Category Archives: Rodriguez & Associates

What Is NOT Included in Attorney-Client Privilege?

Thursday, September 30, 2021

If you plan on hiring legal representation, you have probably heard of the term attorney-client privilege. The attorney-client relationship is a sensitive one, and attorneys have an obligation to keep their communications with clients private and confidential. A lawyer cannot openly share or be forced to share information about his or her client, but there are certain exceptions to the rule. If crime or fraud was involved in a client’s communications with a lawyer, for example, attorney-client privilege no longer applies. 

Understanding Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney-client privilege protects communications between lawyers and people who seek legal representation. This rule allows clients to share information without hesitation so that their attorneys can provide the most effective representation possible. Attorney-client privilege typically applies whenever an existing or potential client consults a lawyer who is acting in their professional capacity for legal advice, and the client reasonably expects the lawyer to keep their communications private.

Clients can choose to waive or forfeit this privilege at any time, but an attorney cannot. Attorney-client privilege can last long after the lawyer stops representing the client, and even after the client passes away. Potential clients who never hire an attorney are also protected.

In simple terms, an attorney can never share confidential information about any past, present, or potential client without his or her permission. However, there are some exceptions.

The Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege

When consulting with a lawyer, a client may choose to disclose information about past crimes or previous wrongful acts. These communications are protected by attorney-client privilege, and the lawyer will likely be unable to disclose this information. If the client communicates with an attorney with the purpose of committing a crime or fraud, the attorney-client privilege rule no longer applies. 

The crime-fraud exception applies if the following conditions are met.

  • The client was in the process of committing or intended to commit a crime or act of fraud.
  • The client communicated with his or her attorney to either cover up the crime or fraud, or to further his or her mission.

For example, say that a client seeks an attorney’s advice after a car accident. The client admits to the lawyer that he or she caused the accident but wants advice on how to manipulate evidence so that another driver looks to be at fault. In this situation, the client intends on defrauding an insurance company and the attorney is not obligated to keep his or her communications private. If the potential client was later arrested, the lawyer could be subpoenaed and required to testify against him or her. 

Confidentiality Exceptions for Imminent Harm

Under California law, if a client tells his or her attorney that he or she plans on committing a crime that that may lead to death or serious injury, an attorney is required to disclose it. Before disclosing this information, the lawyer must make a good faith effort to stop the client from committing the act and inform the client of his or her obligation to report.

For example, say that a lawyer receives a call from a client who says that he intends to kill the person who is filing a lawsuit against him or her. The attorney will be obligated to call the police and report the threat to the police. 

If you are facing any type of legal process, it is important to have an attorney on your side. As soon as possible following the initial incident, speak to a lawyer to discuss your legal strategy.

Posted by highrank at 4:54 pm

Who Is Liable in a Commercial Truck Accident?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

One of the major differences between commercial truck accidents and the average car crash is liability, or who’s at fault.

Liable parties in a regular car accident are usually just the drivers of the vehicles involved. Determining liability in a truck accident is a far more complex process that could include multiple third parties beyond the person actually driving the commercial vehicle. In other words, the accident may not have entirely been the driver’s fault, even if it appears that way at first. Proving liability in cases like these normally requires an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Manufacturing, managing, and loading a truck is a long process that requires input from many different parties. There’s room for error along any one of these points in the process of moving goods from one location to the next. Because of that, the following groups, companies, and individuals could potentially be held liable for negligence in a truck accident:

Manufacturers: Companies that manufacture truck parts and equipment — anything from tires to brake pads — could share in the blame if their parts helped cause an accident. Some common examples of malfunctioning equipment include tire blowouts, faulty brakes, and mechanical failures. A thorough investigation should reveal such things after an accident. If found to be at fault, manufacturers would be required to pay at least part of victims’ damages.

The Trucking Company: The company that hires the truck driver is a frequent third party held liable in accidents. The trucking company is responsible for maintaining and inspecting the vehicle before every trip, ensuring that all equipment is working properly. But too often, these companies cut corners on inspections, increasing the risk of an accident. They may also push a driver to work longer hours than is safe in the name of meeting a shipping deadline.

