Bakersfield Personal Injury Lawyer

People don’t usually wake up and expect to get into an accident. Accidents are unpredictable, inconvenient, and sometimes life-altering. Oftentimes accidents are caused by another party’s negligence. In these situations, the injured individual can file a personal injury claim.

The most commonly known kind of personal injury claim people tend to be familiar with is motor vehicle accident claims. However, personal injury claims don’t just cover motor vehicle accidents. The term personal injury encompasses many types of accidents. A victim has the right to file a personal injury claim whenever another individual or entity acted negligently or purposely, resulting in an accident that caused the victim’s injury. However, victims must adhere to California’s statute of limitation. Claims that are not filed within the allotted two years (in some instances only six months) from the initial accident may not be able to be pursued and victims lose their chance to recover financial compensation for their injuries.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Through a personal injury claim accident, victims are entitled to fair compensation for the damages they suffered as a result of their injury. Unfortunately, filing a personal injury claim can be challenging and taxing if you’re trying to focus on recovering from your injury. Insurance companies are hardly ever willing to pay victims the total value of their claim without making it a complicated process. Often insurance adjusters find reasons to undercut the value of a personal injury claim or dismiss it entirely. 

Hiring a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer helps strengthen your claim and ensures you have someone in your corner to protect your right to fair compensation. Our award-winning attorneys at Karns & Karns have the experience and expertise to successfully represent Bakersfield’s residents. We are relentless and passionate and you can count on us to fight for you and get your life back on track after an injury. 

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The 3 Most Common Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims occur when accidents happen due to the negligent actions of an individual or entity leading to an individual being injured. These accidents can happen at any time, anywhere, and can sometimes have life-altering consequences for the victim. The three most common types of personal injury accidents are: 

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Common causes of a motor vehicle accident include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while drowsy
  • Reckless driving
  • Inexperienced driving 
  • Driving under the influence
  • Speeding 
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Disobeying traffic laws or signs 

Whether it’s a car, truck, motorcycle, or an Uber/Lyft accident, a motor vehicle accident can cause severe property damage and severely damage victims.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

A slip-and-fall accident doesn’t conjure up images of severe injury and damage. People tend to think of slip-and-fall accidents to be minor and nothing more than a slight inconvenience. While most slip-and-fall accidents are minor, some cause highly damaging injuries. These accidents can result in severe injuries such as fractures and even permanent nerve damage. In some cases, the injury from the slip-and-fall may not make its self-present until much later. Delayed Injuries are common results of slip-and-falls which is why victims should document the incident even if they believe they’re physically fine at the time. Should injuries present themselves days, weeks, sometimes months later, the documentation of the incident will be vital to pursuing a slip-and-fall claim. 

Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents don’t just occur in high-risk jobs. Whether you work at a construction site or office building, an employer’s or entity’s negligence can lead to an accident. Common workplace injuries include:

  • Overexertion and muscle strains
  • Struck by workers, equipment, or falling objects
  • Crashes or collisions
  • Exposure to harmful substances 

These are just a few instances that may lead to workplace injury. Workers face risks even in the safest working conditions, which is why they are entitled to California’s workers’ compensation benefits. 

Additionally, it’s important to note that workplace accidents can be caused by third parties, which would entitle the injured person to recovery from the negligent party. In this case, they wouldn’t be limited to solely workers compensation benefits, as the injured person could seek additional compensation through a third-party claim. This can be crucial to those workers who are not covered by the workers’ compensation system.

The 5 Steps of a Personal Injury Claim in Bakersfield, California

The California court system handles personal injury and wrongful death claims unless the injury is solely work-related. There are five key steps to filing a personal injury claim in California.

1. Establishing Legal Standing 

Before pursuing a claim in California, there needs to be provable legal standing. Legal standing means you have the right to the claim. Proving legal standing requires the following:

  • Being directly connected to the person or entity (defendant) you’re filing the claim against, and their action or inaction must be directly linked to the harm you suffered.
  • Being a legal entity, meaning you’re a person or entity with legal status, even if an illegal alien. 
  • Having the legal capacity to file a claim. Minors or adults who are mentally incompetent due to illness, age, or infirmity do not have legal capacity.

