Hawaii‘s statute of limitations defines the amount of time you legally have to file a lawsuit. This means that if you have been seriously injured due to a car accident, slip and fall accident, surgical error or any other form of negligence in the state of Hawaii, you only have a specified amount of time to file a claim against those responsible. Once that time limit expires, you can no longer file an injury claim in Hawaii, no matter how severe your injuries are.
States differ when it comes to statute of limitations. In one state you may have 2 years to file a lawsuit while in another state you may have 3 years. Time limitations may also depend on the type of lawsuit that you are filing, such as filing a claim against a government entity versus a person or business.
Overview of the Hawaii Statute of Limitations
Generally the time period you have to file a lawsuit in Hawaii starts on the date of your accident. For example, if you were injured in a hit and run accident on September 27th 2009, that would be the start date for when you can file a personal injury claim. The end date will depend on the laws for your state. Once you have hit the end date, you are no longer eligible to file a lawsuit.
In another example, if you were injured because of a doctor’s negligence on March 1st, that is the start date for when you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations surrounding medical malpractice claims will usually involve some leeway around when you discovered the medical issue. For example, if you were the victim of a surgical error that was not detected until 2 years after your surgery, your state may allow you extra time to file your claim. There are also usually additional time considerations for injured minors as well.
Visit the second part of our article to learn more about Hawaii’s statutes of limitations.