Most common questions before trial

Here are some questions our clients have before trial. If any information was not addressed, please contact out law firm and we will help you as soon as possible. In business for more than 60 years, The Cartwright Law Firm is nationally recognized as a leading authority in personal injury and wrongful death law. Led by attorney Robert E. Cartwright Jr., we provide individualized service to injury victims and employees throughout Northern California. Once we agree to represent you as a client, we have the well-earned reputation for investing the resources, whether it is time or money, necessary to win your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you or someone close to you has suffered a personal injury, loss of life, or financial loss due to the negligent, reckless or wrongful conduct of another, OR if your rights were violated in a place of employment, then you have a potential case and should seek out the representation of a qualified, experienced law firm with a track record of success in the type of case you are presenting. (See “Cases We Handle” above.)

Various time limits, called “Statutes of limitation” apply in different types of cases. Failure to file your claim within these time limits is fatal to a case, meaning one is forever barred from bringing the claim, and the responsible party is released from any liability. The statute of limitation in most personal injury cases is two years. In cases where the defendant is a public entity (e.g. city, county, or state), the time limit six months. In many other cases the limit is only one year. It is therefore very important that you contact a qualified, experienced attorney immediately to represent you in filing your claim in a timely manner

Your insurance company: Be cooperative and provide them the information they request in a timely manner. They should be on your side and should assist you in your claim for medical expenses and property damage.

Opposing party’s insurance company: You take a serious risk in speaking to the other party’s insurance company on your own behalf. They will document everything you say and then use it against you later. It is very important to have qualified, experienced attorney on your side to be your spokesperson in negotiations with the other party’s insurance company. They are trained and skilled at manipulating you in order to minimize the value of your claim, or defeat it all together

Most personal injury firms, including ours, provide a free evaluation of your case and work on what is known as a contingent fee basis. This means that unless the law firm wins your case, through settlement or at trial, you pay nothing for their services or their out-of-pocket expenses. Payment to the law firm is therefore “contingent” upon the outcome of the case. Virtually all personal injury firms charge a percentage of the amount recovered ranging from 25% to 50% depending on the firm and the type of case because of firms offering discounted fees. The law firm you hire makes a huge difference. In the end, the most important number with is the total amount recovered on your behalf. Retain the best attorney you can to achieve the best results!

Many law firms will give you a quick opinion on the value of your case to get you in the door. This can be misleading as there are many legal and factual questions that need to be resolved before an accurate valuation can be made. It is possible to give an approximate range of value after some initial investigation of the case, but an accurate estimation of value considers several important factors (e.g. who is at fault, type and severity of injuries, causation, collectability, etc.) and often takes significant investigation and work up of the case. Schedule a consultation with the Cartwright Law Firm today to get a better assessment on the potential value of your claim?

It is important to take immediate action if you have been injured due the negligence or wrongful conduct of another. As soon as possible, you should: 1) document the name and information of the responsible party(s) and any witnesses, 2) take photographs of any damage or injury(s), take photographs of the scene where the incident took place, 3) get the responsible party’s insurance information, and 4) seek immediate medical treatment and fully detail all of your conditions. Frequently pain will worsen in the days and weeks following your injury. It is important to make sure you also seek follow-up treatment and document all additional symptoms as soon as possible. A qualified, experienced attorney can help guide you through this process.

Many people try to deal directly with an insurance company after an accident. Almost always, the insurance company initially advises that there is no need to hire an attorney. They give assurances that you will be dealt with fairly, and then there is protracted delay. This places you at an extreme disadvantage later, as the insurance company will ultimately offer a fraction of the full value of your case. This delay prejudices your case. Contacting an attorney at the outset can help you to properly document the case, and sends a message to the insurance company that you are serious about pursuing your claim. It is important to contact and retain a reputable law firm at the outset.

The law firm you choose may be one of the most important decisions of your life as it relates to your case and its outcome. It is important to exercise due diligence and examine the track record and qualifications of the law firm you hire to represent you. Trial practice is an art form, not just a profession. Many lawyers lack the negotiation and trial skills and experience and are therefore unable to get you the outcome you deserve. Insurance companies will take full advantage of unprepared and/or unskilled trial attorneys. Therefore, you should choose a firm with a track record of success in actual trial practice and in the type of case you present. The Cartwright Law Firm will ultimately be able to get you the best settlement or trial verdict possible.

It is extremely important to seek immediate treatment for any injury suffered. The treatment you receive and the related medical records help to document and validate your injury claims as well as your claims for pain and suffering. Many people think their injuries are not serious enough to seek immediate treatment, only to find out weeks or months later that the problem has either not gone away or it has gotten worse. It is very difficult and perhaps impossible to prove that you had a problem if there’s no record of it. Consequently, the other side will almost always argue that your injuries simply did not exist or that they were much less serious than you claim. Therefore, you must seek treatment and follow your doctor‘s advice with regard to medication, therapy, surgery, and any other treatment they advise for your recovery.

Our successful case results are a reflection of the values and virtues we believe in and uphold at Cartwright Law Firm. Nothing stops us from pursuing justice on behalf of those who need it.

Robert E. Cartwright Jr.
Founder and Managing Partner

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