Rodriguez and Associates

Kern County’s Premier
Personal Injury Lawyers

REQUEST FREE CONSULTATION

Blog

Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents

Posted in Oil Field Worker Injuries,Personal Injury Attorneys,Rodriguez & Associates,Work Injury on December 8, 2022

Working on an oilfield is a dangerous profession. In an industry that requires working with heavy machinery, combustible materials, and large vehicles among many other hazards, there are a large number of potential hazards. Most oilfield accidents are preventable with proper precautions, yet traumatic and fatal accidents caused by explosions, faulty machinery, or environmental factors, among other variables, continue to threaten the safety of oilfield workers every day.

Oil companies are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment for their employees. Providing in-depth training, appropriate safety gear, and maintaining equipment regulations are all simple ways to avoid accidents that can potentially cause serious injury. When state and federal laws and regulations are not met or are ignored, there is a serious concern for everyone’s safety. When an accident does occur, it is important to hold the responsible parties accountable.

The most recent data from The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average of 107 annual occupational fatalities in private sector oil and gas extraction industries from 2016 to 2020. Thousands of other injuries were reported ranging from slip-and-fall incidents to chemical exposures. California reported 90 fatalities across the public and private extraction industries in 2020, of which 40% were the result of slips, falls, or trips. Continue reading to learn about the most common causes of oilfield accidents in the US and how to prevent them:

Blowouts

An oil well blowout is an uncontrolled release of oil, liquid, and gas that can occur when the pressure release systems on the well fail. There is a tremendous force behind a blowout that can cause serious injury to anyone within range. The chief operator should be trained to identify the signs of a potential blowout and be looking for signs of a potential blowout at all times. All mechanical systems of the well pump should be inspected and monitored regularly to avoid system failures.

Explosion and Fires

Oilfield workers are constantly surrounded by extremely flammable materials that can combust from even the smallest spark, potentially causing significant harm. Explosions and fires on the oil field are relatively rare but when they do happen, they can cause horrific burn injuries, fatalities, and damage. Most accidents of this nature are preventable and are caused by equipment malfunction, failure to follow safety regulations, or unsafe drilling practices.

Exposure to Toxins and Chemicals

Exposure to the chemicals in an oilfield can create major long-term medical problems for workers. Benzene is a carcinogen found in crude oil and can devastate a person’s bone marrow and blood, causing leukemia, cancers, anemia, and excessive bleeding. Prolonged low exposure to hydrogen sulfide can potentially cause memory loss, respiratory soft tissue damage, and skin complications, while a high concentration exposure to the same gas can be fatal. Effects of chemical exposure might take years to identify, so it is important to receive medical treatment immediately following a known exposure, keep documentation, and follow all recommended safety precautions.

Injured? We Can Help

Working conditions on an oilfield are unique, unpredictable, and dangerous. It is important to remain cognizant of your surroundings, follow safety procedures, and use good judgment while working. If negligence or an unsafe working environment causes you to be injured on the job site, the experienced team of oilfield accident attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates can assess your case and help you figure out what organizations or individuals are responsible for the negligence that was a factor in the accident that caused you harm.

Contact our Bakersfield, CA office today to connect with an attorney regarding your case, and determine the next steps towards your recovery.

Serious Injuries From Car Accidents

Posted in Car Accidents,Personal Injury Attorneys,Rodriguez & Associates on December 6, 2022

Accidents from the impact of cars crashing often result in serious injuries that have a lasting impact on the lives of the victims. Since the average American car weighs over 2 tons when an accident occurs between two cars over 8,000 pounds of metal and steel collide at great force. The damage and potential injuries can be astounding depending on the circumstances of the accident.

If you are involved in a serious car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you are entitled to seek compensation for a number of damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of wages. Working with an experienced serious car accident attorney will help you prioritize your needs, identify potential damages, and seek justice on your behalf while you heal.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience recovering damages for victims of severe car accidents including a $4.6 million dollar case resulting in a head-on collision caused by a drug-impaired driver and a $5.5 million dollar recovery on behalf of a two-year-old paralyzed in a high-speed police chase.

