Category Archives: Rodriguez & Associates

Different Types of Burn Injuries

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Victims of fire or burn injuries can be left with debilitating injuries, physical and psychological scars and may face many years or surgeries and physical therapy to try to get back the life they once had.

There are many ways that people can be burned – from a property hazard, to a bonfire party, to faulty wiring or a workplace injury. While some of the burns are mild, others can be disfiguring. There are four types of burn injuries.

  • Thermal burns are caused by contact with flames, hot water (or hot liquids), steam or other sources of intense heat. These are usually the source of household burns from kitchen fires and burns from auto accidents. Within thermal burns, there are:
    • Flash burns – explosions of natural gas, propane, or other flammable liquids.
    • Flame burns – due to exposure of prolonged, intense heat such as in a car accident or house fire.
    • Scald burns – usually caused by hot liquids such as water, grease, oil, and tar.
  • Contact burns ­– from coals, glass, hot metals or plastics.
  • Chemical burns can be caused by contact with strong acids or alkali substances that may be found in some household cleaners such as bleach, drain cleaner, swimming pool chemicals, etc.,
  • Electrical burns are common in the workplace, such as construction sites, restaurants, agricultural sites, and offices. These are caused by an AC or DC current.
  • Radiation burns are caused by alpha, beta, or gamma radiation, commonly known as sunburns. X-rays and radiation therapy may also cause a burn, which could be a medical malpractice case.

Burn severity is categorized by medical professionals based on how deep the burn is and how they will approach treatment. Burns range from first-degree (mildest) to third-degree (most damaging).

  • First-degree burns include only the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Most are minor and superficial. A first-degree burn usually does not require treatment by a medical professional unless it covers a significant portion of the body. A first-degree burn injury can include:
    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • Minor pain
    • Texture changes when it starts to heal
  • Second-degree burns involve the epidermis (outer layers of skin) and the upper layers of the tissue underneath (also known as the dermis). A small second-degree burn may heal on its own, however a larger second-degree burn may require medical treatment and skin grafting. An individual will usually experience:
    • Blistering of the skin
    • Higher degree of pain than first-degree burns
  • Third-degree burns damage all layers of the skin – the outer layer epidermis and the dermis tissue below it – and may extend into subcutaneous tissues, ligaments, tendons, and bones (when this is the case, some physicians may classify this as a fourth-degree burn). Symptoms include:
    • Charring
    • Dark brown discoloration
    • Waxy and white discoloration
    • Leathery textured areas
    • Undeveloped blistering areas

Our Kern County personal injury law firm has represented many clients including those who have suffered burn injuries from workplace accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, and construction accidents. We not only care about the case, but we care about the well-being of our clients and will assist in obtaining medical care and day-to-day support following a serious burn injury.

And always, we will fight to hold the responsible party accountable and for fair compensation.

If you or a loved one has experienced a burn or electrical injury, contact us at (661) 323-1400 or toll-free (800) 585-9262 to schedule a no-charge consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:56 pm

Daniel Rodriguez Discusses the History of Jury Trials

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Daniel Rodriguez, founder and president of Bakersfield personal injury law firm Rodriguez & Associates, spoke with Vanessa Dillon on KGET Studio 17 about the history behind jury trials.

Daniel shared in the interview points including:

  • Jury trials began in about 600 B.C in Ancient Greece
  • Trials typically lasted one day. It was broken up into three sections; the accuser went for three hours, then the person being accused had three hours, and then the jury (of at least 200 people) would deliberate and take a vote.
  • The jury would take a stone (the white stone meant innocent and the black stone meant guilty) and toss one of them in the middle. Back then, it was a majority rule, not a unanimous verdict.
  • The most famous trial in history was the trial of Socrates. He was found guilty of impiety and corrupting the youth and was sentenced to death by poison.

To watch the interview, click here.

Rodriguez & Associates is a Bakersfield, California personal injury law firm that serves those that are in the most need. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury you can contact us at our office: 1128 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA at (661)-323-1400 and visit our website for more information.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 3:54 pm

Types of Truck Accidents

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

According to the 2018 report from American Trucking Associations, 11.49 billion tons of freight was transported by large commercial trucks (also referred to as semis, big rigs or tractor-trailers) in 2018. Trucks are on our roads and highways daily and, unfortunately, truck accidents happen due to driver fatigue, mechanical failures, unsafe driving, and other causes such as drug/alcohol use, distracted driving or lack of skill.

