518 Ocean St., Ste. B

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 426-3140

No Fee Until We Win

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We're the Force You Need for the Compensation You Seek

Santa Cruz Auto Accident Attorney

Your Local Attorneys Serving Santa Cruz County and Beyond for Over 40 Years


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Car accident

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Have you been injured in a car accident?

Here are things you should know.

Because auto accidents are a relatively common occurrence, most of us assume that the procedures for procuring and paying for medical care will be simple and taken care of by the other party’s insurance company. This is not the case.

Some auto accident complexities to expect –

  • The other party’s insurance company rarely pays for medical care as it is being administered.
  • They have a right to challenge the validity of any and all treatment you engage in as a result of your car accident and they are not obligated to pay for treatment that is determined to be unnecessary or inappropriate for the injury.
  • It is the common practice of all insurance carriers to wait until you have completed all medical care and then engage in settlement negotiations at the conclusion of your claim.

Because of these factors, it is extremely difficult to get appropriate medical care if you do not have adequate health insurance. Additionally, if you are unable to work due to your injuries the stress associated with such an automobile accident can be overwhelming.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Santa Cruz area, we understand the pain and suffering you are experiencing. Thousands of people are injured in car accidents through no fault of their own every year– and if this describes you, you may have a right to pursue compensation for damages you experienced due to your crash. 

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All I can say is WOW! If I could give them 10 stars I would.

Put experience on your side.

Enlist the aid of a Santa Cruz car accident attorney from the office of Wiles & Wiles.

If you have injuries from an car or any kind of automobile accident, there is no such thing as a quick and simple settlement. It is very time consuming to secure and participate in appropriate medical care. There is then an extensive process of collecting medical records, reports and bills to enable your car accident attorney to prepare a proper package for settlement purposes. For these very simple reasons we believe it is imperative that you get the assistance of a competent auto accident attorney such as Brad or Tyson Wiles in Santa Cruz to assist you with all stages of your auto injury accident claim.

Our consultations are completely free– and clients don’t pay a fee unless their case wins or settles. Unsure whether you have a case? You don’t need to be. Call us. We’ll let you know and if we can’t help you, we’ll advise you on what you can do to recover losses if you’re eligible.

We have experience in the following automobile accident legal cases –

Brad and Tyson pledge to aggressively seek the best possible outcome for their clients injured in car accidents. They are the force you need to get the compensation you deserve.

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

What am I entitled to after a car accident?

If you were hurt in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be eligible to collect certain damages. These help account for financial and other losses caused by the accident. Some examples of compensation you may be able to pursue include:

  • Past, present, projected medical bills: Yes, even your projected medical bills may be covered when you bring a case. This includes costs for emergency transport, surgeries, medications, custom medical equipment, and more
  • Pain and suffering: If there are two things that a car accident might cause, we can assume those things are pain and suffering. There is compensation available to account for these experiences
  • Lost wages: Many car accidents cause survivors to miss time from work; if this is you, you can pursue compensation for lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity: Sometimes, someone loses more than just their wages after an accident. Some people have their ability to earn money permanently diminished. When this occurs, they may be eligible for diminished earning capacity damages

How can a car accident attorney help?

Lots of people have questions about why you need a car accident attorney after a crash. There are plenty of benefits to working with an experienced lawyer, but here are some of the most critical:

  • Attorneys are experienced in investigations
  • A lawyer will understand how to speak to and deal with insurance companies
  • Your attorney will help you prove liability for your case
  • You won’t be David in a “David vs. Goliath” scenario

Can I still file a claim if the driver who hit me didn’t have insurance?

You may still be eligible to pursue compensation after a car accident if the driver who hit you did not have insurance. Also, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), your own insurance company may be able to compensate you.

Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?

No. Insurance companies work to keep themselves in business. They don’t work to help you. Never accept anything presented by an insurance company without a lawyer to help. You may agree to something that costs you money.

Can I recover compensation if a car accident was partially my fault?

Here in California, we have a comparative negligence law. The law allows fault to be divided between parties in an accident (instead of all fault falling to one party automatically). You can pursue compensation if a car accident was partially your fault; but you may not be eligible to receive 100% of the compensation.

Your percentage of fault reduces your overall award for damages

How can I pay my medical bills if I can’t return to work after my accident?

First, you should always use your health insurance to pay for any medical treatment you need. If any provider sends you a biiling invoice or notice indicating an outstanding balance remains, you should bring this to our attention. We can routinely get providers to cooperate with our office in waiting for your case to settle before requiring payment to be made.

Can I settle my car accident claim without a lawyer?

Yes. You’ll probably have a much easier time bringing a case if you do so with an attorney, though. Everyone has the right to legally represent themselves; working with a lawyer will grant you access to different resources and allow you to rely on someone who’s skilled in the legal field to help you. Either is acceptable– but we always recommend partnering with an attorney.

If you have more questions about potentially recoverable damage after a car accident, a qualified attorney can give you feedback on your case. 

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What to do after your car accident

It’s common for people to be unsure what to do next after being hurt in a car accident. We always recommend that our clients take a few simple steps to protect themselves, their health, and their legal wellbeing after a crash.

