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Bakersfield Car Accident Attorneys

Fortunately, many car accidents are minor fender benders that do not lead to severe injuries, if any injuries at all. However, some car accidents cause physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial hardship for victims and families. If you have recently suffered injuries in a car accident in Bakersfield or the surrounding area, you might be facing a range of challenges as a result. California law may entitle you to seek compensation for losses related to the accident and your injuries when someone else’s negligence caused you harm.

Contact the Bakersfield car accident lawyers at The May Firm if you have been injured in a car accident. We have investigated car accident claims, dealt with insurance providers, and helped clients seek compensation for preventable car accident injuries for decades. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your car accident injuries, the way they have impacted your life, and whether you have a viable Bakersfield car accident claim.

The May Firm Fights for —Car Accident Victims

The compassionate legal team at The May Firm has done settlements, negotiations, and litigation of personal injury claims, including those involving car accident injuries. The firm’s commitment to client service and advocacy has led to millions of dollars in settlements and court-awarded damages for clients.

Examples of recent case results in car accident injury cases include:

  • $2.3 million recovery for clients who suffered injuries after a rear-end collision involving a utility vehicle.
  • $1.5 million settlement for a client who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident.
  • $1.475 million recovery for a client who suffered a lower back injury during a rear-end collision.
  • $1 million recovery for a client who suffered neck and lower back injuries in a car accident.
  • $950,000 recovery for a client who suffered injuries when a speeder crashed into their parked vehicle.

These are examples of potential financial outcomes for Bakersfield car accident claims, but they do not guarantee results for your case. Each car accident has underlying facts and circumstances that impact the value of a claim. However, the Bakersfield car accident lawyers at The May Firm have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to diligently pursue the best outcome possible for their clients.

Negligent Drivers Cause Most Car Accidents

According to California’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), close to 1,000 traffic accidents occur in Bakersfield each year, resulting in close to 2,000 injuries and fatalities. Weather, traffic conditions, and mechanical problems often contribute to the occurrence of car accidents. However, drivers are ultimately responsible for how they drive in certain conditions and maintain their vehicles. The vast majority of car accidents occur because of negligent drivers.

Examples of common driving behaviors that can lead to severe car accidents include:

Drunk Driving

The dangers of drinking and driving are well-known. Alcohol makes it difficult for drivers to judge time and distance, significantly increasing the likelihood of losing control of their vehicle and causing a dangerous car accident. Yet, some drivers still choose to make the tragic choice to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. The OTC estimates more than 10 percent of injuries and fatalities occur in alcohol-related Bakersfield car accidents.

Distracted Driving

In a survey conducted by the OTC, more than 70 percent of respondents indicated that distracted driving is the number one problem on California’s roads and highways. Cell phones play a large part in distracted driving. Drivers take calls, text, and use apps while driving. Regardless of the exact activity, using a cell phone takes a person’s eyes away from the road, mind away from driving, and/or hands off the wheel. California prohibits all drivers from using cell phones while driving unless they use hands-free technology, such as voice dialing, to make calls.

While cell phones have brought the issue of distracted driving to the forefront of public consciousness, drivers face several other distractions that can lead to dangerous car accidents in Bakersfield and throughout the state.

Some examples include:

  • Eating snacks and drinking
  • Combing hair, applying makeup, and other personal grooming habits
  • Reaching for a dropped item on the floor or in the backseat
  • Tending to backseat occupants, especially young children
  • Heavy discussions or arguments with occupants
  • Daydreaming
  • Watching an event outside the car
  • Adjusting the radio or entering information in a GPS
  • Adjusting the A/C, heat, mirror, seats, or another feature


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that speeding plays into more than 25 percent of traffic accidents. Most think of speeding as traveling over the posted speed limit, but it also refers to traveling too fast for weather, road, or traffic conditions. Bakersfield drivers who are rushed because they are running behind schedule or do not have patience behind the wheel often choose to speed, putting others at risk for accidents and injuries.

Speeding directly causes car crashes because it makes it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles. Additionally, it is more challenging to take swift action to avoid road hazards and other dangerous situations. However, even when speeding is not the direct cause of an accident, car crashes are more dangerous. Excessive speed increases the force of a car accident, leading to greater property damage, more severe injuries, and a higher chance of fatalities when a car accident occurs.

Drowsy Driving

Many people have demanding schedules that keep them going all day long. Whether working long days, driving many hours, or simply dealing with the stresses of everyday life, not getting adequate rest and getting behind the wheel puts others who share the road at risk for a car accident and injuries. Truck drivers, shift workers, rideshare drivers, and those who regularly work two jobs are vulnerable to drowsy driving.