Truck accidents involving other vehicles are severe and, often, fatal. Here are the common types of truck accidents that occur.

Head-On: A head-on accident is often due to distracted driving or driver fatigue (drowsiness or falling asleep at the wheel). These accidents usually result in serious injury or death.

Jackknife: A jackknife accident is when a driver brakes fast and the trailer slides outward to a 90-degree angle of the truck cab. This type of accident can cause vehicles behind the truck to collide with the truck or with each other when trying to stop suddenly.

Rollover: A rollover is when a commercial truck loses control and rolls over on its side. These types of accidents may crush other cars on the road.

T-Bone: A T-Bone accident occurs when a truck runs a red light or stop sign and hits a car on its side.

Wide Turn: This type of accident occurs when a truck driver is attempting to turn in one direction but swings out to the other before making the turn. If the truck hits another vehicle while swinging out, the accident is referred to as a wide turn or “swinging turn” accident.

Blind Spot: A big rig has many more blind spots than a regular sized car. A blind spot accident is when a truck driver is changing lanes and is unaware of a car (or cars) in the lane he is going into and as he moves over, he hits the car(s) or forces them off the road.

Underride Accident: An underride accident is when a truck stops abruptly and the car behind it doesn’t stop in time and gets lodged under the truck trailer. These accidents are often fatal.

Tire Blowout: When a tire blowout happens on a truck, it can cause the driver to lose control and/or tire debris can fly out and hit cars around the truck, causing an accident.

Rear-end Collision: If a driver in front of a truck stops suddenly, the truck may have not enough stopping room and will rear-end the car. A rear-end collision between a commercial truck and a car can cause significant damage and injuries.

Our Bakersfield truck accident attorneys have handled hundreds of commercial truck accident cases. In 2019, we obtained a $70.5 million verdict, the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history, for a family who was driving in an SUV when a big rig ran a red light and slammed into them.

Learn more about the truck case in this video from personal injury attorney Daniel Rodriguez, founder + president of Rodriguez & Associates.

If you are looking for an experienced truck accident attorney, contact us at (661) 323-1400 or toll free (800) 585-9262 to schedule a no-charge consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 3:42 pm

My Car Accident Claim Was Denied by Insurance – Now What?

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

You’ve been in a car accident that was not your fault. You file a claim with the other party’s auto insurance company for car repairs, medical expenses, and other damages. To your surprise, the claim is denied! As car accident attorneys in Bakersfield, we hear about situations like this a lot.

Why would my car accident claim be denied?

Insurance companies may deny claims for a variety of reasons including believing their client was not at fault in the accident, or that you had a pre-existing medical condition that wasn’t caused by the accident itself, or even that the crash was avoidable. Fortunately, there are ways to fight the denial and get compensated for what you deserve.

Strengthen Your Car Accident Claim

Insurance companies have a legal obligation to act in good faith, meaning that they must honestly and carefully consider every person’s request for compensation. If your original claim was denied, you have a better chance of securing a settlement if you present them with strong evidence about what happened, including:

  • A detailed letter of the events and why you believe the other driver is at fault.
  • Photographs of vehicle damage (all cars involved), the scene of the accident, and your injuries.
  • Medical records and evaluations of any injuries linked to the crash.
  • Copies of the police report.
  • Any witness statements.

Contact an experienced car accident attorney.

It is no secret that dealing with insurance companies can be tricky and complex. Even if you submit all of the above, your claim may still be denied. If this is the case, or if dealing with an insurance company feels overwhelming to you, find a car accident attorney that has experience.

Our personal injury law firm has over 100 years of combined experience helping people to put back together their lives. Contact our Bakersfield motor vehicle attorney accident lawyers if you or a loved one has suffered in any type of car or motor vehicle accident. (661) 323-1400 or (800) 585-9262 toll-Free.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:11 am

Who Is Liable if I Was Bitten by a Stray Dog?

Monday, August 10, 2020

Dog bites can cause serious injury and debilitating illness, often leading to infections, scarring, and severe, painful wounds. If a dog attacks you, you can face intensive medical procedures, lost wages, property damage, and more — but if the dog’s owner meets certain liability criteria, you can file a lawsuit with the help of a Bakersfield dog bite attorney to collect compensatory damages to recover from these injuries. However, if a stray dog attacked you, different considerations apply.

