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How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Truck Accident Case?

Posted in Car Accidents,Personal Injury,Truck Accidents on July 1, 2022

An accident involving a massive truck can leave a wake of devastation for the victim and their family, not to mention mounting medical bills, the uncertainty of the future, as well as pain and suffering. While negligent parties can be held responsible financially, those payments are not issued until the case is resolved. Clients are often left wondering when their case will reach a resolution.

While it can be difficult to enter into a process with no specific defined outcome or end date, the truck accident attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates aim to make your lawsuit process as transparent and informative as possible while you heal.

Truck Accident Claims Process

Due to the nature of the trucking industry, a truck accident claim takes time. Each truck accident presents a unique set of challenges dependent on a multitude of variables including the extent of medical treatment needed by the victim, insurance company coverage, and the availability of evidence or witnesses. In many instances, trucking accidents can have more than one party held liable including the driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, or even the truck broker.

While your attorney may have control over some aspects of your case, there is a specific process that your legal team will follow in order to handle your case:

Collecting Evidence

A thorough truck accident attorney will review every piece of evidence that may indicate negligence. Attorneys will review the scene of the crash as well as inspect the following types of materials for evidence:

  • Surveillance footage
  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Police reports
  • Event data recorders
  • Truck log and maintenance records

Medical Treatment Information

Depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, an accurate representation of damages may not be available immediately. Before deciding what may be a fair and reasonable claim, your attorney will need to receive complete medical documentation that outlines past, current, and future medical needs that resulted from the accident. That can mean waiting for extensive surgeries and therapies to be completed.

Injury Demand Letter

In order to move forward with your case, your legal team must submit a letter of demand to the defendant’s insurance company specifying how the claimant has been physically and emotionally affected by the accident and the damages required due to their negligence.

Settlement Negotiations

The negotiation process can be extensive as attorneys and the trucking company will go back and forth to assign fault and determine damages. Each party will scrutinize the evidence in order to reach a settlement. While most truck accident claims tend to be resolved in mediation, the lack of a settlement agreement, especially in a high-stakes case involving large, known organizations, means the case may go to trial.

Trial

Cases that proceed to trial can be drawn out by the process of the court. Cases can typically last a few days to several weeks depending on the amount of evidence to be reviewed, the number of witnesses testifying, and how long the jury takes to deliberate, among other factors.

How We Can Help

Truck accident cases involve a lot of moving parts that are necessary to proceed toward a resolution. It is challenging to identify a time frame in substantial cases, but starting as soon as possible is key. If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a truck accident, it is important to reach out to an experienced truck accident attorney immediately to assess and begin to build your case.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience handling truck accident cases covering not only the engineering and legal issues but also the day-to-day details for truckers that can lead to accidents. Our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys are skilled at identifying and acquiring crucial pieces of evidence, including driver logs and trucking company records.

Please reach out to us today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Danay Gonzalez Praises Rodriguez & Associates’ Commitment to Community

Posted in Firm News,Rodriguez & Associates on June 16, 2022

After five years as an attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay Gonzalez reflects on how she has followed in the footsteps of her mentor Daniel Rodriguez to become the voice for many in her community.

Danay’s family ties to Bakersfield and Lamont have created a natural bond between her work and her community. From a young age, Danay was drawn to helping others. In an area where there was much fear surrounding immigration laws and deportation, she remembers times when her peers struggled to speak up for themselves. She quickly became the person they turned to for help and advocacy. Inspired by Daniel’s success and visibility throughout Lamont’s Hispanic community as well as his dedication to helping others defend their rights, Danay pursued her interest in the law.

“I grew up knowing Daniel as a big part of the Lamont community. Everyone has a lot of respect for Daniel. He is a pillar in our community and a strong voice for the Hispanic population. I feel honored to be working at the same firm that inspired me to be a lawyer.”

Now, as a trial attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay finds a similar calling in supporting clients through some of the most difficult moments of their lives. She says, “Being a trial lawyer is such a satisfying experience because you get to tell the client’s story. There is no better feeling than telling my clients’ stories and seeing how it affects the jury. Creating that connection with the jury is what makes a case successful… Knowing that I am helping my community and making a difference, makes it all worthwhile.”

