The last thing any resident of Palo Alto expects is that they will be harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of another person or entity. However, these injuries do occur, and they can lead to major setbacks for victims. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our Palo Alto personal injury attorneys are ready to get to work if you or a loved one have been harmed. Let us help you secure the compensation you deserve. You can contact us online or by calling (415) 981-7210.
Why choose our Palo Alto personal injury attorneys?
In the aftermath of sustaining an injury caused by another person’s negligent or intentional actions, you need an attorney standing by your side who has extensive experience with these cases. Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is here for you.
Our Palo Alto personal injury lawyers have the resources necessary to:
- Obtain all evidence needed to prove liability in your case
- Work with trusted medical professionals to fully evaluate your injuries and help calculate damages
- Negotiate with all parties involved to obtain maximum compensation on her behalf
Many personal injury victims wonder how they can afford an attorney for their case. We take all Palo Alto personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients will pay no legal fees until after we secure the compensation they need.
Palo Alto Personal Injury-Related Questions
Understanding what kind of Palo Alto personal injury cases we handle
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury cases in Palo Alto. 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
- and more
Our team is regularly able to help victims recover compensation for a wide range of injuries caused by these incidents. This includes traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken and dislocated bones, internal organ damage or internal bleeding, severe lacerations, amputation injuries, and more.
Does filing a claim require that you go to court?
Simply filing a personal injury claim does not mean that you will necessarily end up in a courtroom. The vast majority of personal injury cases in Palo Alto are resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers. What this means is that these cases may not even involve filing a personal injury lawsuit at all. Insurance carriers will often negotiate back and forth with the injury victim until a satisfactory settlement agreement has been reached. When the insurance carrier pays the claim, the case is completed.
However, there are times when insurance carriers refuse to offer a fair settlement amount or even deny a claim altogether. It may be necessary for the personal injury victim to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. When this happens, the case will officially enter the civil court system, but this still does not mean that the injury victim will end up in court. Even after a lawsuit is filed, the injury victim and their attorney will continue negotiations with the at-fault party and their legal team in an effort to reach a conclusion before a trial is necessary. However, if an adequate settlement cannot be negotiated, it will be necessary to take the case to a jury, which will result in every party involved going to court.
How does an attorney collect evidence for your Palo Alto personal injury case?
There are various ways that an attorney will collect evidence to use in a personal injury case. It is crucial that the attorney produce enough evidence to prove the liability of the other party in order to win the case for their client. Without evidence, there is no liability. Without liability, there is no way to recover compensation.
The evidence-gathering process can begin as soon as an incident occurs. At the scene of an injury-causing incident, it is not uncommon for those involved to use mobile phones to take photographs of everything that happened. This includes causes of the incident, injuries and damages, traffic and weather conditions, and more. Additionally, it is important to get the names and contact information of any party involved so that these individuals can be contacted by insurance carriers or provide their testimony to a personal injury jury later on. Finally, an injury-causing incident needs to be reported to the appropriate authorities at the time it occurs, which could include police officers, property owners, employers, etc.
Gathering evidence does not end after the initial incident is over with. A skilled Palo Alto personal injury lawyer can use their resources and legal expertise to obtain any video surveillance footage that may be available as well as other pertinent records and documents. This can include:
- Employer safety records
- Employee training data
- Maintenance and inspection records
- Mobile phone data
- Vehicle “black box” data
- Evidence used in a criminal case related to the incident
The types of evidence gathered in the aftermath of a personal injury case will vary depending on the nature of the incident.
How long do you have to file a Palo Alto personal injury claim?
Every state is responsible for setting a limit on the amount of time personal injury victims have to file claims against alleged negligent parties. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. When we turn to the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, we can see that the statute of limitations for personal injury in this state is two years from the date the injury occurs. There are some special situations that might extend this deadline, so please speak to a Palo Alto personal injury lawyer about your case as soon as possible.
How much compensation is available?