Strict Liability in California Dog Bite Claims

Under California law, dog owners are subject to strict liability. This means owners liable for any injuries their dogs are responsible for, regardless of past behavior or negligence. If someone else’s dog bites you, you can file a lawsuit against him or her to collect compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional damages you incur due to the bite.

You do not have to prove the dog has a history of dangerous behavior or the owner was negligent at the time of the bite. However, you will not receive compensation in your case if you provoked the dog or you were trespassing on private property at the time of the attack. The court will not award damages if the animal was protecting its owner in self-defense, or if the dog was a military or police animal acting in accordance with its duties.

What Happens If a Stray Dog Bites You?

If a stray dog bites you, there is no owner you can file charges against. As a result, it is very rare to collect compensation in dog bite cases involving stray dogs. The only exception is if a government agency had control over the dog before it escaped and attacked you — in these situations, you may hold the city liable for your injuries.

For example, say that your city’s local pound picks up the stray dog and places it under their care. The dog then escapes and attacks you once it is outside. In these situations, you can argue that the pound’s negligence caused the dog to escape and subsequently injure you, and the agency is responsible for your damages.

Are Stray Dog Keepers Legal Owners?

The legal definition of ownership may also play a role in dog bite claims involving stray animals. Some people may keep and feed stray dogs on their property, but claim they do not own or have any responsibility over the canines. If one of these animals bite you, you may wonder whether or not the person taking care of the dog is legally its owner.

Dog ownership definitions vary based on state and local law. In Kern County, a dog owner is any person who owns, possesses, controls, harbors, cares for, or has custody of the animal for at least 15 consecutive days. If you can establish that a certain person had been caring for the stray dog for the required period at the time of the attack, you may be able to name him or her in a dog bite lawsuit.

What to Do After a Stray Dog Attack

If you suffer injuries during a dog attack in Bakersfield, your first priority is to get to a safe place and seek medical attention immediately. If you can do so without further injury or danger, take pictures of the area around the attack and any injuries you sustain. Collect the contact information of any witnesses in the area as well.

After receiving treatment for your injuries, contact a Bakersfield dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help determine if you can hold a specific party liable in your claim, as well as collect the necessary evidence to prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries.

Posted by highrank at 1:15 pm

How to Prove Police Misconduct

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Police misconduct occurs when a law enforcement officer commits an illegal act or exhibits inappropriate conduct when carrying out his or her official duties. From acts of police brutality to fraud or coercion, police misconduct can cause serious physical and psychological harm. If you believe that you are the victim of police misconduct, there are a number of steps you will need to take to protect your rights and prove your case with the help of a Bakersfield police misconduct lawyer.

Proving a Case of Police Misconduct

There are multiple pathways you can take to file a complaint against a police officer who commits an act of misconduct.

  • You can file an internal complaint through the officer’s police department.
  • You can file criminal charges against the officer through a state district court. If your case involves certain issues, such as the use of excessive force, you can press charges at the federal level by filing a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) complaint.
  • You can pursue compensatory damages against the police officer by filing a lawsuit against him or her in your state’s civil court.

You can pursue civil and criminal charges against the offending officer simultaneously since they involve two separate proceedings in two types of courts. The burden of proof, or the evidence you will need to establish to prove that misconduct occurred, will differ based on the pathway you choose.

Internal investigations involve their own burden of proof, and you will need to speak to your local police department to determine how to file a complaint. If you are pursuing criminal charges, you will typically need to prove that the following elements are true beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • The officer deprived you of a right protected under the Constitution or U.S. law.
  • The officer acted willfully.
  • The officer was acting under the color of the law, or the officer appeared to act within the law while violating it.

In a California civil lawsuit, you do not need to prove that the officer violated your rights to receive a settlement. Instead, you will need to prove the officer’s liability by establishing a preponderance of the evidence, or that the officer more likely than not committed the misconduct involved in your case.

To accomplish this, you will need to gather enough evidence to prove the misconduct occurred. Different types of police misconduct are subject to specific legal considerations, so it is best to speak to a California police misconduct attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will help you determine which pathway is right for you and advise you on how to best approach your claim.

What to Do After Experiencing Police Misconduct

Regardless of the type of charges you wish to pursue, there are a number of steps you will need to take to preserve evidence after experiencing an act of police misconduct. As soon as possible after the misconduct, take the following steps.

