Category Archives: Car Accidents

What are the Consequences for Driving Without Insurance in California?

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Under California law, all motor vehicle operators must carry the proper amounts of insurance in case they are involved in a car accident. California follows a fault-based car insurance system, making at-fault drivers financially liable for any collisions they cause. If an at-fault driver does not carry the right insurance coverage, not only could he or she face penalties like fines and license suspensions—he or she may need to pay for the damages of his or her victims out of pocket.  

California Car Insurance Requirements 

When it comes to pursuing compensation after a car accident in California, victims typically have two options. They can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or they can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. If they have optional forms of insurance such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, victims can pursue a claim against their own insurance policy as well.

To uphold this financial responsibility, California requires all drivers to hold the following minimum amounts of car insurance.

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person per accident
  • $30,000 for injury or death to all people per accident
  • $5,000 for property damage per accident

Drivers can choose to purchase higher amounts of insurance if they choose. Victims have the right to recover compensation up to the driver’s policy limits and may choose to file a lawsuit against the driver if the claim is unsuccessful or yields an insufficient settlement.

California’s Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

If a driver is caught driving without insurance in California, he or she could face strict consequences. Penalties for driving without insurance depend on the number of previous offenses and whether a collision occurs.

  • For a first offense, a driver could face fines between $100–$200 plus penalty assessments between $260–$520. The police officer may impound his or her vehicle.
  • For a second and subsequent offense, a driver could face between $200–$500 in fines plus penalty assessments between $520–$1,300. His or her vehicle may also be impounded.
  • For a first offense after a collision, the driver could face fines between $100–$200 plus penalty assessments between $260–$520. The driver will also face a one-year driver’s license suspension and will need to supply an SR-22 form, which proves financial responsibility and insurance coverage, to reinstate his or her license. The court may order a vehicle impoundment as well.
  • For a second and subsequent offense after a collision, a driver could face between $200–$500 in fines plus penalty assessments between $520–$1,300. The driver could also face up to a four-year driver’s license suspension and will need to supply an SR-22 form to reinstate driving privileges. The court may order a vehicle impoundment.

Liability Challenges for Uninsured California Drivers

After an accident, a driver may need to pay for a victim’s damages if he or she does not have insurance coverage. The victim can choose to file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim after the accident, but not everyone holds this coverage. In these situations, the victim may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver—and the uninsured driver will be financially responsible for paying the settlement.

To avoid these penalties and protect your finances, it is important to comply with California’s insurance laws. If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, speak with a California car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can evaluate your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Posted by highrank at 5:33 pm

What Happens During the Car Accident Settlement Process?

Thursday, September 30, 2021

California is a fault-based car accident state, meaning that negligent drivers are financially responsible for their victims’ losses. Through a car accident claim, you can recover damages like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

If you are filing a claim, you may wonder how the car accident settlement process works. This process involves more than submitting paperwork to an insurance company—depending on the complexity of your accident, you may need to engage in negotiations, escalate your claim to a lawsuit, and enter the courtroom. In these situations, it is important to have an attorney on your side.

Investigating the Car Accident

After a California car accident, you typically have two options to recover compensation for your injuries. You can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit against him or her in civil court. Most car accident claims begin in the insurance stage before escalating to a lawsuit if the insurance claim is denied or the settlement is insufficient to meet your needs.

Before you can file your claim, however, you will need to gather evidence about your accident. Your car accident lawyer will investigate your claim and monitor your medical records as you recover from your injuries. As soon as you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and you have a better understanding of your injuries, damages, and long-term needs, your lawyer will initiate your claim.

Filing an Insurance Claim

If you file an insurance claim after your accident, you will submit information about the collision to the at-fault party’s insurance company. A representative will be assigned to your claim and conduct an investigation. At the conclusion of your case, the representative will determine whether or not you qualify for compensation and the value of your settlement.

Insurance claims typically take a few months to reach a conclusion. During this process, your lawyer will submit evidence and negotiate with the representative to secure the highest possible settlement. If you do not receive a settlement or if it is too low to meet your needs, your lawyer will either appeal the decision or file a lawsuit.

Entering the Car Accident Lawsuit Process

Before your attorney files a lawsuit in California civil court, he or she may choose to send a demand letter to the at-fault driver outlining your intent to file a claim and requesting a negotiation. If you engage in these negotiations, you may reach a settlement before filing a lawsuit. If these discussions are unsuccessful or either party chooses not to negotiate, your lawyer will file your lawsuit.

