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This video features Wayne D. Parsons, a Medical Malpractice attorney based in Hawaii.
You need to get started on that as quickly as possible, the lawyer has to try and preserve the evidence.
Why is it important to talk to an attorney right away if you've been injured? We talk to Hawaii lawyer Wayne Parsons about that for today's episode of Ask The Lawyer.
When a person is injured, say, on the job or an auto accident, how important is it that they speak to an attorney right away?
Well, as soon as possible is really the important answer to the question of when should you contact the lawyer. There's a statute of limitations that applies to every kind of a claim, that phrase, statute of limitations being, you've got a certain amount of time to do something. It's not a week, it's not a month. It's, in Hawaii on many of the types of cases I do, the injury cases, it's two years. You have two years to file a claim, either a lawsuit or in some cases, and against doctors, you have to file an administrative claim within two years, but you need to get started on that as quickly as possible. The lawyer has to try and preserve the evidence, the lawyer has to try and identify, locate witnesses. Automobile crashes are typical, clients come in and they say, Oh yeah, there was a lady that came up to me and she said she saw this and she saw that, and the other driver was at fault, or he was drunk, or he was on his phone.
Well, when I look at the police report and that person's name is not in the police report. I ask my client, "Did you get a name?" "No, I didn't, I was going off in the ambulance." We can't find that witness. On the other hand, if it's right after the incident, we can go out and look for surveillance cameras in the area where the crash occurred, sometimes they're in the cars, the surveillance cameras that will record what happened at the time of the incident or shortly thereafter. So you need to get to a lawyer as quickly as possible. Another key area, and it's in the most serious type of case, when there's a death, whether it's the death of a person in a car crash or it's the death of an infant in a medical procedure when the child is being born, the question is, it was an autopsy performed, sometimes if autopsy was not performed, then you've lost that evidence, you don't... You aren't able to say exactly what the condition of the person who died was, very important in death cases, in surgery and particularly for children. So an autopsy needs to be done right away, and the question then is, who does the autopsy? Sometimes autopsies are done if the case is of a certain type of medical situation, sometimes it's a Proforma, sometimes the doctor says no to autopsy needed, or the family is asked and they say, No, we don't care, we don't... They're in grief.
They're suffering for the loss of their family member, but the lawyer is gonna look at that and say, You know what, we need an autopsy done by an independent pathologist, we need to have somebody look at this. Not the normal run-of-the-mill autopsy that might be done at the hospital, and so the lawyer orchestrates that. In many cases, I arrange for a private autopsy to be done where we're gonna get the true full scope of things, and in some cases, we know what we're looking for in that autopsy. You can be assured that if you file a claim and there was no autopsy, later on the defense is gonna come in and say, Oh, the cause of death was something unrelated to what you're saying it was whether it was a drug that the person had taken or negligence in a surgery or whatever, they're gonna come up with an expert who's gonna say, Oh, it wasn't from the cause that Mr. Parsons is talking about, is from something completely unrelated, a hereditary problem, some other injuries, some other cause. So the way we prevented that from happening is we get in early on and quickly order those types of... That type of information.
Well, we always appreciate your expertise, Wayne. Thank you so much for joining us again today.
Good to be here. Have a great day.
And that's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the lawyer. My guest has been Wayne Parsons. If you wanna ask Wayne any questions about your situation, call the number on the screen there. Thanks for watching, I'm Tom Mustin for Ask The Lawyers.
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