What Qualifies as a Serious Car Accident?

Generally, the severity of an accident is determined by the injuries obtained by drivers and passengers. A number of factors may influence the seriousness of injuries including the speed of the vehicles at the time of the collision, the type of impact or collision that took place, and the number of cars involved.

A serious injury is determined by a high risk of death, serious disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health, or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

Serious Car Accident Injuries

A number of life-changing injuries can be acquired in a car accident

  • Spinal Cord Injuries
    Accidents that cause damage to the neck or spinal cord are common and detrimental to the livelihood of the victim. Spinal trauma from a high-impact collision can sever the spinal cord or dislocate vertebrae causing a combination of serious medical issues including paralysis and lost feeling in parts of the body, the loss of function or control of parts of the body, as well as difficulty breathing.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
    Traumatic brain injury or TBI is usually a result of a severe impact to the head or the result of an object penetrating brain tissue. Depending upon the severity of the injury, victims may face cognitive or emotional issues as well as struggling with ordinary tasks, such as brushing their teeth or feeding themselves, that require motor control.
  • Amputation or Limb Loss
    If a person’s limb is injured beyond repair or keeping it would put them at further medical risk, amputation can be the best life-saving solution. Losing the use of one or multiple limbs due to a serious car accident can drastically affect a person’s quality of life. Effects of amputation include extensive medical procedures and therapies, prosthetic limbs, continuing pain, and emotional trauma.

Why do Serious Car Accidents Occur?

Negligence plays a large role in the number of serious car accidents that occur nationally. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identifies distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and aggressive driving were all leading causes of serious or fatal car accidents in 2020. California is among the states that have developed a Strategic Highway Safety Plan to address negligent motorists and enforce safety regulations in an effort to minimize fatalities and serious car accidents.

How We Can Help

The award-winning car accident attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates have over one hundred years of combined experience working closely with seriously injured car accident victims in the Bakersfield area, and throughout California. For years, we have been named to Expertise.com’s list of Best Car Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield.

Our team understands the extreme difficulties families can face in the aftermath of an accident and comprehensively examines all details of your incident to build a strong case that will help you reach justice and reclaim your life. Contact our Bakersfield personal injury law office today to schedule a free consultation of your case.

Rodriguez & Associates Drop-Off Location for Toy and Shoe Drive

Posted in Community Involvement,Giving Back on December 1, 2022

Rodriguez & Associates’ offices, 1128 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301, is a drop-off location for Celebration Nation’s Christmas Toy and Shoe Drive for Kids of Farmworkers now until December 16, 2022.

We are collecting new and gently used toys, shoes and kids’ clothing.

The end of the harvest season is difficult for many farm workers as they live off savings to make it through the winter. In order to supply basic needs like shoes and clothing to their children, they go into debt by taking out loans and as the lowest-paid labor force, they are unable to afford Christmas gifts.

Their children are the reason for farm workers showing up every day to help feed the rest of the nation. Let’s help lift their burden this holiday season and enjoy Christmas by providing their kids with gifts and bringing a little joy into their lives.

In addition to dropping off toys and all sizes of shoes, clothing and socks at our office, you can shop online and have the items shipped directly to:
Celebration Nation
10 Woodland Rd.
Saint Helena, CA 34574

For more information about Celebration Nation, their event and programs as well as other California drop-off locations click here.

To learn about all of the ways Rodriguez & Associates stays involved in our community and gives back, click here.

Steps to Improve Worker Safety on an Oilfield

Posted in Oil Field Worker Injuries,Personal Injury Attorneys,Work Injury on December 1, 2022

Oilfield workers face considerable health and safety concerns due to the nature of their jobs. The number of inexperienced workers, the use of heavy equipment, powerful machinery, and volatile liquids and gasses all contribute to a hazardous work environment, but one that has become essential to California’s economy.