Community remains a driving force in the success of Rodriguez & Associates. Danay considers that the deep connection the team has to each other and to the area allows them to connect with locals and become the firm that people turn to when they need help.

“We truly treat our clients like family – that’s what makes us so special. That touch of detail is what makes our firm different. We are able to maintain relationships after the fact and see [our clients] be able to move on from traumatic experiences.”

Danay also recognizes the firm’s determination to create successful outcomes for some of the most difficult cases that other firms would have turned down. She says Rodriguez & Associates is known in the community for taking on those challenges and finding ways to make it work as a team. They are not intimidated to take difficult cases to trial, no matter the amount of work that is required.

Danay is building a successful career as a trial attorney alongside Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Patrick Benitez, who she credits with developing the strong, collaborative work environment at the firm. In the last year, she helped her team prepare significant cases that went to trial including the wrongful death of a 71-year-old man that obtained a $4 million verdict and a school sex abuse case in which her team ultimately settled during trial for over $2 million against the school district.

She says of her experiences with the team, “I have learned so much in the last five years. I really feel like I belong here and this is what I was meant to do. I am more confident, more vocal, and have a greater understanding of the law. I am excited to keep learning. I am truly thankful for Daniel – he has helped mold me into the attorney I have become. His mentorship has given me a lot of confidence and tools to become successful.”

While Danay thrives on the achievement of success in the courtroom, she sees the everyday pain that her clients face and understands the sensitive nature of the types of cases she brings to trial, especially those involving children. She expresses the importance of building trust with her clients and having patience and empathy for everyone she represents.

Danay is an ambitious and hard-working attorney who wears her heart on her sleeve. She has made a tremendous impact on the firm and in her representation of clients from within the Bakersfield community. We are extremely proud to have her as a member of the Rodriguez & Associates family.

 

Anastasia Drulias Follows Her Dream of Becoming an Attorney

Posted in Firm News,Rodriguez & Associates on June 16, 2022

For Anastasia Drulias, working at Rodriguez & Associates has been a powerful experience that has propelled her toward her dream of becoming an attorney.

Since high school, Anastasia has known that she wanted to pursue a career in law. As a local to the Bakersfield area, Rodriguez & Associates is a well-known personal injury firm, and she was able to secure an interview with Daniel Rodriguez following high school. Her genuine interest to learn about the law and her hard-working attitude made her a great fit from the start.

Over the last five years, Anastasia has transitioned from a summer intern to a full-time law clerk working alongside the teams of attorneys, completing research, and assisting with cases from start to finish.

It was the people at Rodriguez & Associates, Anastasia says, that kept her returning year after year while she was in school. She expresses a level of comfort in the collegial atmosphere, explaining that while every employee hustled, it was still a very collaborative environment – everyone was always willing to help or answer her questions.

“One of my favorite things about working at the firm is that the attorneys have always been so willing and eager to teach me things, whether they are specific to the task at hand or whether they are just more broadly applicable to the practice of law in general. I am so thankful that they have taken me under their wing in that way and that I have had the opportunity to learn so much from them.”

Gaining hands-on experience with the personal injury firm has not only introduced Anastasia to a variety of practice areas and inspired her to pursue her dream of obtaining her Juris doctorate, but has also helped her identify an interest in international law and international human rights, an area of law that she hopes to explore more at Georgetown University. She credits Rodriguez & Associates with helping her find that alignment with her passion:

“I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I didn’t know why. Working here and seeing how the attorneys interact with clients, and how cases progress has shown me why. I learned that I enjoy helping people through the litigation process.”

While we are sad to see Anastasia leave Bakersfield, we know that a wonderful and fulfilling future lies ahead for her. We wish her all the best at Georgetown!

Daniel Rodriguez Discusses the Depp vs. Heard Defamation Trial on KGET

Posted in Media Appearance on June 7, 2022

Daniel Rodriguez was interviewed on Sunrise with KGET – TV 17 Bakersfield about the Depp vs. Heard defamation trial. He talks about the importance of credibility and relatability in these types of cases as well as the influence of social media.

During a defamation trial, it is important that witnesses are seen as credible and relatable in the eyes of the jury. In the Depp vs. Heard trial, Amber was caught saying things that were found to be untrue and lost credibility.

