Category Archives: Personal Injury

Named to Expertise.com’s Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield List

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Rodriguez & Associates has been named by Expertise.com’s one of the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Bakersfield for 2022. Expertise.com aims to connect people with the top experts in their city by field. 

Our firm was also named to the site’s 2022 top 19 Best Car Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield and the top 20 Best Litigation Attorneys in Bakersfield

Expertise.com evaluated 243 personal injury firms in the Bakersfield area, scoring them on more than 25 variables across five categories including availability, qualifications, reputation, experience, and professionalism. The results were then analyzed to provide the public with the best 23 lawyers in the area. 

Rodriguez & Associates is based in Bakersfield, California, but we have represented clients from all over the country. 

If you or a loved one are in need of an experienced and professional personal injury attorney, contact our personal injury attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates today.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:16 pm

Named Best Car Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield by Expertise.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

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

Our firm has been featured in top rankings consistently by Expertise.com 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. 

Expertise.com 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

Stay Safe This New Year’s Eve: Don’t Drink and Drive

Monday, December 27, 2021

As New Year approaches, many people celebrate New Year’s with their families and friends. Once the party is over, it may be tempting to drive home. However, driving under the influence is not safe. The driver may hit someone while driving and/or get a DUI. There are different ways drivers get DUI’s. For example, a driver can get a DUI from alcohol intoxication or non-legal drugs—or even from legally prescribed medications.

This New Year’s Eve, we encourage you to:

  • Stay sober or;
  • Get a rideshare service or taxi or;
  • Get a ride from a family member or friend or;
  • Celebrate at home

We wish you a safe holiday season!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 11:43 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.

CONTACT OUR BAKERSFIELD MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS

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

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

After an unexpected accident, you may ask yourself if you should retain a Bakersfield personal injury attorney. Hiring a lawyer can deliver significant advantages to your case, but in some situations, you may wonder if it is worth the cost. To identify whether you should hire a personal injury attorney, it is important to understand the pros and cons of retaining legal representation.

Cons of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Generally, there is only one disadvantage to hiring a personal injury lawyer: the perceived cost of legal services. After a recent injury, you can face significant financial hardship due to medical bills, lost wages, and other costs. Some lawyers charge hourly fees that can be very expensive, making it difficult to afford proper representation. 

However, many firms operate on a contingency fee basis. Under this type of arrangement, you will only pay legal fees if the attorney secures a settlement on your behalf. To limit your out-of-pocket costs, your attorney will take an agreed-upon percentage as payment. 

Advantages of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

The benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer far outweigh the potential disadvantages. Personal injury lawyers have strong knowledge of your case area and the processes that you will need to follow to recover compensation. By hiring a lawyer to represent your case, you gain access to valuable skills, resources, and experience that you can leverage to prove your claim.

A Lawyer Can Fully Investigate Your Case

After a recent injury, you may not have the time, energy, or resources to investigate your accident. However, an investigation is necessary to identify the at-fault party and gather enough evidence to prove his or her liability. In these situations, your personal injury lawyer can help.

A California personal injury attorney can leverage the full power of his or her firm’s resources to investigate your claim. Your lawyer could consult with expert witnesses, like medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists, who can testify on your behalf. 

An Attorney Can Negotiate on Your Behalf

Many personal injury claims involve negotiation, whether it occurs during an insurance claim or before a lawsuit heads to trial. Navigating a negotiation can be extremely stressful without experience or the right skill set.

Your attorney will have significant experience negotiating with insurance representatives and defense attorneys. He or she will be able to advocate aggressively for your best interests and fight against proposals that harm your recovery.

A Lawyer Can Help You Calculate Damages

In a personal injury claim, you can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. However, you may not know the full extent of the compensation that you qualify for. A personal injury lawyer can identify all possible avenues to compensation and accurately calculate your settlement, helping you avoid an insufficient settlement.

What to Do After an Unexpected Accident

If you are involved in an unexpected Bakersfield car accident, it is important to remain calm and seek help as soon as possible. Call 911 if necessary and file a police or incident report. Seek emergency medical attention and save all records related to your injuries. 

While a lawyer may not be necessary in all situations, you still want to protect your best interests following your accident. After receiving treatment for your injuries, contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Your lawyer will evaluate your claim and help you identify your optimal path to maximum compensation.

Posted by highrank at 6:46 pm

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Friday, October 29, 2021

Losing a loved one is a very difficult experience. This grief can turn into anger if someone else’s negligent actions are responsible for your loved one’s death. In these situations, you may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against him or her in civil court. Under California law, however, only certain parties are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on a deceased person’s behalf. 

Eligible Representatives in California Wrongful Death Lawsuits

According to California’s wrongful death statute, a wrongful death is caused by the legal fault of another person or entity. A wrongful death may occur due to acts of medical malpractice in Bakersfield, negligence, or intentional acts, including crimes. You can pursue criminal charges and a civil wrongful death claim at the same time.

The following people may file a wrongful death lawsuit in California civil court.

  • The deceased person’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • The deceased person’s surviving children
  • The grandchildren of any deceased child of the deceased person

If the following individuals can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased, they may also file a wrongful death claim.

  • The deceased person’s parents
  • The deceased person’s stepchildren
  • The deceased person’s legal guardians, if his or her parents are deceased
  • The deceased’s putative spouse, or an individual who had the good faith but mistaken belief that he or she and the deceased were legally married

If no surviving person is available to file a lawsuit in the deceased’s line of descent, additional rules apply. In these situations, any person who would be entitled to inherit the property of the deceased may file the claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

California law also restricts the length of time that you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations establishes a filing deadline for certain types of claims, and if you file after the appropriate date, the court will almost certainly dismiss the case. 

