Sometimes, you may have the right to file for a negligence lawsuit on Maui. Negligence is a type of cause of action called a “tort.” While intentional torts allow you to sue the defendant for intentional, or purposeful, harm, the laws of negligence in the state of Hawaii allow you to sue for damages the defendant caused, even if the cause wasn’t intentional.
In order for you as the plaintiff to build a winning case of negligence in Maui, you must prove four “elements:” the defendant (1) had a duty to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) you suffered damages; and (4) the breach of duty was a substantial factor in causing your damages. A jury must compare all facts and evidence to determine whether or not the above elements of a negligence lawsuit on Maui were satisfied.
Negligence claims represent ways of assigning blame for damages caused by accident or misconduct. Here’s what you need to prove in order to win a case of negligence lawsuit on Maui.
A negligence lawsuit on Maui depends on whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty
The first step in analyzing a case of negligence on Maui is establishing whether or not the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty.
The duty of care is the moral and legal obligation of the defendant to ensure the well-being and safety of others. It arises when the law recognizes the connection between the plaintiff and the defendant that requires the latter to act in a certain manner toward the plaintiff. For example, drivers of vehicles have a duty to all others to ensure they drive safely.
If a judge or a jury determines the defendant owed a duty of care to a plaintiff under a particular set of circumstances, you may have a case of negligence on Maui.
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached his duty toward the plaintiff
Proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty is not enough in order to win a negligence lawsuit on Maui. Demonstrating the breach of duty is an important step in building a winning case.
Once the existence of a duty was determined, the jury must establish whether or not the defendant has breached that duty by either acting in a certain manner or by failing to prevent the conduct that caused the plaintiff harm. Using the above-example, if a driver of vehicle is looking at their phone instead of paying attention to the road, they are breaching their duty to other drivers and pedestrians on that road.
If the breach of duty resulted in actual damages, the plaintiff may have a winning case of negligence on Maui
Even if a defendant has a duty, and breaches that duty, a plaintiff must have “damages” to proceed with a successful negligence claim. Damages encompass a variety of losses, including but not limited to pain and suffering, loss of physical capacity, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. If a plaintiff has not suffered damages as a result of a defendant’s breach of their duty toward that plaintiff, there can be no claim.
Proving that the defendant’s actions were the legal cause of the plaintiff’s damages is essential
Even if a defendant has a duty toward a plaintiff and breaches that duty, in order to win a negligence lawsuit on Maui, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligent behavior and actions were the legal cause of the plaintiff’s damages.
This used to be often referred to as “but for” causation. In simple words, but for the actions of the defendant, the accident causing harm to the plaintiff would not have occurred. However, Hawaii abolished the “but for” standard, instead applying a “substantial factor” test to determine whether the defendant’s breach of his duty towards a plaintiff was the legal cause of the plaintiff’s damages.
We recommend you consult with a personal injury lawyer right away to help you apply whether you have a viable case.