Bakersfield Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

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Robert May

Founding Partner

Bakersfield Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

 
  • 25 + Years of Experience

    When you hire us, you’re adding unmatched experience to your team, ensuring you get the best possible outcome.

  • 99% Win Rate

    Our firm maintains an impressive 99% win rate, even while accepting difficult cases other law firms have turned away.

  • No Upfront Fees

    We are not afraid of trial, and insurance companies know this. If it’s in your best interest, we are always trial ready.

Bakersfield is famous for being the home of renowned country music singers such as Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. It has even earned the city the nickname “the country music capital of the West Coast.” That is why it is no surprise that Bakersfield is known to keep the fun going all night long, with its lively bars all over town, including Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, which serves as a country music venue, a nightclub, and even a restaurant.

Sadly, with all these great establishments located in the area, it is not uncommon for individuals to enjoy one too many drinks and cocktails before they decide to call it a night. For those that have a plan and a ride home, it is not usually an issue.

However, for those who decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, it can mean fatal and devastating consequences for everyone on the road with them.

If you have been injured in a Bakersfield drunk driving accident, you should not be the one on the hook for the extensive medical bills that you now have to deal with because another person decided to drive after a night of drinking. That is why the Bakersfield drunk driving accident lawyers at The May Firm is here for you, ready to help you take on this legal battle and pursue the justice you deserve.

The May Firm—Who We Are

The May Firm is a personal injury and accident law firm that fights aggressively for our clients. Our award-winning attorneys focus primarily on personal injury and accident cases because it allows us to stay diligent so that we can get the best outcome for our clients.

Our legal team makes it a point to approach each legal case with experience, compassion, and dedication. We know what is at stake after a devastating personal injury accident, and we want to ensure that our clients get the financial recovery they need and alleviate as much emotional and physical stress as we can.

As a result of our drive, experience, and resources, we have collected millions of dollars in settlement awards and jury verdicts on our client’s behalf. Although every case is different and there are no guarantees of success in any particular case, you can rest assured that when you work with The May Firm, our legal team can fight hard to go after every last dollar your injury has cost you.

Community Involvement

At The May Firm we strive to be involved and connected to our local community. For example, this past holiday season we had bicycle and Christmas tree giveaway’s dedicated for individuals in our community. Our goal is to be a positive force for good in the local community and give back in some small measure to those we can serve. We receive satisfaction and joy from serving our clients and will continue to look for ways to be of assistance to the community as a whole. We receive positive energy from the community when we are involved.

We have listed a few of the local organizations we support and look forward to growing our outreach in the future. If you have any suggestions for ways we can be of service or support, please reach out to us.

  • Memorial Golf Classic
  • Rodeo
  • Hope
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  • CASA

Why So Many Accidents Happen In Bakersfield

Bakersfield is the largest city within Kern County, which encompasses more than 8,100 square miles. Bakersfield is conveniently located in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, directly between Fresno and Los Angeles. The largest local employers are in the farming, agriculture and oil industries.

Unfortunately, this type of heavy labor can lead to a variety of personal injuries, especially trucking, farming and car accidents. The May Firm is here to help our clients get the justice they deserve. If you’ve been injured by no fault of your own, contact our office for a free consultation.

“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

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Drunk Driving Statistics—The Sobering Reality

In the United States, almost 28 people die every day because of drunk driving—that is about one person killed every 52 minutes. In total, over 10,140 people lose their lives every year because of these crashes, and sadly, all these deaths are preventable. Worse yet, this problem is a significant issue in California.

According to recent drunk driving statistics:

  • In one year, there were around 1,069 fatalities that resulted from alcohol-impaired driving in California.
  • Almost 30 percent of all driving deaths in the state are the result of alcohol-impaired collisions.
  • There are over 127,200 individuals arrested annually in the state for driving under the influence.

The highest number of alcohol-involved severe injuries and fatalities occurred in central and southern California.