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the actions of somebody else in Palo Alto, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The total amount of damages awarded in these situations depends on facts related to each case. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we are regularly able to help clients recover the following in these instances:
- All medical bills related to their claim
- Any income they sustain if they cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence
We have a track record of success with these cases, including a $15 million settlement after an 18-wheeler sideswiped a bicyclist and a $9.4 million settlement for delayed diagnosis of an abscess.
How is personal injury compensation calculated in these cases?
It is crucial that injury victims in their attorney properly calculate their total losses so they can receive adequate compensation. When looking at the types of compensation available that we listed above, you can see that some of the compensation is relatively easy to calculate, while others may not be.
Economic compensation (such as medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses) can be calculated by gathering up bills, receipts, and pay statements. However, properly calculating non-economic compensation is more challenging because this compensation does not necessarily come with bills or receipts that can be added up. To properly calculate an injury victim’s pain and suffering or loss of quality of life, an attorney may use a “multiplier method.” This means that they will take the total economic compensation for the case in multiply this by a set number (typically 1.5 to 5).
For example, if an injury victim sustains $100,000 in economic compensation, the attorney may use a multiplier of “3” to reach $300,000 for the non-economic compensation total. This will bring the total amount requested to $400,000.
What percentage do personal injury attorneys get in a settlement?
The percentage of the final settlement that the attorney receives will vary depending on what agreement the attorney and the injury victim reached before work on the case began. Most Palo Alto personal injury attorneys take these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the injury victim will not be responsible for paying any upfront or out-of-pocket costs for their case. In fact, the injury victim will only pay legal fees after their attorney secures the compensation they are entitled to.
The percentage of the final settlement that the attorney takes often hovers around 30%, though this will vary on a case-by-case basis. A contingency fee is often necessary because injury victims and their families have enough to worry about and are often already facing difficult financial situations. This type of fee arrangement allows injury victims, regardless of their financial resources, to take a stand against any party that caused them harm.
Can shared liability affect a Palo Alto personal injury claim?
Yes, shared liability can affect a personal injury claim. However, some people mistakenly believe that they cannot recover compensation if they contribute to the incident in any way. That is not true.
California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that a victim can still recover compensation even if they share liability for the incident that caused their injury (even if they are up to 99% at fault). However, the total amount of compensation the injury victim receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
For example, if a person slips and falls on a broken jar of mayonnaise in a grocery store aisle and breaks a hip, they may be entitled to compensation if the employees were aware of the food spill but did nothing to promptly clean it up. However, if the injured individual was staring at their phone screen and not watching where they were going when the incident occurred, it may be determined that they were 20% responsible for the incident. Suppose this person sustains losses of $100,000 due to their broken hip. Their total compensation may be reduced to $80,000 to account for their 20% of the fault.
How long will it take to receive a settlement check?
The amount of time it takes for a Palo Alto personal injury victim to receive a settlement check will vary depending on which route their case takes. As we mentioned above, most personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers. This is typically the quickest route to take to receive compensation after an injury occurs. In fact, a settlement check could be received within a few weeks to a month after the incident occurs. However, if the insurance carrier disputes the facts of the case or seeks to delay the claim in any way, this could result in the process lasting for months longer.
If the insurance carrier denies the claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, the injury victim will need to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. When a lawsuit has been filed, this will significantly delay the amount of time it takes for a settlement check to be issued. There are several phases to a personal injury lawsuit, though attorneys for both sides will continue to try to reach an out of court settlement in an attempt to keep the case from going to a jury. Even so, an out of court settlement could take well over a year to be reached.
Finally, if a personal injury lawsuit has to go to a jury, it could take years after the initial incident for the case to conclude. Regardless of which route you think will be more beneficial for your case, please work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can walk you through this entire process. An attorney will understand the pros and cons of each possible path towards receiving a settlement and help you make the best choice possible.
Contact a Palo Alto personal injury lawyer today
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another party, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources and legal expertise to conduct a complete investigation into your case in order to properly determine liability. The goal of your attorney will be to secure maximum compensation for your injuries so you can focus on recovering and getting back to living your life.
If you need a Palo Alto personal injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (415) 981-7210.