After a while, you forgive people who’ve made mistakes but you don’t forgive people who lie to you.

As for being relatable – it is easier to vote against someone you don’t like; if someone is deceitful and disparaging, then it’s going to be hard to like that witness.

A defamation lawsuit is putting your character into evidence- how you live your life matters. Dirty laundry will be put out there, and in this case, not just the jury, the entire world was watching. It is important that the evidence you are providing is putting you in the right light.

Social media affected the Depp vs. Heard case. There are two main subsets of defamation: slander- what you say, and liable – what you have written. Now, social media plays a part – if you post false information or lie about someone and it hurts them emotionally and financially you can find yourself in a lawsuit.

You have to take accountability on social media. You can’t just post anything, especially if they are lies because they can come back to haunt you.

Watch the full Sunrise interview with Daniel here:


Daniel Rodriguez is the founder and president of Rodriguez & Associates, a Bakersfield personal injury law firm. He appears on KGET – TV  17 to answer common questions and help their viewers better understand the law.

Daniel Rodriguez Named A Favorite Bakersfield Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted in Awards,Firm News,Honors and Recognitions on June 3, 2022

Daniel Rodriguez was listed in The Bakersfield Californian’s 2022 Best of Bakersfield Readers’ Choice as a favorite in the Best Personal Injury Lawyer category. Each year, The Bakersfield Californian hosts this competition to help residents find the best of the best in the county.

Daniel’s professional dedication to the Bakersfield community has not gone unnoticed and has earned him nationwide recognition. Daniel has been included in Super Lawyers® since 2009, as well as the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorney’s™ 10 Best Attorneys in California.

To learn more about Daniel Rodriguez, click here.

Rodriguez & Associates was also named a favorite in the Best Law Firms category. Thank you to everyone who voted for us!!

Rodriguez & Associates Listed In The 2022 Best Of Bakersfield Readers’ Choice Favorites

Posted in Awards,Firm News,Honors and Recognitions,Kern County Lawyers on June 3, 2022

The Bakersfield Californian has named Rodriguez & Associates a favorite in the “Best Law Firm” category in The Best of Bakersfield Readers’ Choice Poll 2022.

Daniel Rodriguez was also listed as a favorite in the “Best Personal Injury Lawyer” category.

Thank you to everyone that voted for us!

Every year, The Bakersfield Californian, a Kern County local newspaper, holds this competition to help our residents find the best of the best in the county from the Best Local Band to the Best Cardiologist. Congratulations to all those recognized this year!

Rodriguez & Associates has also been listed for years on Expertise.com as the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield.

Learn more about our firm here.

5 Motorcycle Maintenance Tips

Posted in Motorcycle Accidents,Personal Injury on May 31, 2022

When you own a motorcycle, good maintenance is an important part of responsible riding. Keeping your motorcycle in good condition can prolong the life of your bike. In addition, regular maintenance can reduce the risk of accident and keep you and others safe on the road. 

Here are a few key tips for keeping your motorcycle in great condition.

#1: Change Your Oil Regularly

To keep your motorcycle in good condition, you will need to change your oil every once in a while. Your owner’s manual should tell you how often you will need to complete an oil change, but in general, this should occur after several thousand miles.

Most people change their motorcycle oil at least once per year. You may need to change your oil more frequently if you drive more often or take your bike through very dirty or dusty areas. Before you ride your motorcycle, always check your oil and never ride if it is low.

#2: Lubricate Your Drive Chain

One of the most important components in a motorcycle is the drive chain. The drive chain helps transfer power from your motorcycle’s engine to your rear wheel. If this chain falls into disrepair, your motorcycle can become dangerous to ride.

It is important to lubricate your drive chain on a regular basis. For best results try to loop the chain after each ride. You should also check the chain’s tension to ensure that it is adequate.

#3: Inspect Your Tires

Next, you should always check your tires on a regular basis and replace them when necessary. Your manual will also include instructions on how often you should change your tires and what type of tires to use.

In addition to regular replacements, you should always check your tires to make sure that the pressure is correct to ensure good handling and avoid potential blowouts. Always check for signs of wear and tear as well; If you notice anything unusual, take your tires in for replacement.