Who Is Liable for Drunk Driving Injuries in Bakersfield?

Although it is often assumed that the drunk driver is responsible for a drunk driving accident, determining fault for these types of crashes is often more complicated than that. In some instances, it is not only the drunk driver who can be found accountable but other parties who contributed to the accident can also be found liable and share responsibility with the drunk driver.

For instance:

  • The Drunk Driver’s Employer: Generally, an employer can be held liable if an employee is drinking and driving and causes an accident while performing duties within the scope of their employment. For example, if a delivery driver causes an accident because they were intoxicated while out on a delivery, their employer can potentially be held liable for the damages that resulted.
  • The Restaurant or Bar Who Over-Served the Motorist: Even though California’s dram shop laws are very limited, if a drunk driving accident was caused by a minor, the restaurant or bar that served the minor can be held liable.
  • The Insurer: If the drunk driver has car insurance, their insurance company will often share responsibility for the crash.

As you can see, figuring out liability following a drunk driving accident is not always easy. For these reasons, if you have been involved in a drunk driving accident in Bakersfield, it is important to reach out to a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer, such as those at The May Firm, as soon as possible.

These attorneys can investigate your accident, determine what happened, who was at fault, and hold all those liable accountable for the harm you sustained.

Common Injuries Resulting From a Bakersfield Drunk Driving Accident

Drunk driving accidents often result in horrific crashes that cause excruciating pain and debilitating harm. Yet, even though these injuries can range in severity and type depending on the circumstances of the collision, the more serious drunk driving accident injuries tend to include the following:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Injuries to the brain often result when there is a violent blow or jolt to the body or the head. However, they can also result when an object goes through the brain tissue. Although mild brain injuries can temporarily affect the brain, more severe injuries can cause torn tissue, bruising, bleeding, and other physical damage. These injuries can often cause long-term effects or death.

Spinal Cord Damage

The most common cause of spinal cord injuries is external trauma, such as drunk driving accidents. These injuries often involve damage to the spinal cord that causes a loss of function, including feeling and mobility. Typically, a spinal cord does not have to be severed for a loss of function to occur. In fact, the spinal cord can be left intact, but the damage to it can still lead to various problems and life-long issues.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The most common soft tissue injuries include damage to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Typically, strains, sprains, contusions, bursitis, and tendinitis are the most frequent soft-tissue injuries due to drunk driving accidents, and even though they may appear as relatively minor injuries, many times even with proper treatment, these injuries can cause a lifetime of pain and issues for the victim.

Internal Organ Damage

Another significant injury that can result from drunk driving is internal organ damage. A drunk driving crash can not only cause internal bleeding but can also harm an internal organ and stop it from performing its essential functions. Two internal organs that are most often injured in a car accident are the kidney and the liver. However, almost any organ is at risk in a drunk driving crash.

Limb Injuries

Following a drunk driving collision, it is common for limbs to break or get crushed. These debilitating injuries can often result in long-term therapy or require numerous surgeries. In more extreme cases, the individual’s leg, arm, or other body parts may need to be amputated to stop deadly problems from escalating, such as severe infection from the injury.

Steps You Should Take After a Bakersfield Drunk Driving Collision

Following a Bakersfield drunk driving crash, the actions you take not only ensure you stay safe after this horrific incident but that you protect your legal rights as well.

For these reasons:

Contact the Police Immediately After the Collision

Calling 911 immediately after your Bakersfield drunk driving crash is the fastest way to notify the authorities, let EMS know that you or someone at the crash scene needs immediate medical help, and get your crash on record.

Once the authorities arrive, they can investigate the collision and document their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue a legal claim, this report can provide you with valuable details regarding what happened and who was at fault.

Get Documentation From the Crash Scene

If it is possible, try to gather as much evidence from the area as you can. For example, make sure to include photos and videos of the vehicles involved, their placement on the street, your visible injuries, the weather conditions at the time of the incident, skid marks on the road, traffic signals near the accident area, and any signs that the other motorist was driving while intoxicated, such as alcohol bottles spilling out of the vehicle or other conduct that can show the driver was under the influence.

