Injuries can lead to significant life setbacks. Not only can injuries cause victims to incur tremendous medical expenses, but they can also result in temporary or permanent disability. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we are here to help when you need a Napa personal injury attorney. If another person has caused your injury, we will conduct a thorough investigation into your claim in order to secure the compensation you deserve. You can contact us online or by calling (415) 981-7210.
Why choose Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger?
After sustaining a serious injury in Napa, you need to turn to an attorney you can trust both personally and professionally. Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is ready to get to work.
- We have extensive resources at our disposal that we can use to conduct a thorough investigation into your case to obtain all evidence to prove liability.
- We understand how insurance companies operate and how to compel them to treat you fairly, and we are not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary.
- Our attorneys have recovered more than one billion dollars on behalf of wrongfully injured clients.
Because we believe that every injury victim deserves quality legal representation, we take Napa personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we collect no legal fees until we obtain a favorable settlement or verdict on our clients’ behalf.
Napa Personal Injury-Related Questions
Why do you need a Napa personal injury attorney?
The reality is that most personal injury victims in Napa will not have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation in order to secure maximum compensation for their claim. However, a skilled personal injury lawyer in Napa will have the legal knowledge and resources available to:
- Gather all evidence related to the incident that caused the injuries. This includes any video or photo surveillance, statements from eyewitnesses, accident reports, personnel records, company documents, and more.
- Ensure their client is evaluated by a trusted medical professional and that the client’s total expenses are properly calculated with assistance from economic experts.
- Handle negotiations with the insurance carrier or at-fault party in order to recover fair compensation for their client.
- Fully prepare a case for trial if that is what it takes to secure maximum compensation.
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we are firmly committed to ensuring that personal injury victims have adequate legal representation to secure the compensation they need from aggressive insurance carriers or at-fault parties.
How personal injuries arise in Napa
The Napa personal injury attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have extensive experience helping victims who have sustained a wide range of injuries. We regularly help clients who are suffering from the following:
- Internal organ damage or bleeding
- Severe lacerations or amputations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Open head wounds
- and more
We also work diligently to help clients who have sustained significant emotional and psychological injuries in these situations. We have extensive experience helping clients who have been injured due to:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Birth injuries and cerebral palsy cases
- Dog bite incidents
- Property owner negligence
- Tourist injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace in construction accidents
- Wrongful death
- and more
Is there a time limit for these cases?
Looking at the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, we can see that there is generally a two-year statute of limitations (time limit) applied to these cases. This means that victims of personal injuries have a two-year window with which to file lawsuits against alleged negligent parties. However, turning to the California Code of Civil Procedure sections 340.4 and 340.5, we can see that the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims varies. In these cases, victims must generally file their claim no later than three years after the date the injury occurs or one year after an injury is discovered, whichever comes first.
What kind of compensation is available?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in Napa due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. This can include coverage of both economic losses as well as non-economic losses.
Economic damages in a personal injury claim
Economic damages usually refer to the types of compensation that are easier to calculate in a personal injury case. These are considered calculable damages because attorneys can use bills and receipts as proof of the expense. Some of the most common economic losses include a victim’s:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses
- Any household out-of-pocket expenses
- Income if they cannot work while recovering
- Home or vehicle modifications
- Prescription medications or medical devices
Non-economic damages in a personal injury claim
Non-economic damages are going to be harder to calculate than economic damages because they are not as easily calculable. There are no bills or receipts that typically come with certain losses that a personal injury victim incurs. Some of the most common types of non-economic compensation a victim receives include the following:
- Loss of quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering damages
- Mental pain and suffering damages
- Scarring and disfigurement damages
- Emotional and psychological distress damages
- Loss of consortium for a spouse
An attorney will typically use a multiplier method when working to calculate non-economic damages. This means that they will add up all of the economic losses and multiply that by a set number (typically 1.5 to 5).
Punitive damages in a partial injury claim
Punitive damages may be awarded in a case where the defendant’s actions were found to be grossly negligent, egregious, or intentional. Punitive damage awards are meant to punish the wrongdoer while also sending a signal to others that the type of behavior displayed in this situation is not acceptable. Punitive damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases.
How much does a Napa personal injury lawyer charge?
Affording a skilled personal injury lawyer may not be as much of a challenge as you think. Most personal injury victims and their family members worry about how they will be able to afford an attorney. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our Napa personal injury lawyers understand that personal injury victims are often put into precarious financial situations due to incoming medical bills as well as potential lost wages if they cannot work while they recover.
That is why we take Napa personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients do not pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. In fact, our clients will not pay any legal fees until after we obtain the compensation they are entitled to. Simply put, if we do not win, our clients do not pay. This fee arrangement is beneficial for ensuring that injury victims have the resources necessary to stand up to those that cause them harm.
Are you required to go to court for a claim?
Clients often ask us if they will have to go to court after filing a personal injury claim. Our answer is usually, “Maybe.”
