Category Archives: Rodriguez & Associates

Danay Gonzalez Praises Rodriguez & Associates’ Commitment to Community

Thursday, June 16, 2022

After five years as an attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay Gonzalez reflects on how she has followed in the footsteps of her mentor Daniel Rodriguez to become the voice for many in her community.

Danay’s family ties to Bakersfield and Lamont have created a natural bond between her work and her community. From a young age, Danay was drawn to helping others. In an area where there was much fear surrounding immigration laws and deportation, she remembers times when her peers struggled to speak up for themselves. She quickly became the person they turned to for help and advocacy. Inspired by Daniel’s success and visibility throughout Lamont’s Hispanic community as well as his dedication to helping others defend their rights, Danay pursued her interest in the law.

“I grew up knowing Daniel as a big part of the Lamont community. Everyone has a lot of respect for Daniel. He is a pillar in our community and a strong voice for the Hispanic population. I feel honored to be working at the same firm that inspired me to be a lawyer.”

Now, as a trial attorney with Rodriguez & Associates, Danay finds a similar calling in supporting clients through some of the most difficult moments of their lives. She says, “Being a trial lawyer is such a satisfying experience because you get to tell the client’s story. There is no better feeling than telling my clients’ stories and seeing how it affects the jury. Creating that connection with the jury is what makes a case successful… Knowing that I am helping my community and making a difference, makes it all worthwhile.”

Community remains a driving force in the success of Rodriguez & Associates. Danay considers that the deep connection the team has to each other and to the area allows them to connect with locals and become the firm that people turn to when they need help.

“We truly treat our clients like family – that’s what makes us so special. That touch of detail is what makes our firm different. We are able to maintain relationships after the fact and see [our clients] be able to move on from traumatic experiences.”

Danay also recognizes the firm’s determination to create successful outcomes for some of the most difficult cases that other firms would have turned down. She says Rodriguez & Associates is known in the community for taking on those challenges and finding ways to make it work as a team. They are not intimidated to take difficult cases to trial, no matter the amount of work that is required.

Danay is building a successful career as a trial attorney alongside Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Patrick Benitez, who she credits with developing the strong, collaborative work environment at the firm. In the last year, she helped her team prepare significant cases that went to trial including the wrongful death of a 71-year-old man that obtained a $4 million verdict and a school sex abuse case in which her team ultimately settled during trial for over $2 million against the school district.

She says of her experiences with the team, “I have learned so much in the last five years. I really feel like I belong here and this is what I was meant to do. I am more confident, more vocal, and have a greater understanding of the law. I am excited to keep learning. I am truly thankful for Daniel – he has helped mold me into the attorney I have become. His mentorship has given me a lot of confidence and tools to become successful.”

While Danay thrives on the achievement of success in the courtroom, she sees the everyday pain that her clients face and understands the sensitive nature of the types of cases she brings to trial, especially those involving children. She expresses the importance of building trust with her clients and having patience and empathy for everyone she represents.

Danay is an ambitious and hard-working attorney who wears her heart on her sleeve. She has made a tremendous impact on the firm and in her representation of clients from within the Bakersfield community. We are extremely proud to have her as a member of the Rodriguez & Associates family.

 

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:27 pm

Anastasia Drulias Follows Her Dream of Becoming an Attorney

Thursday, June 16, 2022

For Anastasia Drulias, working at Rodriguez & Associates has been a powerful experience that has propelled her toward her dream of becoming an attorney.

Since high school, Anastasia has known that she wanted to pursue a career in law. As a local to the Bakersfield area, Rodriguez & Associates is a well-known personal injury firm, and she was able to secure an interview with Daniel Rodriguez following high school. Her genuine interest to learn about the law and her hard-working attitude made her a great fit from the start.

Over the last five years, Anastasia has transitioned from a summer intern to a full-time law clerk working alongside the teams of attorneys, completing research, and assisting with cases from start to finish.

It was the people at Rodriguez & Associates, Anastasia says, that kept her returning year after year while she was in school. She expresses a level of comfort in the collegial atmosphere, explaining that while every employee hustled, it was still a very collaborative environment – everyone was always willing to help or answer her questions.

“One of my favorite things about working at the firm is that the attorneys have always been so willing and eager to teach me things, whether they are specific to the task at hand or whether they are just more broadly applicable to the practice of law in general. I am so thankful that they have taken me under their wing in that way and that I have had the opportunity to learn so much from them.”