Get Personal Details From the Other Motorists

Try to exchange personal details with all the drivers involved in the collision, including names, driver’s license numbers, contact details, and insurance information. However, if the other driver appears to be significantly under the influence, do not put yourself at risk.

Instead, wait for the police to arrive and have them get these contact details for you. Your lawyer can obtain this information from the police report later on.

Try to Get Witness Details

If there were people present at the scene, try to get their names and phone numbers as well. These witness accounts can often provide you with valuable information regarding the accident and help substantiate your case.

Keep Records and Bills Resulting From the Drunk Driving Crash

To collect as much compensation for your injuries as you can get, you must show reliable evidence documenting your damages and losses.

That is why holding onto all of your medical bills, receipts, and records associated with your alcohol-related driving crash is so critical. This documentation can help your lawyer prove the extent of your injuries, damages, and losses you endured because of the drunk driving crash.

See Your Doctor, Even if You Think You Do Not Need to

Even if you do not require emergency medical treatment directly after the crash, you should still head to your doctor as soon as possible following your Bakersfield drunk driving accident. Many times, serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries or brain trauma can take days to even weeks to appear. However, the longer you wait to get medical help, the more deadly and debilitating these injuries can become.

Besides, getting this prompt treatment is also helpful for your claim. Following an accident, the insurance company will try to do anything to deny your claim or reduce the amount of money you can receive. If you do not get immediate medical treatment, this company will argue that your injuries are not that serious or a result of a subsequent event.

Thankfully, when your physician treats you shortly after your drunk driving accident, these doctors can document your injuries in their medical report, providing you with a direct link between your injuries and the drunk driving crash.

Be Careful What you Say to Others

As you talk to others at the scene, you need to watch what you say. Ensure you do not make any definitive statements regarding the incident, even if it may be evident that the drunk driver was responsible for the accident. In addition, avoid apologizing for anything that happened or taking the blame for any part of the incident. These types of comments can come back later and hurt your case, affecting the amount of money you can receive.

Speak to Your Lawyer Before You Talk to the Insurance Company

If the insurance adjuster is calling you, make sure you speak to an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer, such as those at The May Firm, first. This is because having these conversations with the insurance company can ultimately affect your injury claim and the amount of money you can get from them.

Fortunately, with a lawyer on your side, these attorneys can ensure you do not make any damaging mistakes when speaking to the insurance company that can impact the compensation you deserve.

Bakersfield Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer FAQ

Following a Bakersfield drunk driving accident, you deserve answers regarding the legal options you can pursue for the injuries and losses you suffered due to this tragic incident. That is why The May Firm has prepared responses to the following frequently asked questions our clients often have after a drunk driving crash.

We hope with this information, you have a better understanding of the legal remedies you can pursue to secure the financial recovery you deserve.

One of the most common questions victims want to know after their accident is whether they have a valid injury claim. Unfortunately, this is not a simple question to answer.

In truth, the only way to determine if you have a valid claim is to speak to an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer.

This is because several questions and factors determine whether your injury claim is valid, such as:

  • Were you harmed because of another person’s wrongful, reckless, or negligent actions?
  • Have you suffered significant injuries as a result of these actions?
  • Do you have extensive medical bills associated with the injury?
  • Did you miss work because of your injuries?
  • Did the statute of limitations pass to bring a drunk driving injury claim?
  • Is there insurance available following the accident?

Although there is no simple answer to this question, when you reach out to a skilled Bakersfield drunk driving accident lawyer, like those at The May Firm, these lawyers can go over your accident, determine if you have a viable claim, and help you go after the compensation you need.

California is an at-fault car accident state, meaning that if you get into a car accident with another driver, the person responsible for the motor vehicle accident is accountable for your resulting losses, medical bills, and property damage.

