Hawaii Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Hawaii is two (2) years (Ref: Hawaii Rev. Stat. Sec. 657.7). 


What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within two years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration, or trial. 


Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the Hawaii Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to a Hawaii personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Hawaii

There are some variations & exceptions to the 2 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Hawaii. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 


  • "Legal disabilities" by the Hawaii civil courts, so that once the period of legal disability ends -- meaning the person turns 18, is declared legally sane, or is released from incarceration -- he or she will have the full two years to get a lawsuit filed. This rule can be found in Hawaii Revised Statutes section 657-13
  • And, according to Hawaii Revised Statutes section 657-18, if the defendant (the person who is alleged to have caused the damage) "departs from and resides out of the State," the period of absence probably won't be counted as part of the two-year time limit for filing suit.

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Hawaii statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since it would immediately be dismissed). 

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