Posted in Personal Injury Attorneys on July 31, 2020
Rodriguez & Associates attorneys were guests on KGET’s Studio 17 Live.
Daniel Rodriguez was on with them on July 21st, 2020. He addressed whether the mask requirement is constitutionally correct and discussed what happens if you refuse to wear a mask and the repercussions of doing so.
Bakersfield personal injury attorneys Danay Gonzalez, Chantal Trujillo, and Chantal’s beloved dog, Chyna, were on July 29th, 2020. They discussed the importance of partaking in this year’s Clear The Shelters virtual adoption drive. The nationwide pet adoption drive will be on August 1-29, 2020. Watch the segment here:
Make sure to tune into KGET on August 13th. There will be a special tour of the Rodriguez & Associates building and on August 20th, Daniel will be a guest on Studio 17 Live again.
Injuries from defective products can be devastating. From vape pens to dangerous drugs and medical devices, you deserve compensation for the losses you suffered as a result of the product — and you can claim these damages through a product liability lawsuit.
Most defective product lawsuits rely on the concept of strict liability to establish a plaintiff’s right to damages. Whether your injury is the result of a manufacturing defect, a dangerous design, or a lack of adequate safety instructions, you will need to establish a series of elements to prove your claim.
Element #1: You Suffered Damages
First, you must establish that you suffered damages during the accident involving the defective product. California laws allow you to claim both economic and non-economic damages in product liability lawsuits, such as medical expenses and property damage.
You cannot claim compensation in this type of lawsuit if you did not suffer actual physical injuries or financial losses as a result of the defective product. If the product almost injured you, but did not actually cause an injury, you will not have grounds for a claim.
Element #2: The Product Was Defective
Next, you will need to prove that the product had a defect. The process of proving this element will depend on the type of defect involved in your claim.
- Manufacturing defects: You may need to examine the product or bring it to an expert to search for issues.
- Design defects: The design must be unreasonably dangerous from concept to production. For example, if you use a knife and suffer injuries when you drop it, this is not unreasonably dangerous because this is a reasonable risk. If you use a tea kettle with a design that leads to pressure build-up and explosion, you may have a claim on your hands.
- Failure to warn: You will need to prove that the product’s dangerous qualities are not obvious to the average person, and the manufacturer failed to include adequate warnings to inform the consumer of the danger.
Your attorney will connect you with the resources necessary to identify the defect and validate your claim. For example, he or she may hire a manufacturing expert to analyze the product for damage.
Element #3: The Defect Caused Your Injuries
To successfully claim compensation, you must prove that the defect directly caused your injuries. You can prove this fact through a number of means, such as testimony from medical experts, your medical documentation, and witness statements.
Element #4: You Were Using the Product as Intended
Finally, you must prove that you were using the product as the manufacturer intended you to use it or could have reasonably expected its consumers to use it. For example, say you suffer electrocution injuries from a hair dryer. The court finds that you were using the device in a pool when the manufacturer clearly states that you should not use the product near water.
In this situation, you will likely not win your claim since you were not using the product as intended. However, if you were using the product in your bathroom away from water and suffered an electric shock, you may have a claim.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Defective Product Lawsuit?
While these elements may seem straightforward, investigating and proving a defective product lawsuit is difficult without an attorney on your side. When pursuing a product liability claim, you will likely need to face large corporate legal counsel equipped with resources you may not have access to.
When you hire a product liability attorney to represent your best interests, you will receive a number of benefits, including the following,
- Your lawyer will have access to manufacturing experts, medical professionals, and other expert witnesses who can provide testimony in your claim.
- You may not know the full value of your claim, and your attorney will have the ability to calculate an estimated settlement amount, so you do not accept insufficient offers.
- Negotiating with the at-fault party can be difficult without the right experience, and your lawyer will have the skills necessary to advocate for your best interests.
