Injuries can lead to major life setbacks, both for a victim and their families. Not only can they cause significant disabilities, but they can lead to major medical bills. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we are here to help if you need a Modesto personal injury attorney. If another person caused your injuries, let us work to secure the compensation you need. Contact us online for a free consultation or by calling (415) 981-7210.
Choose Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger for this case
When you are suffering after sustaining an injury, you need help from an attorney with extensive experience handling these cases. Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is ready to help.
- Our Modesto personal injury attorneys have more than 60 years have experience helping injured clients, and we have recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for victims.
- We have been successful in more than 98% of the personal injury cases we have handled.
- We have a full-time physician on our staff who can help thoroughly assess your injuries and expenses.
Because we understand that injury victims may not have the resources to pay for an attorney upfront, we take Modesto personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients pay no legal fees until after we obtain a favorable settlement or verdict on their behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury in Modesto
Why will you need a Modesto personal injury lawyer?
A skilled Modesto personal injury attorney is going to be an invaluable asset in the event you sustain an injury caused by another party. The biggest problem that personal injury victims run into in these cases is the inability to conduct a full investigation into their claim. A personal injury lawyer is going to have the legal knowledge and resources available to conduct a full investigation into the incident in order to determine liability and obtain maximum compensation. An attorney is going to:
- Obtain any available photo or video surveillance from the incident along with statements from eyewitnesses and accident reports.
- Ensure their client is seen by a trusted medical professional who will fully evaluate their injuries and help calculate total losses.
- Handle negotiations with all parties involved to secure a fair settlement for their client or prepare a case for trial if that is what it takes for a successful resolution.
Aside from the obvious traumatic injuries that can occur in these incidents, the Modesto personal injury attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger also regularly assist clients who have sustained significant emotional and psychological injuries. While not as visible as a broken bone or a spinal cord injury, emotional and psychological trauma can significantly impact an injury victim’s way of life, including their ability to work or their ability to spend time with their family.
How do personal injury cases arise?
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we know that Modesto personal injury claims can arise in a number of ways. We have extensive experience helping victims in this area who have been harmed at due to:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bite incidents
- Medical negligence and birth injuries
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Property owner negligence
- Wrongful death
This is certainly not an all-inclusive list of the ways people sustain injuries in Modesto, so please speak to one of our attorneys about the specifics related to your case today.
Most common injuries we help clients with
Injuries that victims sustain in these incidents are often severe and require extensive medical care. Our Modesto personal injury lawyers regularly help clients who have sustained the following:
- Paralysis due to spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Dislocated or broken bones
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Psychological and emotional trauma caused by their injuries
Can you file a lawsuit in court?
While most personal injury cases will be settled through insurance carriers, it may be necessary for a victim to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent party. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, we see that there is a two-year statute of limitations for these cases. This means that injury victims in Modesto have two years from the date the accident occurs to file a claim against an alleged negligent party.
What kinds of damages can you recover after a personal injury?
If you or a loved one are injured due to the actions of another individual or entity in Modesto, you may be entitled to various types of compensation for your losses. This can include coverage for your economic losses as well as non-economic losses.
Economic damages usually refer to the types of compensation that are easily calculable using medical bills, receipts of out-of-pocket expenses, proof of lost income, etc. This can include:
- Hospital bills
- Follow up doctor visit bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- The cost of vehicle or in-home modifications
- Household out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages if a victim cannot work
Non-economic damages are regularly referred to as pain and suffering damages that an injury victim can receive compensation for. These damages are going to be harder to calculate because they involve the types of losses that do not have receipts or bills. Often, an attorney will use a multiplier method when calculating non-economic losses. This means that they will add up all of the economic damages an injury victim incurs and then multiply this by set number (usually 1.5 to 5). Some of the most common types of non-economic damages include:
- Emotional distress damages
- Psychological injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement damages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium for a spouse
Punitive damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases. This type of damage is meant to punish the defendant in the case if their actions are found to be grossly negligent, egregious, or intentional. If these damages are awarded, they are meant to send a signal to others that the type of actions or behavior displayed in this case are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
How much does a Modesto injury attorney charge?
Paying for a personal injury attorney may not be as challenging as you think. Most personal injury victims and their families are worried about how they will ever be able to afford adequate legal assistance. However, at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we truly understand that injury victims are often placed into very difficult financial situations. This is usually due to incoming medical bills, various out-of-pocket expenses, and even a loss of income.
Our Modesto personal injury lawyers take these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. We handle all of those. We also will not collect any legal fees until after we obtain the compensation our clients are entitled to. If we do not win, our clients will not pay. This fee arrangement allows for personal injury victims to properly stand up to those who caused them harm.
What types of evidence are collected in your Modesto personal injury case?
