Injuries can lead to victims sustaining temporary or permanent disabilities, and they can cause tremendous financial instability. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another person, let Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger help you today. Our Hayward personal injury attorneys will investigate your claim in order to secure any compensation you are entitled to. You can contact us online or call us at (415) 981-7210 for a free consultation.
Why choose Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger?
After sustaining a serious injury caused by another person, you need an attorney with extensive experience handling these cases in the Hayward area. Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is ready to help.
- We have the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into every personal injury case that we take.
- Our attorneys have an unmatched record of multimillion-dollar results, and we are not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary to obtain maximum compensation.
- We have a full-time physician on staff to help us understand your medical issues and help prove your injuries in court.
Because we know that many personal injury victims are dealing with a difficult financial situation, we take Hayward personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients pay no legal fees until after we secure a favorable settlement or verdict on their behalf.
Hayward Personal Injury-Related Questions
Why do you need an attorney for a Hayward personal injury case?
While it may be tempting to try to handle a personal injury lawsuit in Hayward without an attorney, the reality is that most injury victims do not have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into their case. However, an attorney will have the resources and legal experience necessary to:
- Obtain all evidence related to the incident, including photo or video surveillance, statements from eyewitnesses, company or personnel records, accident reports, and more.
- Ensure their client is evaluated by a trusted healthcare professional who can help treat them while also determining the total extent of the victim’s losses.
- Negotiate with all parties involved to receive a fair settlement on behalf of the client or prepare a case for trial if necessary to ensure justice is secured.
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we have a firm belief that all personal injury victims deserve an advocate by their side who can stand up to deep-pocketed insurance carriers or at-fault parties.
Personal injury cases arise in various ways in Hayward
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our team helps those who have sustained injuries in a variety of ways. This includes:
- Car accidents
- Commercial trucking accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Electric scooter accidents
- Dog bite incidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Property owner negligence cases
- Birth injuries/cerebral palsy
- Wrongful death
This is not an all-inclusive list, and we are able to help injury victims after a variety of other types of incidents. Contact our Hayward personal injury lawyers today so we can get started helping with your case. We regularly assist those who have sustained the following:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations and puncture wounds
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Whiplash injuries
- and more
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we also want to note that personal injury victims in Hayward often regularly suffer from significant emotional and psychological trauma after an injury-causing incident. These injuries arise due to the event itself as well as the subsequent effect the injuries have on the victim, including their loss of enjoyment of life, their inability to work and earn an income, and even scarring and disfigurement suffering. These injuries, though less visible, can still profoundly affect personal injury victims.
How long do victims have to file a claim in Hayward?
Every state is responsible for setting a time limit on how long victims have to file claims against alleged negligent parties after sustaining an injury. Per California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, the statute of limitations for these claims in California is two years from the date the injury occurs. Failure to file a claim within this two-year window will likely result in a victim losing the ability to recover any compensation for their losses.
What damages are recoverable in a Hayward personal injury case?
In the event you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else in Hayward, there may be various types of damages that are recoverable for your claim. In general, the following types of damages may be awarded: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
- Economic damages. This refers to the types of compensation that can be awarded for relatively calculable damages in the aftermath of a personal injury. This includes items that can be determined using bills and receipts such as medical expenses, lost income, property damage losses, general household out-of-pocket expenses, and more.
- Non-economic damages. This refers to the types of compensation that are generally harder to calculate. Typically, non-economic damages do not have bills or receipts that can be obtained and added up. This type of compensation usually refers to various types of pain and suffering a victim endures, loss of quality of life damages, loss of consortium for a spouse, loss of earning potential, and more.
- Punitive damages. These damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases. Punitive damages are reserved for instances where the alleged negligent party displayed behavior that was unconscionable, reprehensible, or grossly negligent. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and send a signal to others that this type of behavior is not acceptable.
The total amount of compensation awarded in these cases will vary significantly depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular situation. Calculating economic damages, as mentioned above, will be completed by adding up all receipts, bills, and wage statements that can be obtained. However, calculating non-economic damages is a bit trickier. In these cases, an attorney often uses a “multiplier method” in which they will add up all of the economic expenses and multiply them by a set number (usually 1.5 to 5). An attorney will then add together the economic and non-economic totals and seek a final settlement award or jury verdict.
How much does a Hayward injury lawyer cost?
An attorney may be more affordable than you think. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our Hayward personal injury attorneys know that injury victims often find themselves in difficult financial situations. Aside from having to worry about incoming medical expenses, these victims often cannot earn an income while they are recovering, and they regularly spend tremendous amounts of money on household out-of-pocket expenses. This can place the injury victim and their families into a precarious financial situation.
