Category Archives: Car Accidents

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

Friday, 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.


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.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:18 pm

How Frequently Should You Change Your Car’s Tires?

Tuesday, 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.

Posted by highrank at 5:23 pm

How to Safely Share the Road With Motorcyclists

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common in the United States. Every year, motorcyclists suffer serious injuries and devastating fatalities in road collisions. Motorist negligence is often the cause of these accidents.

If you are a driver, it is important to know how to safely share the road with motorcycles. While driving, keep the following tips in mind to keep yourself and others safe on Bakersfield streets. 

#1: Keep Your Blind Spots in Mind

Many motorcycle accidents occur because drivers do not see motorcyclists. Cars often have blind spots where they cannot see vehicles traveling directly beside them. If a motorcycle is in the blind spot, serious accidents can occur.

When driving, always check your blind spots, especially before merging or changing lanes. This behavior can help you avoid colliding with a motorcycle in your vicinity.

#2: Put Away the Distractions

Drivers can fail to see motorcyclists for many reasons. Certain distractions can remove a motorist’s concentration away from the road, such as electronic devices, music, food, or even other passengers. If a motorist fails to pay attention while driving, he or she could accidentally collide into a motorcycle.

While sharing the road with others, put away the distractions. Concentrate your mind, eyes, and hands on the act of driving at all times. Just a few seconds of distracted driving could lead to a disastrous collision. 

#3: Be Careful While Passing

When passing a motorcycle, motorists should be careful. The law requires that drivers pass motorcyclists in the same way that they pass other vehicles. However, speeding past a motorcycle while passing could cause the motorcyclist to lose control of his or her vehicle.

To avoid catching a motorcyclist off guard, always pass at a safe speed and provide enough room to safely maneuver around the motorcyclists. Always make sure to signal your intent to pass by using your turn signal. Before returning to your lane, ensure that you are several spaces ahead of the motorcycle to avoid colliding into him or her.

#4: Provide Enough Room

Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. That means that motorcyclists are allowed to take up their own lane of traffic. Unfortunately, many cars drive too closely to motorcycles and expect them to share lanes.

When driving near a motorcyclist, always provide him or her enough room. Do not tailgate the motorcyclist and do not attempt to drive alongside him or her. Doing so could lead to a dangerous accident. 

#5: Avoid the High Beams

At night, it can be tempting to use high beams. However, motorcyclists are very vulnerable during this time—and bright lights could make it even more difficult to safely drive. While driving at night, turn off your high beams and ensure that you keep a safe following distance.

Speak to an Attorney About Your Accident Claim

If you are injured in an accident on Bakersfield roads, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Whether you are a driver or motorcyclist, filing a claim can enable you to recover damages to pay for medical care, lost wages, property repairs, and more.

In these situations, it is important to speak with a Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can guide you through the claims process and advocate for your highest possible award. Contact a lawyer after your accident to identify your optimal path to compensation. 

Posted by highrank at 9:58 pm

Common Questions About Bakersfield Bike Accidents

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Bicycle accidents happen every year on Bakersfield roads, causing serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries to cyclists. In the aftermath of these accidents, victims often have lots of questions about their options for compensation, deadlines for filing a claim, and what to do after a collision.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Bakersfield bike accidents.

#1: Does California Car Insurance Pay for Cyclist Damages?

Like most states, California follows a fault insurance system. If a driver negligently causes a car accident, he or she is financially liable for any damages that the victim sustains. The state requires motorists to hold liability insurance to protect their interests in the event of a crash.

As a bicycle accident victim, you have the right to pursue an insurance claim if the policy holder caused your collision. You can pursue a claim under your own insurance in limited circumstances.

#2: What Are My Options for Compensation After a Bicycle Crash?

After a bicycle accident, you have three main options to recover a settlement.

  1. You can file a claim under the at-fault motorist’s insurance coverage.
  2. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in California civil court.
  3. You can file a claim under your own insurance coverage if you have the appropriate policies

A Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer can identify which option is right for your case. Most bicycle injury claims begin in the insurance stage and escalate to a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.

#3: What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?

The moments after a bicycle accident can feel scary and overwhelming. In these cases, it is important to seek help as soon as possible by calling 911. Report the accident to the police and seek emergency medical care.

If possible, document as much evidence about the accident as you can. Take photographs and videos of the accident scene. Ask any witnesses for their names and contact information.

#4: What Types of Damages Can I Claim After a Bicycle Collision?

