Your Rights As An Injured Party

From the San Francisco Bay Area, the Law Offices of Robert G. Schock represent clients throughout California in all types of personal injury cases, including those involving serious and catastrophic injuries and wrongful death caused by accidents, medical malpractice, and defective and dangerous products and pharmaceutical drugs. Over the past thirty years, the AV-Preeminent rated firm has earned a reputation for success due to an impressive record of million dollar verdicts and settlements.

The Law Offices of Robert G. Schock provide representation for victims who were injured due to someone else's negligence, wrongful conduct, or breach of duty. Each person owes a duty to act with the reasonable care of an ordinary, prudent person. When a person breaches this duty, the breach gives rise to negligence. Such a breach may occur in many different types of situations, including:

  • Auto accidents caused by driver negligence, such as texting or using cell phones while driving, speeding, or failing to obey traffic signs
  • Medical malpractice, including when a doctor fails to diagnose a disease or illness, surgical mistakes such as operating on the wrong appendage, or birth injuries
  • Premises liability, where a dangerous premises causes injury due to a slip and fall or other accident
  • Workplace injuries

In some situations, a party may be held strictly liable for the injuries caused to a person regardless of their negligence. This is called "strict liability" and it applies most often in products liability cases where a dangerous or defective product is released by a manufacturer into use by consumers who are then injured by the product.

When someone breaches a duty through negligent or reckless conduct, a victim who is injured as a result of that breach may sue to recover monetary compensation. Monetary compensation is awarded in the form of economic and non-economic damages. In cases where the negligent party's actions are found to be particularly egregious, the jury and court may also award punitive damages. For information on the types of economic and non-economic damages that are available in personal injury and spinal cord injury cases, please see recoverable damages.

In many cases, both parties may be partially at fault in the cause of an accident and resulting injuries. In California, the courts follow a pure comparative negligence theory, which allows a plaintiff who is partially responsible for the cause of his or her own injuries to still obtain a recovery. When awarding damages, the jury or other fact finder will assign a percentage of fault to each party. The plaintiff's awarded damages are then reduced by his or her percentage of fault in the cause of the accident. Therefore, it may still be possible for a plaintiff who is partly responsible for his or her own injuries to recover some damages.

Despite providing substantial rights for negligently injured parties, California law limits the time an injured party may recover, generally to two years or less from the date of the injury or date the injury should reasonably have been discovered. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately or risk losing the right to recover damages.