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Injury Claims as a Semi-Truck Passenger in Hawaii

— March 30, 2022

If you were injured as a hitchhiker in Hawaii, you would likely have the right to sue any negligent drivers who caused the accident. 

Many semi-trucks pick up hitchhikers in Hawaii. Although this is illegal in Hawaii, many hitchhikers still see semi-trucks as a viable way to get across the state without a car. Aside from the legal consequences of hitchhiking, these travelers also run the risk of being injured in a car accident. But if that happens, can they still file a lawsuit? Does the fact that they broke the law have any impact on their ability to sue? How does a passenger sue a driver in a normal situation?

Questions such as these are best left answered by a qualified, experienced truck accident attorney in Hawaii. These legal professionals can guide you towards a positive legal outcome in a confident, efficient manner. Although this situation can get a little complex, a qualified attorney can help you strive for a fair, adequate settlement that covers your injuries. This settlement can help you pay for medical expenses, missed wages, and much more. 

The Guest Statute

This situation was previously affected by something called a “Guest Statute,” which prevents people from suing those who give them rides “out of the goodness of their heart.” These statutes were originally conceived to protect family members and close friends who were giving each other rides, as lawmakers felt that these individuals shouldn’t be punished for helping others in their communities — even if the car ride ultimately resulted in a crash and an injury.

Hitchhiker; image by Dmitry Shulga, via
Hitchhiker; image by Dmitry Shulga, via

To date, many states have repealed these guest statutes, although a few remain in place. Indiana was one of the few states that still has a guest statute by the 70s, and by 1996 Alabama was the last remaining state to leave this law in place. Hawaii seemingly does not mention a guest statute in any of its legislatures, and it was obviously one of these states that repealed this law. This means that if you were injured as a hitchhiker in Hawaii, you would likely have the right to sue any negligent drivers who caused the accident. 

You Can Sue Both Drivers

As a passenger, you typically have the right to sue multiple drivers for your injuries. This is because you can sue the driver of the vehicle you were traveling in, plus the other vehicle(s) involved in the crash. In this way, passengers typically have the ability to sue more parties compared to the drivers themselves, and they also stand to receive more compensation. This is because passengers are almost always faultless when it comes to negligence. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you’ve been searching the Honolulu area for a qualified, experienced truck accident attorney, you have many options. Team up with the most qualified lawyer you can find, and you can give yourself a much better chance of success. With their help, you can make sure you get your hands on a settlement that reflects the true extent of your injuries. Although suing as a hitchhiking pedestrian can be a little complex, you still have the right to take legal action. Book your consultation today, and you can go over all of your legal options with an accident attorney. 

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