Cargo Loaders: Cargo loaders are supposed to ensure a shipment is secured and balanced properly in the truck before the vehicle ever departs. Improperly packed cargo could spill onto the road or throw the truck off balance and hinder a driver’s ability to control the vehicle. An underloaded or overloaded truck can also cause problems for the driver and potentially anyone else in the nearby vicinity.

Truck Drivers: Often, the person behind the wheel of the commercial vehicle shares some responsibility in an accident. Drivers that speed, make reckless lane changes, or break other traffic laws are a danger to everyone on the road. Many truck drivers also struggle with substance abuse, while others work past their designated Hours of Service regulations and wind up exhausted and overworked. All of these factors increase the risk of an accident happening.

Because of the number of potentially responsible parties involved, truck accident litigation can get extremely complex very quickly. If the accident is catastrophic — which is often the case with commercial vehicles — proving negligence will get even more nuanced. Trucking companies and others on the above list do not have your best interests in mind and will often try to get out of paying what they rightfully owe. These companies are armed with attorneys and resources and will usually do everything they can to avoid paying you compensation.

Your best course of action after a major truck accident is to find an experienced truck accident attorney. Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience handling truck accident cases, and our expertise 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 2:52 pm

Daniel and Connie Rodriguez Support CSUB Through $125,000 Gift

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Founder and President of Rodriguez & Associates, Daniel Rodriguez and his wife, Connie, have gifted California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), $125,000 to be distributed over a five-year period.

“Giving is contagious!” –  Daniel Rodriguez

Rodriguez and his wife were inspired to donate to the university after Connie Perez-Andreesen and Joel Andreesen, a Senior Partner at Rodriguez & Associates, donated to CSUB earlier this year. The donation by Daniel and Connie Rodriguez will be shared equally between the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to student-athletes, and the Center for Social Justice, a Political Science Department that is dedicated to telling the stories of those who have experienced social injustice in the region.

“Athletics not only helps build character but also provides entertainment to our community. As for the Center of Social Justice, we think that it helps promote fairness and justice in segments of our society that are too often neglected.” – Daniel Rodriguez

At Rodriguez & Associates, Daniel Rodriguez has always emphasized to his staff the importance of giving back, both in and out of the courtroom. Supporting local organizations and charities strengthens the community that we work and live in, which benefits all members in the long run.

To learn more about the Rodriguez’s CUSB donation and how it will be used, read this article.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 10:35 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

The Most Dangerous Tasks for Oilfield Workers

Thursday, September 9, 2021

When it comes to jobs that are inherently dangerous, the oil and gas industries are at the top of the list. From 2013 to 2017, the most recent year for data, 489 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Explosions, such as the type that caused the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, are typically what come to mind when we think of oilfield accidents. But while those events are undoubtedly catastrophic, they are not necessarily the most common danger for those working on the oilfield.

The most dangerous tasks for oilfield workers include:

Driving. One of the most dangerous jobs in the oil industry doesn’t take place on the field or rig but instead on the freeway. Motor vehicle crashes cause over 50 percent of work-related deaths in the oil and gas extraction industries, according to the CDC.

This is largely due to the long hours these drivers are usually required to put in. Oilfield drivers are subject to different rules under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours of Service regulations than other commercial truck drivers. Because of this, they often work much longer shifts. The fatigue and exhaustion from such long hours can greatly increase the risk of a catastrophic accident happening.

Derrick operations. Derrick operators build, operate, inspect, manage, and service all components of an oil derrick. This means they are constantly working with heavy, dangerous equipment that if not managed properly can lead to falling objects, crush injuries, and slips and falls.

Derrick operators are also expected to work long hours in all types of weather: extreme heat, freezing cold, wind storms, and other situations. Like drivers, these individuals battle a good deal of fatigue from their working conditions and are at greater risk for accidents because of it.

