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FAQ

The Law Offices of Robert G. Schock represents clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout California in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. In particular, we focus our practice on individuals who have suffered serious or catastrophic injuries or those who have lost loved ones as a result of the negligence or wrongful acts of someone else. We provide the following answers to frequently asked questions as a resource for our clients and others seeking general information about personal injury and the legal system. Of course, nothing substitutes for direct, personalized advice from an experienced attorney. To ask about your potential claim, contact the Law Offices of Robert G. Schock for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.

  • What is a spinal cord injury (SCI)?
  • What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
  • How can I afford medical care for my spinal cord injury or other catastrophic injury?
  • Do I need a lawyer?
  • How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
  • How does a lawsuit work?
  • If I sue the person who caused my injury, how long will it take to get paid?
  • After I'm injured, how long can I wait before hiring a lawyer or filing a lawsuit?

What is a spinal cord injury (SCI)?
A spinal cord injury is damage to the vertebrae (spinal column). This type of back injury can cause permanent disability or loss of movement and sensation below the site of the injury. Someone who has suffered a SCI may be paraplegic (paralyzed in the lower extremities) or quadriplegic (paralyzed in the lower and upper extremities). To learn more, visit the spinal cord injury overview or our pages on the causes, testing, and treatment of SCI. You can also contact us for a free consultation with a spinal cord injury attorney.

What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when trauma to the head causes the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, causing damage to the brain. For example, a car accident or violent blow to the head can cause a TBI. These injuries are serious and have the potential to be catastrophic and life-changing. If you have suffered a TBI as the result of someone else's negligence or wrongful act, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages, which would compensate you for your pain and suffering and help you cover the costs of your injury, such as medical expenses, ongoing therapy and rehabilitation, and lost wages. To learn more, visit our information page about your rights under personal injury law.

How can I afford medical care and rehabilitative treatment for my spinal cord injury or other catastrophic injury?
If you have been involved in an injury accident where you sustained a spinal cord injury or another catastrophic injury as the result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages under personal injury law. If someone else (whether an individual, a corporation, the government, or your employer) is at fault in causing your injury, they can be compelled to pay you damages. Potential damages include compensation for your pain and suffering as well as reimbursement for past and future medical costs, lost wages, and other losses. To learn more, visit our informational pages about your rights under personal injury law and recoverable damages after spinal cord injury.

Do I need a lawyer?
If you have been involved in an injury-causing accident and you have been hurt, speaking with a lawyer will help you understand your rights, your options, and whether you have a viable personal injury case. If you feel that you were seriously injured as the result of someone else's negligence or wrongful act, it is especially important that you discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Lawyers with experience handling injury claims can help you preserve evidence and make timely and proper document filings to ensure you have the best possible chance of receiving financial recovery. To learn more, visit our informational page on why you need a lawyer and how to choose one, or simply contact us.

How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
Generally, attorney fees vary widely from case to case, depending on the area of law and how much time the case will take to resolve. At the Law Offices of Robert G. Schock, we take all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not charge our clients a fee unless we successfully obtain compensation (verdict or settlement) on their behalf. We also offer free consultations. To learn more, contact us today.

How does a lawsuit work?
The procedure, timing, and outcome of a lawsuit will vary depending on the facts of the case, the type of claim, and in which court the claim is being filed. Generally speaking, if you have a personal injury matter, your lawyer will help you file a proper claim for damages in a timely manner. The claim will show that the defendant was at fault in causing your injury and will outline the damage that was done and the relief (usually financial) that is being requested. The defendant will have a chance to argue his or her side of the case as well. Ultimately, a judge or jury will decide whether the defendant was in fact at fault and how much monetary recovery you may or may not receive. This decision is known as a verdict. If, prior to the issuance of a verdict, the defendant decides to settle the case, both sides can work together to make an agreement about how much monetary recovery will be awarded and end the lawsuit. To learn more about the process, visit our information page about your rights under personal injury law or contact us for a free consultation today.

If I sue the person who caused my injury, how long will it take to get paid?
The length of a personal injury lawsuit can vary widely depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury-causing accident. If the case ends in early settlement, it could be over within a few short months. If a lengthy investigation is required, if the case takes longer to settle, or if the case is tried all the way through to a verdict, it could take many months or longer for the case to be resolved and a financial award to be provided. An experienced personal injury lawyer can look at the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and give you a more precise estimate of how long it might take for you to obtain financial recovery.

After I'm injured, how long can I wait before hiring a lawyer or filing a lawsuit?
If you have been injured in any kind of accident, such as a car crash, a workplace accident, or a fight or domestic violence incident, it is important that you speak with an attorney as early as possible. A lawyer can help you collect and preserve evidence that will be important to proving your case later on. Furthermore, a lawyer will ensure that your do not miss a filing deadline and forfeit your right to sue. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years, but some similar claims (malpractice, defamation, injury to personal property) may have differing time limits, typically in the range of one to three years, and claims against government entities have specific filing requirements and shorter time limits. Speaking with a lawyer will clarify the deadlines that apply in your case and help you avoid forfeiting your rights.

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