Category Archives: Rodriguez & Associates

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

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

Rodriguez & Associates Sponsor the Fog Run to Benefit At-Risk Youth

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Rodriguez & Associates is one of the Platinum Sponsors for the 32nd Annual 5k-10k Fog Run at Lake Ming, CA on January 8th, 2022. 

This is a fun, family-friendly 5K-10K race to support at-risk youth including Kern County Probation Department’s Stockdale Helping Hands program. The race takes place on a beautiful scenic course overlooking beautiful mountains and lake views. 

Stockdale Helping Hands (S.H.H.) is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to guide at-risk youth towards success by removing barriers and equipping them with their basic needs. S.H.H provides at-risk youth with clothing, hygiene products, and other necessities to go on with their daily activities. S.H.H helps set up our youth for success and makes our community a safer place. 

Our office is proud to be sponsoring and participating in this important run for the Kern County youth. 

Click here to sign up for the Fog Run. 

At Rodriguez & Associates, we strive to serve our community both in and out of the courtroom. We are able to help those in need as well as strengthen the community we work and live in by supporting our local organizations and charities.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 11:48 pm

Danay Gonzalez Answers Commonly Asked Questions About Being a Lawyer

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Danay Gonzalez, attorney at Rodriguez & Associates, answers a few commonly asked questions people have for her about being a personal injury lawyer.

What made you become a lawyer?

I wanted to be a voice for my community and make a difference.

How did you become a lawyer?

After high school, I attended UCLA, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. I went on to attend and graduate from Chapman University, Dale E. Fowler School of Law. I was fortunate enough to pass the July 2017 Bar Exam on my first try.

Is being a lawyer hard?

Absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but so rewarding!

Watch California personal injury lawyer, Danay Gonzalez answer these questions in her TikTok video:

Danay grew up in Kern County, CA, and knew she wanted to help others by becoming a personal injury lawyer after seeing how Daniel Rodriguez, founder and senior partner at Rodriguez & Associates and successful member of the Hispanic community, advocated for her friends and neighbors.

Danay, along with Daniel Rodriguez and partner Chantal Trujillo, obtained the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history of $70,578,289 for a truck vs SUV case.

Danay is passionate about fighting for people’s rights and helping them find their own voice.

CONTACT OUR BAKERSFIELD PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS

Rodriguez & Associates is conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield, CA. 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 9:11 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

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 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

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 Bakersfield 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. Our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys 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