Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Causes Poor Road Conditions?

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

When we think of traffic accidents and collisions, we tend to think that the situation must have been caused by a driver that was reckless, distracted, or under the influence. However, unsafe roadway conditions are an underlying contributor to a number of accidents across the country. A poorly designed, ill-maintained, or naturally hazardous roadway can pose significant risks to even the most careful driver. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of potential hazards that can lead to unsafe road conditions.

  1. Ill-Maintained Roads: If a road is not actively monitored and maintained by qualified professionals, it may deteriorate to the point that it becomes an active hazard for drivers using it. A poorly maintained road can result in a number of problems, including potholes and cracks in the blacktop. In some instances, a driver that hits an unexpected pothole may lose control of their car. This can cause the vehicle to veer into another lane or oncoming traffic. The car can also blow a tire or break an axle, resulting in a major collision.
  2. Defective or Confusing Roadways: In other cases, a highway may be unusually dangerous due to an improperly maintained center barrier. When properly installed and maintained, a center barrier reduces the risk of drivers entering the opposing lanes of traffic. They are designed to redirect vehicles on impact, lessening the impact of a collision and protecting drivers on the opposite side of the road. If not kept in good collision, the barrier may fail and lead to a significant crash. Roads with hard-to-see lines or a lack of proper signage can also cause problems for drivers. Particularly on difficult or unfamiliar roadways, a lack of proper direction can lead to a collision.
  3. Poorly Designed Roads: Some roads are dangerous due to intrinsic design flaws or oversights. Poor design can take a number of different forms, including: sudden or sharp curves with low visibility, blind corners, poorly lit roads, overly crowded roadways, inefficient merges that cause bottlenecks, ineffective drainage systems, a lack of shoulders for emergency stops, and obstructions such as trees or utility poles. If a roadway has a history of significant dangers and accidents, there may be an underlying factor in its design that contributes to such issues.
  4. Unorganized Construction Zones: From time to time, it’s vital to repair, expand, or reconstruct sections of roadway. However, if a construction zone is poorly marked or traffic is directed in a confusing or inefficient manner, drivers can be at additional risk of an accident. Misleading signs and unpredictable changes to the roadway can substantially increase the chances of a crash. Additionally, construction vehicles can pose an unfamiliar risk to many drivers. Large trucks, bulldozers, excavators, and other heavy-duty vehicles may be present on or near the roadway in a construction zone.

Contact Rodriguez & Associates for Collisions Caused by Dangerous Roads

It can be challenging to prove that your collision was caused or influenced by a poorly maintained road. The skilled Bakersfield dangerous road lawyers at Rodriguez & Associates evaluate your accident to help determine whether:

  • A public agency controlled or owner the road the accident occurred on
  • The road involved was dangerous at the time of the accident
  • A dangerous roadway condition directly influenced the collision
  • The crash occurred in such a way that the public entity could have reasonably expected given the dangerous condition
  • The dangerous roadway came about because of the public entity’s failure to mediate the risk to drivers

We’re prepared to support you through the legal process and provide the justice you and your loved ones deserve.

Posted by highrank at 3:10 pm

What Is NOT Included in Attorney-Client Privilege

Sunday, September 5, 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 Bakersfield personal injury 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 3:32 pm

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

Daniel Rodriguez Reacts to Vandalism of his Personal Injury Law Offices in Bakersfield

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Daniel Rodriguez was interviewed by 23ABC Bakersfield​ after he learned his personal injury law offices were tagged with anti-police rhetoric.

He was shocked, but said he understood the pain that many people are feeling right now.

Watch the interview below.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 6:14 pm

Can I Sue a Rental Car Company for an Accident?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

California is a fault car insurance state, which means that the at-fault driver in an auto accident is responsible for paying for the injuries and losses of the other drivers involved. Usually, the funds for this compensation come out of the driver’s insurance policy for his or her vehicle – but what happens when the vehicle is a rental car? Is it possible to hold a rental car company liable for an accident that was not your fault?

Liability in California Rental Car Accidents

If you were responsible for the accident, you may have to pay for the damages of the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved, even if you were in a rental car. Unless you purchased coverage for the rental itself, you will usually have to pay for these damages through your personal insurance policy.

If you were not at-fault for the accident and the other driver was in a rental car, you typically cannot file a lawsuit against the company itself – instead, you have three main options to collect compensation.

  • You can file a claim with your own insurance company.
  • You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in California civil court. 