#4: Test Your Brakes Before Each Ride

Your brakes are an extremely important mechanism for motorcycle safety. You should always test your brakes before riding to make sure that they are working. You should also check the brake fluid to ensure that it is at adequate levels.

Every couple of years or as dictated by your owner’s manual, you should replace your brake fluid. Additionally, check the thickness of your brake pads to make sure that they are not worn down. If you start noticing wear and tear, replace them.

#5: Clean Your Air Filter

The motorcycle’s air filter keeps debris out of the engine. To avoid dangerous conditions, you should regularly clean your air filter with compressed air. If the filter is difficult to clean, replace it on a regular basis.

Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

These tips can help keep your motorcycle in good working condition and reduce your risk of an accident caused by poor maintenance. However, collisions can still occur on California roads. If you were involved in an unexpected motorcycle accident, it is important to speak to an attorney.

In California, injured motorcyclists may be eligible for financial compensation if someone else caused their accident. As soon as possible following the collision, speak to a Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your legal options.

How Frequently Should You Change Your Car’s Tires?

Posted in Car Accidents,Personal Injury on May 31, 2022

Car owners often wonder how frequently they need to change their vehicle’s tires. Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that a vehicle is in good condition and safe to drive. Changing tires can go a long way in preventing an unexpected blowout or dangerous situation.

There are many different answers for how often you should change your car’s tires. In these situations, it is important to defer to the guidance in your vehicle’s user manual and look out for common signs of damage, such as unusual vibrations. 

Why Worn or Aging Tires Are Dangerous

Replacing your tires is more than preserving your car’s aesthetic value or being a responsible car owner. Tires are an extremely important component of your vehicle and could heighten the chances of an accident if they are worn or damaged.

Aging tires can make it difficult to stop or brake on demand. You may be at a higher risk of blowouts, which could strand you in the middle of nowhere or cause you to collide with another car. Additionally, old, worn tires do not have good road grip, which could cause you to spin out of control and crash. 

Signs That You Should Replace Your Tires

Generally, the older and the more worn your tires are, the sooner that you should replace them Experts generally recommend that you change your tires when you reach between 25,000 to 50,000 miles on them. However, you should refer to your vehicle’s manual for more guidance.

There are several signs that you should replace your tires, including the following.

  • Tread Wear: Generally, new tires have a tread of 9/32” to 11/32”. When the tire is worn down to 2/32” or less, you should replace your tires as soon as possible.
  • Bubbles or Bulges: If your tire has any bulges or bubbles on the surface, it is very likely that the tire has suffered damage. You should replace a tire immediately if you notice any bulges.
  • Vibrations: When a tire has been worn down, you may start to feel unusual vibrations while driving. These vibrations usually come through the steering wheel. 
  • Visible Damage: Tires that have cracks, cuts, embedded nails or stones, abnormal wear patterns, or any other signs of visible damage may be dangerous to drive. It is important to replace a tire immediately in these situations.

What to Do After an Unexpected Car Accident

Replacing your tires regularly can help keep your vehicle in good condition and safeguard you against accidents. However, not all drivers are responsible. An unexpected accident can happen at any time due to worn or aging tires, putting you and your passengers at risk.

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to remain calm and seek help. Call 911 immediately and report the accident to law enforcement. Go to the hospital and receive treatment for any injuries that you sustained. If you are able, take photographs or videos of the accident scene and collect information from the other driver and any witnesses.

Once you receive the treatment that you need, contact a Bakersfield car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you recover the compensation that you need to pay for medical care, lost wages, property repairs, and more.

Heather Foster Reflects on her Experience with Rodriguez & Associates

Posted in Firm News,Rodriguez & Associates on May 27, 2022

Accounting department representative, Heather Foster, shares how Rodriguez & Associates’s authentic and warm public image led her to an amazing career choice.

Heather never imagined herself working in the accounting department at a law firm but since starting with Rodriguez & Associates in 2019, she can’t imagine a more satisfying career. A Bakersfield local, Heather has always been familiar with the firm’s strong community presence on the radio and throughout the growing California city. When the firm’s accountant reached out to her with a position, she immediately connected the firm to its approachable reputation in the community.