Gaining hands-on experience with the personal injury firm has not only introduced Anastasia to a variety of practice areas and inspired her to pursue her dream of obtaining her Juris doctorate, but has also helped her identify an interest in international law and international human rights, an area of law that she hopes to explore more at Georgetown University. She credits Rodriguez & Associates with helping her find that alignment with her passion:

“I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I didn’t know why. Working here and seeing how the attorneys interact with clients, and how cases progress has shown me why. I learned that I enjoy helping people through the litigation process.”

While we are sad to see Anastasia leave Bakersfield, we know that a wonderful and fulfilling future lies ahead for her. We wish her all the best at Georgetown!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:04 pm

Heather Foster Reflects on her Experience with Rodriguez & Associates

Friday, May 27, 2022

Accounting department representative, Heather Foster, shares how Rodriguez & Associates’s authentic and warm public image led her to an amazing career choice.

Heather never imagined herself working in the accounting department at a law firm but since starting with Rodriguez & Associates in 2019, she can’t imagine a more satisfying career. A Bakersfield local, Heather has always been familiar with the firm’s strong community presence on the radio and throughout the growing California city. When the firm’s accountant reached out to her with a position, she immediately connected the firm to its approachable reputation in the community.

A behind-the-scenes player at Rodriguez & Associate, Heather is responsible for the organization and maintenance of the firm’s finance records regarding all aspects of the firm from building management to client payouts including the systems of processing, recording, and payment. While she doesn’t have much face-to-face time with the firm’s clients her role is nevertheless indispensable. Her attention to detail and analytical skills help prepare the paperwork and documentation that is distributed to clients throughout the course of their case. Heather says, “I love finding solutions and finding the answers to problems. Makes me feel like I have an active role in helping the clients.”

Heather attributes Rodriguez & Associates’ success to their genuine compassion as a team, and their ability to collaborate diverse perspectives in order to successfully tackle any obstacle.

“The firm is very attentive, detailed, and cares greatly about each of its clients. Overall, it is a great team made up of individuals who can help work toward the ultimate goal of helping the client and getting the job done… It’s like a second family and I love the look I see on everyone’s face when we complete a successful case. That moment is an accomplishment.”

While transitioning to a law firm as a “numbers person” presented challenges at first, Heather finds the reward of working with such a tight-knit team. She sees the great potential of Rodriguez & Associates in the Bakersfield community and is excited to see how the firm continues to grow.

Rodriguez & Associates is lucky to have Heather on our team!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:08 pm

Hiring a California Personal Injury Lawyer

Thursday, May 12, 2022

With more than 100 years of combined experience, Rodriguez & Associates has fiercely fought for victims of car accidents, trucking accidents, school bullying, oil field accidents, police brutality, and many other types of personal injury cases. Our trusted reputation and record-setting case results are just part of why people like you choose us for representation.

“I was taken care of beyond belief and I want to thank all the staff, especially Martha and Joel.” -J.A., a former client.

“Daniel and his staff leave no stone unturned in representing their clients.” – J.T., Attorney.

If you have a personal injury case and are unsure how to move forward or pick a lawyer, keep reading. Below we will outline the next steps, answer common questions, and provide insight into the Rodriguez & Associates legacy.

If you think you, or a loved one, may have a personal injury case that could use the attention of one of the best Bakersfield personal injury lawyers, please give us a call at 661-323-1400 or fill out this form ASAP. We speak both Spanish and English.

How do I know if I have a personal injury case?

If you, or a loved one, are suffering physical or emotional injuries due to the negligence of another person, business, or entity, you may have a case. To determine this, two of the main factors to establish are liability and damages. While we fight for most personal injury cases, here is a list of our specialties.

How much does a Bakersfield, California personal injury lawyer cost?

We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay an attorney’s fee unless we secure compensation for you.

What damages are subject to compensation in a California personal injury case?

While every case is unique, some of the most common damages include pain and suffering, loss of wages, and medical expenses (current and future) resulting from the injury.

How should I choose a law firm to represent me?

When selecting an attorney or law firm, base your decision on their education and experience handling cases similar to yours. For example, founder Daniel Rodriguez J.D. also has an engineering degree and training in metallurgy, mechanics, forensics, ballistics, and other facets of engineering. Unlike an attorney with a political science undergrad degree, he can use his expertise to recreate a car accident or find where it was in the manufacturing and design process that the culprit corporation chose to cut corners on safety. Furthermore, this enables him to dig deeper to obtain more relevant information when questioning defendants and witnesses.

