There is little point in visiting a law firm, hiring them after being impressed by the initial interview with a partner, only to discover that a junior associate who has never been to trial is doing all of the actual work on your file.
We’ve worked on hundreds of cases and been in court around a thousand times. We know what to say, when to say it, and where to send you if you lack insurance and need medical care.
We seek reasonable compensation for our services, and our goal is to settle cases if at all possible before litigation and trial. It isn’t always possible. Our billing practices are flexible. Typically, probate and contract matters are handled on an hourly basis, as is the standard in the industry.
Arrange a free consultation and, if nothing else, receive advice on your file so you can be empowered to make a better decision.
Below, you will find a series of guidelines, checklists, and general advice that founder Michael C. Bock has formulated throughout his career.
CHECKLIST FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRAFFIC ACCIDENT/INJURY VICTIMS
If an attorney wants a fee for a first meeting, there’s a high likelihood that isn’t an attorney you want to meet.
The Law Offices of Michael C. Bock offers free initial, in-person consultations, guaranteed, no exceptions. That’s the standard in the industry.
Every second you delay allowing someone to fight for your rights is precious time lost.
You deprive yourself of the benefit of legal counsel (I guarantee you, the other side has millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars invested in accumulated professional expertise assisting them.
California limits the amount of time personal injury victims have to seek compensation. Your pain and suffering, your medical bills, your lost income, your future expenses, they will not matter if you let important deadlines lapse. Many of these deadlines are (in the opinion of this law firm), unacceptably short. For example:
Seek advice sooner rather than later.
Most victims fight tooth and nail, against an organized multi-billion dollar industry, to achieve some measure of justice. Give yourself a fighting chance. Hire an experienced, skilled attorney.
One of the advantages of seeking professional advice early is so you can learn what sources of recovery might exist that aren’t particularly intuitive.
For example, did you know that the spouse of an injured individual can sue for what’s known as “loss of consortium,” for past and future harm to the marital relationship (you must have been married on the date of the accident)?
In addition to past and future medical expenses, mileage and costs incurred with seeking medical care, wage loss (past and future), reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, damage to property, and “loss of use” of your vehicle, an injured party’s husband or wife should also consider bringing a claim.
Clients hate delays. So do we. Sometimes, however, delay is necessary. It would be terrible legal advice to tell a client who is still experiencing significant symptoms to settle a case until he or she has been fully diagnosed and examined. Doctors need to wait and see if you will recover, if inflammation will go down, if surgery is warranted. With serious accidents, it isn’t uncommon for six to twelve months to pass before the doctors can determine if your condition is stable. We can’t recommend a settlement amount until we have some idea of your permanent injuries.
Cases are now more bitterly fought by insurance companies than ever. Most serious cases will require a lawsuit.
There are various stages to a claim.
SETTLEMENTS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS FINAL
Once you settle your case, it’s over (with rare exceptions). Don’t make a permanent decision before consulting with a professional. Your injuries may last far longer than you hope, or the damage to your business may be far deeper than you expect. Don’t settle for quick cash until you fully understand your claim.
Whenever a facility rendering medical care discovers the existence of a lawsuit, they typically ask for what’s called a medical “lien.” This gives them a right of recovery from the settlement of your suit.
Be extremely cautious of signing these liens without receiving legal advice first. It can be a terrible mistake.
Many providers are not entitled to liens. Sadly, some will over treat or render unnecessary procedures. If you already know of a doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor you are comfortable with, you should treat with them.
Once you hire an attorney, focus on your medical care. Attorneys have to gather police reports, medical documents, wage loss documentation, and deal with adjusters. You focus on making your appointments, accurately reporting your symptoms and any relevant past medical issues, and documenting your damages.
A properly drafted “spoliation” letter is a must in significant cases involving complex factual scenarios. Whether you consult with our office or any other office, ensure that the attorney is well versed in the appropriate way to preserve crucial evidence.
Many clients helped by founder Michael C. Bock over the years have come from other law firms (occasionally, from several other past law firms).
We consult with people considering an attorney transfer confidentially and will never disclose your visit without your permission.
However, don’t be hasty. Sometimes a face to face meeting with an attorney you are thinking about dismissing can do wonders. Delay is the number one reason for client discontent (not returning phone calls promptly is the second), but most of the time delays are not the fault of the attorney.
Changing horses mid-race is not usually advisable, but you need to have representation you feel comfortable with.
Unlike broken bones, cuts, and bruises, damage to the brain and spine is difficult to diagnose, understand, and locate. Below are some of the common injuries we see on a regular basis from our client.
The brain can take a beating in an accident, even when there are no visible signs of injury (get ready for the adjuster and defense attorney to claim the victim is faking, we’ve seen it time and time again).
Multiple head blows are significantly more dangerous than single blows. Concussions can lead to various bleeds in the brain, some of which are deadly if not promptly treated.
DO NOT DELAY IN SEEKING TREATMENT FOR ANY SIGNIFICANT HEAD INJURY.
If you hit your head and lose consciousness, vomit, are sensitive to light, are falling asleep, or have any difficulty communicating or walking, seek emergency care.
Back and neck injuries cause untold pain and suffering, and what’s worse, they tend to linger for years (if not permanently). They are also difficult to prove. Adequate medical and legal expertise is essentially. If after several months no improvement is seen, diagnostic testing to determine herniation size and spinal cord involvement is necessary, and surgery is sometimes warranted.
Severe neck and back injuries can cause paralysis and are life altering events.
The spinal cord is a complex system of bone and nerves, and unfortunately it is not designed to withstand the forces generated in a typical auto accident. A bulging disk, herniation, or nerve root involvement of only a few millimeters can lead to constant agony.