Our team takes these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs for their case. Clients will only pay legal fees after our team successfully secures the compensation they are entitled to because of their injuries. This arrangement makes it possible for victims to stand up to the alleged negligent party in their case.
How is evidence collected for your case?
Evidence collection will take place in various ways in a personal injury claim. Often, evidence collection begins as soon as an incident occurs. If an injury victim is able to safely do so at the scene of an incident, they can take steps to gather evidence that could be used in their insurance claim or during a personal injury lawsuit. Using a smartphone or another type of camera, an injury victim or a trusted individual could take photographs of everything at the scene. Additionally, victims should gather the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the incident.
In the days and weeks that follow an injury, an injury victim should work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can use their resources to obtain additional evidence needed to prove liability. An attorney can:
- Obtain any additional video surveillance footage that captured the incident
- Speak to all eyewitnesses and get their statements
- Obtain any accident or police reports pertaining to the incident
- Work with trusted medical professionals to ensure their client is cared for and to help calculate their total medical expenses
- Work with financial and economic experts to calculate additional losses the client will incur due to the injuries
If necessary, a personal injury lawyer in Hayward can employ the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert who can use the evidence available to them to piece together what happened and present their findings to the insurance carriers or to a jury.
Do you always go to court after filing a claim?
The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers and not in the courtroom. When a personal injury claim is resolved slowly through insurance carriers, the injury victim will not have to go to court. However, if the insurance carrier denies a claim or offers an amount that is insufficient, it may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit. This will officially put the case into the civil court system in California.
However, even though a personal injury lawsuit is filed, it is still unlikely that the plaintiff or defendant will ever face off against one another in court. Typically, personal injury lawsuits are resolved after negotiations between attorneys for both parties. However, if the at-fault party still refuses to offer a fair settlement, it will be necessary for the injury victim to take their case to court to try to secure the compensation they deserve.
What to tell your insurance provider after an injury
After you sustain an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, you will likely have to deal with various insurance carriers, including your own insurance provider as well as the insurance carrier of the other party involved. In general, you are required to alert your insurance carrier fairly soon after an incident has occurred. You do not have to go into in-depth detail when you first report the incident to your insurance carrier. The carrier just needs to know a general overview of what happened, the names of other people involved, and the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
If you are contacted by the insurance carrier of the other parties involved, you should choose not to speak with them. You are not required to do so, and you need to keep in mind that the carrier of the other party does not work for you and are not going to have your best interests in mind. You should refer any communication from the insurance carrier of the at-fault parties to your attorney.
Insurance claims adjusters are trained to get you to say things that could reduce the amount of money they pay you in a settlement. Anything you say to an insurance carrier will likely be recorded and could be used against you to justify lowering the settlement amount or even denying the claim.
What happens after a settlement check is issued?
If your case is settled through negotiations with an insurance carrier, it will not take long after the settlement agreement is reached for you to receive your check. In general, the process of negotiating the settlement agreement takes much longer than the actual time it takes to receive the check after the agreement is reached. If you handled the claim by yourself, you will receive your check personally, and you are free to do what you need to with your money. Typically, this will involve paying your medical bills, repairing your property damage, and covering the out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred due to the injuries.
If you worked with an attorney to negotiate your settlement, just keep in mind that the attorney will be owed the agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement agreement before you receive your settlement amount. We do want to point out that personal injury victims who work with an attorney often receive a much higher settlement amount than they would have otherwise received had they handled their claim on their own. This usually more than makes up for the agreed-upon attorney fees that will need to be paid.
What if you are blamed for partially causing your injuries?
Many people think that they will be unable to recover compensation if they were partially to blame for the incident that caused their injuries. Insurance carriers may want you to believe that, but California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system concerning personal injury cases. This means that a person can recover compensation for their injuries even if they are partially at fault (up to 99% at fault). However, the total compensation that a personal injury victim in Hayward receives will be reduced based on their percentage of responsibility for the incident.
For example, if a person trips over a low-lying electrical cord strewn across a grocery store aisle and breaks their arm, then the grocery store operators could be held liable for the incident. However, what if there is video evidence showing that the injury victim was busy staring at their phone screen and not paying attention to where they were walking? In this case, a jury may decide that the grocery store was 80% at fault for the incident and that the injury victim was 20% at fault. If $10,000 in total damages are awarded, the victim would only receive $8,000 (the total amount less the 20%).
Contact our Hayward personal injury lawyers
We have a track record of success recovering compensation for personal injury claims, including a $3 million settlement for a dangerous property condition case and a $7 million settlement for a utility pole explosion case. If you need a Hayward personal injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (415) 981-7210.