  • Keep records: The more detailed your records, the more likely your case is to see success in the legal sphere. Detail as much as you can about your accident and what’s happened after
  • Take photos: Of your injuries, of damage to your car– of everything. Pictures help preserve evidence
  • See a doctor: Even if you received medical treatment at the time of your accident, you need to visit your primary care physician. This will update them on your condition and allow them to examine you for signs of delayed symptoms of injury

What not to do after your car accident

There are some steps that might hurt your ability to recover full compensation after an accident. If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, don’t:

  • Talk too much with insurance agencies. They’ll use their time speaking with you to try to convince you to accept low offers
  • Post all over social media about your crash. You may divulge details about your case that could be used against you

Don't go it alone

Enlist our aid of a Santa Cruz car accident attorney from the office of Wiles & Wiles.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Santa Cruz, you deserve legal support. Reach out to us today to find out more about how we can help you pursue justice.


Some of the common questions we get asked about bicycle accident cases

Personal injury attorneys take bicycle accident cases on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing until you get paid. And if we lose your case, you owe nothing. 

The vast majority of bicycle accident cases here in Santa Cruz County never go to trial. Most resolve by settlement before the trial date arrives. A case is most likely to go to trial when the facts are in dispute or when there’s a contested legal issue.

The more carefully you build your case, the more likely it is that you and the other party can agree on the strength of your evidence and reach an appropriate settlement. 

That depends. All cases are different. The shortest cases we’ve settled in Santa Cruz resolved in only a few weeks and without any formal litigation. Others required filing a lawsuit and may take years to settle. Most of our cases here in Santa Cruz fall somewhere in the middle. The more complicated your case, the longer you can expect it to take. You have some control over the length of your case because it’s up to you to accept or reject settlement offers.

Collision reports in California are available through the California Highway Patrol website. You would have to complete a form and drop it off in person or mail it with the required fees.

Yes. Every state has “statutes of limitations” that set a time limit on filing a bicycle accident injury claim. In California, you have two years to file a lawsuit against a private individual or company, and only six months to file a claim against a government-owned vehicle or employee.

You may be far better off with a bicycle accident attorney, especially in serious cases. For one, insurance companies may offer higher compensation if you are represented by an attorney. That’s because they know that an attorney understands the true value of the case, and they don’t want to risk the time and expense of a lawsuit by making an offer that is too low. Additionally, often the fact that you are represented by an attorney will trigger laws that allow you to reduce your medical bills significantly.  Some medical providers may even be barred from seeking reimbursement from you. We addressed this further in our “Do You Need an Attorney?” article.

First, make sure you speak to a Santa Cruz bicycle accident attorney first before you agree to even speak to the insurance adjuster. It would be ideal if you could avoid making a recorded statement at all, but you may be required to under the Rules of Civil Procedure. If that is the case, be prepared and well-informed. The insurance adjustor will be looking for information to weaken the claimant’s case. Be truthful, but do not give any answers that you do not have clear recollection of and that you may not be able to recall later. Make sure you are 100% confident in all your answers. If there is a question you cannot answer, do not answer it. Avoid specificities concerning time, place, distance, speed, etc. 

The value of your claim includes your monetary damages like costs for medical treatment, lost wages, paying for help you need around the home or transportation to medical visits, physical therapy, and other related general expenses. Keep in mind that in some cases, these expenses can continue for a lifetime and this must be accounted for.

You total these losses and then multiply by 1-1.5 for moderate injuries and up to 5 for severe cases to cover pain and suffering. 

California follows what is called a pure comparative negligence rule. That means the maximum amount of compensation you can receive is proportionately reduced by the percentage of fault you share. For example, if the crash caused $40,000 in losses, but a jury determines you were 25% to blame, you would only be entitled to a maximum of $30,000.

What They're Saying About Us in Yelp

Catherine M., Whistler, Canada
Yelp Review, 01/18/2021
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I was seriously injured in an accident on Hwy 17. More valuable that the settlement was being able to sleep at night knowing these two were helping me and looking out for my best interest.
Noelle B., Santa Cruz
Yelp Review, 9/9/2015
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I was getting bullied by the insurance people. This father and son team not only made sure I wasn't bullied any more, but they also got me the PT I needed and more. My case was certainly not a money maker for these guys, but they still gave me their best.
Marlene S., Freedom CA
Yelp Review, 04/06/2014
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Brad and Tyson are amazing. They were able to make us feel comfortable and feel like we truly picked the right people for the job.”
Wendy B., Capitola, CA
Yelp Review, 03/21/2015
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After they presented my case, I was awarded the maximum amount that was allowed. I can now move forward, leaving the accident behind me. I am grateful that my friend recommended them, and I highly recommend them to you!
Royal C., Salinas, CA
Yelp Review, 07/31/2019
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All these five-star reviews for Brad and Tyson are spot on. Knowledgeable, easy to get hold of, friendly, pleasant, highly experienced, I could go on and on. They do what they say they are going to do.
Adam N., Chico, CA
Yelp Review, 02/13/2019
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All I can say is WOW! Respectful, caring, helpful, intelligent, If I could give them 10 stars I would. I highly recommend them!