Hawaii Auto Accident Lawyer Robert Marx – Case Studies
Not all of the clients we work with at The Law Offices of Robert Marx are high-profile cases. Our Hawaii auto accident lawyer enjoys the challenge of litigation on any level. We are, however, extremely proud to have helped the victims in the following settlements.
Record $5,630,000 Big Island, Hawaii, Auto Accident Verdict
In one memorable case, our auto accident lawyer represented a deceased young mother and her children who ranged in age from 7½ years old to 12 years old at the time of trial. The Hawaii woman was involved in a fatal auto accident during a police chase, and our lawyer presented claims by the young woman’s mother and father. We sued the suspect fleeing from the police as well as the Hawaii County Police Department. In the auto accident claims against the Police Department, lawyer Robert Marx alleged that the Department did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to prevent harm to civilians during high-speed car chases.
The young mother, whose strong character greatly strengthened our case, was involved in church activities and loved to dance hula. On the day of her unexpected death, she was the passenger in a vehicle driven by her sister. They were at a stoplight at a busy intersection in the main shopping district of Hilo immediately before the car accident.
Meanwhile, a high speed car chase that had started in Puna was about to destroy one life and shatter another. This car chase began when a policeman spotted a vehicle using the shoulder of Highway 130 to pass traffic. The Hawaii police officer attempted to get the driver of the vehicle to pull over. When the car did not pull over, the chase began. Various bits of information were passed along to the officers involved in the chase, including the name of the driver of the fleeing vehicle and the fact that he did not have warrants or all-points bulletins out for his arrest. When the original police officer involved had reported the car’s license plate to the dispatcher, it was noted that the car belonged to a home where a “drop” 911 call had just occurred. The dispatcher contacted the home, learned that nothing violent had preceded the 911 call, and relayed that information to the officers involved in the chase.
According to Hawaii County Police Department’s general orders, a supervisor is to monitor police chases, and officers in pursuit are to terminate pursuit if they know the identity of the fleeing person and that person is not wanted for a violent felony. As Robert Marx stated in trial, “After all, this is an island. Where is he really going to go?”
As our client’s car proceeded through the intersection on a green light, her vehicle was broadsided by the vehicle fleeing the police. Our client died shortly after arriving at the hospital in Hilo. In her car accident trial, our lawyer proved that the officers had acted negligently in the police chase and were partially liable for the fatal Hawaii auto accident. After hearing lawyer Robert Marx’s argument, the jury found the Hawaii County Police Department 34 percent liable for our client’s death and the driver of the fleeing vehicle 66 percent liable. We were awarded a Big Island record $5.6 million verdict.
Though we could not bring our client back to her family, we were able to pursue justice for her survivors. More importantly, the family felt closure after the trial, believing that the young mother could finally rest in peace.
We also sent a message to the Hawaii County Police Department that they need to follow their own procedures for the safety and welfare of local residents. After the trial, Police Chief Lawrence Mahuna stated, “No longer are we going to chase people to the point where they feel like they have to exceed the speed limit … to the point where they kill somebody.”
$247,882 Hawaii Auto Accident Case
Our lawyer recently represented an 84-year-old Hilo woman who had been heavily involved in her community and very physically active. After being rear-ended at high speed, she suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and back in addition to various contusions. Following the auto accident, she began to suffer from exacerbated arthritic symptoms, headaches, and generalized pain. Treatment was initiated with several medical providers, including physical therapy, massage therapy, and a regimen of stretching and exercise. Our client’s condition gradually improved over a year, but flare-ups were common, and it was likely that she would not regain the mobility she had enjoyed before being injured.
Complications with pre-existing osteoporosis resulted in an additional hospitalization during the year following the accident, and our client was forced to minimize her activities to fit her post-accident condition. In addition, her medical bills totaled almost $15,000. We demanded policy limits of $25,000 from the bodily injury insurance, which countered with an offer of a mere $5,300. Our firm rejected the offer and filed suit.
In June 2001, our client was awarded $45,189.51 at arbitration. The defense appealed the award, and the auto accident case proceeded to trial in January 2002.
The defense tried to argue that our client’s difficulties were due to age and pre-existing osteoarthritis, and that her pain and suffering had been caused by natural degeneration of the spine. We demonstrated that our client’s condition was due to accident-related injuries and that these injuries had robbed her of her independence during her golden years.
The jury awarded our client $198,971. After we filed for the recovery of pre-judgment interest, she was also awarded an additional $35,090. Attorney’s fees of $15,000 were awarded, along with $6,344 in costs. The defense was able to reduce the judgment by $7,523, pursuant to the covered loss deductible.
The final judgment was for the amount of $247,882.
For more information, or for a review of your case, please contact personal injury attorney Robert Marx today. Serving all of Hawaii, Mr. Marx assists victims in auto accident cases and other lawsuits involving serious injury or death.