Roustabout. Roustabouts are entry-level workers who do a number of different tasks, including handling cargo, transporting materials, and maintaining equipment. The work is physically and mentally demanding, and the hours are generally long.

Roustabouts also work in extreme weather conditions and with heavy, dangerous equipment.

Many oilfield accidents are preventable when proper safety regulations are followed and basic precautions taken. It is when employers cut corners to save time that their workers wind up at risk for severe injury and even death.

If anyone knows this firsthand, it’s Rodriguez & Associates boss Daniel Rodriguez, who worked in the oilfields for years as a roustabout and mechanic. He knows firsthand how difficult and dangerous the work can be, and how important it is to give those injured by someone else’s negligence a chance for justice.

If you have been injured in an oilfield accident because of negligence, consider contacting an oilfield injury attorney and pursuing a claim. 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 5:30 pm

Rodriguez & Associates on KGET “Clear the Shelters”

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Chantal A. Trujillo and Danay Gonzalez of Rodriguez & Associates were guests on KGET to raise awareness for the Clear the Shelters adoption drive from August 21 through September 18, 2021.

Chantal’s dog, Penelope, and Danay’s dog, Zola, make special appearances as they discuss the joy these pets have brought to their lives, as they invite you to find your best friend during Clear the Shelters.

Watch the segment here:

Adoption Drive in Bakersfield, Ca through September 18 at:
City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center
201 S Mt. Vernon Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93307
661-832-7387

Or click here to support the City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center with your donation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:34 pm

Joel T. Andreesen Helps Raise Close to $1 million for Student Athletes

Friday, August 27, 2021

attorney_Joel_AndreesenFor years, the senior partner at Rodriguez & Associates, Joel T. Andreesen, has helped our Bakersfield community. As the outgoing President of the CSUB Athletic Scholarship Fund, he’s helped raise close to $1 million for student-athletes. Because of this more student-athletes than ever before can achieve their educational goals with athletic scholarships.

Joel stated, “This year’s record setting fundraising total of $938,433 is a testament to the Kern County community, CSU Bakersfield Roadrunner nation and the Roadrunner Scholarship Board of Directors and their commitment to all current and future Roadrunner student-athletes. He adds, “The increased donation amount will help Roadrunner athletics get closer to its goal of fully funding all available student-athlete scholarships. I want to express a big thank you to all the Roadrunner donors who helped make this a record-breaking year!”

We thank Joel for everything he’s done for our student-athletes.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:16 pm

What Are Soft-Tissue Injuries?

Friday, August 20, 2021

The soft tissues in the body, such as the muscles, ligaments, skin, and tendons, can sustain serious trauma during an accident. Soft tissue injuries can result in severe pain, swelling, bruising, and other physical symptoms. If you sustained a soft tissue injury due to another person’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

There are two main types of soft tissue injuries: acute traumatic injuries and overuse injuries. Acute traumatic injuries come on suddenly and often occur due to an accident, such as a motor vehicle collision or a slip and fall. Overuse injuries occur slowly and develop over time.

Specific types of soft tissue injuries include the following.

  • Open soft tissue injuries: Lacerations, avulsions, and abrasions are acute traumatic injuries that involve open wounds. These injuries often result in a loss of blood and may leave permanent scars. Open soft tissue injuries can be very painful and require lengthy recovery times.
  • Contusions: This type of soft tissue injury does not involve open wounds but does occur due to acute trauma. Blunt force usually causes a contusion, leading to pain, swelling, discoloration, and bleeding under the skin at the injury site.
  • Sprains: A sprain occurs when a ligament is partially torn, usually in the knees, ankles, and wrists. This type of soft tissue injury also occurs due to acute trauma and may take weeks to heal.
  • Strains: This injury often occurs due to overuse, force, or stretching. Strains typically involve the muscles or the tendons and can severely limit mobility during the recovery period.
  • Tendonitis: This overuse injury occurs when the tendons, bands of tissue that connects muscle to bones, become inflamed. It often affects the elbows, hands, shoulders, hips, knees, and other joints.
  • Whiplash: This condition is a soft tissue injury that often occurs during a car accident. Whiplash occurs when the neck suddenly moves back and forth in a forceful, unnatural way. As a result, the muscles and tendons in the neck and upper back tear and twist, leading to serious pain.