Hiring a defective product lawyer is an important investment in your future recovery. If you have not done so already, contact your Bakersfield defective product attorney as soon as possible to begin investigating your claim
Pedestrian safety is a major concern throughout California. Negligent drivers, poor road conditions, and dangerous intersections can increase a pedestrian’s risk of colliding with a motor vehicle while walking in Bakersfield. Certain pedestrians are at higher risk of suffering a severe injury or dying in these accidents, including children, older adults, and joggers.
#1: Child Pedestrians
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 19% of all people killed in pedestrian crashes in 2017 were children aged 14 years and younger. Children are at such a high risk for pedestrian accidents for a number of reasons; they may not understand the rules of the road as well as adults, are smaller and can be easy for a motorist to miss, and may run into the street without warning.
Drivers must be vigilant when traveling through areas where children are present, such as school zones, parks, residential neighborhoods, and behind school buses. Motorists must honor the speed limit and if a school bus stops, they must also stop until all of the children aboard exit safely and the driver continues on his or her route.
#2: Older Pedestrians
Elderly adults are at a higher risk of pedestrian fatalities than many other age groups. According to the NHTSA, 20% of all 2017 pedestrian fatalities involved adults 65 years and older. Adults between the ages of 50 to 54 and 55 to 59 had the highest pedestrian fatality rate in 2017 at 21%.
Older adults are at a higher risk of pedestrian injury for a number of reasons. Many elderly people take walks around their neighborhoods for exercise, or rely on walking and public transportation to get from place to place. Elderly adults may also walk at a slower pace than other pedestrians, and impatient drivers may speed through intersections or make premature turns, leading to a collision.
#3: Alcohol-Impaired Pedestrians
Alcohol plays a large role in many traffic accidents, and drivers are not the only ones who are at risk. According to the NHTSA, approximately 32% of pedestrian fatalities involve a pedestrian who has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
Alcohol can impair judgement, coordination, fine motor skills, concentration, and memory — all of which can increase a pedestrian’s risk of an accident. In addition, pedestrians walking home while under the influence are likely to be traveling at night, and data from the NHTSA shows that the majority of pedestrian fatalities occur during evening hours. 30% of fatalities on the weekends and 20% of fatalities on the weekdays occur between 9pm and 11:59pm.
What Should You Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming, but justice is available for victims of motor vehicle collisions. Under California’s fault-based insurance system, the at-fault driver in your accident must pay for the damages you suffered, which you can claim through his or her insurance or a personal injury lawsuit.
To preserve evidence in your claim, take the following steps after the accident.
- Seek medical attention immediately and save all documents from your visits.
- Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement officers.
- Exchange contact details with the at-fault driver.
- Take photographs of your injuries and the area where the accident occurred.
- If there are any witnesses at the scene, collect their contact information.
- Speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Contacting a Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyer to assist with your claim is one of the most important steps you can take for your case. Your attorney will guide you through the litigation process, represent your best interests in discussions with the insurance company, and help you secure a sufficient settlement for your needs. If you have not done so already, contact a California pedestrian accident lawyer.
Sexual misconduct and sexual abuse by teachers in the public and private school systems happens more than we think and often times the abuse is unreported or goes unpunished. Stop Educator and Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation (S.E.S.A.M.E.), a national organization dedicated to ending abuse in schools and increase public awareness, states that one out of ten children K-12 students are victims of sexual educator misconduct. Sexual abuse happens at the collegiate level also. S.E.S.A.M.E reported in 2015 that:
- About 3.5 million students in 8th through 11th grade reported having physical sexual contact from an adult (usually a teacher or coach) ranging from unwanted touching to sexual intercourse.
- The number increased to 4.5 million students when included other types of sexual misconduct, such as being shown pornography or being subjected to sexually explicit language or exhibitionism.
