Category Archives: Personal Injury Lawyer

Meet Rodriguez & Associates Attorney Jefferson Eberhardt

Friday, February 3, 2023

It was a chance meeting with Daniel Rodriguez while borrowing a book from a friend and peer, that catalyzed Jefferson Eberhardt’s path toward Rodriguez & Associates. Speaking with Daniel in those first casual moments in the office taught him a great deal about the culture and merit of the firm and the pride Daniel’s team takes in their work.

“I immediately recognized that the level of dedication the team pours into each case cannot be matched. Everyone is extremely committed. The firm is comprised of a driven group of individuals who make sacrifices and who constantly seek cutting-edge approaches to jury trials. Rodriguez & Associates is the top. It is rare to have a chance to learn from the master, so I seized the opportunity to work for Daniel Rodriguez.”

Jefferson joined the Rodriguez & Associates team in 2022 eager to develop his skills as a trial attorney as part of one of the top firms in personal injury law. He brings to the firm strong written and oral advocacy skills, discipline, and a background in psychology that allows him a unique perspective into the cases he is involved with and empathetic connections with clients.

Although law was not his initial career choice, if you ask Jefferson’s parents, they would say he was born to be a lawyer. Even from a young age, he was determined to have his voice heard; constructing arguments and negotiating everything from allowance upgrades to shopping trips, complete with contracts and conditions.

Jefferson completed his undergraduate degree as a psychology major, only shifting his interest to law after taking a law course and being fully immersed in what the profession entailed. He entered the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego as a Merit Scholarship Recipient and was admitted to the California State Bar in 2014, after graduating.

“I believe that my background in psychology can add tremendous benefit to my trial skills. It is certainly advantageous in demonstrating empathy for my clients and connecting with a jury.”

After passing the Bar, Jefferson began his law career with a firm working on a combination of employment law, business law, and personal injury cases. Through his experiences with a variety of practice areas, Jefferson learned that he was most drawn to cases involving personal injury due to the monumental impact they can have on families and individuals, and found meaning in fighting for the rights of those suffering tragic wrongs.

“I am constantly inspired by our clients. Hearing their stories and getting to know them personally motivates me to pursue justice on their behalf and help bring them peace.”

Dedicated not only to his profession but also to his personal health, fitness and nutrition are an important part of Jefferson’s busy lifestyle. He uses fitness to balance the stress of the strenuous and time-consuming work expected of attorneys. His personal health has become such an ingrained part of his lifestyle that while attending a required 3-week trial lawyer course in Wyoming he had a set of dumbbells shipped to him.

Although not originally from Bakersfield, Jefferson shares the sense of community and pride that Rodriguez & Associates exemplifies in their work and relishes the opportunities to learn from some of the most experienced and practiced attorneys in the personal injury arena. He is committed to being the best version of himself professionally and personally to stand with our team in helping those who need help the most.

We are so grateful to have Jefferson at Rodriguez & Associates!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:10 pm

Vote For Us In The 2023 Best Of Readers’ Choice Poll!

Monday, January 30, 2023

Vote for Rodriguez & Associates, Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Joel T. Andreesen in The Bakersfield Californian’s 2023 Best of Readers’ Choice Awards.

We are listed in the following categories:

Vote now – click on the links below:

Best Law Firms – Rodriguez & Associates

  • Click VOTE
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Best Personal Injury Lawyer

  • Click VOTE next one of the following:
  1. Daniel Rodriguez
  2. Chantal Trujillo
  3. Joel T. Andreesen

You can vote once a day, every day, until Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PT, so vote daily!

We appreciate your support!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 3:07 pm

The Long-Term Effects of an Untreated Head Injury

Friday, December 30, 2022

Brain injuries can be very serious. One of the most important organs in the human body, the brain is responsible for controlling critical functions like movement, mood, and memory. When you suffer any type of trauma to the head, the brain can be damaged, resulting in both short-term symptoms and long-term complications.

The long-term effects of an untreated head injury can be severe, ranging from ongoing headaches to seizures and degenerative diseases. If you suffer a blow to the head, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you can—and to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your legal options.