  • Write down a detailed description of the misconduct, including any quotes you remember verbatim. Only write down facts you know to be true.
  • If you suffered any injuries, take pictures of them and seek medical care. Save all documentation from your visits.
  • Gather the contact information of any witnesses and preserve any physical evidence.
  • Contact a police misconduct attorney as soon as possible.

Speaking to a lawyer is vital to police misconduct cases. Your attorney will help you gather evidence, advocate for your rights during each step of the process, and craft a compelling case while adhering to specific legal requirements.

Different lawyers handle criminal and civil cases, but you can pursue both claims simultaneously. If you wish to file a civil lawsuit or criminal charges against the offending officer, contact the appropriate lawyer as soon as possible.

Posted by highrank at 4:27 pm

School Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Kern County

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sexual misconduct and sexual abuse by teachers in the public and private school systems happens more than we think and often times the abuse is unreported or goes unpunished. Stop Educator and Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation (S.E.S.A.M.E.), a national organization dedicated to ending abuse in schools and increase public awareness, states that one out of ten children K-12 students are victims of sexual educator misconduct. Sexual abuse happens at the collegiate level also. S.E.S.A.M.E reported in 2015 that:

  • About 3.5 million students in 8th through 11th grade reported having physical sexual contact from an adult (usually a teacher or coach) ranging from unwanted touching to sexual intercourse.
  • The number increased to 4.5 million students when included other types of sexual misconduct, such as being shown pornography or being subjected to sexually explicit language or exhibitionism.

Signs of sexual abuse of children may include:

  • Not wanting to be hugged or touched
  • Unexplained sleep problems or nightmares
  • Loss of appetite, not wanting to eat, or trouble swallowing
  • Sudden mood swings, insecurity, or withdrawal
  • A new or unusual fear of a certain person or place
  • Exhibits knowledge of adult sexual behaviors and language
  • Draws, writes, dreams, or talks about frightening images or sexual acts
  • Thinks of themselves or their body as “bad” or “dirty”

In teens or adolescents:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuousness
  • Stops caring about bodily appearance or compulsively eats or diets obsessively
  • Running away from home
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Attempting suicide

Sexual abuse of children does not just happen it schools. It also happens in organizations such as youth sports clubs, religious institutions, and youth recreation programs by coaches, staff, volunteers, and other students.

Our Bakersfield sexual abuse attorneys are dedicated to being the voice for children who have suffered from sexual abuse and misconduct in school or in other organizations. We have the resources and skills to thoroughly investigate claims and bring justice to the children who have been sexually abused.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse in school, contact our Kern County law firm for a no-charge consultation: (661) 323-1400 or toll-free 1-800-585-9262.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:11 pm

Working with Personal Injury Attorney Daniel Rodriguez

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

“Everyone I know has nothing but wonderful things to say about Daniel Rodriguez and Rodriguez & Associates. From dealing with the secretaries to other attorneys in the office, we were always treated with the utmost professionalism. We were always seen immediately and treated like family; really treated like family. It was not an easy case for us, it was a very emotional case for us because it was my dad. But Daniel understood that, Daniel could see that, and I think that made him fight even harder because once he got to know who my dad was and our family, he got to see what a terrible loss we took when my dad was taken away. So, we are very thankful for Daniel Rodriguez and his team. He is beyond professional, beyond compassionate, I can’t see any other attorney here in Bakersfield that does the kind of work that he does. The quality of work and the time he takes out to speak to his clients and make sure their needs are met.”
-Nadine Escalante

We are honored when we receive testimonials like this that are so heartfelt and genuine. Daniel Rodriguez, founder and President of our Bakersfield personal injury law firm leads Rodriguez & Associates with the motto, “Big firm results with small firm service.” All personal injury attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates take this to heart by treating each client and case as if they were representing someone from their own family. We strive to thoroughly investigate every case to see that justice is served and that our clients receive what they deserve (and more) for their pain, suffering or loss. During this process, we also get to know the clients and their families on a personal level so when we win on their behalf, it is not just a victory for the firm, it is a personal victory for our attorneys as well.

If you have been injured, we are here to help. Contact us today for  a free consultation by calling (661) 323-1400 or 800-585-9262.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:00 pm

What Should I Do if I’m Injured on Public Transportation?

Friday, July 10, 2020

Injuries on public transportation can be painful. From falling down when the driver makes an unsafe turn to suffering broken bones and lacerations in a bus crash, these accidents can result in expensive medical costs, long periods of time out of work, and damage to your personal property.

