From simple car accidents to boating accidents and plane crashes, The Cartwright Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services to people injured in all types of vehicle accidents. We represent injury victims as well as families who have lost loved ones to wrongful death in an accident.
Our firm has a full-time, in-house investigator who can determine who was at fault for your accident. In many cases, he can visit the scene of the accident to collect evidence before it disappears. If you have been injured, call us right away so we can begin working for you. For a free consultation with a San Francisco motor vehicle accident attorney, please call 415-433-0444 or contact us online. And see our new Accident Frequently Asked Questions feature below.
Please Call 415-433-0444 or Contact us Online Today!
Complete Accident and Injury Representation
Our attorneys have experience with accidents involving:
We work diligently to recover compensation for all of your losses, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, property damage and related expenses. In some cases such as injuries or deaths caused by drunk drivers, we will seek punitive damages as well.
Our lawyers understand the damage that vehicle accidents can cause. We have represented people with every type of catastrophic injury, including injuries that resulted in permanent disability. Our goal is to obtain the compensation you and your family needs to move forward after an accident. To maximize your compensation, we strive to resolve claims without the need for a trial. However, our skilled trial attorneys will be prepared to take your case to court when that is in your best interests.
If you do find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident, however, there are some things you should be informed about that can make what comes afterward work to better your outcome. We urge you to read our "What to Do In Case of An Accident" by clicking on the link. And then give us a call.
We are THE San Francisco Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Please Call 415-433-0444 or Contact us Online Today!
Clients in the North Bay, Sacramento Valley, and the Wine Country Please Call Our North Bay Office at (707) 901-3020 or Contact us Online Today!
Q. - Is it important to identify witnesses if I am involved in an accident?
A. - Yes! Eyewitnesses often provide the most important elements of what happened leading up to and during an accident, while police and other first responders nearly always arrive after the fact. Further, the police do not always get statements from every available witness, and seldom take any statements when they believe the accident caused no, or very minor, injuries. But the police are not medical professionals, and just because they see no injury doesn't mean you don't have an injury. Remember, witnesses may be critical to the outcome of your case. Try to get the names and contact information from all witnesses for your own records - don't just rely on the first responders.
Q. - Should I expect that the police will take photographs and/or video as evidence in my accident?
A. - No, you should not expect that they will do so. Unless an accident is considered major - involving major injuries and possibly death, the police seldom do any kind of scene investigation, except to get some statements, and then usually from only a few witnesses, if that. If you are able to take your own photos, or have someone else do so, such evidence can make a real difference in how an insurance company can be convinced to reconsider their initial snap-judgments about the incident. Be sure to get both close-ups of damage, and wider scene photos from as many angles as possible. If the accident happens at night, try to take photos of the lighting conditions, as this may have been a factor in the accident. Be sure you or your friend has the time/date stamp feature enabled on the camera.
Q. - Should I refuse an ambulance if I feel I am not injured?
A. - This depends on whether you actually are injured or not. Take some time before exiting your vehicle after the collision, unless there is a danger of fire. Many soft-tissue injuries do not immediately make themselves felt, so spend a few minutes assessing how you feel. Did your neck snap back and forth during the collision? Were you thrown to the side? Did your airbag deploy with such force that you feel winded or dizzy? Many injuries begin from the kinds of violent jerks and twists that a hard impact can cause. And they may not make themselves felt for days or weeks. You also need to know that in many locales, the police will not even write a report of the accident if they feel no one was injured. And this can have a negative effect on how your or the other driver's insurance company responds to any claims.
Q. - Besides my insurance company, is there any other agency I am required to inform about an accident I am involved with?
A. - Yes, the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is a requirement that anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident - regardless of fault - file an SR-1 form with the California Department of Motor Vehicles - "California law requires traffic accidents on a California street/highway or private property to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if there was an injury, death or property damage in excess of $750. Untimely reporting could result in DMV suspending a driver license." The SR-1 form is available to download from the California DMV website at http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr1.pdf
Q. - What information should I gather from the other driver at the scene of an accident?
A. - Their name, driver's license, address, phone, insurance policy information. And write down any statements they make about the accident, regardless of whether they take responsibility for the accident or not.
Q. - Will I need to contact an attorney early on after my accident, or should I "wait and see"? ( or should I first try to handle it myself?)
A. - Yes, it is always a good idea to contact an attorney as soon after an accident as possible. An attorney can begin the process of investigating the accident, contacting witnesses and obtaining statements, and following up with your and the other driver's insurance companies promptly and in a manner that can assure better responsiveness from the insurance companies. An attorney can also make sure that photos of both or all vehicles are preserved or taken in the first place. Such photos can help to fully establish fault. Trying to handle it yourself might put you in a situation where you cannot later contest the insurance company's decisions. Be sure to never sign any release from the insurance company until you have first had an attorney look at the entire issue.