Most rental car companies do offer liability coverage at the time of the rental. You could claim funds through this policy as well, if the at-fault driver purchased this coverage. However, filing a claim with the rental car company’s insurance is not the same as holding the company liable for your accident.

Can You Hold a Rental Car Company Liable for Your Injuries?

In order for you to name a rental car company as an at-fault party in your insurance claim or lawsuit, you will have to prove that the company contributed to the accident in some way. The company’s negligence must have played a role in causing the accident, not just the other driver. Usually, this negligence manifests in an issue with the rental vehicle itself.

This can occur in a number of ways.

  • The rental car company could know about a dangerous condition in one of its vehicles, but choose to rent the car out to a driver anyway. You will have to prove that someone, from a renter to a manufacturer or mechanic, warned the company about the defect and they failed to take action.
  • The company could have failed to perform standard vehicle maintenance. Since the company has a duty to ensure that each of its vehicles are safe to drive, they must perform routine maintenance and check-ups. If the company does not invest in maintenance, fails to fix a known issue, or otherwise rents out a dangerous car that is not in safe condition, you could hold the company liable for your accident.
  • The rental car company must also follow state and federal laws and not engage in unethical or illegal business practices. If the company rents a vehicle to a driver without a license, for example, they could be liable for any accidents that driver causes. Using unlicensed mechanics and poor auto parts could also be grounds for liability.

Proving Rental Car Company Liability in Car Accident Claims

If you believe that the rental car company involved in your accident could share a portion of the liability, contact a California car accident attorney as soon as possible. You and your attorney will need to collect evidence to establish the company’s negligence in your claim. To do so, you and your attorney will need to prove four elements.

  • The rental car company owed you a duty of care.
  • The company breached their duty of care.
  • You suffered injuries as a result of this breach.
  • You can collect damages for your injuries in the claim.

Contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin collecting evidence and building your claim.

Posted by highrank at 5:39 pm

Joel Andreesen Named Board President for CSUB Roadrunner Scholarship Fund

Friday, August 23, 2019

Joel Andreesen, senior partner of Rodriguez & Associates, has been named Board President for California State University, Bakersfield’s (CSUB) Roadrunner Scholarship Fund for the 2019-2021 term.

The Roadrunner Scholarship Fund supports champions made in the classroom: 

  • Their student- athletes are leaders among their peers, having a higher grade point average and graduating at a higher rate compared to the entire CSUB student body. 
  • CSUB’s student- athletes give back to the community, devoting more than 2,000 hours to community service projects throughout Kern County last year.
  • Their student- athletes have a proud history of winning, with 30 DII National Championships, 65 DI All-American honors, 318 Academic All-WAC honors, 326 individual WAC honors, and seven WAC championships.

Rodriguez & Associates congratulates Joel on his new position.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 5:18 pm

Rodriguez & Associates: New Location Effective July 15, 2019

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

We would like to inform you that we will be at our new location effective Monday, July 15, 2019, at 8:00 a.m.

Our new address is:
1128 TRUXTUN AVENUE
BAKERSFIELD, CA 93301

Our contact information: Telephone number, fax number, and email will remain the same.

For questions, please contact us at 661-323-1400.

new bakersfield location for Rodriguez & associates

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:51 pm

Can I Sue The Police For Killing My Dog?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Police officers receive training for many different scenarios, including those involving dogs. Unfortunately, mistakes can and do happen. The heat of the moment, a perceived threat, or miscommunication can all lead to the untimely death of a beloved canine. In these cases, a dog owner can take a few different types of actions to hold the officer/agency accountable and start the recovery process.

Possible Claims Against the Police

A pet owner can look at both federal and state laws to determine the right jurisdiction for a legal claim. Unless an officer commits an act of cruelty that results in the death of the dog, California remedies fall under property-related claims. Under Californian and most other state laws, an owner can sue for the value of the dog, any medical bills for the dog prior to death, and emotional distress. Animal cruelty deaths fall under a different category and may warrant a larger settlement.

Many dog owners choose to file claims against police officers in federal court as a Fourth Amendment violation (illegal property seizure). Depending on the facts of the case, the plaintiff may make an argument for illegal seizure and/or acts of excessive force. In a federal claim, a plaintiff may receive damages for costs associated with the death of the dog, owner mistreatment (if applicable), and personal emotional distress.