Additionally, you should pay particular attention to the firm’s reputation and its history of success in obtaining significant case results. Most importantly, you want a firm that will place your interests above all else and obtain maximum compensation for your injury.

Why choose Rodriguez & Associates?

We pride ourselves on giving each case the complete attention it deserves and requires at every step of the legal process. Below are some of the reasons why victims chose us.

  • By hiring doctors and other experts for each case, we create a formidable team that protects our clients’ rights. This helps us fight against big insurance companies and other lawyers who will do everything possible to avoid being held accountable for the harm they have caused our clients. We never cut corners or costs.
  • Our team is dedicated to obtaining the highest possible compensation amount for our clients. We secured the largest verdict in Kern County history of $70,578,289. Please review more of our verdicts and settlements here.
  • We take more personal injury cases to trial than any other local law firm. This means we get the highest amounts for our clients because insurance companies both fear and respect our ability to get the job done.
  • We treat every client like family and are consistently finding ways to improve our community. From financially supporting our local Burn and Neuro Trauma Units to our annual school backpack giveaways and scholarship funds, we are proud to give back to our community. Learn more about our community involvement here.

Our firm is highly experienced in handling personal injury cases involving:

What are some recent personal injury verdicts and settlements obtained by Rodriguez & Associates?

  • $16,100,000: For the driver hit by a big-rig tire that flew off.
  • $9,450,000: The second highest result in Kern County for wrongful death. This was due to a farm equipment accident.
  • $3,875,000: For a faulty brake repair by the dealership
  • $1,500,000: For a motorcyclist hit by a policeman running a red light.

Let’s Talk.

When injured Bakersfield residents want the toughest, most respected legal representation, they talk to Rodriguez & Associates. Contact our personal injury lawyers today to find justice after suffering debilitating injury and loss.

Please call or text us at 661-323-1400, or fill out this online form, for a free and confidential case consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 6:37 pm

How Truck Driver Fatigue Contributes to Accidents

Thursday, April 28, 2022

At one point or another, we have all experienced extreme drowsiness from over-exhaustion, pulling an all-nighter, or just staying up too late, and know just how exhaustion can affect our cognitive and physical abilities. When your job function relies on alertness and reaction time to keep yourself and others safe, even slight drowsiness can create an unsafe environment for anyone in close proximity.

Driver fatigue is all too common among truck drivers who regularly drive long distances with minimal breaks. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue is among the top causes of all truck accidents, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all truck accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the main causes of fatigue as:

  • Being awake for many consecutive hours
  • Not getting enough sleep over multiple days
  • Not following your body’s natural circadian rhythm
  • Monotonous tasks or long periods of inactivity
  • Health factors such as sleep disorders or medications that cause drowsiness

Drowsiness or sleepiness is not the only effect of fatigue, especially for drivers. The National Safety Council equates that driving while fatigued is the equivalent of driving with 0.08% blood alcohol content. The CDC points out that because of the stimulus of the roadway drivers can also experience:

  • Slowed reaction times
  • “Tunnel vision”
  • Forgetting the last few miles driven, or “blanking out”
  • Lane drifting
  • Poor decision making

Due to the sheer size of trucks, it is especially important for truck drivers to be mindful of their physical and mental capacity on the road. A fully laden semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds which can cause a serious amount of damage to smaller vehicles on impact. Large trucks take a longer amount of time to slow at highway speed, and driver correction can be more difficult to manage with a larger vehicle.

Federal Regulations

Federal entities and private organizations now require specific regulations to protect all drivers on the road because of the significant number of crashes due to driving while drowsy. The FMCSA holds truck drivers and their companies to strict regulations that limit the number of consecutive hours a driver can be on the road without a break as well as the number of hours a driver is allowed to drive within a week.

As of 2013 regulations include:

  • The average workweek for a truck driver may not exceed 70 hours.
  • Once a driver has reached the limit, he or she may not drive for 34 consecutive hours.
  • Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of a shift.

Preventing Drowsy Driving

In addition to hourly restrictions and mandated breaks by the government, trucking companies are beginning to implement additional regulations including lane departure technology, driving time-tracking devices, and even wearable biometric sensors that will alert drivers to take a break or recognize sudden movements or changes in brain waves. Some of the best tips for staying awake include maintaining healthy habits such as avoiding greasy foods and cigarettes, staying hydrated and minimizing caffeine reliance.