Ongoing Headaches and Migraines

A brain injury often results in persistent, frequent headaches and migraines. These chronic headaches can become worse over time, impacting your quality of life for weeks, months, or even permanently. Even with treatment, it is very common for brain injury victims to suffer from headaches. 

Seizures and Post-Traumatic Epilepsy

It is common for untreated head injuries to result in ongoing seizures or even post-traumatic epilepsy. For some patients, these symptoms may begin immediately following the brain trauma. For others, seizures may not develop until months or years following the incident.

These episodes can be terrifying and come on suddenly without warning. Seizures and epileptic disorders are especially common among patients who show anomalies on their brain scans. In some cases, these seizures are permanent.

Mental Health Disorders

Many head injury victims suffer from emotional and cognitive problems in addition to physical complications. Failure to seek medical care can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and many other mental health disorders. Patients may also experience changes in personality, mood swings, and feelings of aggression.

Sleep Problems

Many people with head or brain trauma can experience sleep problems. If you have suffered this injury, you may experience ongoing insomnia or an inability to fall asleep. You may wake up frequently during the night and experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Lack of sleep can cause significant emotional and mental health problems, resulting in further hardship.

Higher Risk of Death

Without proper medical care, an untreated head injury can result in a higher risk of death. This is especially true if you experience moderate to severe brain trauma. Fatal complications such as sepsis and embolisms may arise. Additionally, the mental and cognitive effects of trauma can increase the risk of suicide.

Degenerative Brain Diseases

According to some scientific studies, people who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to suffer degenerative brain diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s. If you seek emergency medical care after a head injury, you can reduce the risk of long-term diseases and help brain cells heal. Without treatment, however, the brain cells will continue to degenerate, impairing brain function.

Speak to an Attorney About an Untreated Head Injury

Often, head injuries are the result of accidents caused by someone else, like motor vehicle collisions and hazardous property conditions. If you suffered brain trauma at the hands of another person, you may be eligible for legal action.

Depending on the facts of your case, you could pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. A California personal injury attorney can guide you through the litigation process and recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal options and plan your next steps.

Posted by highrank at 4:40 pm

Can I Sue for Wildfire Damage?

Thursday, November 10, 2022

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

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

How Do Wildfires Happen?

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

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

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

When Can You File a Lawsuit After a Wildfire?

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

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

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

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

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

Speak to a California Personal Injury Attorney Today

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

Posted by highrank at 6:19 pm

Daniel Rodriguez Representing Arvin High School Special Needs Bullying Victim

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Rodriguez & Associates

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

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:06 pm

Determining Liability in Your Truck Accident Case

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Walking away from a truck accident as an uninjured driver or passenger of a standard-sized vehicle is rare simply due to the sheer size and force of a moving truck. The injuries that occur in a truck accident are generally severe, often including head trauma, internal bleeding, and back and neck injuries.  

Yet, seeking compensation for medical bills, ongoing treatment, wages, and even wrongful death in a truck accident is extremely challenging and tedious. Large trucking companies are prepared with legal teams and massive insurance policies that have the goal of protecting their company, their manufacturers, and their drivers from a large payout. 

Working with a truck accident attorney who has experience handling claims against trucking companies, drivers, and manufacturers, as well as aggressive insurance companies, is crucial to the success of your case and your peace of mind while you heal.

Crash Investigation

Attorneys can determine the cause of an accident through an extensive and in-depth investigation that will involve visits to the crash site, a review of the driver’s black box, driver log, and other factors including police reports, weather conditions, and eyewitness reports. Attorneys will address the potential for multiple parties involved by reviewing the trucking company’s history of accidents, manufacturing issues, or other logistical concerns. A detailed investigation can take months to review critical evidence in a truck accident. 

Multiple Parties

Layers of trucking laws, specific investigative procedures, and multiple involved parties can make a successful truck accident lawsuit seem out of reach. Unlike a typical car accident, truck accidents can possibly involve multiple negligent parties in addition to the driver. It is crucial for you and your attorney to understand the connection between various parties including the trucking company, manufacturer, and even cargo loaders. Determining which parties were negligent and should be held liable for injuries and damages is an essential part of your truck accident claim. 

Who Can be Held Liable in a Truck Accident?

