Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney - Falls
   

Hawaii Injury Lawyer
Fall accident attorney

William Lawson- Accident Attorney Hawaii
 
Home
About Us
Initial Steps
Resources
Contact us


 

What is a personal injury claim? (basic)

Do I need an accident lawyer in Hawaii?

Finding an accident lawyer in Hawaii

Brain & Head Injuries

Car accidents

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)

Defective products liability

Catastrophic injury claims

Ocean, boating & maritime accidents

Wrongful death claims

Drunk driver accidents

Drowning and swimming pool accidents

Construction & equipment accidents

Broken bone injuries

Truck and bus accidents

Disc/disk injuries

Moped and pedestrian accidents

Recreational accidents

Electrical accidents

Elevator accidents

Explosion accidents

Fire & Chemical burn accidents

Medical & professional malpractice - Hawaii

Dog bites, animal attacks

Fall accidents- Trip, slip, etc.

Insurance claims and Bad Faith

Auto claims and insurance

Motorcycle claims & insurance

Insurance Coverage for Injuries (the Injured)

Maui, Kauai and other Outer Island claims





Recent Personal Injury and Car Accident News and Cases related to Hawaii


On June 29, 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court rendered its decision in the case of St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance, Hi. Sup. Ct. Case No SCCQ-14-0000727 (June 29, 2015). This case arose out of a wrongful death personal injury case handled by this office which resulted in a $4.1 million verdict in favor of our clients - even though Liberty Mutual, the primary liability insurer, never offered anything even close to its policy limits of $1 million. St. Paul - who had to pay our clients everything recovered in excess of the initial $1 million - claimed that Liberty Mutual committed bad faith towards it by failing to settle within its $1 million policy limits. The Hawaii Supreme Court agreed and found that an excess insurer has claims for bad faith against a primary insurer.

 

 

 

Liability for a Fall (Trip, Slip, etc.) or Other Accident from Dangerous Conditions on Premises

Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney - Deadlines Deadlines for filing a Fall (Trip, Slip, etc.) or other premises liability claim in Hawaii

A claim arising out of a fall or other accident resulting from a dangerous condition on property is generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations in Hawaii. 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 right away after an accident giving rise to injuries occurs. Please do not hesitate to :

Contact Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney now for a free evaluation of your case.

In Hawaii the owner or occupant of real property is required to take reasonable steps to eliminate any unreasonable risk Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney - Fall of harm posed by the property to people who may come onto it. Depending upon 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. If you wish to find out more about Premises Liability law in the State of Hawaii, please review the Brief Overview set forth below.

Some examples of dangerous conditions for which liability has been imposed are:

  • Unsafe design and/or construction of buildings
  • Dangerous or unmarked holes, ditches or culverts
  • Improperly maintained equipment, furniture or furnishings
  • Overgrown or uncontrolled landscaping which hides the view of vehicular traffic or causes other dangers
  • Inadequate security
  • Inadequate lighting
  • 'Slippery when wet' walking surfaces
  • Defects, holes or obstructions in walking surfaces
  • Keeping a dangerous animal
  • Swimming pools without proper safeguards

 

Brief overview of premises liability and fall accident claims in Hawaii

I. No Trespasser, Licensee, Invitee Distinction under Hawaii Law

In Pickard v. City and County of Honolulu, 51 Haw. 134, 452 P.2d 445 (1969), the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii did away with the traditional classification of persons coming onto land. This distinction between trespasser, licensee and business invitee forms the foundation of premises liability law in many other jurisdictions. (See the Restatement of Torts (Second) §343). In Hawaii, however, as the Supreme Court has repeated on several occasions, there is no longer a distinction between trespasser, licensee (social guest) and invitee (business guest) for purposes of Hawaii premises liability law. See, eg., Corbett v. Association of Apartment Owners of Wailua Bayview Apartments, 70 Haw. 415, 416, 772 P.2d 693, reconsideration denied, 70 Haw. 661, 796 P.2d 1004 (1989).

II. The Bases of Premises Liability Law in Hawaii

A. The Premises Must Have an Unreasonable Risk of Harm

The general rule with respect to the liability of owners and Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney - Slippery When Wet occupiers of land is that " [a] possessor of land, who knows or should have known of an unreasonable risk of harm posed to persons using the land, by a condition on the land, owes a duty to persons using the land to take reasonable steps to eliminate the unreasonable risk, or warn the users against it." Corbett, 70 Haw. at 415, 772 P.2d at 693 (emphasis added); see also Knodle v. Waikiki Gateway Hotel, Inc., 69 Haw. 376, 386, 742 P.2d 377, 384 (1987), Bidar v. AMFAC, Inc., 66 Haw. 547 at 559 (1983).

B. The Possessor of Land Must Have Failed to Take Reasonable Steps to Eliminate the Unreasonable Risk of Harm

The case of Richardson v. Sports Shinko Waikiki Corp., 76 Haw. 494, 880 P.2d 169 (1994), demonstrates that the Hawaii Supreme Court does not require all unreasonable risks of harm to be completely eliminated in order for a possessor of land to escape liability for an accident occurring on its premises. In that case, the Hawaii Supreme Court affirmed a defense verdict in favor of a hotel and against the guest who injured herself on a staple embedded in a meeting room rug. The Court found that because reasonable steps were taken to eliminate the unreasonable risk of harm, there was not even a duty to warn of the danger which remained. After reviewing the record in the light most favorable to the hotel (because it was the plaintiffs' appeal), the court stated that the hotel's efforts at vacuuming, regular cleaning, detection and monitoring complaints (or the lack thereof) were sufficient to constitute "reasonable steps" to eliminate the unreasonable risk of harm.

