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Matthew Alton Cartwright

Matthew Cartwright’s Answers

5 total

  • What are my options if my lawyer files motion to withdraw from my personal injury case and I can't find a new lawyer?

    I had an accident at a night club three years ago. I retained a pi attorney who I've been working with. One day, he calls me and tells me that he is going to sign my case over to me and I should be my own lawyer. I was very confused and said that ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Sorry to hear about this troubling situation.

    You should definitely go to the hearing. It sounds like there is more to this situation than meets the eye, and if you don't already know what it is, you need to find out what it is. Why does your lawyer want to get out of your case? Is there a problem with it that he cannot figure out? It would be helpful to know what the problem is so you can talk through it with other lawyers you're trying to hire.

    In addition, at the hearing you presumably would have the right to object to your lawyer getting out of the case. Obviously it would be an uncomfortable situation, but if you can't find anyone else, you're still better off with a lawyer than without one. If that's the way you want to go, be sure and tell the judge that you've tried to find other lawyers and what their response has been. The judge won't want you to have to represent yourself, that just ends up being a big inconvenience to the court.

    Good luck.

    Matt Cartwright

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  • Why do I have to pay the medical bill when it was there fault

    They are going to give me 745 and my medical bill is 545 they want me to pay 545 fir my bill which leaves me 100 an something for pain an stuffering

    Matthew’s Answer

    You should consult with a reputable personal injury lawyer in your area. Once you sign a release for a settlement, that's all the money you will ever get in your life for this injury. It doesn't matter if the injury gets worse, it doesn't matter if you will need further treatment or even surgery, nothing will change. You will have taken $745.00 and that's all you will ever get. So that's why you should never settle a case without a good lawyer at least looking at it for you. It could very well be that it's a reasonable move to settle for that much, and, if so, any reputable lawyer will tell you so, and not charge you a fee.

    The other reason you want to talk to a lawyer is that there may be another avenue to get your medical bill paid. For example, in many states, you would be able to have the medical bill paid by "no-fault" auto insurance, and not have to pay the bill out of your own personal injury settlement.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck.

    Matt Cartwright

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  • I was in an accident 0n 11/04/2010, i was hit by a drunk driver who ran a red light.

    She took full responsibilty and was charged with a dui and also wreckless endangerment, she was also already sentenced. My question is i have severe injuries to both sides of my neck and also my left elbow. Her insurance offered the policy, but th...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Sorry about this accident, and it looks like you're still struggling with it.

    To me, it looks like your main chance here is to pursue "underinsured motorist" (UIM) benefits that may be available to you under your own policy covering your own car(s), and the same coverage that may be on the company vehicle you were in at the time. I've handled cases where the company UIM coverage did cover employees, and one where it only covered the company owner and his family. So you need to check with your employer.

    There is one danger you need to watch out for that I don't think was already mentioned by the other answers so far. This is that you cannot settle with the drunk's insurance company without getting the "consent to settle" from the insurance company that issued your own auto insurance policy. If you settle with the drunk's insurance company without the consent to settle from your own company, you will destroy your right to pursue your own company's UIM benefits. The same thing applies to the UIM benefits that may cover you from your employer's auto insurance policy. Don't settle without getting "consent-to-settle" from the insurance companies that may have UIM coverage you could pursue. This is complicated, and you should hire a reputable personal injury firm to assist you.

    Finally, remember, there is a 2 year statute of limitations in PA. Don't wait until the last minute to hire your lawyer.

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  • Can you sue your own car insurance company?

    I was rear ended by a person that had their license suspended. The vehicle was given to to the person and still had the old previous license on by former owner (previous owner was fined $500 for not turning in plate.) My car insurance only paid th...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about your accident and the difficulty you're having with it. In Pennsylvania, you can sue your own insurance company, and in this situation it would be an "uninsured motorist" case. That means the person who hit you had no applicable insurance.

    It is vital that you reported this accident to the police. If the police were called and came to the scene of the crash, that will be enough. If they did not come to the scene, you have 30 days after an accident to report the matter to the police. If you don't, you could lose the right to pursue Uninsured Motorist benefits on your policy.

    Uninsured motorist coverage is optional in our state. So that means the first thing you have to do is fish out the "declarations page" of our own auto policy that was in effect at the time of the collision. If you can't find it, call your agent, the person who sold you the policy, and they should be able to pull up your coverages on their office computer.

    Because this accident was not your fault, your own insurance company cannot use this accident as a reaon to raise your rates, even if you do make a claim for uninsured motorist benefits.

    My advice is that you should contact a reputable personal injury lawyer in your area to help you with this claim, as there are new rules in place in PA on how to file UM claims, and it's easy to make a mistake that could be fatal to your claim if you don't have an experienced lawyer on your side. For example, even though you'll be pursuing the UM benefits from your own insurance policy, you must also file suit against the motorist who rear ended you. Failure to do this on time (within 2 years of the collision) will result in your losing any UM case for failure to protect your own insurance company's "subrogation" rights against the motorist who rear ended you. Again, this is complicated, which is why I recommend calling a lawyer to help you with it.

    Best of luck, and I hope you feel better soon.

    Matt Cartwright

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  • Am I responsible for an accident my adult son had.

    My son was driving a friends car under the influence of alcohol and with his license suspended. His friend was not using his seat belt and was paralyzed from the accident they were involved in. He was 22 years old at the time and not living with...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I am licensed in New York and Pennsylvania, and you should consult a Vermont lawyer for a definitive answer to your question.

    I read Donald Kudler's answer and agree completely with his submission. I see almost no way of your being liable for this accident, but you absolutely should turn this into your insurance company for their review. Failure to notify your insurance company in a timely fashion of a claim like this could result in your company's refusal to cover you for the claim.

    More importantly in this situation, failure to notify your company would also be a basis to refuse to defend you in court. Even though you almost certainly have no liability for this case, you still may get sued, and you don't want to have to hire your own lawyer if you can avoid it. Your auto insurance policy includes a provision that your company will use one of their lawyers to defend you in case you get sued. Notify them right away of the claim, and if you do get sued, insist that your insurance company provide you with a defense. This could save you quite a bit in legal bills from having to hire your own lawyer.

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