Accidents experienced on an oilfield are often preventable and may occur out of negligence on the part of workers, supervisors, corporate offices, or equipment manufacturers. When negligence causes minor or severe injury, the employee has the right to seek legal representation and potential damages for losses caused due to the injury.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatality rate among oil and gas workers is seven times higher than all other industries in the United States. The most common accidents that cause fatalities and injuries in the oil and gas industry include automobile accidents, caught-in, struck-by or caught-between incidents, fires and explosions, and falls from great heights.

Controlling or minimizing the likelihood of a hazard is the best way to prevent accidents and injuries on an oilfield. A number of federal and state government agencies including OSHA set safety expectations and regulations that employers are required by law to follow. Ultimately, organizations, managers, and supervisors are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment for anyone on the worksite.

Ensure Proper Training of All Employees

Companies and supervisors are responsible for the proper training of all employees. Training should include required gear and how to use it, a full understanding of operation procedures, the use of the equipment, and any necessary mechanics, among other things. Inexperienced workers should receive all necessary training before being granted permission to operate equipment independently.

Consistently Enforce Safety Regulations

California Law requires oil companies to follow the strict regulations outlined by government agencies to protect workers, the public, and the environment. Supervisors and managers must consistently enforce these safety regulations in order to maintain a safe work environment for everyone. OSHA regularly performs safety audits of oilfields to ensure companies are in compliance with regulations and workers maintain the right to file a complaint with OSHA should their employer fail to follow and administer proper safety regulations.

Avoid Oilfield Worker Burnout

Oilfield workers frequently have high demands placed on their time and availability, including hours of overtime. Exhaustion does not allow workers to work clearly and efficiently, with research suggesting that the effects of fatigue on the brain are as harmful as drunk driving. Exhaustion can affect memory, motor skills, decision-making, and balance. Employers should place reasonable demands on their employees, and provide schedules that allow for adequate rest.

Ensure Oilfield Equipment is Well Maintained

Oilfields contain a significant amount of mechanical equipment that requires specific maintenance to ensure that it is properly functioning. Heavy machinery that is not fully inspected and maintained can potentially have catastrophic impacts on safety features, shut-off valves, and sensors that can prevent or alert to blowouts, fires, or other hazards. Fully functional equipment is less likely to break or malfunction and create the potential for severe accidents.

Supply Workers with Necessary Protective Gear

From masks and footwear to harnesses and helmets, oilfield workers require layers of protection against the elements, slippery surfaces, and heights among other hazards. Since 2018, OSHA requires all employers to provide workers with appropriate and necessary personal protective equipment that meets the administration’s safety standards.

How We Can Help

It is inexcusable for organizations to disregard safety procedures on oilfields 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 personal injury law office today to schedule a free consultation of your case.

What Questions Should I Ask My Personal Injury Lawyer?

Posted in Personal Injury on November 30, 2022

When you are hurt by another person, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. These claims can be very complex and sometimes difficult to navigate, which is why many people seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. These attorneys specialize in personal injury cases and can provide significant support and resources to recover fair compensation.

With so many options available, finding the right personal injury firm can be a challenge. By preparing a list of questions for your legal consultation, you can better vet potential options and find the attorney with the experience, resources, and knowledge necessary to handle your case. Below are some of the most important questions to ask a personal injury lawyer.

How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Handled?

You want to hire a lawyer who has experience handling similar cases like yours. An attorney with this knowledge and expertise will be better equipped to represent your best interests than a lawyer with no prior experience. 

If your lawyer is relatively new, don’t rule him or her out completely. Instead, ask about the resources available at the firm. Are there more experienced lawyers who will provide support during the case as well? Does the firm have a history of success handling similar cases to yours? These factors can contribute greatly to your outcome.

Do You Think I Have a Strong Case?

Your lawyer will not be able to predict the outcome of your case right away, but he or she should be able to provide an opinion about your situation. Ask the attorney whether he or she believes that you have a strong case or if there are any weaknesses and about your chances for compensation. This question will provide insight into the lawyer’s ability to provide an honest opinion about your case.