You may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to recover compensation for these losses. However, filing a lawsuit requires understanding of liability, California’s common carrier laws, and the potential damages you may be eligible for.

Who Is Liable for a Public Transportation Accident?

The first step to filing a lawsuit for public transportation injuries is to identify the at-fault party in your claim. Your entire case will depend on proving this defendant’s negligence, and you cannot begin the filing process until you identify who is responsible for your injuries.

Liability in public transportation cases can be complex. If a bus driver was responsible for the accident, you will usually file your claim against the state or local government or regional transportation authority who employs him or her.

In cases where a third-party driver is responsible for the accident, you will file the claim directly against him or her. You can either file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a lawsuit in civil court.

California’s Common Carrier Laws

If you are in a car accident while in a motor vehicle, you can collect damages for your injuries by proving the other driver’s negligence. To secure your settlement, you must prove that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, breached his or her duty of care to you, and this breach of care directly caused your injuries.

For public transportation accidents, you will still need to prove the at-fault party’s negligence to win your case. However, California law considers all public and private transportation companies to be common carriers and subject to a higher standard of care than a regular driver.

California’s common carrier law requires common carriers to use the utmost care and diligence for the safety of their passengers. In addition, common carriers must provide everything necessary to uphold this duty of care and use a reasonable degree of skill to carry out these requirements.

If a common carrier does not uphold this duty of care, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Common causes of negligence in public transportation cases include the following.

  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Unnecessary stops and starts
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Failure to maintain public transportation vehicles
  • Inadequate driver training
  • Collisions with another motor vehicle

Immediately following your accident, collect as much evidence as you can to identify its cause. Take pictures and videos, ask witnesses for their contact information, and seek medical attention to receive treatment for your injuries.

Contact an Injury Attorney

One important consideration you must keep in mind for public transportation cases is that the statute of limitations differs in these lawsuits than in other motor vehicle accidents. If you are filing a claim against the government, you must file your lawsuit within six months after the accident or the court will likely dismiss your claim.

This deadline is much shorter than the standard personal injury deadline, which is two years from the date of the accident. To ensure that you meet this statute of limitations, contact a public transportation accident attorney.

Your attorney can provide a number of benefits beyond helping you file your lawsuit. Your lawyer will have a strong knowledge of common carrier and personal injury law, be able to connect you with resources to build your case, and can estimate your damages so you do not accept an insufficient settlement. As soon as possible after your accident, contact your attorney to discuss your legal options.

Posted by highrank at 4:48 pm

How Long Do Commercial Truck Accident Cases Take to Settle?

Monday, June 22, 2020

Settling a case that involves a large commercial truck (such as a tractor trailer) often takes longer to resolve than an accident involving only cars because there are more components to the claim. In our experience as truck accident attorneys in Bakersfield, these are some of the factors that are involved.

Liability Investigation

An investigation of who was at fault will be done by your attorney and also by the truck’s insurance company. Many truck companies hold insurance policies that are $1 million or more so their goal will be to keep the claim amount as low as possible. Their investigation will try to build a case showing the driver was not at fault – or was only partially at fault. Because they will examine every possibility, investigations may take months or even years.

Injuries and Medical Treatment

Most personal injury cases are resolved when the victim is fully recovered, but injuries that involve a semi-truck may be more traumatic with a longer recovery period, thereby increasing the time it takes to settle the case. Settling the case without a clear picture of total injuries and/or necessary future medical treatment, is not advisable because it may result in an amount that will not fully compensate the victim.

Insurance Company Negotiations for a Settlement

As stated above, insurance companies have much more to lose if the truck driver is found to be at fault so they will aggressively defend the driver and the trucking company. Therefore, negotiations between the truck insurance company attorneys and your attorneys may be very lengthy. If nothing can be agreed upon, a lawsuit will be the next step.

A truck accident is unique and unlike an accident involving only cars. If you’re involved in a commercial truck accident, you will want to hire an attorney who is an expert in the field. Our Bakersfield truck accident lawyers have handled hundreds of truck accidents. We obtained the highest personal injury verdict (over $70 million) in Kern County history for an accident involving a big rig.

If you have been involved in a truck accident, call our Bakersfield personal injury law firm at (661) 323-1400 or 800-585-9262 to schedule a no-charge consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 6:51 pm