After filing your claim, you and your attorney will enter the discovery process and exchange information with the at-fault party. This phase can take six months to one year to conclude. Before trial, you may engage in negotiations with the at-fault party again and attempt to reach an agreement. If these negotiations are successful, your case will conclude before going to trial.

If these discussions are unsuccessful or do not take place, your case will enter the courtroom. The court will hear evidence from both parties and determine who is at fault for the accident. At the conclusion of your case, the court will decide whether to award a settlement and the amount of compensation you should receive.

If you are filing a car accident claim, it is important to have an attorney on your side. Your lawyer can represent you throughout your claim and help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Posted by highrank at 5:22 pm

What Causes Poor Road Conditions?

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

When we think of traffic accidents and collisions, we tend to think that the situation must have been caused by a driver that was reckless, distracted, or under the influence. However, unsafe roadway conditions are an underlying contributor to a number of accidents across the country. A poorly designed, ill-maintained, or naturally hazardous roadway can pose significant risks to even the most careful driver. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of potential hazards that can lead to unsafe road conditions.

  1. Ill-Maintained Roads: If a road is not actively monitored and maintained by qualified professionals, it may deteriorate to the point that it becomes an active hazard for drivers using it. A poorly maintained road can result in a number of problems, including potholes and cracks in the blacktop. In some instances, a driver that hits an unexpected pothole may lose control of their car. This can cause the vehicle to veer into another lane or oncoming traffic. The car can also blow a tire or break an axle, resulting in a major collision.
  2. Defective or Confusing Roadways: In other cases, a highway may be unusually dangerous due to an improperly maintained center barrier. When properly installed and maintained, a center barrier reduces the risk of drivers entering the opposing lanes of traffic. They are designed to redirect vehicles on impact, lessening the impact of a collision and protecting drivers on the opposite side of the road. If not kept in good collision, the barrier may fail and lead to a significant crash. Roads with hard-to-see lines or a lack of proper signage can also cause problems for drivers. Particularly on difficult or unfamiliar roadways, a lack of proper direction can lead to a collision.
  3. Poorly Designed Roads: Some roads are dangerous due to intrinsic design flaws or oversights. Poor design can take a number of different forms, including: sudden or sharp curves with low visibility, blind corners, poorly lit roads, overly crowded roadways, inefficient merges that cause bottlenecks, ineffective drainage systems, a lack of shoulders for emergency stops, and obstructions such as trees or utility poles. If a roadway has a history of significant dangers and accidents, there may be an underlying factor in its design that contributes to such issues.
  4. Unorganized Construction Zones: From time to time, it’s vital to repair, expand, or reconstruct sections of roadway. However, if a construction zone is poorly marked or traffic is directed in a confusing or inefficient manner, drivers can be at additional risk of an accident. Misleading signs and unpredictable changes to the roadway can substantially increase the chances of a crash. Additionally, construction vehicles can pose an unfamiliar risk to many drivers. Large trucks, bulldozers, excavators, and other heavy-duty vehicles may be present on or near the roadway in a construction zone.

Contact Rodriguez & Associates for Collisions Caused by Dangerous Roads

It can be challenging to prove that your collision was caused or influenced by a poorly maintained road. The skilled Bakersfield dangerous road lawyers at Rodriguez & Associates evaluate your accident to help determine whether:

  • A public agency controlled or owner the road the accident occurred on
  • The road involved was dangerous at the time of the accident
  • A dangerous roadway condition directly influenced the collision
  • The crash occurred in such a way that the public entity could have reasonably expected given the dangerous condition
  • The dangerous roadway came about because of the public entity’s failure to mediate the risk to drivers

We’re prepared to support you through the legal process and provide the justice you and your loved ones deserve.

Posted by highrank at 3:10 pm

What to Look for When Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

In truck accidents, it’s usually those inside the passenger vehicles that get the worst injuries. This is because commercial trucking vehicles like semi-trucks, which are on average 72 feet long and weigh 80,000 pounds, cause so much more destruction than your typical sedan. Drivers of smaller vehicles are therefore much more vulnerable.

Since multiple parties can be held responsible in a truck accident, including the driver, trucking company, or parts manufacturers, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries if you are involved in a truck crash. To do that, it is best to find an experienced truck accident lawyer that has your best interests at heart.