While these claims seem straightforward, law enforcement agencies enjoy many protections from both civil and criminal claims associated with dog shootings. Officers enjoy civil action immunity if they acted within the scope of the job and made a good faith attempt to honor an owner’s rights. Officers may also escape liability in claims if they can demonstrate adherence to agency procedures during the incident.

A law enforcement agency may attempt to settle a claim outside of court instead of fighting the accusation. Dog owners must carefully evaluate the settlement offer before accepting or rejecting it. An agency may only offer compensation for the “going rate” of the dog based on its breed, background, and age. This type of settlement may not cover the pain and suffering an owner experiences after experiencing the death of a canine companion.

What to Do After a Police-Driven Canine Killing

Dog owners can take steps immediately after a canine killing incident to protect their rights to compensation:

  1. Call emergency services. Report the incident and request support and an investigation. If you wait to report the incident, investigators may miss important pieces of evidence. As with any injurious incident, a swift investigation can prevent evidence loss or tampering.
  2. Record witness information. Look for any witnesses to the event and write down their contact information. In urban and neighborhood environments, search for any security cameras that might contain footage of the incident. A visual recording can serve as powerful evidence of police misconduct.
  3. Record officer information. If you are present at the time of the killing, ask for the officer’s name and badge number. Officers must file a report every time they discharge their weapons. Investigators can often locate an offending officer, even if the owner did not witness the incident.
  4. Talk to an attorney. Canine killing cases run the gamut from small claims settlements to civil claims worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Until a police misconduct attorney reviews the evidence, avoid taking a settlement or talking about the case.

Law enforcement agencies do not keep data on the number of dogs shot, but one specialist from the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services facility estimates officers kill 25-30 companion dogs every day. As social media draws awareness to the ongoing problem and more loving pet owners pursue legal action against the police, standard legal procedures may change. Instead of using lethal force, officers could substitute a non-lethal alternative and avoid unnecessary harm to animals and their owners.

Until law enforcement practices change, pet owners must understand their rights after a dog’s death. They can pursue a civil claim to agency perspectives and receive compensation for their losses.

Posted by highrank at 9:28 pm

Bakersfield Attorneys Take on Trump Immigration

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

During the time President Trump has been in office, he has made big strides toward changes in American immigration policies. His administration is focused on three goals for immigration reform: to create a wall across the southern border, to enforce laws in accordance with our Constitutional system of government, and to improve jobs, wages, and security for all Americans. As President Trump’s immigration policies tighten, undocumented immigrants fear for their futures. In this time of great uncertainty, Bakersfield attorneys with Rodriguez & Associates are offering free legal advice and representation.

Daniel Rodriguez and His Mission to Protect Immigrants

Daniel Rodriguez of Rodriguez & Associates grew up in a family of migrant farm workers. He has worked and lived in multiple states across the U.S, working in the fields and holding a variety of other jobs while putting himself through college and law school. His father could not read or write English or Spanish, and his mother only had three years of schooling. Daniel’s upbringing gives him a unique perspective as a lawyer in Bakersfield. He knows the importance of hard work and the value in protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

Today, Daniel is dedicated to helping America’s immigrants navigate the complex and often frightening new immigration laws. As President Trump orders 10,000 more immigration agents and gives local police officers more power to assist in immigration law enforcement, immigrants need more legal help than ever. Police are conducting mandatory vehicle checkpoints and making house calls to find and detain undocumented immigrants. Daniel and a panel of 15 lawyers recently held an open-to-the-public panel at California State University in Bakersfield to offer free legal advice for people in this situation.

Undocumented and documented immigrants face difficult questions and legal considerations, many of which are changing on a weekly basis under President Trump’s administration. During the free panel and in his professional time since, Attorney Rodriguez has offered counsel and legal advice to immigrants regarding deportation fears, documentation processes, police investigations, and bullying and harassment of minorities in hostile environments. It is a matter that hits close to home for Rodriguez, who wants to do everything possible to protect minorities.

Legal Counsel from Attorney Rodriguez in Bakersfield

Daniel Rodriguez and his team of local injury attorneys have a mission to help immigrants understand their rights and how to protect themselves and their families during this tumultuous time in America. At the public meeting, he acknowledged the unfortunate impacts of President Trump’s campaign when one mother mentioned the bullying and harassment of her daughter in school due to her race. The bullies called the young girl by a racial slur and said her family would get deported “once the wall went up.”