However, sleep disorders, poor physical health, and some medicines can also cause drowsiness. Fatigued drivers suffer from impairment the same way that a drunk or drugged driver suffers impairment. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) warns that drivers who go without sleep for 18 hours suffer the same impairment as drivers who are legally intoxicated with a 0.08 breath or blood alcohol level.

California Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims

If you have suffered injuries in a Bakersfield car accident, you have a limited time to bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident and your injuries. This time limit referred to as the statute of limitations varies in most states based on whom you named as the defendant in the lawsuit and whether someone died as a result of car accident injuries. However, in California, a two-year statute of limitations exists for all types of car accident injury claims.

Here is an overview of the most common car accident liability claims that victims file to recover damages.

  • Claims Against Another Driver. This is the most common type of lawsuit after a car accident. Victims seek damages from another driver who struck their vehicle or caused an accident in another way because of negligent driving.
  • Third-Party Liability Claims. Sometimes additional parties share liability after a car accident. Third-party liability claims are not as frequent as other claims, but some situations warrant action against other parties. For example, suppose a drunk driver hit your vehicle, or a driver in a company car hit your vehicle and caused an accident. In that case, your lawyer might advise you to sue a bar or restaurant that served the driver alcohol, or the driver’s employer, to recover damages.
  • Product Liability Claims. Auto and auto part manufacturers have a legal duty to bring safe products to the market. If you suffered accident injuries because of a defective car or car parts, such as tires or brakes, you could have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the applicable company.
  • Claims Against a Government Entity. Although it is rare, you might have a claim against the City of Bakersfield or the State of California if their failure to maintain roads caused your car accident. Unrepaired potholes, sinkholes, and other road issues can cause dangerous car accidents. The same is true when signs are removed or stop lights malfunction.
  • Wrongful Death Claims. If you have lost a loved one in a Bakersfield car accident, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations period to recover damages related to the accident and your losses. Your lawyer can advise you on the best path for you and your family during this difficult time.

“My number one goal is to help others. When you step foot into our firm, you’ll be treated like family, period.”
Robert May, Attorney | Founder

Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyer

Severe Car Accident Injuries Lead to Personal Injury Claims

Minor car accident injuries typically do not lead to personal injury lawsuits, and in some cases, you might not even file an insurance claim. However, once injuries cause major physical harm and lead to financial loss, making a claim is the only way to recover some or all damages related to the accident. Severe car accident injuries can cause permanent damage, permanent functional loss, and leave emotional and physical scars. It is easy to know the proper steps to take when you have minor or major injuries, but those that fall in between might leave you wondering whether you should contact a lawyer. It is always best to consult with an attorney to let them evaluate the viability of your claim during a free consultation. However, here are some examples of car accident injuries that typically lead to personal injury claims:
  • Head injuries, skull fractures, and brain injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones, especially those that require surgery
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Dislocations
  • Crushed limbs/amputations
  • Severe burns

Seeking Compensation After a Bakersfield Car Accident

California law permits you to bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for your car accident and injuries. If you settle with the insurance provider associated with your case or a California court rules in your favor, you might receive compensation for various losses you incurred from the car accident and your injuries.

Damages that car accident victims often receive compensation for include:

  • Medical expenses including ambulance and emergency room services, surgery, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging, lab tests, follow-up doctor visits, medication, and transportation costs to and from the doctor/hospital.
  • Estimated future medical treatment costs when car accident injuries cause permanent damage that requires ongoing treatment, additional surgeries, or around-the-clock care in a long-term nursing care facility.
  • Costs for rehabilitation with various specialists that help car accident victims face the physical and emotional aftermath of their injuries, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and mental health professionals.
  • Costs for assistive devices, such as crutches, wheelchairs, artificial limbs, and canes.
  • Lost wages due to missing work from the treatment and recovery from injuries.
  • Estimated future lost wages when a car accident causes injuries that make it impossible to return to work.
  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Loss of consortium.
  • Reduced quality of life.
  • Scarring and disfigurement.

If you have lost a loved one in a Bakersfield car accident, you might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages related to your loss. Eligible survivors sometimes receive some of the damages listed above and money towards burial costs and funeral expenses. Your Bakersfield car accident attorney can answer any questions you have about wrongful death lawsuits and help you and your family find the best way to seek justice and receive compensation for losses related to the death of a loved one.

Injured in a Bakersfield Car Accident? Contact The May Firm Today

The dedicated legal team at The May Firm understands the challenges you face in the coming weeks and months. They can investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your injury claim while you focus on healing from your injuries.

If you live in or near Bakersfield, contact us today online or call or text (661) 244-9712 for a no-obligation free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your car accident, your injuries, and how they have affected your life. We can evaluate your claim and advise you on the best course of action for your circumstances.

