If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a drowning, diving or swimming accident in Hawaii you should consider getting the advice of an experienced ocean accident attorney. Here at Hawaii Injury Lawyer we have been representing the victims of serious injuries and wrongful death resulting from such accidents for over 30 years.
Drowning, Diving or Swimming Accidents
Deadlines to file Drowning, Diving or Swimming Accident claims in Hawaii
The deadline for filing a claim in court arising out of a drowning, diving or swimming accident in Hawaii can be difficult to determine. Similar Deadlines situations may have very different deadlines for filing. Some claims in swimming pools and private parks may generally follow Hawaii’s two (2) year statute of limitations. It must be recalled, however, that pursuant to state law – claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the other counties (eg. for accidents at County swimming pools or due to the conduct of County employees) are generally subject to a 6 month deadline – which means immediate action is often required. Other claims in the ocean for personal injury or death may fall under federal maritime law which generally has a three (3) year statute of limitations. 46 USC Appendix section 763a. Even under federal law, however, the deadline may be different from claim to claim. Claims against the United States, for example, have a two (2) year statute of limitations 46 U.S.C. section 741, 781. In short it is best to promptly investigate and assert any claim which you think you may have – and to obtain competent legal assistance immediately in determining any filing deadlines which may apply.
Additional Information about Shoreline and Ocean Injury Claims in Hawaii
Investigation of an ocean-related accident claim can be very important to the outcome of the claim. A timely investigation of all available evidence related to the case may be critical. Photos and videos of relevant conditions – the inside and the outside of the vessels, the waves or ocean conditions, the reefs, sandbars, signs, buoys and channels, any other dangers giving rise to the accident, the activities being carried on in the area of the accident, the dive equipment, surfboard, bodyboard or other equipment involved, the area where the injuries and damages were sustained and the injuries and damages themselves may prove invaluable in proving up a claim to an insurer, a judge or a jury. Photographic or video documentation of the entire claim should be done as soon as possible. We here at Hawaii Injury Lawyer | Attorney generally provide speedy and thorough picture documentation for cases in which we are retained.
Generally, cases involving drowning, diving or swimming accidents include a very complicated hodge-podge of traditional (and often inconsistent) maritime and other ocean and boating related doctrines and claims. In spite of the Federal Courts’ so-called “exclusive jurisdiction” over admiralty claims, most drowning, diving or swimming accidents have one or more causes of action which can be brought under state law. Sometimes state law is the quickest and most promising avenue for recovery. Sometimes there is more than one state where the action can be brought (and occasionally more than one country). Selecting the correct forum in which to pursue this type of claim can be very important.
Seamen (the crew of ocean going vessels) generally are covered by the Jones Act. The Jones Act generally provides a cause of action for personal injuries caused by negligence or the unseaworthiness of a vessel. Contributory negligence (even on a large scale) is not a bar to such a claim, but only reduces the amount of any damage award on a pro-rata basis. Our office does handle Jones Act cases in an appropriate case. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.