Hawaii Drunk Driving Accident Attorney:
Foster Law Offices represents Hawaii residents, visitors and tourists who have been injured in auto accidents in which the at-fault driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. As any Hawaii resident knows too well, drunk driving is a big problem throughout these islands. Whether its a local or tourist, the consumption of alcohol in Hawaii has had a devastating effect on the safety of our roadways.
Hawaii Drunk Driving Accident Statistics:
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were 51 deaths caused by drunk or impaired drivers in the Hawaiian Islands. Additionally, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility reports that of the 51 drunk/impaired driving fatalities, 13 of those accidents were caused by drunk/impaired drivers under the age of 21.
Hawaii does not track statistics for injuries sustained by Hawaiians and tourists in drunk driving accidents. However, it is estimated that hundreds of Hawaiians are severely injured each year by drunk/impaired drivers on Hawaii roadways. The public cost of alcohol-related accidents in Hawaii exceeds $372 million.
Drunk Driving Accidents Cause Catastrophic Injury:
Drunk/impaired driving accidents have the potential to cause the most catastrophic injuries. This is due to the fact that drunk/impaired driving accidents usually involve high speeds and reckless decision-making by the intoxicated driver. Drunk driving accidents carry a significant risk of death or serious injury.
Dram Shop Act- Drinking Establishment Liability In Hawaii:
The Dram Shop Act is a legal theory in which drinking establishments can be held liable for damages in an auto accident involving a drunk driver. Although Hawaii does not formally authorize Dram Shop Act claims, there is legal precedent for holding drinking establishments liable in cases where the establishment violates Hawaii law.
Prosecuting Drunk Driving Personal Injury Claims In Hawaii:
Foster Law Offices maintains significant experience in prosecuting personal injury claims resulting from drunk driving accidents. In addition to pursuing the driver who caused the accident, Foster Law Offices will also investigate the bar, restaurant, or other establishment that served the alcohol to the drunk driver. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the establishment has violated Hawaii law in connection with serving alcohol to the intoxicated driver.
Hawaii Law On Personal Injury Claims Against Drinking Establishment:
Hawaii Revised Statutes section 281-78 sets forth the relevant law that forms the basis of a personal injury claim against an establishment licensed to sell alcohol:
(b) At no time under any circumstances shall any licensee or its employee:
(1) Sell, serve, or furnish any liquor to, or allow the consumption of any liquor by:
(A) Any minor;
(B) Any person at the time under the influence of liquor;
(C) Any person known to the licensee to be addicted to the excessive use of intoxicating liquor; or
(D) Any person for consumption in any vehicle that is licensed to travel on public highways.
If an establishment is regulated under Hawaii law, and the establishment fails to abide by HRS 281-78 in serving the drunk driver who causes the accident, the establishment may be held liable for the injuries caused by the drunk driver. However, insurance companies for bars and restaurants vigorously defend "dram shop" claims and attempt to point the finger at the drunk driver by stating that the driver was not "under the influence" when served.
As a result, the "dram shop" case can be very expensive to prosecute against the drinking establishment. If the facts support a violation of HRS 281-78 Foster Law Offices will aggressively pursue the drinking establishment for its role in causing the accident.
Financial Consequences To Drunk Drivers In Hawaii:
When it comes to the at-fault drunk driver, a driver who chooses to operate his or her vehicle while intoxicated can face a myriad of legal and financial consequences. In addition to criminal prosecution, the driver faces financial responsibility for the injured victim's personal injury claim. If the drunk driver does not have enough insurance to cover the injury claim, he or she will face the possibility of losing personal assets such as real estate, investments and income.
Bankruptcy Law Prohibits Debt Elimination On Drunk Driving Personal Injury Claims:
Additionally, a drunk driver cannot discharge his or her financial responsibility to compensate injured victims by filing bankruptcy. See 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(9). This means that if a drunk driver has no insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage to adequately compensate victims of the accident, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will not relieve the intoxicated driver from financial responsibility to compensate the victims.
Hawaii Drunk Driving Accident Attorney:
Because victims of drunk/impaired driving accidents often face exorbitant medical expenses, wage loss, and significant emotional stress, it is important for victims to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can act quickly to protect the legal rights of the victim(s). We discourage victims from discussing any aspect of the case with insurance companies, police, or any other company or agency investigating the accident prior to consulting with a Foster Law Offices attorney.
Contact foster Law Offices:
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a drunk/impaired driving accident, please contact us by completing the "Contact Our Firm" box to the right or by calling or texting our office at (808) 348-7800 to schedule your initial consultation. In most cases, the initial consultation is free of charge. We look forward to speaking with you.