As you search for the right attorney, you will ideally find a person with the following characteristics:

Experience With Truck Accident Cases

Your attorney should have at least some experience handling truck accident cases. This is a complex area of personal injury litigation, and your attorney needs to know how to properly investigate the case as well as the many state and federal laws that will be involved. Truck insurance companies almost always try to avoid paying what they owe to a victim, and a good truck accident attorney will be able to anticipate this and fight back with your best interests in mind.

Resources and Accessibility

Some firms take on so many cases they aren’t able to give each individual one the attention it deserves. That can potentially hurt your chances of claiming as much compensation as you deserve. The ideal attorney will have enough resources to be able to manage your case and provide additional staff to help respond to your calls and emails around the clock. It is never a good sign if you cannot get in touch with your attorney’s office or get a response to a question.

Positive Customer Feedback

No attorney wins every case, but you can get a sense of how competent this person is by paying attention to what others are saying. Look for online reviews about your prospective attorney to determine how easy they’ll be to work with. You want someone who is available, empathetic, detail-oriented, and can make you feel at ease during a stressful situation. If reviews suggest otherwise, you might want to look elsewhere for your attorney.

Awards and Honors

Top lawyers are usually on “Best of” lists. An attorney’s website and LinkedIn profile should list local and national recognition, along with that person’s participation in community organizations and pro-bono activities. An added bonus is if the attorney has won an award for multiple years in a row.

Though it might feel a little overwhelming to start your search for a truck accident attorney, remember that the more work you put into finding your ideal person, the better your case result is likely to be. Truck accidents are physically and emotionally traumatic events. You can improve your changes of compensation by working with the right person.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience handling truck accident cases. Our knowledge covers not just engineering and legal issues, but also the day-to-day details for truckers that can lead to accidents. We are skilled at identifying and acquiring crucial pieces of evidence, too, 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.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:17 pm

California Texting While Driving Laws and Statistics

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

“It will only take a second.” 

“Mom wants to know where I am.” 

“Work had a question.”

These are just a few of the various excuses people have used to rationalize texting while driving. They’re also thoughts people have had right before they cause a major car accident.

Texting while driving is illegal in the state of California, and for good reasons. Because drivers take their hands, eyes, and mind off the road when texting, it’s an especially risky form of distracted driving. According to Go Safely, California, a campaign from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the average time your eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of traveling the length of an entire football field blindfolded. Additionally, engaging in a visual-manual task like texting increases your risk of getting into a crash by three times.

Despite these alarming statistics, plenty of Californians still text and drive. In 2019, the most recent year for data, 57.9 percent of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver talking or texting on a mobile device.

California law prohibits motorists from using a cellphone or mobile device while driving unless they are in “hands free” mode. That includes writing or reading texts, and applies to anyone driving on California roadways, even if you don’t live in California. The only exceptions to this law are if you are driving on private property or making an emergency call to something like an ambulance. 

According to California Vehicle Code, Section 23123, a violation of this law is punishable by a base fine of $20 for a first offense and by a fine of $50 for all subsequent infractions. That sounds like a small amount of money, but in reality, you will pay more — sometimes over $250 — once assessments are added. 

Previously, drivers did not receive a point on their driving record for texting and driving, but that has changed as of July 1, 2021. A texting-while-driving violation can now result in one point to your record if the violation is within 36 months of a prior distracted driving offense. Points added to your record can increase rates or even result in your license being revoked.

All of these laws are aimed at avoiding crashes, injuries, and fatalities that happen because of texting while driving. No matter what excuse our brains may tell us in the moment, texting while driving is never safe, and the possible consequences of doing it can be devastating to more than just the driver’s life.

Rodriguez & Associates takes the laws around texting and driving very seriously. We are willing to fight for anyone negatively impacted by another driver’s negligence. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by texting and driving, you may be able to claim compensation for damages. Please reach out to us today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:07 pm

Truck Driver Fatigue is a Leading Cause of Crashes

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Some of the most devastating vehicle crashes are those that involve large commercial trucks. And one of the main causes of such crashes is driver fatigue. When those behind the wheel of a semi-truck, big rig, or other large commercial truck are fatigued or drowsy, they substantially increase the risk of causing a major accident. Many of those accidents are fatal.

