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What is Hawaii Negligence Law?

Assume you are driving on the freeway and you carefully change lanes. Unfortunately, you are hit by a speeding motorist on the next lane, who appears out of nowhere. In such cases, how do you determine who is at fault? Who will pay for the damages to your car and for personal injuries? That’s when negligence laws come in!

Negligence Law Definition

In general, negligence means careless conduct. Negligence law definition describes the situation in which a person is negligent causing pain and suffering to another person. A careless act that results in someone else getting hurt, or damage to property being made. Negligence law is a difficult area as it involves an analysis of the elements of negligence.

Negligence laws by state are very different from the other. But there are a few general laws that are similar. The negligence law definition defines a few elements of negligence laws that the injured party called the plaintiff must prove to receive reimbursement from the defendant or the party who allegedly caused the injury. These elements of negligence laws include a duty of care, damages, proximate cause, breach of duty among others.

Hawaii Negligence Law

Hawaii Negligence Law

Negligence laws by state vary and each state has a different statue. The Negligence Law Hawaii can be contributory or comparative negligence laws.

  • Contributory Negligence Law Hawaii

The Hawaii Negligence Law employs a policy known as “contributory negligence.” As per negligence law Hawaii, contributory negligence simply means that the plaintiff cannot recover damages from the defendant if he/she is more at fault. Also, any probable financial recovery will be weakened in proportion to the plaintiff’s proven fault. Hawaii negligence law is not easy for a layperson to understand. To make it simpler, contributory negligence as per Hawaii negligence law definition simply means that if your negligence has contributed to the accident, the amount of reimbursement you will receive will be reduced.

  • Comparative Negligence Law Hawaii

Negligence law's definition in Hawaii also defines comparative negligence rule, which eliminates or reduces damages or reimbursement depending on the percentage of fault that is assigned to you. When you file an insurance claim against another person or company in court, if the other person or company insists that you are partly or completely responsible for the accident, comparative laws are applied.

In Hawaii, negligence is shown in a number of circumstances. These circumstances include

  • Distracted driver
  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failure to obey a traffic signal or signs

Negligent driving is an offense and the punishment for negligence in Hawaii is nothing less compared to other states.

Negligence Laws
Punishment for Negligence in Hawaii

What is the punishment for negligence in Hawaii? Negligence laws by state are quite different from the other. But every state has a punishment for negligence. In Hawaii, a motorist who drives negligently will likely face negligent homicide charges.

There are three degrees of negligent homicide. The most serious and punishable type includes,

  • First-degree negligence causing the death of
    • another person while driving under the influence
    • a vulnerable user due to negligent driving
  • Second-degree negligence causing the death of
    • another person due to negligent driving
    • a vulnerable user due to simple negligent driving
  • Third-degree negligence homicide is when another person is killed due to simple negligent driving

A vulnerable user includes pedestrians lawfully on the street.

 Punishment for negligence in Hawaii is

  • First-degree negligent homicide is a class B felony and the conviction carries $25,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison.
  • Second-degree negligent homicide is a class C felony and the conviction carries $10,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison.
  • Third-degree negligent homicide is a third-degree misdemeanour punishable by a year’s jail term and $2,000 in fines.

In addition, Hawaii law also revokes the driver’s licence of all drivers who are convicted of first or second-degree negligence.

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