In California, you have the right to recover two types of damages in a bicycle accident claim. Economic damages involve your financial losses, while non-economic damages refer to the physical and emotional pain and suffering that you experienced.

Common damages in Bakersfield bicycle accident claims include the following.

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Disability accommodations
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of quality of life

#5: What Can I Do If Road Conditions Caused My Accident?

Many bicycle accidents occur due to dangerous road conditions, such as potholes, loose gravel, and poorly designed streets. If you were injured due to dangerous road conditions, you have the right to pursue a claim against the government agency responsible for maintaining that road.

Discuss Your Legal Options with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you are injured in a Bakersfield bicycle accident, it is important to discuss your next steps with an attorney. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be eligible for financial compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.

A Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer can represent your case and advocate for your right to recovery. Contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your next steps.

Posted by highrank at 6:17 pm

Named Best Car Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield by

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Rodriguez & Associates tops’s list: 2022 Best Car Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield

Our firm has been featured in top rankings consistently by over the last several years.

We were also named to the site’s 2022 Best Litigation Attorneys in Bakersfield and Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield lists. scored dozens of Bakersfield car accident lawyers on more than 25 variables across five categories and analyzed the results to give readers a hand-picked list of the top 19 firms in the area. 

Rodriguez and Associates has over 100 years of combined experience in handling car and other vehicular accident cases and takes pride in their reputation of success and professionalism. To learn more about us, click here.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:12 pm

Does Car Insurance Cover Me If I Hit a Pedestrian?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Car accidents occur every day on California roads. These collisions often involve two or more drivers. In some cases, pedestrians and cyclists are struck by drivers, resulting in severe injuries and property damage.

If you are in a car accident and hit a pedestrian, you could be financially responsible for that victim’s losses. Your insurance policy will typically cover these damages, but if the pedestrian requires additional compensation, you could be liable for the remaining cost.

California Car Insurance Requirements

State laws on car insurance typically fall into one of two categories: fault or no-fault. In no-fault states, people who are injured in car accidents are financially responsible for their own losses. They carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that pays for their damages after an accident.

Like most states, California follows a fault-based car accident system. If a driver causes a car accident, they are financially responsible for all of the damages that the victims sustain. Pedestrians, along with other drivers, passengers, and cyclists, are covered by this insurance policy.

To uphold this financial responsibility, drivers must carry the following amounts of car insurance.

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

What Happens If You Hit a Pedestrian

If you are involved in a car accident and hit a pedestrian, the pedestrian could file a claim against you. Victims of California car accidents have the right to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver. If the pedestrian believes that you are at fault for the accident, he or she will likely file a claim against your insurance.

Your policy would cover the pedestrian’s losses up to your policy limits. If the pedestrian requires more compensation, he or she could escalate the case to a lawsuit. For this reason, it may be helpful to invest in higher amounts of insurance coverage. A Bakersfield car accident attorney can help you decipher the details of your case and explore your legal options.

Could a Pedestrian Be Liable for Your Car Accident?

Motorists are often at fault in accidents involving pedestrians. However, pedestrians hold certain duties and responsibilities as well. If a pedestrian fails to exercise reasonable care while on the road and causes an accident, he or she could be financially responsible for the accident. 

For example, say that a pedestrian suddenly runs across the road in front of an oncoming vehicle. The driver does not have enough time to stop and hits the pedestrian. In this situation, the pedestrian would be considered at fault because he or she committed a dangerous act. The driver could not reasonably stop and avoid an accident due to the pedestrian’s actions.

In some cases, drivers and pedestrians share liability for a collision. For example, say that a driver is speeding in a school zone. A pedestrian suddenly jaywalks across the street and the driver could not stop in time to avoid a collision. In this situation, the pedestrian may share 30% of the fault while the driver holds 70%. Under California law, the pedestrian could collect 70% of his or her total damages from the driver.

If you are involved in a pedestrian collision, it is important to speak with a lawyer. A Bakersfield bicycle accident attorney can represent your best interests and help you navigate the claims process. Contact an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your legal options.

Posted by highrank at 5:50 pm

Trucks vs. Cars: Are All Vehicle Crashes the Same?

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Every car crash has its own unique set of circumstances that individuals, law enforcement, and insurance companies must handle, but when a crash involves a commercial truck (also referred to as a semi-truck or tractor-trailer) additional layers of trucking law, regulations, insurance policies, and negligence come into play. Handling a lawsuit that involves a commercial trucking accident requires representation with knowledge and experience of these factors.