Driving fatigue is a largely preventable cause of truck accidents as long as drivers and trucking companies act with responsibility for the massive vehicles they operate. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you should contact an attorney immediately. Our team of Bakersfield truck accident attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates can help assist you in the next steps for your case. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:42 pm

Phoebe Lucker Celebrates 10 Years with Rodriguez & Associates

Monday, April 25, 2022

In an industry that has a reputation for placing victory over humanity, Phobe Lucker explains how Rodriguez & Associates places their clients’ needs first.

Phoebe has worked at our Bakersfield personal injury law firm for ten years – first as an assistant, then as a paralegal. She characterizes the firm as a family – supportive, kind, and close-knit. In her role, she assists with cases from beginning to end, getting to know the clients well and helping them through challenging situations.

A Bakersfield, California local, Phoebe came across Rodriguez & Associates during a job search after college. She was interested in pursuing a career in law and was intrigued by the prospect of working at a firm. Phoebe was hired in 2009 and worked as an office assistant under Martha Ruiz, the Office Manager, for a year before enrolling in law school. Not long after leaving Phoebe returned to the firm as a Paralegal.

For Phoebe, the most meaningful part of her role is building relationships with clients, and lending a hand or an ear when needed, duties that go beyond her job description. The trust that she develops with clients is a reflection of the firm and extends into the courtroom. She says,

“Clients come to us unsure of what to expect and I am able to help them through an unfamiliar process towards a solution.”

Her reward is knowing that she made a client feel comfortable and protected, an outcome, she says, makes the hard work worthwhile.

Phoebe attributes her success at the firm to her hard work and diligence. She has a get-it-done attitude, is organized, and will ask for help when needed. She finds the benefit in being a Bakersfield local when communicating with clients. It is an instant connection that allows the clients to feel represented and understood.

Rodriguez & Associates is so proud to have had Phoebe on our team!

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:59 pm

Appeal Upheld in One of the First Civil Cases Against a School District in a School Shooting

Thursday, April 7, 2022

On January 10, 2013 (almost a month after Sandy Hook), a Taft Union High School student walked into class carrying a shotgun, aimed it directly at a fellow classmate, and shot him.

Now, almost 10 years later, the then 16-year-old victim is receiving full closure.

The State of California Court of Appeals has upheld the original verdict decided in July 2019, placing 54 percent of the responsibility on the School District for failing to protect their student. The judgment holds Taft Union High School District liable for over $2.5 million in damages.

The School District and its employees tried to dodge responsibility for what happened to their student and instead claimed it was all the actions of the school shooter, his mom, and his brother. The school district and its employees also tried to dodge responsibility by saying they are entitled to immunity under the law.

And, while this is usually the case, the ongoing reports of concern made by fellow students and staff to the school district and its employees revealed who knew the most and cared the least.

The mountain of evidence against the school district and its employees created a groundbreaking case in connection with what a school district is supposed to do when confronted with threats of a school shooter and how to protect their students from a school shooting.

Rodriguez and AssociatesDaniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Danay Gonzalez, from Rodriguez and Associates, have represented the student who was shot throughout this legal battle, which included a six-week jury trial.

During this six-week jury trial, they were able to prove that the school district chose to ignore its own policies and procedures, never informed the police about the reported threats, and never even informed the school shooter’s mom about the reports of concern surrounding her son.

California has had the most school shootings of any state since 1970, totaling 164. With school shootings on the rise, systematic improvements need to be made within the institution of public education to ensure the safety of all students and staff within schools.

In addition to handling cases of school violence, Rodriguez and Associates have experience working with victims of school sexual abuse seeking legal action to resolve complicated problems. If you believe your child’s school has failed in its duty to provide a safe environment for its students, contact us today for a free consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 10:32 pm

What is an Oilfield Blowout and How Can They Be Prevented?

Friday, March 18, 2022

An oilfield blowout is an uncontrolled release of liquid, usually consisting of oil, water, and gas due to built-up pressure in an oil well. There are a series of tools and tactics that can be employed to prevent a blowout, but accidents still occur, causing tremendous potential damage, injury, and loss of life.

How do Oilfield Blowouts Occur?

Oil is a fossil fuel that naturally occurs over millions of years as underwater rock and sediment pressure separates water and carbon components from decaying life forms such as algae and plants. Over the centuries, pockets of oil develop in sedimentary basins where water was once located. Oil companies use enormous drills to reach oil pockets under land or water.