The truth is that most personal injury claims are resolved through agreements made with insurance carriers. This usually occurs before a personal injury lawsuit is even filed. However, if an insurance carrier refuses to offer an adequate settlement amount or if they deny the claim altogether, it will be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover a fair compensation amount.
When a civil personal injury lawsuit has been filed, this still does not mean that you will necessarily have to go to court. It is not uncommon for personal injury lawsuits to be resolved during one of the many steps involved in this process. During the investigations into the claim and the discovery phase, both sides will continue to negotiate in order to reach an agreement that is adequate for all parties. Only if the two parties cannot reach an agreement will a personal injury trial be necessary.
If no agreement is reached, it will be necessary to go to court so the case can be heard in front of the jury. However, by the time you reach this point, your attorney will have already prepared you for what will happen.
What evidence is collected to prove your case?
Personal injury cases are won or lost on the evidence that is gathered and presented to insurance carriers or a jury. There are various types of evidence that can be used to support a Napa personal injury claim, though the types of evidence used will depend on what type of claim has been filed. For example, the evidence gathered in the aftermath of a commercial truck accident will differ from the type of evidence needed to prove a grocery store slip and fall incident. However, there are some types of evidence that are commonly used through all personal injury claims (if they are available):
- Statements from eyewitnesses to the incident
- Photographs taken at the scene where the injury occurred
- Any available video footage of the incident
- Police reports or other type of accident report
If a personal injury case revolves around one or more parties being charged criminally, then the evidence used in the criminal case will also likely be useful in a civil personal injury case. For example, if someone is arrested for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, the evidence used by law enforcement officials and prosecutors to make their arrest and conviction will also be admissible in the personal injury case.
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our Napa personal injury lawyers begin collecting evidence as soon as we take a case. Our goal is to ensure that we have the proof necessary to show the liability of the defendant and secure the compensation you are entitled to.
When can you expect a payout?
We understand how important it is that our clients receive the funds that they need as soon as possible, and the timeline for a payout depends on how a case is eventually settled. If a personal injury claim is resolved through insurance carriers with no personal injury lawsuit filed, the injury victim will typically receive their settlement within a few weeks after the incident occurs or from when they complete their medical treatment. Remember, never accept a settlement until after you have reached maximum medical improvement.
However, if your personal injury case is resolved through settlement negotiations after a lawsuit has been filed, understand that the timeline is going to be longer. Lawsuits are often not resolved until a year or more after they have been filed. Once an adequate settlement has been reached, or after a jury renders their verdict, injury victims can usually expect to receive their settlement within four to six weeks (assuming the defendant does not appeal a jury verdict).
Should you speak to an insurance adjuster?
You need to be very careful when speaking to an insurance claims adjuster. During these cases, you will often be dealing with your own insurance company as well as the insurance company of the alleged negligent party. Both insurance carriers will want to talk to you. Whether you are talking to your own insurance claims adjuster or the adjuster from the other party’s insurance carrier, there are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Stick to telling the facts as you know them. You do not need to go into significant detail about the case, just the facts as you know them. Do not speculate about anything you did not actually see. By sticking to the facts, your story will stay the same no matter how many times you are asked your version of the events.
- Do not admit fault. Even if you think you are partially or completely at fault for the incident, do not admit it. Let the insurance companies do their job and properly investigate the incident. After you admit fault, it is hard to take that back.
- Do not get sidetracked. Insurance adjusters are trained to get you off-topic by discussing events about your life that may reveal that you are not as injured as you say. Do not talk to an insurance carrier about your weekend plans, your gardening, or your home repairs. This will give an insurance claims adjuster information to use against you by claiming that you are not as injured as you say you are.
- Do not discuss your past medical history. Under no circumstances do you need to discuss any of your past medical history, including any injuries you have sustained in your lifetime.
What if you were partially to blame for the incident?
Insurance carriers and at-fault parties often try to make victims believe that they cannot recover any compensation, or that they should receive a low settlement, if they are partially at fault for the incident. California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that injury victims can still recover compensation for their injuries even if they were partially at fault for causing them. However, the total amount of compensation awarded will be reduced based on the injury victim’s percentage of responsibility for the incident.
Let us consider the following scenario. Suppose a person goes to the bank. Entering the facility, the person is unaware that a bank employee just completed mopping the floor five minutes earlier. Suppose the person entering the bank slips and falls, breaking their hip. There were no wet floor signs anywhere, so the person who fell may argue that there is no way they would have known about the hazardous conditions. However, what if the bank has footage of the injury victim text messaging on their phone screen and never looking up, therefore being unable to even notice what was obviously a wet floor.
In this case, because of the absent wet floor signs, a jury may find the bank to be 70% at fault for the incident and the injury victim 30% at fault. If a total of $10,000 in damages are awarded, the victim will likely receive only $7,000 in total compensation (the total amount less the 30% of their fault).
Contact our Napa personal injury lawyers today
Our team is going to thoroughly investigate your injuries so we can secure the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, and more. When you need a Napa personal injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (415) 899-2919.