Auto Accidents

The Hawaii State Department of Health issued a report on findings on the leading causes of injury mortality and morbidity in Hawaii between 2007-2011. Motor vehicle accidents was the 4th leading cause of fatal injuries to Hawaii residents, averaging 58 deaths per year.  The rates for residents of Kauai and Hawaii Counties were more than 4 times higher than that of Honolulu County.  Causes of these fatal accidents included the lack of restraint use was a major factor for occupant deaths, speeding, and substance use.  More than half of the fatalities from car crashes were related to alcohol consumption by at least one driver involve in the crash. [1]

For the past 40 years, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has successfully represented numerous victims and their family members that were injured in a car accident.  We have represented persons who have been injured in the State of Hawaii, from long-time kama`aina residents, visitors from the mainland U.S., as well as visitors from all over the world.

The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has obtained settlements, judgments, and verdicts from injury and death claims arising out of accidents involving:  buses, cars, bicycles, pedestrians, mopeds, motorcycles, motor scooters, and trucks.

I was involved in an auto accident.  What do I do?
CAR/BUS/TRUCK ACCIDENTS:
First of all, make sure you seek immediate medical care and follow your physician’s recommendations in a timely manner.  The longer you wait to seek treatment the more likely an insurance adjuster will say that the injury is not related to the accident.

As an occupant of a motor vehicle in the State of Hawaii, you are entitled to a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP)/No-Fault benefits for payment of medical expenses arising out of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.  The medical fees and some medical treatment (i.e. chiropractic, naturopathic, and acupuncture treatment) are limited.  It does not matter who caused the accident to receive PIP benefits.

PIP benefits are paid for by the insurance company of the vehicle that you were an occupant.

Second of all, call the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch for a free consultation.  We can advise you of your rights, limitations on treatment, and your benefits prior to giving a recorded statement to any insurance company.  In addition, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch will also be able to assist you in setting up claims for payment of your medical expenses and property damage.

PEDESTRIAN/BICYCLE/MOPED ACCIDENTS:
First of all, make sure you seek immediate medical care and follow your physician’s recommendations in a timely manner.  The longer you wait to seek treatment the more likely an insurance adjuster will say that the injury is not related to the accident.

As a pedestrian or operator of a bicycle or moped (no more than 30 mph), you are entitled to $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP)/No-Fault benefits for payment of medical expenses arising out of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.  The medical fees and some medical treatment (i.e. chiropractic, naturopathic, and acupuncture treatment) are limited.  It does not matter who caused the accident to receive PIP benefits.

PIP benefits are paid for by the insurance company of the vehicle that hit you, your bicycle, or your moped.

Second of all, call the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch for a free consultation.  We can advise you of your rights, limitations on treatment, and your benefits prior to giving a recorded statement to any insurance company.  In addition, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch will also be able to assist you in setting up claims for payment of your medical expenses and property damage.

MOTORCYCLE/MOTOR SCOOTER ACCIDENTS:
First of all, make sure you seek immediate medical care and follow your physician’s recommendations in a timely manner.  The longer you wait to seek treatment the more likely an insurance adjuster will say that the injury is not related to the accident.

As an operator of a motorcycle, you are NOT entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP)/No-Fault benefits for payment of medical expenses arising out of injuries.

Any treatment of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident must be paid for by your health insurance or application must be made immediately for coverage through State of Hawaii’s Medicaid/MedQuest program.

Most health insurance plans and all Medicare, Medicaid/MedQuest insurance plans do NOT cover alterative medical treatment such as chiropractic, naturopathic, and acupuncture treatment.

Second of all, call the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch for a free consultation.  We can advise you of your rights, limitations on treatment, and your benefits prior to giving a recorded statement to any insurance company.     In addition, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch will also be able to assist you in setting up claims for payment of your property damage and help you identify coverage for payment of your medical expenses.

Do you have a personal injury case?
You’ll never know unless you call for a free consultation.
The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has physical offices with staff and video conferencing capabilities in Honolulu, Hilo, Waimea, and Kona.  Our investment in local offices shows our firm’s commitment to be there for accident victims and their families.

Legal fees are paid on a contingency basis – we only get paid when you get paid.  All costs to prepare your case are advanced by the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch.  In addition, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch is prepared to negotiate the subrogation claim of your health insurance for payments made for treatment of accident-related injuries.

If you have questions about insurance or property damage, give us a call.

Choose a law firm that elicits a quick response from attorneys and legal professionals.
The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has extensive experience in the practice of personal injury law.  We have the resources to investigate and develop your case in order that you receive just compensation for your injuries and your losses.

Our firm works as a team to investigate the facts of the accident and insurance coverage.  Our paralegals and attorneys have experience in working with physicians and medical professionals in documenting and advocating for gold standard care to achieve the best medical outcome possible.