A behind-the-scenes player at Rodriguez & Associate, Heather is responsible for the organization and maintenance of the firm’s finance records regarding all aspects of the firm from building management to client payouts including the systems of processing, recording, and payment. While she doesn’t have much face-to-face time with the firm’s clients her role is nevertheless indispensable. Her attention to detail and analytical skills help prepare the paperwork and documentation that is distributed to clients throughout the course of their case. Heather says, “I love finding solutions and finding the answers to problems. Makes me feel like I have an active role in helping the clients.”

Heather attributes Rodriguez & Associates’ success to their genuine compassion as a team, and their ability to collaborate diverse perspectives in order to successfully tackle any obstacle.

“The firm is very attentive, detailed, and cares greatly about each of its clients. Overall, it is a great team made up of individuals who can help work toward the ultimate goal of helping the client and getting the job done… It’s like a second family and I love the look I see on everyone’s face when we complete a successful case. That moment is an accomplishment.”

While transitioning to a law firm as a “numbers person” presented challenges at first, Heather finds the reward of working with such a tight-knit team. She sees the great potential of Rodriguez & Associates in the Bakersfield community and is excited to see how the firm continues to grow.

Rodriguez & Associates is lucky to have Heather on our team!

Oil Extradition Industry Safety Initiatives

Posted in Oil Field Worker Injuries,Personal Injury on May 25, 2022

The oil extraction industry has become known as one of the most dangerous occupational fields. Workers are constantly exposed to conditions that require heightened awareness and attentiveness due to operating heavy machinery, handling chemicals, and working amid unstable environmental conditions.

Federal and private organizations have been implementing and enforcing safety regulations for decades, yet catastrophic and fatal incidents continue to occur every year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 44 occupational fatalities in private sector oil and gas extraction industries in 2020, the last year of available data. Thousands of other injuries were reported ranging from slip-and-fall incidents to chemical burns.

Oil extraction companies are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment for their employees. With the concern of preventable accidents, many employee safety organizations have scrutinized the working conditions in oilfields and mandated strict regulations for operating procedures that promote safety on the job.

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates and enforces safety standards and workers’ rights, believes that most oilfield accidents are preventable and has identified common causes of injury and death among oilfield workers to heighten awareness:

  • Vehicle Accidents
  • Struck-By/ Caught-In/ Caught-Between Machinery
  • Explosions and Fires
  • Falls
  • Confined Spaces
  • Chemical Exposures

In addition to regulating worksites, OSHA’s mission includes supplying resources, training, and assistance to help companies eliminate hazards and maintain safe and productive worksites. Many private safety equipment companies like Honeywell and Workrise promote safe working environments in oilfields, providing education and training resources, personal protection equipment, as well as relevant research on the environmental impacts such as methane emissions.

To maximize safety awareness in the oil extraction industry, the American Petroleum Institute’s Onshore Safety Alliance urges all oil field companies to take extra precautions to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Simple additional steps can be taken to protect the physical and mental well-being of oilfield workers:

  1. Complete a Job Safety Analysis Process to help develop a safety program tailored to the job site.
  2. Provide additional PPE to all employees to prevent overexposure to noise, chemicals, and other hazards.
  3. Train employees in the specifics of the industry and provide regular safety updates on machinery, job site changes, and expectations.
  4. Provide advanced education on the science of oil and gas extraction.
  5. Provide all required safety signage as well as additional safety information.
  6. Hold supervisors to a high standard of safety.
  7. Complete timely equipment maintenance.

Providing in-depth training, safety gear, and equipment maintenance are all simple ways to avoid accidents that can potentially cause serious injury. It is inexcusable for organizations to disregard safety procedures to prioritize profit. Unfortunately, this along with careless mistakes on the job lead to preventable accidents. When an accident does occur, it is important to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience representing those injured in the oilfield because of someone else’s negligence, including obtaining $4.5 million for a defective oilfield derrick and $3.5 million for a worker who sustained injuries after an oilfield crane dropped on him. We understand the concerns and frustrations that working families face when an earner is no longer able to work due to injury. Contact our Bakersfield office today to schedule a free consultation of your case.