Since 1959, the San Francisco public transit accident lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have dedicated themselves to helping people injured by the negligence of others.
Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about working with a law firm to achieve financial recovery after a public transit accident. We hope this will be a useful starting point as you begin your research. But it’s important to know that every case is different. These FAQs are not a substitute for accurate legal information that is specific to your case.
Contact Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger online or call us toll free at 1-415-981-7210 to talk with an attorney about your specific injury and accident. Put our reputation and experience to work for you.
Filing an Injury Claim Against the City of San Francisco?
Question: How much will it cost me to hire your firm?
Answer: The first thing you should know is that your attorney is not paid unless there is a successful recovery in your case. If there is no recovery, there is no legal fee.
If we are successful with your case, the fees charged will depend upon the complexity of your case, the time involved and expenses incurred. Expenses can include the cost of experts, investigation, deposition transcript fees and court exhibits, among other things. We advance all of these costs to properly prepare and prosecute your case. At the end of your case, we are reimbursed for our actual out-of-pocket costs out of the settlement or verdict.
The attorney’s fee is separate from out-of-pocket expenses. The fee is a percentage of the recovery made on your behalf.
Question: If I retain your services and we are unsuccessful, will I be responsible for the other side’s attorney’s fees?
Answer: No. Under California law, the prevailing party cannot recover attorney’s fees from the losing party.
Question: Have you successfully recovered money in cases against MUNI, AC Transit or BART?
Answer: No other Northern California law firm has resolved as many MUNI accident claims and public transit accident claims as we have, or recovered as much money for injured passengers. Our attorneys have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages for clients in cases against BART, Golden Gate Transit, Ferries, AC Transit, San Francisco MUNI and SamTrans.
We are familiar with the MUNI Railway safety requirements for drivers and operators, and our attorneys have repeatedly taken testimony from MUNI supervisors and training officers about the proper operation of transit vehicles.
Our San Francisco public transit injury lawyers have successfully tried and settled cases involving cable car accidents, diesel and electric bus accidents, streetcar and cable car accidents, and train and light rail accidents. We have successfully represented pedestrians, bikers and other vehicle drivers and passengers hit by public transit vehicles. We have also represented passengers getting on and off public transit vehicles, as well as passengers riding a MUNI vehicle.
Question: Will my case go to trial?
Answer: The vast majority of public transit accident claims are settled before trial, either by mediation, private negotiation or at a settlement conference. Whether your specific case will go to trial is impossible to predict. Because it is impossible to predict, Walkup lawyers prepare every case for trial.
Question: If I hire your firm, how long will it take for my case to be concluded?
Answer: While most cases are resolved in 12 to 14 months, it is impossible to predict how long it will take a specific case to be resolved. The Superior Court has control over how long it will take to assign a settlement conference date and a trial date once paperwork is filed.
Question: I have heard that many cases settle in “mediation.” What does this mean?
Answer: In mediation, a neutral third person tries to negotiate a settlement before the case goes to a jury trial. At mediation, each side participates with his or her own lawyer. Everything that is said in mediation is confidential. If the parties are unable to come to agreement, the case proceeds to trial.
Injured on a Bus, Ferry or Railway? Call Us
Our goal at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is to get justice and fair compensation for people injured in mass transit accidents. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a public transit accident, you have a right to seek financial compensation. Contact a mass transit injury lawyer today for a free consultation.