How Much Are Your Legal Fees?

Many California personal injury firms operate on a contingency fee basis. Under this arrangement, you will not pay any legal fees unless the attorney recovers financial compensation in your case. However, some attorneys do require you to cover costs like court fees or copying documents. To understand your potential financial obligation, ask the attorney about his or her legal fees.

What Results Have You Obtained for Your Clients?

If an attorney or firm has a strong track record of successful jury verdicts and settlements, that lawyer is more likely to obtain a successful outcome in your case. Ask the attorney about his or her case history and the results that he or she has obtained for clients. You may also want to ask how many cases the lawyer has won in court versus settled during negotiations.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Lawyer Today

A personal injury attorney is essential when filing a lawsuit against a negligent party. With these questions, you can begin your search for the right lawyer to have by your side. Schedule a free consultation today with a California personal injury lawyer and learn more about what legal representation can do for you.

 

 

 

Can I Sue for Wildfire Damage?

Posted in California,Personal Injury,Personal Injury Lawyer on November 10, 2022

Wildfires are a serious risk in California, with thousands of acres suffering from fire damage every single year. These fires destroy property, displace people from homes, and cause devastating injuries and deaths. No one deserves to recover from a wildfire alone, and depending on your situation, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your losses.

If the wildfire was caused by the negligence of another person or an entity, you could file a lawsuit against the responsible party. In this situation, it is important to enlist the help of a wildfire injury attorney who can represent your case and hold the at-fault party liable for his or her dangerous actions.

How Do Wildfires Happen?

Wildfires form when three conditions are present: oxygen, a heat source, and some sort of fuel, like trees, grass, dry brush, and buildings. When a fire starts, it begins to gain momentum and spread as it burns more fuel sources and is spread by oxygen. Combined with dry, drought-stricken conditions, wildfires can cause devastating damage to thousands of acres.

These fires can be caused by several factors, some of which are caused by humans and some of which are caused by environmental conditions. Below are some of the most common contributors to wildfires:

  • Burning debris
  • Unattended campfires
  • Fireworks
  • Electrical lines
  • Lightning
  • Discarded cigarettes
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Intentional arson
  • Equipment malfunctions

When Can You File a Lawsuit After a Wildfire?

If someone else’s actions caused a wildfire, you have the right to file a lawsuit against an at-fault party in California civil court. In your claim, you can recover financial compensation to pay for any property damage, medical care, lost wages, or pain and suffering related to the fire. Multiple parties could be liable for a wildfire, including electrical companies, campers, motor vehicle drivers, and other individuals or entities.

However, you will need to show that negligence caused the wildfire. There are three elements of negligence:

  • The person or entity that caused the fire had a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  • The person or entity breached that duty of care, starting the fire.
  • As a result of the breach of duty, the person or entity caused the fire and the plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

For example, say that the fire was caused by an unattended campfire. Anyone who is camping has a duty to practice fire safety and not start a fire at the campground. If a camper doesn’t properly snuff out his or her fire after camping, a single spark can cause a significant wildfire. In this situation, you could file a lawsuit against that camper.

In cases that do not involve negligence, you may protect your assets by investing in insurance coverage for wildfires. However, you will need to purchase this insurance before the wildfire occurs, or you won’t receive protection. 

Speak to a California Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you suffered property loss or burn injuries in a wildfire, you may qualify for financial compensation. In these situations, you need a lawyer who can advocate for your rights and gather enough evidence to prove the at-fault party’s liability. Contact a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and plan your next steps.

Daniel Rodriguez Representing Arvin High School Special Needs Bullying Victim

Posted in California,Personal Injury Attorneys,Personal Injury Lawyer,Rodriguez & Associates,School Bullying on November 2, 2022

Daniel Rodriguez, founding partner and president of Rodriguez & Associates, announced in a press conference on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, that his firm is representing a special needs student who was the victim of a bullying incident at Arvin High School.