Each party must convince the court that they have the same interest in the subject matter of the claim. 

2. Hiring an Attorney 

Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer is critical to building a strong and successful claim. It’s important to find a lawyer you trust and are comfortable with because this process will require you to share a lot of private information with them. You need to trust your attorney who will advocate for you throughout the entire process.

3. Determining the Venue for Your Claim 

A venue refers to the place of your claim. The claim must be filed in a county where:

  • the injury occurred
  • there are the majority of witnesses
  • the defendant lives or has their principal place of business
  • you live or have your principal place of business

There will likely be more than one venue appropriate for your claim. Your lawyer is the best person to advise you on which venue would be best.

4. File Your Claim within the Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the allotted time you have to file a claim. In most cases in California, the statute of limitations is two years from the initial date of your injury. In other situations, where an entity or government department is involved, filing a claim is even shorter, for example six or nine months. So, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.

5. File Your Complaint 

Often, attorneys try to negotiate a settlement with the prospective defendant before filing a lawsuit. However, if neither side can come to an agreement, then the matter is taken to court. An attorney will then file a summons and complaint with the court. A summons notifies the defendant that they are being sued. The complaint sets forth the circumstances of the incident, the defendant’s liability, your injuries, and how much you are demanding in damages.

Contact an Experienced Bakersfield Personal Injury Lawyer

Regardless of the type of injury or accident, if someone’s negligence is to blame, you deserve to be fairly compensated for any damages you suffered as a result. Contact a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer to help you build a strong personal injury claim. 

Karns & Karns is dedicated to helping injured victims pursue just compensation for their injuries and losses. At Karns & Karns, we believe that when the wrongful conduct of others harms the community, there must be compensation for the victims. With more than 65 years of combined legal experience, the personal injury lawyers at Karns & Karns know how to manage personal injury claims to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. Our goal is to protect your legal rights and get you the compensation you and your family deserve. You can schedule a consultation with us today at (888) 381-8044 or fill out our contact form on our website.

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Hear what others have said about us

Thank you so much for all the work everyone contributed to bringing my case to a successful conclusion. I am truly grateful to everyone.

Stephanie C.

Very friendly, professional, knowledgeable and always kept me up-to-date on what was going on with my case. Thank you Karns & Karns!

Jean B.

Most knowledgeable and helpful personal injury firm in town. The best.

James T.

I have used the lawyers at Karns & Karns on a number of legal matters over the years. Their skill and expertise is unmatched in my opinion. When my family was the victim of fraud, I turned to the lawyers at Karns & Karns. After a long litigation battle which eventually went to arbitration, I was awarded over $1,500,000.00. The lawyers at Karns & Karns were extremely prepared and I would recommend them to anyone.

John B.

I was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Bill Karns was with me every step of the way. Even though the other driver said the accident was my fault, I recovered over $1,300,000.00. Mr. Karns was professional, courteous, and skilled. I would recommend him and Karns & Karns to anyone involved in a major personal injury case.

Hank E.

After a horrible incident and life-changing event, Mike and Bill brought hope back into my life.

Mona L.

I was traumatically injured on the job by a negligent forklift driver. I reached out to Karns & Karns when I began to suspect that my other attorneys didn’t have the expertise to resolve a complicated case where the defendant, a massive organization, said I was at fault. I’m certainly glad I did. Bill and Mike treated me with respect, knew the law, and did exactly what was necessary to make the defendant accept responsibility for their bad acts. I recovered $1,000,000.00, and I have Karns & Karns to thank for that.

Ed B.

I can personally attest to the fact that Karns & Karns are perhaps the most responsive attorneys in California. To receive the sort of attention that I got from Mike and Bill is noteworthy.

Nelson A.

My experience with Karns & Karns is that they truly care. As a disabled veteran, I can’t ask for any better than two top gun lawyers whose main job is to get the best for me and my well-being.

Reginald R.