In 2018, the most recent year for data, 4,951 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in California. Of that number, 71 percent were occupants of other vehicles. 

Any person who drives while feeling fatigued increases their risk of causing an accident. Because of their size (the average semi-truck weighs 80,000 pounds and is 70 to 80 feet long), large commercial trucks can cause devastating damage to both property and lives if they are involved in a crash. Given that, truckers who drive while fatigued or exhausted take an inherently risky situation and make it even more dangerous. 

There are a few common causes of truck driver fatigue:

Driving for too long. Truck drivers in the U.S. are required by law to follow Hours of Service regulations. These stipulate how long they are allowed to drive and when they must take breaks.

Drivers carrying property (e.g., supplies, furniture, etc.) are legally allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They may do so after having 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time.

Although driving hours are supposed to be monitored and enforced by electronic logs, drivers often go beyond these limits in order to meet a deadline. Trucking companies may not necessarily enforce the rules set down by Hours of Service regulations. Finally, even when a trucker follows the 11-hour maximum, they are still driving for an extremely long stretch of time and are at risk of extreme fatigue. 

Irregular driving schedules and inadequate sleep. Truckers don’t have schedules that follow a pattern of regular days and hours. Instead, they might work long stretches at a time that are then followed by lengthy periods off duty. Because of this, their sleeping patterns may be inconsistent, degrading the level of rest they actually get. For some, these irregular hours also make sleep more difficult, which can lead to fatigue over time. Over-the-counter sleep aids can increase this problem since they cause drowsiness that may not immediately wear off upon waking. 

Substance use. Substance use and abuse among truck drivers is a serious problem, with many drivers turning to “uppers” like amphetamines to stay awake during their long shifts. Unfortunately, one of the side-effects of such drugs is that they can cause extreme fatigue once they wear off, putting both the truck driver and others on the road at risk.

Unrealistic expectations. Some truck drivers feel enormous pressure from their trucking company or subcontractor to meet very tight deadlines. These deadlines do not always factor in traffic delays, weather problems, and other incidences on the road. Because of that, delivery deadlines can become unrealistic and force truckers to work longer hours than normal without breaks.  

Any of these things can lead to poor decision-making, delayed reactions, shorter attention spans, and even more aggressive behavior on the part of the truck driver or their trucking company. 

If you are involved in a truck accident, proving driver fatigue and negligence will be easier with the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. Rodriguez & Associates can assist you in navigating this complex area of litigation as you seek compensation for damages. Please reach out to us today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:06 pm

California Statistics and Laws on Drinking and Driving

Monday, July 26, 2021

Drinking and driving, or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, impairs a person’s ability to drive safely and threatens the well-being of other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians that they encounter on the road. 

Over the last 40 years, public information campaigns such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have set out to eliminate drunk driving through education, prevention, and enforcement by advocating for stricter laws to be passed for drunk driving offences, and while this has helped decrease the amount of DUIs nationwide, it has not ended the problem. In 2019, according to MADD, 10,142 people were killed due to drunk driving which makes it #1 cause of death on America’s roads. The state of California accounted for 1,066 of the nation’s drunk driving fatalities, approximately 10%. 

California Drinking and Driving Statistics 

The most comprehensive statistics for alcohol-impaired driving is from Responsibility.org for the year of 2018. 

  • Total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities: 1,069
  • Under 21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities: 113
  • 69.8% of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities had a BAC of 0.15+
  • 77.9% of drivers with BAC 0.15+ were repeat offenders
  • Total DUI arrests: 127,250 (Nationwide: 1,001,329)

California Drunk Driving Laws

In California, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. The law does not distinguish between prescription, over-the-counter or illegal drugs. If the drug or medication impairs your ability to drive safely, you can still be charged with a DUI.

California has enforced tougher laws for first time and repeat offenders in an effort to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, drunk driving on our roads. Here is a summary of laws about driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) handbook. 

  • It is illegal to use or possess alcohol or cannabis products in a vehicle. Any open containers must be stored in the trunk or where passengers do not sit.
  • It is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle with the following BAC limits:
    • 0.08% or higher, if the person is 21 years +
    • 0.01% or higher, if the person is under 21 years old
    • 0.04% or higher, when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle at the time of the offense
  • It is illegal for drivers under 21 years of age to carry alcohol inside a vehicle unless accompanied by a parent or other person as specified by law and the container is full, sealed, and unopened. If caught, the car may be impounded for up to 30 days, driving privileges may be suspended for up to 1 year or delay the issuance of a first driver’s license for up to 1 year, or a fine of up to $1000 may be charged.