Bakersfield Car Accident FAQs

When your everyday commute turns into terror on the road in a Bakersfield motor vehicle accident, you may wonder what steps you need to take to keep your rights protected. Car accidents in Bakersfield can result in destructive consequences for your property and, more importantly, for your overall health. Everyone should know how to respond to protect their financial and health interests after a car accident. The below FAQs address some of the basics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers provided by Bakersfield Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer courtesy of The May Firm
to some frequently asked questions we receive from clients.
Bakersfield motor vehicle collisions are a concern for all drivers and their passengers. A quick commute or road trip can turn into a nightmare when a negligent driver causes a collision with another vehicle. Many situations can cause a car crash, each posing its unique risk to the occupants involved as well as other vehicles on the road. Examples of different car accidents that commonly occur in Bakersfield include:
  • Rear-end crash – People will often refer to this type of accident as a fender bender. But the impacts of a rear-end collision, even one that appears to be minor, can be far-reaching for the victims. Head trauma, back and neck problems, and dislocations are not uncommon in this type of motor vehicle accident.
  • Hit-and-run collision – An accident is a jolting experience in any case. But when a negligent driver hits your vehicle and flees the scene, victims can be left in desperation, wondering how they can hold the at-fault party responsible for the expenses they will incur. Fortunately, there are ways you may be able to track down the culprit, and you can also often file an insurance claim with your own insurer.
  • Sideswipe accident – This accident can be a catalyst for secondary destructive accidents, especially on interstates and highways. When vehicles are traveling at high speeds, a sideswipe can cause a chain reaction that can cause motorists to lose control of their vehicles and put many people at risk of injury.
  • Rollover – With bigger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, there comes a higher risk of rollover accidents. Rollover crashes are violent accidents that can cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities for those in the vehicle that flips. Vehicle occupants may be ejected, or tossed around inside the vehicle, slamming against hard surfaces.
  • Head-on collision – A common type of vehicle accident, often caused by distracted, drunk, or drowsy drivers. A head-on crash is a forceful impact that often ends in the fatality of some or all of the occupants of the vehicles involved.
  • Multi-vehicle crash – The fault for this complicated type of accident is rarely clear. The many involved parties will fight to protect their own interests.

It may not come as a surprise to learn that most accidents are not accidental at all, but rather caused by the negligence of an individual or party. More often than not, an accident could have been avoided had proper care and precautions been taken by another driver. The law allows the recovery of compensation for losses in a Bakersfield car accident if you can attribute the accident to the wrongdoing of another party. This wrongdoing typically falls under the umbrella of negligence. If a driver or other party acted in a negligent manner that caused the accident and your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation for the losses you have suffered.

To establish negligence in a car accident, you must show:

  1. That a party owed a duty of care to you
  2. The party violated their duty of care in their actions or omissions
  3. You sustained an injury or other damages
  4. Your damages or losses were caused by the party’s violation

Motor vehicle accidents caused by negligence occur every day. Drivers may be negligent in many different ways, leading them to interfere with other motorists on the road and put the public at risk of death or severe injury.

Common negligent behaviors in car accident cases include:

  • Driver Distraction
  • DUI
  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Aggressive Driving
  • New or Inexperienced Driving
Bakersfield car accident injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to catastrophic or even fatal harm to the victim. Each accident is unique, and the totality of the circumstances determines how severe injuries may be. Within the overall circumstances of the accident, many factors can influence the extent of the injuries suffered after a collision. An individual’s age, overall health, and seat in the vehicle can all affect how severely the accident injures them or if it injures them at all. Under the law, a person’s greater susceptibility to injury does not bar compensation. A negligent party is liable for your injuries that were caused in any way by the accident. Injuries arising from a motor vehicle collision will typically have some kind of impact on your health and overall well-being, whether temporary or permanent. The injuries can affect your quality of life, your ability to work, your personal relationships, and your future expectations. Injuries are painful, uncomfortable and can require a long recovery and ongoing treatments. Not all car accident victims will fully recover from their injuries. Prolonged effects of an injury can require additional medical care, expenses, and adaptations to a new way of life. Common injuries in a motor vehicle accident include:
  • Brain damage
  • Head, neck, and back injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
Damages, or compensation, in a car accident can go far beyond just the property damage to your vehicle and medical expenses for your injuries. While an insurer may want you to think your losses are limited to those economic costs, there are many other damages you may be entitled to under the law. Bakersfield car accident damages are not limited to economic impacts but can also include compensation for any non-economic damages you may have sustained. A car accident lawyer will take the time to calculate the damage you have suffered and consider the current impacts as well as the impacts these injuries can cause on your future. Damages in a Bakersfield car accident may include:
  • Medical expenses
  • Income losses
  • Future expenses for medical care
  • Future impacts to potential income
  • Property damage
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

It is a common concern and question for individuals involved in a motor vehicle accident, is a lawyer really necessary after an accident?

