Drowning, Diving and Surfing Accidents

Hiring a Drowning, Diving or Surfing accident Lawyer

Honolulu Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been seriously injured in an drowning, diving or surfing accident in Hawaii you should consider getting the advice of an experienced drowning, diving or surfing accident attorney. Here at Accident Lawyer Hawaii we have been representing the victims of serious injuries and wrongful death resulting from drowning, diving or surfing accidents for over 25 years. For some considerations in finding a personal injury lawyer in Hawaii to assist you, please examine:

Considerations in finding the right accident lawyer in Hawaii

Drowning, Diving or Surfing Accidents

Deadlines to file Drowning, Diving or Surfing Accident claims in Hawaii

The deadline for filing a claim in court arising out of an drowning, diving or surfing accident in Hawaii can be difficult to determine. Similar situations may have very different deadlines for filing. Some claims in surfing 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 surfing 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 drowning, diving or surfing 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 Drowning, Diving or Surfing Accident claims in Hawaii

Investigation of a drowning, diving or surfing accident claim is very important to the outcome of the claims. 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, etc. 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 an accident claim to a claims adjuster, a judge or a jury. Photographic or video documentation of the accident should be done as soon as possible. We here at Accident Lawyer Hawaii generally provide a high level of this type of assistance for cases in which we are retained.

Generally, cases involving drowning, diving or surfing accidents include a very complicated hodgepodge 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 surfing accidents have one or more causes of action which can be brought under state law. Often 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.

Jones Act – 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. The Accident Lawyer Hawaii office does handle Jones Act cases in an appropriate case. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.