Stockton Personal Injury Lawyer
Injuries happen when people least expect them, and they can cause significant life setbacks for victims and their families. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we are here to help when you need a Stockton personal injury attorney. If the negligent actions of another person, company, or entity have caused you harm, we will work to secure the compensation you need. Contact us online or call us at (415) 889-2919.
Choose Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger for your case
After sustaining a serious personal injury, you need a trusted team by your side at all times. Let Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger get to work on your claim today.
- Our Stockton personal injury attorneys have been helping injured people for more than 60 years, and we are one of the most successful personal injury law firms in the nation.
- We have recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of wrongfully injured clients.
- We have a success rate of more than 98% for the cases we have handled.
We thoroughly understand that personal injury victims may lack the resources necessary to pay for an attorney upfront. That is why we take Stockton personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning victims will not pay any legal fees until after we secure the compensation they need.
Stockton Personal Injury-Related Questions
Why do you need an attorney for a Stockton personal injury case?
A Stockton personal injury lawyer is going to be an invaluable resource for any victim in a personal injury case. Personal injury claims can be notoriously difficult to prove, particularly when the injured party is going up against aggressive insurance carriers. A personal injury lawyer in Stockton is going to have the legal experience and resources necessary to prove liability. An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident to obtain:
- Any video or photo surveillance of the incident
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Any police or accident reports
- Internal company or personnel records
- and more
An attorney is also going to work with trusted medical professionals to ensure that their client is properly evaluated and to help calculate the victim’s total expenses. Finally, an attorney is going to handle every aspect of communication with the other parties involved in order to obtain a fair settlement on behalf of their client.
Types of personal injuries we help clients with
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we have helped clients get through just about every type of injury you can imagine. Our Stockton personal injury lawyers regularly help clients who have sustained the following types of traumatic injuries:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Amputation injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord trauma with paralysis
- Severe burns
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Occupational respiratory illnesses and cancers
- and more
Our team also regularly helps those who have sustained significant emotional and psychological trauma due to their injuries or the incident that caused the injuries.
How do these cases arise?
There are many ways that injuries occur due to the negligence of others. We regularly help clients who have been injured in:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Construction, farming, or other worksite accident
- Medical negligence and birth injuries
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Property owner negligence
- Dog bite incidents
- Wrongful death
- and more
How long do you have to file a personal injury claim?
In general, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in this state is two years from the date the injury occurs (California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1). If victims fail to file a claim within this two-year window, they could lose the ability to recover any compensation for their injuries.
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our Stockton personal injury lawyers want to point out that a claim made with an insurance carrier is different from a personal injury lawsuit. In general, insurance claims need to be made as soon as possible after an incident occurs, or the insurance carrier may deny the claim. The two-year statute of limitations applies to lawsuits, not insurance claims. In many cases, personal injury victims and their attorneys will not file a lawsuit until they know whether or not an insurance carrier will pay a fair settlement for the claim.
What kind of compensation can your Stockton injury case recover?
If you or somebody you care about have been injured due to the careless, negligent, or wrongful actions of somebody else in Stockton, you should be entitled to various types of compensation for your losses. In general, the team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger will strive to recover the following types of compensation on your behalf: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
- Economic damages. These are also referred to as special damages and deal with the types of compensation that are relatively easy to calculate after a personal injury occurs. This includes things such as a victim’s medical bills, household out-of-pocket expenses, property damage expenses, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages. These are also referred to as general damages and deal with the types of compensation that are harder to calculate. There are no bills or receipts associated with these types of damages, and this often includes the victim’s pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life damages, loss of companionship and society for the family, loss of consortium for a spouse, and lost future earning potential in cases of a disability.
- Punitive damages. These damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases. Punitive damages are specifically reserved for cases in which the conduct of the alleged negligent party is particularly egregious or reprehensible. These damages are awarded as a punishment to the negligent party and to send the signal to others that the type of behavior displayed in the case is unacceptable (to work as a deterrent).
There is no set amount of compensation that is awarded to injury victims in a Stockton personal injury claim. Rather, the total amount of compensation a victim receives will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding their particular case. Much of this will revolve around the severity of the injuries, the recovery time, and their level of pain and suffering. The economic compensation amount will be obtained by adding up all of the bills, receipts, and wage statements. Determining non-economic compensation is a bit more challenging, and an attorney will often use a “multiplier method.” This means that the attorney will add up the total economic damages and then multiply that amount by a set number, usually ranging from 1.5 to 5. The total of both economic and non-economic compensations will be added together to try and reach a fair settlement from the at-fault party.
How Much Does a Stockton Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
Affording a personal injury attorney in Stockton may be easier than many people realize. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we recognize that injury victims and their family members are often placed into very difficult financial situations. With incoming medical bills, various out-of-pocket expenses, and lost income, it may seem impossible to afford a skilled attorney to help you with your case.