Similar laws also prohibit riding bikes and scooters or driving boats under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

We Represent DUI Accident Victims in Kern County and California

A victim of a drunk driving accident can suffer physically, emotionally, and financially. Medical bills can pile up, they may not be able to work or perform their job as before, and their mental state may be different due to the accident. The criminal court system can punish a drunk driver for the accident, but it does not compensate victims of the accident. 

This is when a victim of a drunk driving accident would seek expert legal representation to pursue claims in a civil court for recovery of monetary damages from medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages from missed work, property damage, and/or modifications to a home or car because of the injuries incurred. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates, are standing by to represent you or a loved one who has been injured as a result of a DUI accident. We will do everything possible to hold the wrongdoer accountable.

We represent DUI accident victims in Kern County and throughout California. Call us to request a free consultation at (661) 323-1400 or toll-free (800) 585-9262.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:29 pm

What Is Sudden Unintended Acceleration?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Car accidents can happen at any time, in any place, and for any reason. Many of these collisions occur due to negligent driving behaviors, such as speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence. Other accidents occur due to bad weather, poorly maintained roads, and sudden unintended acceleration. If you are injured in an accident due to sudden unintended acceleration, you could hold the at-fault party accountable for your losses through an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Understanding Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Sudden unintended acceleration refers to the unexpected or uncontrolled acceleration of a motor vehicle. Some drivers may be unable to brake or control the vehicle once it starts to accelerate. This dangerous occurrence can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, resulting in a motor vehicle accident. If another vehicle in your vicinity experiences sudden unintended acceleration, the driver can crash into without warning—leading to severe injuries and vehicle damage.

Many factors may contribute to sudden unintended acceleration. These accidents may occur due to defective vehicle parts, such as defective brakes or a mechanical or electrical issue inside of the vehicle. However, some of these accidents occur due to driver error. For example, a driver may accidentally step on the gas pedal instead of the brake, causing him or her to collide into another vehicle.

Legal Options for Sudden Unintended Acceleration Victims

Victims of sudden unintended acceleration have multiple options for compensation after their accident. Since California is a fault accident state, the at-fault party is responsible for the collision must pay for his or her victims’ damages. If you are injured after a driver accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes and collides into you, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her.

Many cases of sudden unintended acceleration occur due to a defective vehicle part, however. In this situation, you could file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of that defective part. You may need help from a Bakersfield car accident attorney to identify the nature of the defect.

What to Do If You Experience Sudden Unintended Acceleration

If your vehicle starts accelerating uncontrollably while you are on the road, it is important to remain calm and take careful steps to regain control of the vehicle. The following tips can help you reduce the risk of a serious collision in the event of sudden unintended acceleration.

  • Try hitting your brakes and apply as much force as possible. Keep the pressure on the brakes steady. Do not pump the brakes.
  • Avoid jerking your steering wheel—this could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. 
  • Do not turn off your engine. This will not stop the vehicle; it will only cause you to lose control of the brakes and your steering wheel, which you need to safely bring your car to a stop.
  • Put your vehicle in neutral or depress the clutch. This will hopefully stop the engine from moving your vehicle forward.
  • Once your vehicle starts to slow down, pull over in a safe location on the side of the road. 
  • When the vehicle comes to a stop, turn off the engine, set the parking brake, and exit the vehicle.

While these tips can help protect yourself in case of sudden acceleration, accidents may still occur. As soon as possible after your collision, seek medical attention, call 911, and contact a Bakersfield car accident lawyer. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help craft a compelling case for your right to compensation.

Posted by highrank at 4:53 pm

What to Do if Your Uber Has Been in an Accident

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Many Bakersfield residents rely on rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft to travel from place to place. While these services may seem safe and reliable, Uber and Lyft drivers are not exempt from accidents. If you are in a collision while riding in an Uber or Lyft, it is important to remain calm and take a series of important steps to gather evidence, protect yourself, and secure the compensation you need to recover. 

Call 911

First, call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. The responding officer will create a police report that you can use to prove your case. Collect the officer’s name and badge number so you can find the report later.