There are always going to be various types of evidence used to help prove a Modesto personal injury case. Evidence is the key to proving injuries and damages to insurance carriers and juries during a personal injury trial. However, the types of evidence used in personal injury claims will vary widely depending on what type of incident the claim revolves around. For example, the evidence gathered to prove liability in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash will likely differ from the evidence needed to prove a dog bite injury case. However, we often find that there are common themes that run through the types of evidence used in personal injury cases, which includes the following:
- Any photos taken at the accident scene
- Video surveillance of the actual incident
- Statements from any person who saw the incident occur
- Police reports or accident reports
Other types of evidence used in personal injury claims will vary widely and can include cell phone data records, vehicle “black box” data, field sobriety tests, blood alcohol content tests, and more. When you work with a Modesto personal injury lawyer from Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, you can be sure that we will get to work on your case immediately in order to obtain and preserve all evidence needed to prove liability for your claim. There are various types of evidence that can be difficult for an injury victim to obtain on their own, as they often require court orders or subpoenas. That is why it is crucial to work with a skilled personal injury attorney who understands the legal processes and can gather this evidence for you.
Do you need to go to court if you file a claim?
Our clients often ask us if they will need to go to court after filing a personal injury claim against somebody else. The answer to that is, “It depends.”
The vast majority of all personal injury claims are resolved between insurance carriers before a lawsuit is even filed. However, if the insurance carrier denies a claim or refuses to adequately compensate the injury victim, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, even after a lawsuit has been filed, the case will still likely be resolved before the plaintiff has to show up in front of a jury. There are various steps involved in the personal injury lawsuit process, including investigations, the discovery phase, depositions, and further negotiations. If a fair settlement is reached anytime during this process, the case will be resolved between the two parties.
However, if the two parties involved cannot reach an agreement, it will be necessary for the case to be heard in front of a jury, which means that, yes, you will need to go to court.
What should you say to your insurance provider?
Insurance carriers are inevitably going to be involved in personal injury claims. This often includes the insurance carrier of the injury victim as well as the insurance carrier of the alleged negligent party. In general, there is nothing wrong with letting your own insurance carrier know that you have been injured. In fact, you absolutely should tell your insurance carrier that you have sustained an injury. However, you need to be guarded when talking to your insurance provider. Even though another party may be responsible for the incident, your insurance carrier may end up covering some or all of the costs of your injuries, and insurance carriers do not like to pay out money for settlements.
When you are speaking to your insurance carrier, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Stick to the facts. When you make your initial report about the incident to your insurance carrier, and in all subsequent conversations, stick to the facts of what happened to the case. The facts are easier to remember than speculation, so stick with what you saw happen. The insurance carriers will ask you the same things more than once, and any deviation in your stories could result in your claim being denied.
- Do not admit fault. It is crucial that you never admit fault for an incident, even if you think you may be partially or fully responsible for what happened. Let the insurance carriers do their jobs and investigate the incident. However, once you admit fault, it is very hard to reel that admission back in.
- Do not talk about other things. Insurance claims adjusters often try to get people to talk about things other than the incident in question, usually in an effort to get them to let their guard down and discuss the activities they are participating in. Remember, stick to the facts. Do not talk about your weekend plans or teaching your kid baseball.
When can you expect a settlement check?
Understanding exactly when you will receive a settlement check can be complicated. In general, cases that are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers will result in a faster payout of the claim. Many injury victims will receive settlement funds within a few weeks after their injury occurs or after they finish medical treatment.
However, if the case involves a settlement negotiation after a personal injury lawsuit has been filed, the time frame will obviously be longer. Personal injury lawsuits could take a year or more to conclude. Once a settlement has been reached, it is not uncommon for an injury victim to receive the settlement funds within about six weeks from the end of the final negotiations and agreement.
Can you be held partially responsible for a Modesto personal injury claim?
In many personal injury cases, particularly those in which the victim is going up against well-funded insurance carriers or at-fault parties, partial liability may become a factor. The other side will want you to believe that you cannot recover any compensation if you are responsible in any way for your injuries. This is not the case. California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system which allows injury victims to recover compensation even if they are up to 99% responsible for the incident.
For example, if a person is at an amusement park and slips on a stair that is loose and wobbly, and it can be shown that the amusement park operators knew of this hazard, the victim should be able to recover compensation. However, what happens if the amusement park produces video evidence that the injury victim was horseplaying at the time the injury occurred?
In this case, a jury will weigh all of the evidence presented to them. For example, the jury may determine that the amusement park operators are 80% responsible for the injury because they knew about the wobbly stair and did not take steps to fix it or warn guests of the hazard. However, the jury may find the injury victim to be 20% responsible for horse playing at the time of injury. If the jury awards $10,000 in damages for the case, the injury victim would only receive $8,000 in total compensation.
Get in contact with our Modesto personal injury lawyers
We pledge to investigate every aspect of your case so we can obtain coverage for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more. When you need a Modesto personal injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (415) 981-7210.