Blowouts can occur at any point during the drilling process. The immense underground hydrostatic pressure or the pressure exerted by a fluid at rest due to the force of gravity, within an oil pocket can be volatile. Drillers counteract the change in pressure as they extract the oil using mud. If the balance of pressure is not managed correctly, liquids can interfere causing a sudden spike in pressure – known as a kick – causing a blowout.

The pressure released during a blowout can cause severe damage to equipment and machinery, creating a cause and effect that can lead to a sudden dangerous situation for oil field workers.

How can Blowouts be Prevented?

The best line of defense in preventing blowouts is to ensure that all oilfield workers are properly trained and exercise an abundance of caution while on site. Site managers should be well versed in identifying the warning signs of a blowout and have the resources to act accordingly. There are a series of blowout prevention tools intended to identify pressure kicks and prevent blowouts including annular seals, rams, and API equipment.

  • Annular seals are ring-shaped pieces of equipment that create a liquid-tight seal where the drilling pipe meets the well opening and helps to prevent leaks.
  • Rams act as a valve that can help regulate the flow of pressurized liquid and gas in the event of a kick.
  • API (American Petroleum Institute) certified equipment sets a standard expectation for the safety of industry operations.

Injured in an Oilfield accident?

When blowouts occur they can potentially leave devastating consequences. Workers caught in the midst of a blowout may sustain catastrophic, life-threatening injuries.

If you are the victim of a blowout, it is important to know your rights and have a team of attorneys who understand the industry ready to fight for you.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience advocating for the rights of injured oilfield workers. Please reach out to our Bakersfield oilfield accident lawyers today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:00 pm

Danay Gonzalez Answers What NOT to Do If You Are a Party In a Lawsuit

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Danay Gonzales, personal injury attorney at Rodriguez & Associates, answers commonly asked questions about what NOT to do if you are a party in a lawsuit in her educational TikTok video:

Do NOT post about the lawsuit on social media- it will be used against you.

It’s important to be on your best behavior if you are involved in a lawsuit. Social media has become a widely used tool to help vindicate those at fault during a lawsuit because of a slight slip-up.

Posting about daily activities that make you “look” uninjured could hurt your case. It’s highly advised to stay off social media to better your chance at a successful lawsuit.

Do NOT forget to follow up with your doctors about your injuries.

It’s important to receive doctor’s notes/visits that report your injuries. Having medical records of your injuries during a lawsuit is important, and will be used to prove to a judge/jury that you were indeed injured. 

Do NOT take the first settlement offer- you’ll be lowballed.

Parties will offer you a lowball settlement offer during your first run; don’t take it. Chances are, opposite parties will come up with a higher settlement offer if they know you’re not willing to settle with a low offer. 

Do NOT lie to your lawyers- the truth always comes out.

Client confidentiality is very important to Rodriguez & Associates. Regardless of the case, always be honest with your lawyer so they can help you to their best extent. 

Danay Gonzalez is passionate about fighting for justice and is here to help with her informative videos. Remember to take your attorney’s advice, as they have your best interests at heart. 

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 9:41 pm

California Oilfield Accident Lawyers

Friday, January 28, 2022

The oil production industry brings in a substantial number of jobs and millions in revenue to California’s local and state economies every year.

Bakersfield has become known as the oilfield capital of California with the surrounding area of Kern County accounting for nearly 70% of the state’s oil and about 1% of global oil production. While other regions of California are phasing out oilfield production, Kern County is only growing with the recent approval of thousands of new rigs being placed in the upcoming years.

In an industry that is already considered hazardous, the rapid growth of oil rigs in this area is expected to also increase the number of on-the-job injuries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reported oilfield jobs in the top three most dangerous occupations.

It is possible to prevent oilfield accidents, yet traumatic and fatal accidents caused by explosions, faulty machinery, or environmental factors, among other variables, continue to threaten the safety of oilfield workers unnecessarily.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an oilfield accident, consider seeking professional help from our team of experienced oilfield accident lawyers who can help you navigate the many nuances of large corporation legal tactics and the layers of worker’s rights law. We understand the concerns and frustrations that working families face when an earner is no longer able to work due to injury.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience representing those injured in the oilfield because of someone else’s negligence, including obtaining $4.5 million for a defective oil field derrick and $3.5 million for a worker who sustained injuries after an oilfield crane dropped on him.

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 oilfield accident lawyers today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:51 pm