Signs of sexual abuse of children may include:
- Not wanting to be hugged or touched
- Unexplained sleep problems or nightmares
- Loss of appetite, not wanting to eat, or trouble swallowing
- Sudden mood swings, insecurity, or withdrawal
- A new or unusual fear of a certain person or place
- Exhibits knowledge of adult sexual behaviors and language
- Draws, writes, dreams, or talks about frightening images or sexual acts
- Thinks of themselves or their body as “bad” or “dirty”
In teens or adolescents:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Sexual promiscuousness
- Stops caring about bodily appearance or compulsively eats or diets obsessively
- Running away from home
- Anxiety or depression
- Attempting suicide
Sexual abuse of children does not just happen it schools. It also happens in organizations such as youth sports clubs, religious institutions, and youth recreation programs by coaches, staff, volunteers, and other students.
Our Bakersfield sexual abuse attorneys are dedicated to being the voice for children who have suffered from sexual abuse and misconduct in school or in other organizations. We have the resources and skills to thoroughly investigate claims and bring justice to the children who have been sexually abused.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse in school, contact our Kern County law firm for a no-charge consultation: (661) 323-1400 or toll-free 1-800-585-9262.
“Everyone I know has nothing but wonderful things to say about Daniel Rodriguez and Rodriguez & Associates. From dealing with the secretaries to other attorneys in the office, we were always treated with the utmost professionalism. We were always seen immediately and treated like family; really treated like family. It was not an easy case for us, it was a very emotional case for us because it was my dad. But Daniel understood that, Daniel could see that, and I think that made him fight even harder because once he got to know who my dad was and our family, he got to see what a terrible loss we took when my dad was taken away. So, we are very thankful for Daniel Rodriguez and his team. He is beyond professional, beyond compassionate, I can’t see any other attorney here in Bakersfield that does the kind of work that he does. The quality of work and the time he takes out to speak to his clients and make sure their needs are met.”
We are honored when we receive testimonials like this that are so heartfelt and genuine. Daniel Rodriguez, founder and President of our Bakersfield personal injury law firm leads Rodriguez & Associates with the motto, “Big firm results with small firm service.” All personal injury attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates take this to heart by treating each client and case as if they were representing someone from their own family. We strive to thoroughly investigate every case to see that justice is served and that our clients receive what they deserve (and more) for their pain, suffering or loss. During this process, we also get to know the clients and their families on a personal level so when we win on their behalf, it is not just a victory for the firm, it is a personal victory for our attorneys as well.
If you have been injured, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (661) 323-1400 or 800-585-9262.
Injuries on public transportation can be painful. From falling down when the driver makes an unsafe turn to suffering broken bones and lacerations in a bus crash, these accidents can result in expensive medical costs, long periods of time out of work, and damage to your personal property.
You may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to recover compensation for these losses. However, filing a lawsuit requires understanding of liability, California’s common carrier laws, and the potential damages you may be eligible for.
Who Is Liable for a Public Transportation Accident?
The first step to filing a lawsuit for public transportation injuries is to identify the at-fault party in your claim. Your entire case will depend on proving this defendant’s negligence, and you cannot begin the filing process until you identify who is responsible for your injuries.
Liability in public transportation cases can be complex. If a bus driver was responsible for the accident, you will usually file your claim against the state or local government or regional transportation authority who employs him or her.
In cases where a third-party driver is responsible for the accident, you will file the claim directly against him or her. You can either file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a lawsuit in civil court.
California’s Common Carrier Laws
If you are in a car accident while in a motor vehicle, you can collect damages for your injuries by proving the other driver’s negligence. To secure your settlement, you must prove that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, breached his or her duty of care to you, and this breach of care directly caused your injuries.
For public transportation accidents, you will still need to prove the at-fault party’s negligence to win your case. However, California law considers all public and private transportation companies to be common carriers and subject to a higher standard of care than a regular driver.
California’s common carrier law requires common carriers to use the utmost care and diligence for the safety of their passengers. In addition, common carriers must provide everything necessary to uphold this duty of care and use a reasonable degree of skill to carry out these requirements.
If a common carrier does not uphold this duty of care, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Common causes of negligence in public transportation cases include the following.
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Unnecessary stops and starts
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to maintain public transportation vehicles
- Inadequate driver training
- Collisions with another motor vehicle
Immediately following your accident, collect as much evidence as you can to identify its cause. Take pictures and videos, ask witnesses for their contact information, and seek medical attention to receive treatment for your injuries.