The victim is a 16-year-old student who has significant learning disabilities. Mr. Rodriguez explained that it is difficult for special needs children to fit in and find acceptance and friends, making them a target for manipulation.

Recorded by student onlookers and posted across social media platforms including Twitter and TikTok, the video showed the student’s evident despair and frustration as a crowd of bystanders, which included at least one security guard, taunted and laughed at him as multiple students shaved his head.

The incident seemingly ended when another student came to the aid of the victim, helping him to a female security guard who carted him away from the situation. Danay Gonzales, an attorney with the firm, says the school never contacted the student’s mother, who learned of the incident from her sister who had seen it online. The school then attempted to blame the bullying on the student.

Arvin High School, which happens to be Mr. Rodriguez’s alma mater, is part of the Kern County School District. Rodriguez stated in the press conference that schools have a legal obligation and duty to protect all students, a standard that was not met considering the outcome of this incident.

“What is going on in the high school district? They all talk about having measures in place. [Bullying is] not just isolated to Arvin High School,” Rodriguez said. “We have a number of other cases.”

An outpouring of support for the victim and public outcry against the school administration was voiced in a protest last week as residents, students, alumni, and family members surrounded the school. School officials issued a statement, assuring the public that they were investigating the incident and that two staff members were placed on administrative leave.

Rodriguez said his office is also conducting a full investigation of the incident and intends to hold responsible both those directly involved and others who failed to protect the student. Since this particular case is against a government-funded public school, the firm must file a government tort claim prior to filing a lawsuit.

The team of award-winning attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates is known for handling complicated and sensitive issues involving minors affected by school bullying, violence, and other in-school incidents. They offer care and compassion for their clients while fighting intently for truth and justice.

About Rodriguez & Associates

Rodriguez & Associates is Kern County’s top personal injury law firm. The lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience. They are an award-winning law firm known to deliver big firm results with small firm service.

Chantal Trujillo Reflects on Her Experience with Rodriguez & Associates

Posted in Kern County Lawyers,Personal Injury Attorneys,Rodriguez & Associates on October 27, 2022

Since joining Rodriguez & Associates in 2011, Chantal Trujillo has grown to senior partner, developing into her role as a trial attorney in some of Bakersfield and Kern County’s toughest cases. In a male-dominated field that requires fierce grit and determination, Chantal possesses that and much more, understanding that the most successful work of a personal injury attorney is derived from compassion and empathy.

A Bakersfield-area native, Chantal left California to pursue school and life in Texas, returning after obtaining her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio to be closer to family. She considers herself fortunate to have found a home away from home at Rodriguez & Associates and to have had the opportunity to be mentored by the firm’s founder and president, Daniel Rodriguez.

“Daniel took me to depositions and gave me the guidance and coaching to succeed. I always felt comfortable going to him with questions. I have become confident, always learning, and now I can help others learn the ropes and gain their footing.”

While Chantal attributes her technical training to Mr. Rodriguez, her hard work, and the opportunities the firm has presented her with over the years, she has also developed a unique skill that allows her to connect background knowledge from her lived experiences and apply it to the cases she works. She refers to this skill as the “Slumdog Millionaire” effect, as her exceptional memory allows her to recall details from moments in time that align experiences with information, research, or evidence at a moment’s notice – a skill that comes in handy during pivotal moments during trials. Her grit, determination, and presence stem from decades of Kenpo training, a Chinese martial art, which she also taught during her college years, a job that prepared her to present and differentiate information to make it understandable to many.

Familiar with male-dominated arenas such as martial arts, and Texas oil fields, embarking on a career in trial law did not phase Chantal. She says, “there were times that I would look around and be the only female attorney in the room. I had to make sure I was always on my A-game.” Her A-game has led her and her team to successful settlements and verdicts in some of Kern County’s most significant cases including a 2019 verdict in a school shooting case that was later upheld on appeal.