Signs and Symptoms of a Soft Tissue Injury

A soft tissue injury may not be apparent at first, even after an instance of acute trauma. The signs of the condition may begin slowly and worsen over time. Common symptoms of a soft tissue injury include the following.

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Visible bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Muscle weakness
  • A limited range of motion
  • Joint instability
  • An inability to carry heavy weight
  • Muscle cramping or spasms
  • A lump or knot at the injury site

Legal Options After a Soft Tissue Injury

Many incidents can lead to a soft tissue injury. For example, you may sustain whiplash when another vehicle collides into the back of your car. You may slip on a puddle of water at the grocery store and sustain a contusion on your tailbone. These injuries can be very painful, requiring medical care and weeks of recovery time.

If you sustained a soft tissue injury due to another person’s negligence, you may qualify for an insurance claim or lawsuit. Through your claim, you can recover compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages you sustained due to the soft tissue injury. To determine whether you are eligible for legal action, speak to a Bakersfield premises liability attorney as soon as possible.

 

Posted by highrank at 3:06 pm

California Oilfield Statistics 2021

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

California is one of the top 10 oil-producing states in America, with Kern and Ventura counties home to much of that production. In these counties, oilfields provide employment for thousands of individuals, making it an important industry for the livelihoods of many families.

While work on the oilfield is inherently dangerous, the right safety precautions and processes can avert many disasters and oilfield injuries. It helps too, to be up to speed on recent facts about the ever-changing industry, and what those points and statistics mean for oilfield workers.

Some recent figures include:

● The California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) has jurisdiction over more than 242,000 wells, including nearly 101,300 that are defined as active or idle. The Division’s authority extends from onshore to three miles offshore.

● Annually, 34.9 percent of oil supply sources to California refineries came from California oil sources. Overseas sources as well as those in Alaska made up the rest of the percentages, according to the California Energy Commission.

● While California remains one of the top 10 oil-producing states in the U.S., production has been on the decline since the middle of the 1980s. CalGEM is currently working to further the state’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2045.

● From 2008 through 2017, 1,566 workers died trying to extract oil and gas in the U.S. During the same time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited companies in the extraction industry for 10,873 violations.

● According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 489 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job between 2013 and 2017. Top hazards that can become fatalities are vehicle accidents, being struck by, caught in, or caught between equipment, explosions and fires, falls, being trapped in confined spaces, and exposure to harmful chemicals.

● Roughly 35,000 wells currently sit idle in California, with production suspended. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times and the Center for Public Integrity found that regions, including Kern County and Los Angeles, do not have enough money set aside to ensure these sites are cleaned up and made safe for all, now and in the future.

Daniel Rodriguez himself worked in the oilfields for years as a roustabout and mechanic, and knows firsthand how difficult and dangerous the work can be. If you have been injured in an oilfield accident, these statistics can help you determine if your situation warrants contacting an oilfield injury attorney and pursuing a claim. 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 1:18 pm

Rodriguez & Associates Obtains $5M Settlement After the 1st Phase of Trial

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

With the help of this wonderful and dedicated jury, Rodriguez & Associates obtained a $5,000,000 settlement on behalf of their injured client.

Rodriguez & Associates

From the start, the defense denied liability and offered very little to resolve the case. Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Joseph Whittington worked tirelessly to represent their client while demanding the $5,000,000 insurance policy.

With Daniel’s quick-witted and compassionate approach to gain empathy and understanding from jurors, he won them over and was successful after the first phase when the jury found the defendants liable. The defendants conceded and offered up their insurance policy limits.

We are so happy for our client and congratulations to the Rodriguez & Associates team!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 6:45 pm