However, our Stockton personal injury lawyers take these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. Our attorneys will only collect legal fees after we are able to obtain the compensation that our clients deserve. This type of fee arrangement makes it possible for any person, regardless of their financial situation, to stand up to those who cause them harm.
How is Evidence Collected to Support Your Case?
Evidence for a Stockton personal injury case will be collected in various ways. Often, evidence collection can begin as soon as the incident occurs. If an injury victim is able to safely do so, the evidence collection process can begin before the scene is cleared. Using a phone or another type of camera, an injury victim, or someone they trust, can take pictures of everything at the scene. Additionally, the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses need to be gathered so that they can make statements to the insurance carrier or to a personal injury jury down the line.
Evidence collection does not end on the first day. In the days and weeks that follow an incident, an injury victim and their attorney can work to gather additional evidence. A Stockton personal injury lawyer can use their resources to:
- Obtain any video surveillance from cameras surrounding the scene of the incident.
- Gather statements from all eyewitnesses to the incident.
- Obtain all medical records from your health care providers.
- Work with trusted economic and financial experts to help calculate your total expected losses.
- Employee the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert to piece together what happened and provide testimony to the insurance carriers or a personal injury jury.
After Filing a Claim in Stockton, Do You Have To Go To Court?
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will have to go to court when they file a claim in Stockton. The reality is that most personal injury victims will never set foot inside the courtroom to handle their claims. The vast majority of personal injury claims made in Stockton are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers.
However, if an insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement or even denies the claim, it may be necessary for the injury victim and their attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Even though this officially puts the case into the court system, most of these claims are still resolved through negotiations between attorneys for both sides. When this is the case, the injury victim will not have to go to court.
Ultimately, the only time a personal injury victim will have to go to court is if the insurance carriers or the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement for their claim. When that occurs, it will be necessary to take the case to a trial by jury.
What You Should Tell Your Insurance Provider After an Injury
In general, you should be as tight-lipped as possible with insurance carriers in the aftermath of an accident. First and foremost, you need to realize that the insurance claims adjusters are not on your side. Regardless of which insurance carrier we are discussing, whether it be your carrier or the carrier of the at-fault party, they want to reduce the amount of money they pay you in a settlement.
You will need to report an accident and your injuries to your insurance carrier as soon as possible after the incident occurs. However, you do not need to go into much detail when you make your initial report. You just need to let your insurance carrier know the general details about what happened as well as the names and contact information of others involved.
When you are contacted by the insurance carrier of the other party, this is when you need to be very cautious. Do not agree to give a recorded statement, and limit your conversation with their insurance carrier. In fact, you would do well to refer any comment about the situation to your attorney. The insurance carrier for the other party involved will have one goal in mind – find a reason to deny your claim. The more you say to them, the more ammunition they will have to use at a later date to use against you.
When Does a Settlement Check Arrive After It’s Issued?
The good news is that it will not take long for a settlement check to arrive after it has been issued by the insurance carrier of the at-fault party. In general, an agreed-upon settlement check will reach your hands within a few weeks after the agreement has been made. However, do not take this to mean that you will reach a quick settlement for your case. The reality is that negotiations with insurance carriers or the personal injury lawsuit process will take a significant amount of time before the final settlement agreement is reached.
If you worked with insurance carriers or the at-fault party on your own in these cases, you will directly receive the settlement check and be able to spend it as you see fit, usually on your medical bills, property damage, or out-of-pocket expenses. If you worked with an attorney to help you with your case, they will receive the settlement check and will be owed the amount of money that you agreed upon before they began working on your case. However, please understand that those who work with an attorney to help with their Stockton personal injury case are likely to obtain larger settlements that more than make up for the legal fees owed in the case.
What if you are partially at fault for the incident?
The Stockton personal injury attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger regularly help clients who think they cannot recover compensation because they were partially at fault for the incident that caused them harm. The reality is that injury victims can usually recover compensation even if they contributed to the incident. This is thanks to California’s “pure comparative negligence” system. Under these laws, an injury victim can receive compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident, though the compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
For example, if a person is injured because a property owner failed to adequately inspect and maintain their premises, thereby allowing an unsafe condition, then the property owner could be held liable. However, if a jury is presented evidence that the injury victim was horse playing at the time they were injured, they may assign partial fault to the injury victim. If a jury awards $100,000 in damages, but determines that a person is 10% responsible for their own injuries, then the victim will receive $90,000 in total compensation.
Contact our Stockton personal injury lawyers today
At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our Stockton personal injury lawyers work diligently to prove the liability of the at-fault parties in these cases and to counter any claims that the injury victim caused their own injuries.
We will thoroughly investigate your claim so we can obtain coverage for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more. When you need a Stockton personal injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (415) 889-2919.