Yes. In most cases, and absolutely in any accident that involves serious injuries, you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. Injury accidents are serious and have high stakes. A successful claim typically requires the knowledge and experience of an attorney to properly protect your rights and interests.

It can be difficult for a victim to gauge the extent of the impacts of an injury on their life. Many victims believe they will fully recover and may underestimate how much their injuries will cost them in the long run. However, car accident injuries often leave victims with at least some less minor health issues and effects for years down the road, and possibly even for a lifetime. In Bakersfield, you are entitled to have these effects considered and calculated as part of your damages in a car accident claim.

An insurer wants to pay out as little as possible. Insurance companies will generally do anything they can to reduce their liability to you for your damages. If they can deny your claim on any grounds they will do so. If they make a quick settlement offer soon after the accident, it’s likely to be woefully insufficient to cover your expenses and impacts.

It is impossible to know the real impacts of an injury so soon after an accident. Seek the assistance of a Bakersfield car accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident happens. A lawyer can ensure your rights and interest are protected throughout the claim process.

A Bakersfield car accident attorney will evaluate your case and determine the likelihood of a successful recovery and your options to proceed. Once you hire an attorney to represent you, they will use their resources to gather all the necessary evidence in your case to prove fault and the extent of your injuries and any other damages you may have suffered. Your lawyer will calculate your damages so that you may have an understanding of the losses in your case and the potential compensation you should demand.

An attorney will work with you to negotiate with insurers or other at-fault parties to try to resolve through a settlement. The services an experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney can provide throughout the claims process may ultimately result in getting you many thousands of dollars more than you could have secured on your own.

The goal of an attorney is to help their client have a positive resolution in their case and recover fair and reasonable compensation for their losses as soon as possible. In most cases, a car accident claim is settled out of court and a lawsuit is not required. However, a lawsuit is sometimes warranted, and it may be in your best interest to file one.


A defendant and their insurer may fiercely contest fault and/or the amount of compensation they owe. If they refuse to reasonably negotiate with you, you may need to file a lawsuit to get a court to compel them to pay a fair amount. A settlement may still be reached even after you file a lawsuit. Your attorney will consult with you as to the best course of action for your interests and case.

If you are in a Bakersfield car accident:
  • Contact the Authorities. After a Bakersfield car accident, especially a serious one involving injuries, you should call the police. In fact, if the accident causes any injury, the law requires that authorities be contacted. As many people may not realize they are injured at the scene of the accident, it is a good idea to contact authorities regardless of whether you perceive any serious injuries immediately; complications could arise later, and you want to have established a record by having had police at the scene. The police will provide a report of the accident, including the identifying information of everyone involved, and they may issue a citation to the party they find to be responsible for causing the accident. Their report and any other indication of another party’s fault can support your claim
  • Get Medical Help. Whether at the scene or in the days that follow, you should seek medical attention. Do so even if you don’t feel any pain—but at any moment that you feel unwell or discover an injury, get checked out. It is not only important that you receive a medical evaluation, but also that you follow through with any treatment that is prescribed to you to better your chances of recovery. By doing so, you protect your health and legal rights.
  • Gather Evidence. From photos of the crash scene to medical records and notes about your injuries, gather all the evidence about the accident and your injuries for your attorney.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer at the May Firm. Once you have had a chance to receive appropriate medical treatment and deal with the initial chaos of the accident, you should contact a Bakersfield car accident attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury claim should begin shortly after an accident; the sooner you can obtain legal representation, the better your chances at reaching a positive resolution in your case.

Call Us for a Free Consultation

Contact us to get started. It is important to have the proper legal representation on your side if you’re involved in a motorcycle crash. Often wrongful blame is placed on the rider in a multi-vehicle collision due to the increased risk that comes with riding a motorcycle. Insurance companies are reluctant to side with the motorcyclist and oftentimes will attempt to place the full or partial blame on them. Don’t accept that blame and the legal repercussions that come with it.

Call (866) 619-6679 to schedule a free consultation with our award-winning motorcycle accident lawyers. We’ll help determine the viability of your case based on your testimony and help you determine the best way to proceed. Working on a contingency fee means our lawyers are only compensated when your case or settlement is won, and our extensive experience and case history allow us to settle most claims out of court, giving you a faster resolution to your case and allowing you to focus on your recovery process. We factor in every possible expense when building your settlement: Medical bills, wage loss, property damage, and emotional suffering are all considered. Our goal is to help you put your life back in order to the best of our ability.

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