Contact an Injury Attorney
One important consideration you must keep in mind for public transportation cases is that the statute of limitations differs in these lawsuits than in other motor vehicle accidents. If you are filing a claim against the government, you must file your lawsuit within six months after the accident or the court will likely dismiss your claim.
This deadline is much shorter than the standard personal injury deadline, which is two years from the date of the accident. To ensure that you meet this statute of limitations, contact a public transportation accident attorney.
Your attorney can provide a number of benefits beyond helping you file your lawsuit. Your lawyer will have a strong knowledge of common carrier and personal injury law, be able to connect you with resources to build your case, and can estimate your damages so you do not accept an insufficient settlement. As soon as possible after your accident, contact your attorney to discuss your legal options.
California follows a traditional fault-based system when it comes to car accidents, meaning that the person responsible for the collision must pay for the damages of the victims. To prove that the other driver was at-fault, you must establish that he or she engaged in negligent driving at the time of the accident. Proving negligent driving can be difficult, but you can identify this behavior by looking for common signs.
Common Types of Negligent Driving Behaviors
Under the law, all drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and follow all applicable traffic rules and regulations. This is known as the driver duty of reasonable care.
To keep everyone on the road safe, drivers must uphold their duty of reasonable care whenever they are behind the wheel. However, some drivers can cause accidents by engaging in negligent driving behaviors.
Common examples of negligent driving include the following.
- Failure to follow the speed limit: Speed limits are in place for a reason, and it is important for drivers to follow these rules. In addition, drivers have a responsibility to drive at an appropriate speed for the weather conditions, visibility, and road conditions. If a driver operates a vehicle at a higher speed than is reasonably safe, he or she can put other drivers at risk and commit an act of negligence.
- Violation of California law: All states have laws regarding how drivers should behave on the road, from avoiding drugs and alcohol to yielding the right of way to pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. If a driver violates state traffic laws, he or she is engaging in negligent driving.
- Failure to keep a proper lookout: As a driver, you never know what unexpected hazards or conditions may appear at any given time. Drivers have a duty to watch for pedestrians, drivers, and other road conditions that could lead to a dangerous situation. If a driver doesn’t keep a proper lookout, he or she may lose control of the vehicle, crash into a piece of property, or collide into another driver or person.
How to Prove Negligence in California
The concept of negligence is integral to all personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims involving negligent drivers. To prove the presence of negligence in your car accident, you and your attorney will need to gather evidence to support four important elements.
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care at the time of the crash.
- The at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care to you.
- The breach of duty directly caused the accident and your injuries.
- You can collect damages for your losses through your claim.
As discussed earlier, the at-fault driver can breach his or her duty of reasonable care to you in a number of ways, from speeding to running a stop sign. The driver may also breach his or her duty of care to you by violating California law, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Your attorney will need to conduct an in-depth investigation to determine the exact cause of the crash and why this cause is indicative of negligent driving behaviors. He or she may also use your medical records, expert testimony, witnesses from the scene, surveillance footage, and other pieces of evidence to prove causation and your damages.
Committing an act of negligence while driving can be very dangerous, leading to thousands of dollars in financial damages, severe injuries, and emotional turmoil. If you are the victim of a negligent driver, contact a Bakersfield car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for compensation.
Settling a case that involves a large commercial truck (such as a tractor trailer) often takes longer to resolve than an accident involving only cars because there are more components to the claim. In our experience as truck accident attorneys in Bakersfield, these are some of the factors that are involved.
An investigation of who was at fault will be done by your attorney and also by the truck’s insurance company. Many truck companies hold insurance policies that are $1 million or more so their goal will be to keep the claim amount as low as possible. Their investigation will try to build a case showing the driver was not at fault – or was only partially at fault. Because they will examine every possibility, investigations may take months or even years.