C. Warnings of the Condition by the Possessor of Land Must Be Absent and the Condition Must Not Be Open and Obvious

i. Warnings of the Condition Must Be Absent

As set forth above, in Corbett, supra, the Hawaii Supreme Court found that a possessor of land can escape liability if it takes steps to warn users of the land against an unreasonable risk of harm found on its property. Typically, this involves the posting of a sign or the installation of a barrier to warn and protect against the danger. However, the Hawaii Supreme Court has found that there are certain types of conditions which provide their own warning and hence are not actionable. These are "open and obvious" conditions.

ii. The Condition must not be Open and Obvious

In the case of Friedrich v. Department of Transportation, 60 Haw. 32 at 36 (1978), the court found that a puddle- seen and sought to be avoided- was a danger which was sufficiently "open and obvious" that it provided its own warning and no further warning by the owner of the land was necessary. The Supreme Court of Hawaii stated: "The obviousness of a risk substitutes for an express warning and satisfies this obligation." The court went on to state that the landowner "may reasonably assume that members of the public will not be harmed by known or obvious dangers which are not extreme, and which any reasonable person exercising ordinary attention, perception, and intelligence could be expected to avoid."

D. The Possessor of Land must have Actual or Constructive Notice of the Condition

In the case of Harris v. State, 1 Haw. App. 554, 623 P.2d 446 (1981), the Hawaii Supreme Court stated that the duty to correct or warn of a condition which poses an unreasonable risk of harm does not arise until the possessor of land has notice of the condition. Hence, under Hawaii law, in order to support recovery in an action where an owner or occupant is charged with negligence, it must be shown that the owner or occupant knows or should have known of the hazard or defect which caused the injury. Liability cannot be imposed where a landlord or an owner or occupant of premises has not been put on actual or constructive notice of the unsafe condition or defect that causes plaintiff injury. See also, Kellett v. City & County of Honolulu, 35 Haw. 447 (1940).

III. Summary

Negligence law in Hawaii does not require an owner or occupant of land to be an insurer against all accidents that occur on the premises. However, liability may be imposed upon a possessor of land for certain conditions which present an unreasonable risk of harm to ordinarily careful users of the premises. Once it has been shown that the Defendant knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known of the condition and that the Defendant did not take reasonable steps to eliminate the risk or to warn against it, the possessor of land will then be found responsible to one who is injured by the condition.


Resources and cases involving falls, trip and fall accidents, slip and fall accidents

OSHA's Tips on Preventing Fall accidents
OSHA provides some tips on maintaining floors and avoiding spills and clutter in a hospital setting in order to prevent slip and fall and trip and fall accidents.


OSHA recommendations on preventing fall accidents in the construction industry
OSHA states that falls in the construction trade (the leading cause of death in the construction industry) can be avoided with proper awareness and prevention.


WEMPLE v. DAHMAN, JANUARY 30, 2004 The Hawaii Supreme Court holds that the test for determining a defendant's liability for dangerous conditions upon property is the degree of control exercised by the defendant over the property and not merely the ownership position of the same- and that the issue of control or amount of control over the premises is ordinarily a question of fact that should be left to the jury.

ATAHAN v. MURAMOTO, JUNE 3, 1999 Pursuant to Hawaii's recreational use statute, as a matter of law, a beachfront property owner, who neither charges nor invites people to use his land, and who neither creates nor perpetuates the dangerous ocean conditions on an adjoining parcel, is not liable to a party who parks on his property and then walks to and is injured on the adjoining parcel.

 

 

Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney

William Lawson, Esq.
Century Square
1188 Bishop St. Suite 2902
Honolulu, HI 96813

New client hotline:
(808) 524-5300

Main business phone:
(808) 528-2525

Directions to Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney


Accident Attorney Hawaii- Get a free consultation


Hawaii accident news
and articles

Court cases re: Hawaii accident law

Hawaii Medical Experts-
reviews and links



The Constitution Of The State Of Hawaii


Jones Act- maritime law and seaman cases




American Association for Justice
The American Association for Justice
formerly known as the

American Trial Lawyers Association
American Trial Lawyers Association

Consumer Lawyers Hawaii
Consumer Lawyers Hawaii

Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School

American Bar Association
American Bar Association

Marquis' Who's Who
Marquis' Who's Who
in the World,
Who's Who
in America and
Who's Who
in American Law


The information provided in these pages is intended to be preliminary and informational ONLY. It is not legal advice by Personal Injury Attorney Hawaii nor may it be relied upon as such. The use of these webpages does not establish an Attorney-client relationship. This page is copyright 1999-2017 by PersonalInjuryAttorneyHawaii.com Its contents are the property of PersonalInjuryAttorneyHawaii.com All rights reserved. Thank you for visiting our site!