The trucking industry has so many interconnected roles that negligence, as early in the process as manufacturing, can create potential harm for anyone on the road. Truck drivers, manufacturing companies, truck owners, and trucking companies, among others, can potentially hold responsibility for an accident.

Truck Drivers

The most common defendant in a trucking accident, the negligent behaviors of a truck driver can have tremendous consequences for others on the road. Common negligent actions among truck drivers include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving impaired
  • Failing to follow state or federal laws
  • Drowsy driving
  • Failing to maintain driver’s log

Truck Companies/Truck Owners

The truck’s owner, whether an individual, a company, or a leasing firm, is responsible for ensuring the truck is completely safe and roadworthy. If the truck’s owner fails to properly maintain the truck, and that lack of maintenance causes an accident, the owner can be held liable for any damages. In addition, companies are responsible for hiring fully licensed and experienced drivers and ensuring those drivers comply with trucking laws. Common negligence among truck companies and owners includes:

  • Poor truck maintenance
  • Hiring unqualified drivers
  • Insufficient training of employees
  • Encouraging their drivers to violate hour and sleep restrictions

Truck Manufacturer

Manufacturing errors are significant factors in truck accidents. Recorded data from 2021 showed that about 30% of all truck-related accidents are caused by tire defects. Even when warnings and recalls are in place, the truck manufacturer can still potentially be held liable for damages. 

Cargo Loaders

The companies that hire trucking companies to transport their materials and products can potentially be held liable if their materials are not securely fastened and come loose. Over-loading, improper balance or the use of unsafe straps, levers, or other securing devices are all common factors in trucking hazards.

How We Can Help

California remains among the top states with the highest fatal trucking accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Patrol’s 2019 statistics, 7.7% of California truck drivers were involved in fatal crashes during that year. 

Truck accidents are complex and require an experienced eye. Our Bakersfield 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 over $70 million for a truck vs SUV case. Our firm is familiar with truck engineering, truckers’ fatigue, and other issues that lead to catastrophic accidents.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a truck accident, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and possible legal options.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 8:54 pm

What is a Shared Fault Law and How Can it Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Personal injury accidents are not always cut and dry. In California, shared fault laws can affect the outcome of your case. Aggressive insurance companies will use shared fault to their advantage, to minimize their client’s responsibility and damages payout. If you have been injured and are pursuing a personal injury claim, working with a highly experienced personal injury attorney at a reputable personal injury law firm can help you navigate the complexities of shared fault to ensure that you find justice in your case.

What is Shared Fault?

Shared Fault, or comparative negligence, is a law that allows for both the plaintiff and the defendant to be held partially liable for damages. In a situation where both parties were negligent, the court can issue percentages of fault, requiring each party to pay damages to the other, or mitigating the liability of the defendant. Comparative negligence follows the general understanding that the plaintiff does not have the right to recover what they contributed to the accident.

California is among the few states that abide by a “Pure” comparative fault rule which allows the defendant to recover some damages even if they are mostly at fault for the incident.

When Can Shared Fault Occur?

Shared fault can be found in many types of California personal injury cases. While most commonly seen in car accident claims, other common shared fault cases include:

Who Decides Percentages of Fault?

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, but you were also driving distracted and did not see the other car, how much of the fault is placed on you versus the defendant must be decided. Typically, it is the judge or a jury who reviews the facts and makes an informed decision about the role each party played in the accident.

When your case goes to settlement or trial, your attorney will be able to negotiate the percentages of fault for your case. It may be found that the drunk driver in the example above was 80% at fault for the accident, and you were 20% at fault for driving distracted. The damages you receive would be reduced by the amount of 20%.

Every personal injury accident is unique and there is no absolute method to appropriating fault. With many factors that can influence comparative negligence in a case, it is important to have the support of a legal team who has the ability to advocate for you against large insurance agencies and big companies.

How We Can Help

If you have been injured by the negligence of another person in California, contact Rodriguez & Associates today at (661) 323-1400 or by filling out this online form. Our team of Bakersfield, California personal injury lawyers is skilled at handling all types of personal injury claims including those that involve shared fault, with the goal of securing the most possible damages for you as you recover.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:51 pm