Choose a law firm with continuing commitment.
The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has built its firm based on its reputation of commitment to its clients even after settlement is obtained.  You want a law firm that is willing to negotiate outstanding medical bills, liens, and claims after settlement.  Every day there are legal cases heard in State and Federal courts that affect you.  You want a law firm that is up to date on the latest decisional law and how it affects you and what you net from your personal injury settlement.

What does an attorney’s timeline to handle a personal injury case look like
After 40 years of experience in this area of law, Ian Mattoch will tell you that every case is different.  However there are three simple things that we looks at when evaluating a personal injury case:  1) liability; 2) injur(ies); and 3) insurance or sources of payment.

Every case has different accident facts.  Every person reacts differently to an injury with regard to resulting impairment and disability.  Every negligent person or company has different insurance coverages.  The timeline to each personal injury case is based on the time it takes to complete an investigation and documentation of the three areas of your case:  1) liability; 2) injur(ies); and 3) insurance.  At a minimum, the injured party must wait until reaching maximum medical improvement.

If an attorney suggests the value of your case during the first call, then this attorney is guessing and is showing inexperience in the practice of personal injury law.

During the time it takes for your case to evolve, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch will keep you informed of the status of your claims.  The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch prides itself in returning telephone calls and emails promptly.

How will the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch handle my case?
The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has a reputation of having a staff of attorneys, legal assistants, and secretaries who are experienced and knowledgeable.  You can be assured that every person at the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch will treat you and your case as if we were representing our own family.

At the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch, we look for creative ways of making sure that every insurance adjuster knows a person and can see a face of our client before they put a value on our client’s life changing injuries and the damages that arise out of those injuries.   Our office has a videographer that has created unique “Day in the Life” videos for clients’ with catastrophic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and wrongful death.  These “Day in the Life” videos play like short film documentaries about our clients and the impact that a catastrophic injury has had on their lives and the lives of the people around them.   {Click here to see some of our client testimonials that have clips from these videos.}

At the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch, you can expect that every case has a “case management plan” that includes:

1) Investigation of Accident/Negligence: includes but is not limited to obtaining:

a. Police Report
b. Fire Department Reports
c. Military Police, Coast Guard Reports
d. Accident Reports
e. Photographs/Diagrams of the Accident Scene
f. Inspections by experts in the areas of safety, human factors, engineering, etc.
g. On-going collection of evidence and research

2) Investigation/Documentation of Injuries and Medical Treatment:

a. Ambulance Records/Bills
b. Hospital Records/Bills
c. Hospitalists Bills
d. Radiologists Bills
e. Consultant Physician Medical Records/Bills
f. Therapy Records/Bills
g. Massage Records/Bills
h. Chiropractic Records/Bills
i. Nurse case manager or advocate to review medical records
j. Nurse to create a medical chronology
k. Nurse Life Care Planner to project future needs
l. Evaluations by experts in various medical fields
m. Physical capacity evaluations by human performance experts
n. Narrative reports from treating physicians

3)   Investigation/Documentation of Wage Loss/Economic Loss:

a. Employment Records
b. Education Records
c. Copy of Social Security Earnings Statement
d. Questionnaire from Employer
e. Copies of Employment File
f. Copies of Labor Agreements, Pension Funds, etc.
g. Obtaining an economic loss projection to calculate wage loss, loss of household services, loss of health/medical insurance benefits, etc.

Within the first six to twelve months following an injury, we hope that you have reached maximum medical improvement.  Even though you may not feel that you have returned to where you were prior to the accident, at maximum medical improvement, your medical condition should have reached a plateau, and there is no further medical treatment that can be offered by your doctors to improve your condition.

When you have reached maximum medical improvement, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch stands ready to put together a demand letter that states the facts of the accident, the liability, the injuries and treatment, and how this injury has affected your life.  Once this demand letter is sent, we allow the insurance company two to four weeks to respond.

Negotiations begin.  If we cannot settle the matter, suit is filed, and we prepare your case for trial.  In most cases, depositions are taken and discovery is exchanged.  Prior to settlement conference with the trial judge, we may be asked to mediate the matter.  It is at this stage of alternative dispute resolution that we see most cases settle.

The mediator/arbitrator is a person, lawyer, or retired judge; a third party acting as a facilitator in negotiations.  No party is ever an outright winner or an outright loser; rather a safe environment is created where there is a true meeting of the minds set towards resolution.

If your case is not resolved in mediation or arbitration, you need an attorney with resources to be able to advance costs for trial preparation, for hiring experts that are practicing professionals with academic appointments, and other professionals who will obtain just compensation for your injuries and damages.  The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has 40+ years of working with reputable and experienced experts.