Seek Medical Attention

As soon as possible following the accident, seek emergency medical attention. Save all documents related to your treatment and injuries. These medical records will provide valuable evidence in your case, helping prove the nature and extent of the harm that you suffered in the collision.

You should always seek medical treatment, even if you do not feel hurt. You may have internal injuries that you are not aware of, and prolonged treatment could lead to serious complications. Additionally, failure to seek medical attention could harm your case’s credibility.

Record Important Information

After your accident, you will likely need to file an insurance claim against the Uber or Lyft driver or the rideshare company’s internal insurance policy. To file your claim, you will need to collect the following pieces of information from your rideshare driver.

  • The driver’s name, address, and phone number
  • The driver’s personal insurance information
  • Information about the Uber or Lyft insurance policy
  • The registration number, license plate, make, and model for the driver’s vehicle

You may not know who is at fault for the accident at this stage. To ensure that you have access to all available options, speak to the other driver involved in the collision. Collect his or her contact information, license and vehicle details, and insurance policy information for use in your future case. A California rideshare accident lawyer can evaluate your case and help you identify who is responsible for your accident. 

Document Evidence at the Scene

If you are able to move around the accident scene after the collision, you can gather other pieces of evidence that you can use in your future claim. Take photographs of your injuries, property damage, and the area around the accident. You should also photograph any damage to the driver’s vehicle. 

You can also take a screenshot of your Uber or Lyft app to prove that you were a passenger in the driver’s vehicle at the time of the accident. If there are any witnesses who saw the accident happen, ask for their names and contact information for use in your future claim. These individuals could provide valuable testimony on your behalf.

Contact an Attorney

As soon as possible after your collision, contact a Bakersfield rideshare accident lawyer to discuss your case and legal options. Navigating an Uber or Lyft accident claim can be complicated due to the presence of multiple insurance policies, and you may need assistance identifying your optimal path to compensation. 

A rideshare accident attorney can help you strategize your case and advocate for the recovery you deserve. He or she can evaluate your accident, conduct a full-scale investigation, and gather the evidence you need to secure maximum compensation. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your legal options.

Posted by highrank at 2:43 pm

Critical Evidence After a Truck Accident

Monday, June 28, 2021

Truck accidents are physically and emotionally devastating events for those involved. Because of their size, commercial trucking vehicles tend to cause more destruction than a regular car would, so the risk of serious injury or even death goes up in a truck accident. In 2018, the most recent year for data, 5,096 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes according to the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration

Even when truck accidents do not cause fatalities, they can cause serious injuries with life-long consequences, not to mention damage to private property and mental pain and suffering.

If you are injured in a truck accident and plan on making a claim for damages, you will need to be able to prove the truck driver or another third party, such as the trucking company, was negligent. From there, you will have to show that this negligence directly caused the accident and your injury.

The best way to do that is to have ample evidence. Here are some pieces you need to be sure of collecting in the aftermath of an accident with a truck. 

Accident reports. Police create an official report of the accident when they arrive on the scene. Get and keep a copy of this report for your own records. The trucking company will usually send a certified truck inspector who will examine the vehicle before it gets removed from the scene. This person will check for things like a manufacturing defect, low tread on the tires, or other potential factors in the accident related to the truck itself. Obtain a copy of their report as well.

Electronic logs. Federal law requires all truck drivers to follow Hours of Service regulations. These rules stipulate how long they are allowed to drive and when they must take breaks. Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) automatically record this information and transmit it to the carrier. The point of these logs is to precisely record whether a trucker is keeping to their Hours of Service regulations or not. If they are not and cause an accident, these logs will be essential to your case.

Photos and witness statements. Take pictures at the scene of the accident: your vehicle, the truck, close-ups of the damage, tire or skid marks on the road, and any other visuals that could be relevant. It is also important to document cuts, burns, and other injuries. At the same time, have nearby witnesses give statements via video or written testimonials.

Evidence requested in a spoliation letter. Your attorney may send a spoliation letter. This document requests that all evidence related to the accident be preserved. That includes truck inspection reports, the truck driver’s qualifications and driving records, dispatch instructions, weigh station and loading dock reports, and the aforementioned driving logs. 

Any of this evidence will be easier to get with the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. At Rodriguez & Associates, our Bakersfield personal injury lawyers can assist you in navigating this complex area of personal injury litigation as you seek compensation for damages. Please reach out to us today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:13 pm