Rodriguez informed the woman that what her daughter is going through is illegal – the law protects children from physical, verbal, and psychological bullying in school. He recommended she file a complaint and keep documentation of the complaint. This is just one example of how Rodriguez is shedding light on the legal rights of immigrants.

The main point of conversation of the night, however, was what to do if confronted by police. The panel advised immigrants not to speak to police officers and not to answer the door if police come knocking. They also said to always be polite, even if you do not agree with why or how the officer is confronting you. Immigrants should not give police any excuse to take the situation to the next step. Staying calm, quiet, and courteous can prevent you from giving too much information to police and getting into further legal trouble. For any immigration questions, concerns, or legal needs, please come to the law offices of Rodriguez & Associates in Bakersfield.

Posted by highrank at 8:54 pm

Kern County Hiking Trails and Safety Tips

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

From Mt. Pinos to Sunday Peak and everywhere in-between, Bakersfield, and the larger Kern County area, has numerous options for fantastic hiking. Kern County is home to strenuous hikes at high elevation as well as leisurely hikes perfect for families and kids. No matter what kind of hike you are looking for in the area, it’s always important to take necessary safety precautions.

Best Hikes in Kern County

The southern end of the Sierra Nevadas and Sequoia National Park are within Kern County and a short drive from Bakersfield proper. Challenging hikes with stunning views are not too far away. Some of the best within Kern County include:

  • Owen’s Peak – At 8,453 feet, it is the tallest mountain in Kern County. The trail is nearly 13 miles roundtrip, and there is more than 3,700 feet of elevation gain. It’s a steep trail as well, so be prepared.
  • Wind Wolves Preserve Trail – This trail is just shy of eight miles round trip, and even features a waterfall. Dogs are allowed as well.
  • Hart Park Trail – Replete with picnic tables, grills and boat rentals, this two mile loop trail circuits Kern River, and is perfect for an afternoon jog or leisurely stroll with your pooch.
  • Piute Peak – This prominent peak is 8,440 feet, and the road to the trailhead can be rocky at points but offers beautiful scenery and the chance to see wildlife.
  • Badger Gap and Little Tenant Spring Trails – This is accessible year-round, allows dogs and is a little less than 10 miles roundtrip.
  • Tecuya Mountain – This peak lies on the southern end of Kern County, and is about 7,160 feet tall. At a little less than five miles round trip, it’s a short but moderately steep hike.

There are many more in Kern County, particularly near Fort Tejon State Historic Park and Sequoia National Forest. Find what suits your abilities and enjoy yourself.

Kern County Hiking Safety Tips

Given the hot temperatures of Central California and the high winds that can accompany them, it’s important to be prepared when going on a hike that will last more than a couple hours. Water and food are obvious necessities; dehydration starts as mildly as a headache, but if left untreated can manifest into confusion and disorientation. In the California sun, a lack of water can prove fatal.

If you feel dehydration coming on or notice these symptoms in someone else, stop moving and drink water until they feel better, or if no water is available, turn around and go home immediately. Other provisions such as these are recommended:

  • A cell phone is important, but can lose battery. Have a trail map and/or a compass just in case.
  • Extra clothing in case of weather changes.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. The worst place to be during a storm is on an exposed trail or ridge.
  • For longer hikes or those that cross streams, rivers and snow, an extra pair of dry socks will help you avoid blisters.
  • Sunscreen. Even on cloudy or cool days, the trails of Central California often do not supply sufficient shade.
  • It can’t be stressed enough; bring 1-2 liters of water to stay properly hydrated.

It’s vital to tell someone where you are going, just in case of emergency. The worst thing that could happen, on top of being lost, is no one knowing where to look for you. Some common injuries that can occur on a hike:

  • Blisters – Hiking with these is more than a nuisance; it can make it impossible. Dry socks are crucial.
  • Sunburn – The sun is harsh at high, dry altitudes, so sunscreen is important for minimizing the skin’s exposure to UV rays.
  • Bug bites – These are particularly common if hiking in wooded areas. Bring spray if you know they’ll be present.
  • Twisted ankle – Good footwear provides comfortable and even support will help prevent this, even if you encounter slippery rock or muddy ground.
  • Exhaustion – This usually comes with similar symptoms as dehydration, and greatly increases the likelihood of getting lost.

A hike is a great avenue for exercise and exploration, but being properly prepared will prevent injuries, dehydration and getting lost. Take your time, know when to turn around, stay with the group and the experience that much more enjoyable.

Posted by highrank at 6:08 pm