Walnut Creek Personal Injury Attorneys

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With 60+ combined years working exclusively on personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, we are one of the premier personal injury law firms in the San Francisco/East Bay Area.

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Fill out our short Contact Form to send us a short email about your potential personal injury case. Your initial consultation with our Walnut Creek law firm is always free.

Blog: Slice of Appel PI

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Personal Injury Experts: We Take Your Case Very Personally

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Car Accident Lawyers

The attorneys at the Appel Law Firm LLP have obtained excellent results for hundreds of automobile accident victims with a wide variety of serious injuries.

Construction Accidents Lawyers

We have a long track record of successfully helping victims injured in construction accidents. We will work with you directly and manage every detail of your case. You get our expertise in the intricacies of third-party construction site accident law.

Personal Injury Lawyers

We have 60+ combined years dedicated exclusively to personal injury legal work and the people we serve. From “Day One” until “Case Closed”, we stand by you. We work harder and plan smarter to get you the financial outcome you deserve.

Workers Compensation Lawyers

If you have been injured at work, contact our attorneys to learn about your rights. We have handled hundreds of cases. Our firm frequently appears before the Workers’ Compensation Board, advocating for injured workers. Here are some common Workers comp questions


  • “I always felt that my best interest was in good hands. The Appel Firm had the resources, knowledge and experience to help me get compensated for my losses and future medical expenses. They were in my corner 100 percent!”-Samuel S., Retired Ironworker
  • “Joseph and Michael were thorough as well as professional and went above and beyond what was expected…and best of all, they won our lawsuit!”-Neal J., Construction Worker
  • “The Appel brothers were kind, professional, highly-respected by their peers. They were always well-prepared for anything and one step ahead of things in my case.”-Louis J., Industrial Laborer
  • "Feeling confident that our case was being well-handled eased a lot of stress during a difficult time. Joe was very generous with his time and expertise in our workers comp case and was always there to answer any questions."-Brad L., Oil Refinery Operator

Settlements & Verdicts

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Included below are selected cases that Appel Law Firm has helped settle on behalf of our clients.

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$1.32 Million Verdict

Plaintiff sustained injuries to his neck, back and shoulder when he fell from a rolling scaffolding while installing ceiling tiling. The scaffolding tipped over and caused the plaintiff to fall when it rolled over a large, hidden hole that was covered by carpeting. Plaintiff contended that defendants were liable for his injuries because the concrete hole and carpeting constituted a dangerous condition. As a result of his injuries and surgeries, our client was left with permanent injuries that prevented him from returning to his previous career as a ceiling installer. After a two week trial, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff and awarded him approximately $1,323,000.

$3 Million Construction Accident Settlement

Plaintiff, a journeyman ironworker, sustained career ending injuries after being knocked off a steel beam and falling nearly 20 feet in San Francisco. Defendant disputed liability as well as the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries. The case was resolved prior to trial after a substantial amount of discovery was completed in this case, including answers to interrogatories, responses to requests for admissions, requests for production of documents, and deposing nearly thirty fact and expert witnesses.

$940,000 Car Accident Settlement

Plaintiff sought damages for personal injuries suffered when the car which he was driving was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer being driven by the defendant who was working on the job for his employer. Plaintiff suffered a low back injury requiring a fusion surgery. Defendants disputed liability for this accident, blaming plaintiff and another vehicle, and argued that his damages were unrelated to the car accident. The parties agreed to resolve the case just prior to trial.

$1.6 Million WCAB Award in Disability Benefits

Applicant, a construction worker, suffered severe industrial injuries to his neck and back resulting in two neck surgeries. At trial, the defendant disputed the applicant’s level of permanent disability. After subsequent appeals at the WCAB and Court of Appeal, our client was found to be 100% Totally and Permanently Disabled entitling him to a workers compensation award of multi-million dollars in permanent disability and lifetime medical benefits.

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Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers

Walnut Creek Personal Injury Law, Simplified

Personal injury law holds people or organizations accountable for the harm they cause others. Victims of injury due to the fault of another are entitled to recover compensation for their injuries, past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and pain and suffering.

While no attorney can guarantee the value of any judgment, the following is a guide to the types of damages you may be entitled to recover, depending on the circumstances and facts of your case.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory, or actual, damages seek to compensate the plaintiff for losses related to their injury or death. There are no limits placed on the amount of compensatory damages a plaintiff can recover, since the purpose of these damages is to make the plaintiff whole for their losses. There are two types of compensatory damages; non-economic and economic damages:

Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Appel Law

Non-Economic Damages

Also known as general damages, non-economic damages cover those losses that cannot be quantified by an exact dollar amount. If awarded, the amount is based on what the jury finds reasonable. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain, suffering, and inconvenience: May include physical pain, mental suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, injury to reputation, and humiliation.
  • Emotional distress: A person suffers emotional distress if a reasonable, ordinary person would not be able to handle the distress. It includes shock, anguish, fright, horror, nervousness and grief.
  • Loss of consortium: Compensates the spouse of an injured or deceased person for the loss of companionship and other damages suffered as a result of their loved one’s injury.

Economic Damages

Also known as special damages, economic damages cover losses that can be quantified by an exact dollar amount. If awarded, the amount recovered is based on actual loss, and the plaintiff has the burden of proving the value of such loss at trial. Economic damages may include:

  • Current medical expenses;
  • Future medical expenses, paid at their present day value;
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Loss of future earning capacity, paid at the present day value;
  • Property damage; and
  • Value of personal service, advice, or training.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for his negligent actions in causing the plaintiff’s injuries. In order to be awarded punitive damages, a plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with oppression, fraud or malice. Malice is defined as conduct that the defendant intends to cause injury or despicable conduct carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others. For example, it would be very unlikely that a plaintiff would be able to recover punitive damages for injuries sustained in a car accident caused by poor weather conditions, because there is no oppression, fraud or malice. Alternatively, punitive damages are more likely to be recoverable in a drunk driving accident where the defendant drinks alcohol to the point of intoxication, knowing from outset he or she will later operate a motor vehicle.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that punitive damages in excess of “a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages” – so punitive damages that exceed nine times the amount of compensatory damages awarded – are most likely excessive, as they violate the defendant’s due process rights. However, the court declined to issue a hard and fast rule. So whether an award of punitive damages that was more than nine times the amount of compensatory would be considered excessive depends on the circumstances of each case.

Wrongful Death Damages

In addition to the damages already discussed, plaintiffs in wrongful death cases may also be entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace or moral support, loss of enjoyment of sexual relations, and any loss of physical assistance in the operation or maintenance of the home.
  • Funeral expenses; and
  • Future financial contributions of the deceased, paid at their present day value

Helping You Resolve Your Personal Injury Case

The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved through settlement or mediation. Those involved in the dispute, their insurance companies, and their lawyers typically work out a reasonable resolution, called a settlement, and reduce it to a written document. Both sides to the dispute agree not to take any further action, instead resolving their respective claims for an agreed-upon sum of money.

Generally speaking, if a resident of Contra Costa County is involved in an accident in the county, he or she ordinarily will, file a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa.

Preparation for filing is a two-step process:

  1. First, the case needs to be thoroughly investigated to secure all pertinent facts.
  2. Second, the applicable law must be researched and documented so as to prepare your claim for legal processing.

Once these two steps are completed, your legal claim can be filed in court and prosecuted until either a settlement is reached between the parties or a verdict is rendered by a jury or judge. Generally speaking, civil personal injury cases take between 12 to 24 months to resolve at the trial court level. Appeals can take much longer.

Call Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today For a Free Consultation of Your Legal Options.

Type of Personal Injury Cases We Handle Include: