Bakersfield Personal Injury Lawyer
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Personal injury claims are far ranging and encompass a variety of situations, such as car accidents, slip and falls, and wrongful deaths. Regardless of the type of accident that caused your injuries, suffering any type of personal injury will always bring the unfortunate potential for physical pain, emotional suffering, and life-altering changes. Adding to the stress that many accident victims endure is the inevitable reality of dealing with insurance companies, complex legal processes, and the stress of paying off costly medical bills.
The compassionate team of Bakersfield personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers have over 60 years of specialized experience helping victims seek justice and compensation for their losses. We completely understand the difficulties you are dealing with and we are proud to have recovered over $1 billion in damages for our clients.
We are Havard educated and our team includes former federal prosecutors and insurance adjusters who know exactly how insurance companies operate from the inside. Please don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 at (661) 347-3610 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.
Types of Cases We Can Handle
The team of Bakersfield personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are prepared to handle any type of personal injury claim imaginable. Please read below to learn more about the types of cases we can help you with.
- Burn Injury Accidents: According to the Bakersfield Fire Department Arson Units and BFD/BPD Fireworks Enforcement Teams, there were 864 fireworks related calls and three serious fireworks-related injuries in 2016. Burn injuries are very serious and have the potential to physically and psychologically devastate a victim. If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries due to negligence, please speak with an experienced Bakersfield burn injury lawyer as soon as possible.
- Uber and Lyft Accidents: Many in the Bakersfield area have abandoned public transportation for Uber and other popular ridesharing services. As a result of this cultural change, there are now more cars on the road than ever. As ridesharing accidents become more common, and with the recent passing of the Senate Bill AB5, many are now left wondering how responsibility is determined in the event of an accident when using these services.
- Wrongful Death: Wrongful death of a loved one is one of the most tragic experiences anyone can endure, especially when negligence or deliberate acts of malice were involved. A Bakersfield wrongful death attorney at our firm will handle your wrongful death claim with dignity and respect. We will make sure to recover all the damages you are entitled to on behalf of your loved one.
- E-Scooter Accidents: E-scooters seem to be everywhere. But what are your rights if you were injured because of an e-scooter rider’s negligence? What if you were hit by a car while riding an e-scooter? Who is responsible? The personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers understand e-scooter law in Bakersfield and we will make sure you are compensated fairly for your losses.
- Spinal Cord Injury Accidents: A spinal cord injury can be absolutely devastating. Once a spinal cord is damaged, it can remain that way for the rest of a victim’s life. These tragic injuries can be caused by various circumstances, such as car accidents and physical assault. If you suffered a spinal cord injury in the Bakersfield area as a result of negligence, reach out to our experienced team today.
- Dog Bites: California has very strict laws regarding liability for dog owners whose animals bite someone. Bakersfield has breed specific laws that may affect the way liability is determined. A Bakersfield dog bite attorney at our firm can help you determine whether you are entitled to damages for your injuries.
- Food Delivery Accidents: Food delivery drivers working for companies, such as DoorDash, are treated as independent contractors. This means that the food delivery companies that employed these drivers are not responsible for any accidents which they caused. If you were involved in an accident with a food delivery driver, contact an experienced Bakersfield food delivery accident attorney. We are always available to answer any questions you may have about claims and damages.
- Pedestrian Accidents: The pedestrian safety issue in the city is very real. The Bakersfield area recorded 247 pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017. This alarming figure averages to about 2.83 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. Pedestrian accidents are almost always caused by driver negligence, which means that accident victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries.
- Brain Injury Accidents: In 2018, a Kern County jury awarded $16.2 million to William Kidd after he suffered a brain injury because of a preventable slip and fall at an El Pollo Loco restaurant in Bakersfield in 2012. Kidd now has permanent brain damage and an increased likelihood of developing dementia later in life. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury because of negligence, our team of brain injury attorneys are ready to seek justice and compensation on your behalf.
- Bicycle Accidents: Bakersfield is improving bicycle safety by planning new sidewalks, a trail along the Friant-Kern Canal, new bike lanes, and a bike sharing program. Ever since the adoption of the 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan, Bakersfield has completed or received funding to build 35 miles of bike lanes and routes through the city. Despite these safety efforts, accidents still happen. A bicycle accident attorney at our firm can help you if you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
- Car Accidents: Highway 99 runs through the heart of Kern County and connects Bakersfield with the rest of California. This road is considered as one of the deadliest in America. Bakersfield residents, be careful out there. If you were involved in a car accident and would like to pursue a lawsuit against the driver at-fault, our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
- Truck Accidents: According to the California Highway Patrol, Central California is home to about 72 fatal truck crashes and 976 crashes involving injuries a year. As mentioned, Highway 99, which connects Bakersfield with the rest of California, was declared the deadliest road in America as recently as 2016. It’s important to understand that truck accidents are not the same as car accidents, as they involve commercial trucking insurance policies and greater damages. Please do not attempt to handle a truck accident claim without the professional help of an experienced Bakersfield truck accident lawyer.
- Premises Liability Accidents: Premises liability claims range far and wide. A few examples include inadequate security, amusement park accidents, slip and falls at the mall, and more. Speak with an experienced Bakersfield premises liability attorney at our firm today to discuss if you are entitled to file a claim for the recovery of damages.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Bakersfield does not have nearly as many motorcyclists as Los Angeles, but the disparity in population only makes its motorcycle statistics even more shocking. When adjusted for population, motorcycle accident statistics for Bakersfield are actually worse than in Los Angeles, a city with more square footage and a much larger population. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and would like to file a claim against the party at-fault for damages, West Coast Trial Lawyers is readily available to provide you with legal assistance. Our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury claims. We are confident that we will get you the compensation you deserve for your losses.
- Bus Accidents:There are sixteen bus lines that operate throughout Bakersfield and the greater Bakersfield area. Bus drivers are known as common carriers, which means they have a legal duty to be extra careful when they are transporting passengers. However, bus accident claims have much shorter time limits than other personal injury claims, which means you must act fast if you want to take legal action.
What a Dedicated Bakersfield Personal Injury Attorney Will Do for You
Trying to handle any type of personal injury claim on your own without professional legal assistance is not recommended. Victims who handle their own claims typically recover much less than they actually deserve. Insurance companies are not on your side. In fact, they are specifically trained to pay accident victims less than what is owed to them.
The Basics of Personal Injury Liability
Determining liability after any type of personal injury accident is crucial when it comes to whether or not you are entitled to damages for your losses. Determining liability in California is a challenging process, especially when multiple parties are involved. However, liability is generally based on negligence.
This idea means that any negligent individual, entity, or group of people who caused you harm will typically be held liable for any injuries you sustained, as well as the resulting monetary damages. As it relates to personal injury claims, negligence is a form of careless or reckless behavior. Negligent behavior is unacceptable and is also against the law.
If, for example, you were injured by another driver, you must be able to show that their negligence directly caused your injuries. The legal standard for negligence in the state of California will consider the following three elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care;
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care through negligence; and
- The defendant’s negligence was the primary cause of the injuries you sustained.
What Is a Duty of Care?
Let’s use car accidents as an example. A duty of care for a driver means obeying traffic laws, not driving while under the influence, and focusing on the road. If a driver was intoxicated, caused your accident, and you suffered injuries as a result, then that driver will be held responsible for the accident, as well as appropriate compensation owed to you.
However, a duty of care applies to all types of individuals and situations, not just drivers and car accidents. A grocery store has a duty of care to provide safe facilities for their customers. This means, for example, mopping up spills so that people don’t suffer a slip and fall. All property owners, from homeowners to government-owned buildings, are also required to provide reasonably safe conditions on their premises, such as hiring adequate security personnel and installing proper lighting.
Can Liability Be Shared?
It is possible for more than one individual to be held liable for causing an accident, including the victim. California is a comparative negligence state, which means that more than one individual may be found liable for causing an accident, even if they were harmed as a result. Responsibility, or liability, will therefore be divided based on each individual’s degree of fault. Compensation is also divided according to the share of fault. Finally, available damages will be adjusted depending on each individual’s degree of fault. For example, let’s say that you suffered broken bones after being involved in a pedestrian accident. The driver who hit you will be held responsible for your injuries. However, if you happened to be walking while intoxicated, or were looking down at your phone when the accident occurred, you may be held partially responsible. This means that the amount of compensation you will recover can be reduced according to how much negligence you contributed towards causing the accident.
If you are in need of a personal injury attorney, West Coast Trial Lawyers is available 24/7 to help you with your situation. Our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys will devote themselves to your case to ensure that you have a satisfactory end-result to your lawsuit.