San Jose has become one of the most populous, affluent, and technology-centric cities in America over the last several decades. The personal injury law firm Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger started in 1959, and has grown alongside this gem of a city. From the foothills of Mount Hamilton to Silicon Valley and beyond, our firm enjoys a long and storied history with the Bay Area city of San Jose.
Unfortunately, with great expansion and a populous city- the third largest in California to be exact- means increased chances of serious personal injuries.
When road rage causes an accident on the congested I-680 to I-280 commute, an industrial equipment explosion kills someone in the “Innovation Triangle,” or a helpless child drowns in an unfenced neighborhood pool, locals come to the San Jose personal injury lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger.
Over the decades, we have built a reputation for success that resonates throughout the Bay Area legal community. We’ve secured more multi-million dollar outcomes than any other personal injury law firm in Northern California. When a preventable accident leads to serious injury, you can trust us as your dedicated personal injury legal counsel.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury lawsuits cover a range of diverse accidents and injuries. As your San Jose injury attorney, we defend plaintiffs in cases involving:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
- Wrongful Death Claims
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Catastrophic Injury Claims
We have decades of experience handling third-party claims in workplace accidents and delicate claims involving young children and the elderly.
Many law firms practice in the San Jose area, but none offers the same level of support as Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger. Over the last decade we have helped 98% of our clients secure fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
Our personal injury settlements and awards include many six and seven figure outcomes. We successfully secured a $52 million verdict in a propane explosion case that led to wrongful death in San Jose. Our lawyers negotiated an $8 million settlement in a clergy abuse case. The firm fought for a $17 million jury verdict in a product liability claim that resulted in a severe brain injury. These results speak for themselves. When we represent clients in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area, we bring our A game to secure the financial support our clients deserve.
Most importantly, the plaintiffs we help defend owe us no payments unless we secure compensation for their lawsuit. Our San Jose injury lawyers work on a contingency fee bases which simply means you pay no fees unless we win! We owe our clients a duty of care to defend in court and fight for maximum compensation without having to worry about the cost of litigation.
5 Frequently Asked Questions on Personal Injury Claims
Our San Jose personal injury attorneys have decades of experience in the practice of law. For the rest of us, legal matters often seem complicated and they are an area we fortunately may need to deal with only a few times in our lives. Clearing up some common questions on the subject can help make the process more understandable.
Q: How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
First, there must be some kind of injury. Many bad things almost happen to us, but unless you have suffered an injury, you cannot make a personal injury claim. Second, that injury must have resulted in economic damages. This means your injury must have cost you money. This is typically in the form of medical expenses, damage to property, and lost wages due to missed time at work.
Finally, someone else’s negligence must have caused your injury. If you are on a deserted road and nod off causing your car to crash into a telephone pole, you have suffered an injury, but it is not due to anyone else’s negligence. In a personal injury claim, you are seeking compensation for your injury and the costs associated with it that was the result of someone’s negligence.
Q: How long is a settlement versus a trial?
It is often easy to reach a very quick settlement – if you are willing to accept a low offer that will leave you with medical expenses and other bills long after the settlement check has run out. Getting fair compensation often takes time- and the guidance of an experienced San Jose personal injury attorney.
One of the chief benefits of reaching a settlement is that it is faster than going to trial. How long it takes depends on how much evidence is in your favor, how determined the insurance company is to keep their settlement lower, and how willing you are to wait for a fair settlement. Reaching a settlement can often take months, depending on the amount of money involved, and a trial can be expected to take much longer. Unfortunately, there are too many factors to make a general statement about how long the process will take in any particular case.
Q: How are personal injury settlements paid out?
If your case reaches a settlement, the insurance company or lawyers for the other side will prepare a release. This document specifies the terms of the settlement and may have some items your attorney will object to. Eventually, you and your attorney will reach an agreement and you will sign the release. You may generally expect a settlement check within 30 days of the signing.
In the case of a trial, the other side may appeal the decision after their loss. The appeals court may uphold your win, may reverse it, or may send your case back for a new trial. A new trial will take more time, after which the other side may appeal once again. Once you finally have a confirmed verdict, you can pursue getting the money awarded in your case.
Q: How are personal injury awards calculated?
There are three kinds of compensation you may pursue in a personal injury claim – economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are compensation for financial losses you suffered including medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of damage to property. These are the simplest to calculate.
Non-economic damages are damages for things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment or affection. It is not possible to objectively determine the cost of these damages, but testimony from experts, amounts in cases similar to yours, and the judgment of the jury or judge affects how your case is decided.
Punitive damages are awarded as compensation when the negligence was so egregious that it merits punishment in the form of money paid to the victim. The amount would depend on the severity of the egregious negligence as well as the injury suffered.
Q: Do you have to pay taxes on compensation?
In general, you owe no taxes on compensation from a personal injury settlement. While there are exceptions –punitive damages are taxable – your settlement money comes with no tax obligations. You should consult your tax accountant for the specifics of your settlement.
Personal Injury Support for San Jose Residents
Injury claims in San Jose involve many moving parts. Our attorneys understand the local, state, and federal laws that impact claims in Santa Clara County courts. We have spent our careers honing our insurance negotiation skills and building networks of experts who help us build airtight cases against at-fault drivers, property owners, businesses, licensed professionals, and product manufacturers.
Contact us the moment you suspect someone else needlessly caused or contributed to your injury. A helpful Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger attorney will guide you through the legal process and give you straightforward feedback about the merits of a personal injury claim. If you hire our San Jose personal injury lawyers to protect your right to compensation under California’s laws, we will begin representing you immediately on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay any attorney fees unless we secure compensation on your behalf.
Choose Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
Anyone injured in a preventable incident has the right to compensation. Partner with a firm you can count on to fight for maximum damages and settlement values. With access to cutting edge case resources and a reputation for success, we will do everything in our power to give you the best possible quality of life after an injury.
If you experience a serious injury in San Jose, remember the team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.