Determining Liability

Typically, in a car crash, there is one person who is determined to be at fault. Due to the nature of the trucking industry, multiple parties, including or excluding the driver of the truck, can be held responsible for damages. Depending on the specifics of an accident, the truck driver, the truck manufacturer, the trucking company, and even more players may hold some or all of the responsibility for the incident. Because of these layers of involvement, determining liability in a commercial truck accident can be a logistical nightmare that requires deep knowledge of trucking laws to sort out who is at fault.

More Serious Personal Injury

The weight of the average American car will range between 2,000 to 4,000 pounds, whereas a commercial truck can range from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. Trucks also have significant physical dimensions that require longer stopping distances, wider turn radiuses, and larger blind spots.

In an accident involving any two vehicles, the physical size and proportions affect the force inflicted. A crash involving two cars will potentially cause far less damage than a car that is struck by a vehicle 20 times its size. It is for this reason that accidents involving commercial trucks typically cause greater physical injury, more fatalities, and more totaled cars. Read more about trucking accident statistics here.

Trucking Insurance Policies

A commercial truck accident case can be worth a huge amount in court because the trucking industry requires massive insurance policies. Trucking insurance providers will aggressively defend their clients to avoid liability. A rise in truck accidents has influenced increases in insurance policies for trucking companies with more at stake in a lawsuit. Bakersfield Truck Accident Attorneys of Rodriguez and Associates has the expertise to handle all situations that arise in court.

Investigating Truck Accidents

Due to the many complexities of a truck crash, investigations are extensive and can require many months of research in addition to knowledge of federal and state trucking regulations. Familiarity with different types of evidence required throughout an investigation is imperative. Examples of evidence include:

  • Accident reports
  • Electronic logs
  • Photos and witness statements
  • Evidence requested in a spoliation letter

Trucking accident attorneys of Rodriguez & Associates have handled hundreds of truck accidents. Founder and senior attorney Daniel Rodriguez, along with attorneys Chantal Trujillo and Danay Gonzalez, obtained the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history of $70,578,289 for a truck vs SUV case. We are familiar with truck accidents’ engineering, truckers’ fatigue, and other issues that lead to catastrophic accidents.

If you – or someone you love – have been a victim of a truck accident, contact us today. Call us at (661) 323-1400 for a free consultation to discuss your case and legal options.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:41 pm

Common Mistakes People Make After Being In a Motor Vehicle Accident

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

We understand how a serious injury or losing a loved one in a car crash can and will impact your life. It’s very common to be shaken up after a motor vehicle accident, but it’s very important to remember these key steps so we can help your case to the best of our ability.

  • Get a police report.
  • Take pictures of the scene, injuries, and/or vehicles.
  • Get witness contact information.
  • Don’t tell the police/ambulance that “you’re fine”, it will go in the report.
  • Make sure to seek medical attention within 3 days.
  • Don’t give a statement to your insurance company without having a lawyer.

Watch personal injury attorney, Danay Gonzalez explain these steps in her educational TikTok video:
We understand just how stressful it can be to experience a significant motor vehicle accident in Bakersfield, CA. Our trusted personal injury attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates have handled hundreds of motor vehicle accident cases. We will review every aspect of your claim, and discover the party responsible for your situation.

Whether your car was struck by a drunk driver or you were involved in a collision while riding your bicycle, a crash can cause emotional trauma, property damage, and permanent injuries. Our team diligently fights to maximize your settlement and protect your best interests.


Rodriguez & Associates is conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield. We are available for weekend and evening appointments, charge no fee for consultations, and speak both English and Spanish. To contact us, please call 661-323-1400 or 800-585-9262 Toll-Free.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 10:25 pm

What Is a DOT-Recordable Accident?

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Accidents occur every day on California roads, from minor bumps between vehicles to extremely severe multi-vehicle collisions. These collisions can involve passenger vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks and buses. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the federal Department of Transportation (DOT), keeps track of collisions involving commercial vehicles. If an accident involving a commercial vehicle results in significant damage, it will need to be recorded by the DOT.

When Does an Accident Need to Be Reported to the DOT?

All motor carriers must keep track of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles. If a collision meets the following criteria, it must be recovered by the federal DOT.

  • At least one person died as a result of the collision.
  • At least one person suffered a bodily injury and had to receive emergency medical attention away from the scene of the accident.
  • One or more of the vehicles involved in the accident had to be towed away from the collision.