You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California civil court. While there are some exceptions to this rule, they are not always applicable in wrongful death cases. To identify your appropriate deadline and protect your family’s right to recovery, speak to a Bakersfield personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Speak to a California Wrongful Death Lawyer 

Wrongful death litigation can be complex and difficult to navigate, and if you plan on filing a lawsuit, you need an attorney on your side. A California wrongful death lawyer can provide valuable benefits to your claim, including the following. 

  • The ability to assess your family’s damages and accurately calculate your settlement value
  • Negotiation skills to handle discussions with other attorneys and insurance companies, if applicable
  • Access to expert witnesses who can testify on your behalf, such as medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists
  • Knowledge of the California court system and the various steps, requirements, and processes you need to reach a settlement

A California wrongful death lawyer will have the experience, skills, and resources necessary to guide you and your family through each stage of the litigation process. As soon as you are able, contact an attorney to discuss your next steps.

Posted by highrank at 8:25 pm

How to Prove Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident

Friday, October 29, 2021

Slip and fall accidents occur when you suffer a fall on someone else’s property, often due to a hazard like spilled water, uneven pavement, and holes in the ground. In some cases, no one directly causes these accidents—but in many other situations, the negligence of the property owner is responsible for the hazard in the first place.

Victims of slip and fall accidents can recover compensation from property owners through a personal injury lawsuit in California civil court. If you are injured on someone else’s property, you can hold them accountable for your injuries as long as you can prove his or her fault. There are three main elements of fault in slip and fall cases: duty of care, breach of duty, and causation.

Duty of Care

Before you can hold a property owner liable in a slip and fall claim, you will need to prove that he or she owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. Generally, property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe premises and respond to hazards within a reasonable amount of time. If an owner cannot respond quickly, he or she must take reasonable steps to warn visitors of potential danger.

Property owners owe this duty to visitors and residents, but not trespassers. As long as you can prove that the at-fault party owned the property and that you were legally on the property at the time of the accident, you can establish duty of care.

Breach of Duty

After establishing the property owner’s duty of care, you will then need to prove that he or she breached it in some way. This will usually involve proving that a negligent act or failure to act took place. For example, if a grocery store owner fails to place a wet floor sign around a spill and leaves the spill unattended for hours, he or she breached his or her duty to maintain safe premises.

Other examples of a property owner’s breach of duty include the following.

  • Ignoring repeated requests to fix a set of broken stairs
  • Failing to place warning signs or tape around a dangerous hole in the ground
  • Failing to repair broken pavement even after multiple employees slip and fall

If you are unsure whether a property owner’s action breaches his or her duty of care, speak to a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can evaluate your case and determine whether the owner was negligent.

Causation

Once you prove breach of duty, you must show that the owner’s actions caused your slip and fall accident and your resulting injuries. For example, if you slip on a spill left unattended for hours in a grocery store, the accident would not likely have occurred if the owner had placed the appropriate signage around the area and asked an employee to clean up the spill. 

There are multiple pieces of evidence that you can use to prove causation, including the following.

  • Surveillance footage
  • Medical records
  • Witness testimony
  • Correspondence
  • Incident reports

Establishing fault in a slip and fall accident claim can be a challenge. In these situations, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can help gather evidence, defend you against accusations of fault, and prove the owner’s liability. Contact a California slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your legal options.

Posted by highrank at 8:17 pm

How to Prevent an Oilfield Accident

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The oil and gas industry is one of the most dangerous work sectors. Accidents in this field can occur in a variety of ways and can potentially have a large impact on individuals, organizations, and ecosystems. In 2020 the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers reported 14 oilfield fatalities occurring in 12 separate accidents. Thousands of other injuries were reported ranging from slip-and-fall incidents to chemical exposures. Despite the inherent danger that comes with the line of work, there are several key factors that can help prevent oilfield accidents from occurring.

Training

Having appropriate training procedures in place for all workers is key in ensuring a safe environment. Preparing individuals for their unique work conditions, the types of materials they encounter on a daily basis, and the level of caution to maintain around heavy machinery is greatly important. Without proper and reliable training unprepared workers are at a greater risk for a user-error accident. Even seasoned workers should receive regular job-specific training.

Properly Working Machinery

Maintaining machinery and equipment is essential to a safe working environment. Regular maintenance routines keep machines and equipment running smoothly and give operators the chance to observe issues or worn pieces that may lead to larger problems.

Safety Protocols

Workers should be upheld to strict safety standards that are in place to protect themselves and others around them. Organizations are required to provide all workers with appropriate safety gear and equipment including hard hats, gloves, steel-toed boots, safety glasses, and fire-resistant clothing. Enforcement of proper use of these tools will lower the risks associated with oilfield accidents.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides specific regulations and protocols for the oil and gas industry. Employers should supply workers with access to that information and readily communicate information, trends, or changes in protocols.

While the oil and gas industry comes with risks, it is always possible to minimize risk factors with caution and preparedness. Contact Rodriguez & Associates with any questions you may have regarding safety concerns or breaches in safety protocols within the oil and gas industry.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience representing those injured in the oilfield because of someone else’s negligence, including a worker who sustained injuries after an oilfield crane dropped on him obtaining $3.5 million in the case.

Daniel Rodriguez himself worked in the oilfields for years as a roustabout and mechanic. With his first-hand knowledge of how difficult and dangerous the work can be, he and his firm are especially versed in the rights workers have in the oilfield industry when accidents and injuries do occur.

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

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:10 pm