involved, the area where the injuries and damages were sustained and the injuries and damages themselves may prove invaluable in proving up an accident claim to a claims adjuster, a judge or a jury. Photographic or video documentation of the accident should be done as soon as possible. We here at Injury Lawyer Hawaii generally provide a high level of this type of assistance for cases in which we are retained.
- Brain Injuries
A brain injury is often the result of a vehicle crash, a serious fall, a medical error or a sports injury. It has been said that every 21 seconds someone suffers a brain injury. The impact of a brain injury can be devastating, but a brain injury attorney can help lessen the impact that the brain injury has on the lifestyle of the patient and his or her family, by helping to reduce the financial strain caused by the brain injury.
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Paraplegia is a form of spinal cord injury that usually results from an injury to the lower part of the spinal cord- such as the thoracic or lumbar region. The paralysis that results from paraplegia generally affects just the legs and/or lower parts of the body. On the other hand quadriplegia is a form of spinal cord injury that usually results from an injury to the upper part of the spinal cord- such as the cervical region (the neck). Quadriplegia generally affects both the arms and legs- although it may cause more disability on one side of the body compared to the other. A spinal cord injury, depending on where it is occurs, will affect the movement and sensation of particular parts of the body or lead to a complete loss of movement and/or sensation in those areas. Most spinal cord injuries, like paraplegia and quadriplegia, are very serious conditions that require permanent care and life-long support. There are many causes of paraplegia and quadriplegia that are preventable.
- Catastrophic Injury
All potential catastrophic injury victims should seek proper medical evaluation from an experienced and qualified doctor as promptly as possible. The residual effects of a catastrophic injury on the individual's cognitive functioning, activities, emotions, personality and other basic functions can be overwhelming. The sooner that a catastrophic injury is treated, the sooner that the treatment can help to reduce the long term impact of the catastrophic injury on the patient, to prevent further deterioration and to recover any lost functioning to the fullest extent possible.
- Wrongful Death
Wrongful death suits can recover the expenses associated with the wrongful death itself, in addition to the economic loss of salary and benefits and increased household expenses, and the general damages, such as limitations, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other factors that will increase burden on the family already suffering a grave loss. Since all wrongful death suits will differ, an experienced wrongful death attorney will properly assist you in determining the losses experienced by the estate of the wrongful death victim and by each individual wrongful death survivor.
- Liquor Liability
Generally in Hawaii a dram shop (liquor liability) claim starts with a bar or liquor store selling an alcoholic beverage to a person who, at that time, is under the influence of alcohol. If that person thereafter injures a third party, the Hawaii courts may impose liability on the commercial seller of the liquor for the damages caused. Intoxicated adult drivers who injure themselves do not have a claim recognized by the Hawaii courts at this time. The claims of intoxicated minor drivers who injure themselves are generally are not recognized by the Hawaii courts at this time. However, it is possible that the Hawaii Supreme Court is in the process of revisiting this issue. The Hawaii Supreme Court has found that a store operator may be held responsible to innocent third parties injured as result of an illegal sale to a minor even though the injuries were caused by an intoxicated minor other than the minor who bought liquor, if such injury was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the illegal sale. At present, however, it appears that only third parties who are injured by a drunk person's conduct are clearly protected by Hawaii's dram shop doctrine.
- Medical Malpractice / Professional Negligence Claims
Generally, a medical malpractice claim arises when a medical practitioner has negligently caused injury. Medical treatment is negligent if it fails to meet the standard of care generally provided to patients. A physician must also obtain "informed consent" to any medical treatment which he provides to a patient.
- Premises Liability
In Hawaii, a claim arising out of a serious fall, a slip-and-fall, a trip-and-fall or another accident resulting from a dangerous condition on property is generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations. The owner or occupant of real property is required to take reasonable steps to eliminate any unreasonable risk of harm posed by the property to people who may come onto it. Depending on the situation this may be done either by correcting a dangerous condition or by warning about it. The owner or occupant is responsible for conditions known about and which should have been known about.
- Product Liability
Some examples of dangerous products which have led to successful product liability claims include: dangerous appliances which injure users and/or bystanders, appliances and other electrical equipment which ignite or cause nearby materials to catch on fire, products which explode or erupt (such as aerosol cans), asbestos, medical devices which fail or which otherwise cause serious injury, medications with serious undisclosed side effects, vehicles which are unsafe to operate, equipment which comes apart when used, products which cause injury due to radiation exposure, equipment without safety shields, childrens' toys which endanger the child, furniture which comes apart or collapses during use, highly flammable fabrics in clothing, products which violate OSHA or other state or federal regulations, products which fail to comply with UL or CPSC standards and products without warnings of hidden dangers.
- Defective Products
Some examples of dangerous products which have been led to successful products liability claims include: Accident Lawyer Hawaii- Equipment dangerous products - like aerosol cans- which explode or otherwise injure users and/or bystanders, an appliance or other electrical device which gives an electrical shock or which ignites or causes nearby materials to catch on fire, asbestos, medical devices which fail or which otherwise cause serious injury, medications with serious undisclosed side effects, vehicles which are unsafe to operate, equipment which comes apart causing injury when used, products which cause injury due to radiation exposure, equipment without safety shields, children's toys which endanger the child, furniture which comes apart or collapses during use, highly flammable fabrics in clothing, products which violate OSHA or other state or federal regulations, products which fail to comply with UL or CPSC standards and products without warnings of hidden dangers.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM coverage)
This coverage protects you in case you are injured by an underinsured driver. This is a driver whose liability insurance is inadequate to satisfy your total claim arising out of an accident. In Hawaii there are many accidents in which the party at fault is underinsured. You also should purchase UIM coverage in the largest limits available. UIM coverage is cheap and — when purchased with UM coverage in the same limits — they will together provide you with umbrella protection for injuries which you may suffer due to someone else's negligence while operating a motor vehicle.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM coverage)
This coverage protects you in case you are injured by an uninsured driver. In Hawaii there is a large number of uninsured drivers on the road. You should purchase this coverage in the largest limits available. This coverage is cheap and — when purchased with UIM coverage in the same limits — it provides you with an umbrella protection for injuries due to someone else's negligence while operating a motor vehicle. This is not a good place to skimp. UM coverage can generally be purchased in amounts up to the limits of your liability coverage. You should purchase at least $ 100,000.00 / $ 300,000.00 limits. If you are injured by an uninsured driver, this may be the only recovery available to you (beyond your PIP medical benefits). The difference in price for larger UM limits is usually not very much. The additional protection is well worth the price.
Mr. William H. Lawson
Accident, Admiralty and Maritime, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Civil Litigation, Insurance
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