When reporting a DOT-recordable accident, the reporter must include the date, city, and state of the collision. Vital information such as the name of the commercial driver, the number of injuries, and the number of fatalities must also be reported. When submitting the report, the reporter must include copies of all accident reports involved in the case.

What Happens After an Accident Is Reported to the DOT?

California drivers are familiar with the concept of points, which are strikes levied against your driver’s license after a traffic violation. The points system is monitored by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Drivers who accumulate a certain number of points could face severe consequences, such as the permanent loss of driving privileges.

The FMCSA maintains a similar system involving DOT-recordable accidents. When a Bakersfield accident involving a commercial driver is reported, the FMCSA will record it and monitor violations committed by certain drivers. The FMCSA will also track violations that occur within individual trucking companies. 

If a trucking company incurs a certain number of DOT-recordable incidents, it could affect that carrier’s safety rating. The FMCSA will take the number of accidents associated with the carrier, multiply the number by one million, and divide it by the number of miles that the motor carrier has traveled over the past 12 months.

Collecting DOT-recordable accident data also helps the FMCSA identify potentially negligent commercial vehicle carriers. Trucking companies with unusually high numbers of incidents may not be training their drivers, hiring qualified personnel, or maintaining their vehicles regularly. A carrier may also encourage their drivers to break important trucking regulations, such as hours-of-service rules. 

If a carrier has a history of DOT-recordable accidents, the FMCSA can impose serious penalties, such as fines.

Speak to a California Truck Accident Lawyer

If you are involved in a commercial vehicle accident on California roads, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Through an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can recover compensatory damages to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. However, you need a Bakersfield personal injury attorney on your side to represent your best interests.

A California truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the litigation process and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your case and identify your optimal path to recovery.

Posted by highrank at 6:41 pm

Warning Signs of Truck Brake Problems

Friday, October 29, 2021

Truck drivers and their employers have a duty to make sure that their vehicles are in safe working condition. Commercial trucks are very large and heavy, and collisions involving these vehicles can be very dangerous. However, serious collisions involving trucks occur in California every year, often involving driver and trucking company negligence.

Mechanical defects are a common cause of truck accidents, and old, defective, or malfunctioning brakes are some of the most common vehicle components to cause an accident. Brake problems in commercial trucks are not always easy to spot, but there are a few key warning signs to watch for.

Common Signs of Malfunctioning Brakes

Brakes are critical components of a commercial truck. Without them, drivers cannot safely bring themselves to a stop and can easily lose control of their large vehicles, resulting in catastrophic injuries in Bakersfield. To prevent these accidents, truck drivers and their companies must maintain vehicles regularly and keep an eye out for signs of trouble.

There are several signs that could indicate truck brake problems.

  • Grinding or scraping noises when braking
  • High-pitched squealing sounds 
  • Vibrations that come from the brakes
  • A brake pedal that feels unusually loose
  • Veering to the side when hitting the brakes
  • Having to press down harder than normal to engage the brakes

Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by Brake Problems?

If you are involved in a truck accident caused by brake problems, you may wonder what to do next. Truck accidents often result in severe financial, physical, and psychological hardship. Because California is a fault accident state, you have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Multiple parties may be liable for a truck accident caused by malfunctioning brakes, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Some of the most common defendants include the following:

  • The truck driver: If the driver’s negligence caused the brake problems and your accident, he or she would be liable for your damages. For example, if the driver owns and operates his or her own truck and fails to repair the brakes after hearing grinding or squealing, he or she would be liable for any accident caused by the malfunctioning brakes.
  • The trucking company: A trucking company has a duty to ensure that its fleet of vehicles are in good condition. If the company fails to maintain its vehicles regularly, notices brake issues and fails to repair them, or actively ignores requests for brake repairs, it would be liable for any truck accident that occurs due to malfunctioning brakes.
  • The brake manufacturer: If the accident was caused by defective brakes, you could hold the manufacturer liable for your injuries. In these cases, the brakes are either defective by design or developed a defect during the manufacturing process. You could also name the distributor, retailer, and other parties along the supply chain in your lawsuit.

If you are injured in a California truck accident, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your Bakersfield personal injury attorney can investigate your accident, identify the at-fault party, and evaluate your legal options. 

During your case, your lawyer can guide you through each stage of the litigation process and advocate aggressively for your maximum compensation. After seeking medical attention for your injuries, contact a California truck accident attorney to identify your optimal path to recovery.

Posted by highrank at 8:22 pm