Chantal describes her team at our Bakersfield, California personal injury law firm as a well-oiled machine of experienced attorneys and attentive staff who take pride in putting their clients first.

“Our clients come to us at their most vulnerable and weakest moments in life. Being able to help them take strides in a positive direction and help guide them toward resolution is always our priority.”

Care and respect for clients are a significant part of the firm’s mission, understanding the immense difficulties that their clients are facing. Chantal is all too familiar with the struggles of her clients, many of whom are underage victims of unspeakable crimes including violence and child molestation. These cases are sensitive by nature, and working with minors requires special tenacity and attention to the emotional needs of her clients.

“Our most successful cases are those that will have the most impact and create change where change needs to happen.”

Chantal possesses the natural ability to connect with others, understanding that in her line of work, trust and compassion are just as important traits as tenacity and drive. Building lasting relationships with co-workers as well as clients, Chantal is a testament to the environment that Rodriguez & Associates has developed to serve the people of Bakersfield and beyond.

We are so grateful for the commitment and energy Chantal has brought to the firm over the years!

The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

Posted in California,Kern County Lawyers,Personal Injury,Rodriguez & Associates on October 25, 2022

Personal injury covers a broad range of cases in which a person can bring a lawsuit against another person or entity for harm suffered due to negligence. Laws allow individuals who have been injured to claim damages for both physical and emotional injury, in order to obtain compensation for medical treatment and pain and suffering.

Due to the diversity in cases, the personal injury lawsuit process is complex. If you or a family member are injured due to another person’s negligence it is important to work with an experienced and trusted attorney who can help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.

Bakersfield personal injury law firm Rodriguez & Associates has outlined the personal injury lawsuit process to help you understand the general development of a personal injury case, from the time of the incident through appeal.

  1. Seek Medical Treatment
    If you are injured in an accident, your priority is to ensure you receive any necessary medical attention immediately. Quick and proper care can help you treat injuries most effectively as well as provide you with documentation provided by doctors, nurses, therapists, and other providers that can help validate your claim.
  2. Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
    It is recommended that you discuss your personal injury claim with an experienced attorney, especially if your situation is complex. Always research potential attorneys to ensure they have demonstrated experience in the practice area of your case, resources available to conduct thorough investigations, and the ability to take your case to trial and appeal if need be.Rodriguez & Associates is an award-winning personal injury firm in Kern County that has built the reputation of prioritizing client needs while pursuing exceptional results in a variety of practice areas including trucking accidents, workplace accidents, and oil field accidents, among others.
  3. Investigation
    It is important to share all details of your case, injuries, medical records, and medical treatments with your attorney so your team has an accurate and pragmatic understanding of your case and can best provide you with clarity and expectations. Each personal injury case is unique and may present challenges related to statutes of limitations, evidence, or testimonies. Keeping accurate records of treatment payments, bills, and other financial information that demonstrate your injuries and recovery will be helpful for your attorney as they fully investigate your situation and determine potential damages.
  4. Demands and Negotiation
    It is not uncommon for a personal injury claim to reach a settlement without ever going to trial. Settlements are determined at this time when your attorney contacts the defendant to demonstrate your intent to file and requests full reparations.Prior to contacting the defendant, your attorney will typically wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning your injuries have healed to completion of your medical plan. Waiting for MMI will allow your attorney to better determine the complete damages of your case, and the full extent of settlement demands.If the plaintiff and the defendant are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the case will move forward toward litigation and a trial.
  5. A Lawsuit is Filed
    Litigation begins when your attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf. In California, a personal injury claim must be filed within two years of the date the accident occurred. The California statute of limitations does not require that your case be completed within that time frame, but according to the law, your case must be filed within two years from the time the injury occurred. There are exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations as well, including medical malpractice cases, cases brought against a government entity, as well as cases in which the injury was not immediately discoverable. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that your lawsuit is filed in accordance with the law.
  6. The Discovery Phase
    During the discovery phase, your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will review and investigate both sides of the case, measuring evidence, testimonies, and defenses against each other. Both the plaintiff’s side and the defense will communicate openly, ask questions, share documents, and take depositions from both sides to establish a complete explanation of what occurred, who was at fault, and where liability falls.
  7. Mediation and Negotiation
    After case materials have been reviewed, lawyers may enter a renegotiation of damages toward a settlement. If they are unable to find a resolution, a neutral, third-party mediator can be asked to assist in the negotiation.
  8. Trial
    If mediation is not an option or does not reach a resolution, the case may enter into trial. Trials can be time-consuming and expensive processes for both parties, requiring extensive resources and preparation. Trials will culminate in a decision reached by a judge or a jury. The team at Rodriguez & Associates are well-versed trial lawyers who do not back down from the challenge of taking a case to trial if necessary.
  9. Appeal
    If either party disagrees with the judgment made at trial, they may appeal the decision to a higher court. In this process, the court will review the details of the case and how the determination was made by the lower court. An appellate court can either uphold the original judgment or, in the event it is decided there was not enough evidence to make a decision, return the case to its initial stages. To read about one of our recent verdicts upheld on appeal, click here.