Injuries and Medical Treatment
Most personal injury cases are resolved when the victim is fully recovered, but injuries that involve a semi-truck may be more traumatic with a longer recovery period, thereby increasing the time it takes to settle the case. Settling the case without a clear picture of total injuries and/or necessary future medical treatment, is not advisable because it may result in an amount that will not fully compensate the victim.
Insurance Company Negotiations for a Settlement
As stated above, insurance companies have much more to lose if the truck driver is found to be at fault so they will aggressively defend the driver and the trucking company. Therefore, negotiations between the truck insurance company attorneys and your attorneys may be very lengthy. If nothing can be agreed upon, a lawsuit will be the next step.
A truck accident is unique and unlike an accident involving only cars. If you’re involved in a commercial truck accident, you will want to hire an attorney who is an expert in the field. Our Bakersfield truck accident lawyers have handled hundreds of truck accidents. We obtained the highest personal injury verdict (over $70 million) in Kern County history for an accident involving a big rig.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, call our Bakersfield personal injury law firm at (661) 323-1400 or 800-585-9262 to schedule a no-charge consultation.
Posted in Personal Injury on June 17, 2020
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the person you are holding liable in your case will try to develop certain defenses to deflect the blame away from him or her and place it on you. One common strategy that defense lawyers use in personal injury cases is the assumption of risk, which states that you understood the risks associated with the negligent actions of the at-fault party.
While facing an assumption of risk argument can be nerve-wracking, you can combat these claims. With an attorney on your side, you can defend yourself against this argument and prove the at-fault party’s negligence.
How to Prove Assumption of Risk
The goal of a personal injury case is for you to prove that the at-fault party in your claim acted in negligence at the time of your accident, leading to your injuries. To prove negligence, you will need to supply evidence to prove the following statements.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident.
- The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care.
- The breach of care directly caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result of these injuries.
To defend himself or herself against these claims, the at-fault party may use the assumption of risk strategy to prove that you were aware of the risks associated with the accident, and you knowingly and voluntarily assumed a risk of harm. If you assumed the risk of injury at the time, the at-fault party does not have to pay for your damages.
To prove your assumption of risk, the at-fault party must prove the following elements.
- You had actual knowledge of the risk associated with the activity.
- You either expressly or implicitly assume the risk associated with the activity.
Express Assumption versus Implied Assumption of Risk
There are two types of assumption of risk: express assumption and implied assumption.
- Express assumption of risk involves an explicit agreement between you and the at-fault party that acknowledges your knowledge and acceptance of the risk. Usually, this is a written contract or agreement.
- Implied assumption of risk occurs when you accept and acknowledge the risk through words or conduct. For example, if the at-fault party tells you that he or she has broken stairs and you nod in acknowledgement, you implicitly assume the risk. If you later file a lawsuit after suffering an injury on those stairs, the at-fault party can use this evidence against you.
Express assumption is typically easier to prove than implied assumption, but implied assumption can also be very broad and apply to a wide range of actions and statements. There are certain instances where you waive your implied assumption of risk due to factors outside of your control, such as criminal activity, unforeseeable events, and actions that may seem voluntary but are actually involuntary under the circumstances.
Defending Yourself Against Assumption of Risk
Facing an assumption of risk claim can be daunting, but you can defend yourself against this strategy. However, you will need an attorney on your side who can evaluate your accident, investigate the evidence surrounding the accident, and determine how to best approach your counterargument.
Hiring a personal injury attorney to represent your claim is one of the strongest ways you can defend yourself against assumption of risk and protect your right to compensation. If you have not done so already, contact a Bakersfield injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your claim and develop your case strategy.
Rodriguez & Associates has been named to Expertise.com’s 2020 list: Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield, CA.
Expertise chose us based on 25 variables across the following five criteria: Reputation, Credibility, Experience, Availability, and Professionalism. They evaluated 242 personal injury attorneys in Bakersfield, CA to provide a hand-picked list of 22 of the best personal injury lawyers in the city.
Expertise’s goal is to connect people with the best local experts. Every month they help over 10 million customers find the best qualified service professional for their needs.