While the majority of personal injury cases will not reach trial, it is important to work with a legal team that possesses the resources and capability to help you reach a successful trial verdict, and have that verdict upheld on appeal, if need be. The experienced team of personal injury attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates holds records for some of the largest settlements and verdicts in Kern County.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, the attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates will make sure that all needs of your case are met while you focus on recovery. Contact our Bakersfield, CA office today for a free evaluation of your case.

What Is Secondary Brain Injury Prevention?

Posted in Brain Injuries on October 22, 2022

The brain is responsible for controlling our thoughts, emotions, movement, speech, and more. Any damage to the brain can lead to complications and lifelong impairments. One of these complications is known as secondary brain injury, a serious condition that develops after the initial brain damage.

If you suffered a brain injury, it is critical to take steps to monitor and prevent secondary brain damage. Going to the doctor and receiving prompt medical attention are only some of the ways that you can avoid this dangerous condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury occurs when you suffer a sudden, profound injury to your head. This brain damage can be caused by a sudden jolt or blow to the head, violent shaking, or objects that penetrate the skull. Car accidents, falls, gunshot wounds, and other accidents often lead to serious brain injuries.

Symptoms of a brain injury can vary based on the location, severity, and type of damage. Below are some of the most common signs of this dangerous medical condition:

  • Persistent headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Speech changes
  • Loss of balance
  • Dizziness
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Weakness or numbness

What Is Secondary Brain Injury?

After a primary brain injury occurs, the brain starts to experience changes in its tissue, blood vessels, cells, and chemicals. These changes can cause further injury and destruction in the brain and may develop over the minutes, hours, days, or even weeks following the initial damage. This phenomenon is known as secondary brain injury.

How to Prevent Secondary Brain Injury

Secondary brain injuries can lead to disability and even death without treatment. However, early management of these symptoms can help reduce the impact of the condition. Doctors must ensure that the patient gets enough oxygen and maintains stable blood pressure. By stabilizing the patient and monitoring his or her heart rate or blood pressure, the risk of secondary brain injury decreases. 

What to Do If You Suffer Traumatic Brain Damage

Suffering from traumatic brain damage can be extremely distressing and scary, regardless of whether you experienced a primary or secondary injury. If you suffer any type of injury to the head, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you do not feel any symptoms. Brain injuries may not cause any pain or discomfort for some time following the initial impact.

If someone else was responsible for your brain injury, you may have the right to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. Depending on the cause of your accident, you could file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

After receiving medical care, you should try to gather as much evidence about the accident as you can. Obtain the police report that was taken at the scene of the accident. Collect any photographs or videos from the incident and try to get in touch with any witnesses who saw it happen. 

Once you have gathered this information, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A Bakersfield TBI lawyer can assess these pieces of evidence and determine whether you have a case. Then, he or she will help you take your first steps toward recovering the compensation that you deserve.