However, getting this money from the at-fault driver’s insurance can take some time.

For these reasons, look into other options that can help you get the money you need following an accident, such as:

  • Health Insurance: If you have health insurance, this insurer can help you pay for your medical injuries and the treatments you require.
  • Med Pay: If you have medical payment coverage from your own car insurance policy, this insurance can cover bodily injuries caused by a car accident, no matter who was at fault.
  • Medical Lien: If you have no other way to pay your medical bills, in some situations, you can work with the medical care providers and see if they will allow you to receive treatment that is subject to a medical lien. Yet, you need to remember that ultimately you will be held accountable for any medical bills you incur.

In addition, if your car insurance or your health insurance pays for your medical bills, these companies will often try to seek reimbursement if there is another party at fault for your injuries and you receive a monetary settlement or a verdict against them.

Due to these legal complexities, it is often best to speak with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney at The May Firm after your accident. Our attorneys can not only help you understand the options you have when it comes to paying for your medical bills, but they also can help you negotiate these liens down, which can save you money if you eventually receive a settlement from the at-fault party.

The statute of limitations is a law that mandates the maximum amount of time you have to file a claim. If you do not bring this suit within this allotted time, you can be barred from pursuing compensation for your injuries.

In California, the statute of limitations to bring a personal injury claim following a drunk driving accident is two years from the date of the injury. However, there are various exceptions to this rule that can shorten or lengthen the amount of time you have to file. That is why it is best not to wait to pursue legal action.

Instead, you should speak with an experienced Bakersfield drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. These lawyers can figure out how much time you have to file your case and ensure that your legal motions and documents are prepared properly and filed before time expires.

If you have been harmed in a Bakersfield drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to certain damages. These damages often include the following:

Economic Damages: These damages are measurable losses that result from the accident.

They are often easy to quantify and tend to include:

  • Medical expenses including the past, present, and future medical costs such as hospital stay, assistive medical devices, emergency services, surgeries, and prescription medication costs
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Personal property damages
  • Rehabilitative therapy expenses such as vocational therapy and physical therapy
  • At-home care expenses
  • Household replacement services expenses such as cleaning or child care services
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

Non-economic Damages: These damages refer to the subjective losses that result from the accident, which are not easy to quantify.

They include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive Damages: Unlike the other compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages), which are intended to compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages are more concerned with the wrongdoer’s actions.

Generally, the court awards punitive damages to punish the defendant’s egregious actions and deter others from committing these acts. To obtain these damages, the injured party’s lawyer must show that the wrongdoer acted with malice or caused intentional harm through extreme recklessness.

No two drunk driving accidents are the same. As a result, no attorney can tell you exactly how much your case is worth, since too many unique factors can affect your claim and the amount of money you can receive.

These factors often include:

  • The extent and the severity of the injuries you sustained from the drunk driving incident.
  • The extent of the medical treatments you will need now and in the future.
  • Your ability to work following the drunk driving accident.
  • The degree of the defendant’s culpability.
  • The credibility of the evidence and witnesses presented.
  • The need for replacement services following the drunk driving accident.
  • Did you miss out on any major life moments or significant milestones because of the drunk driving accident?
  • Did you suffer lost wages because of the accident?

At The May Firm, we cannot tell you exactly how much your drunk driving case may be worth. However, working with one of our experienced drunk driving attorneys can get you the help you need. Our lawyers can go over your case, determine which of these factors can influence your claim, and prepare the strongest case in response—pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve.

At The May Firm, we know that no amount of money will ever erase the hurt of losing your loved one or the pain of not having them around any longer. However, we also know that you need financial help right now, especially when it comes to paying for the funeral and burial bills and other financial losses you now have to endure. That is why we want to help you get the money you need.

In California, a wrongful death claim allows surviving family members or the deceased’s estate to sue for damages when an individual dies because of another person’s wrongful, reckless, negligent, or intentional actions. If the surviving family members are successful in this suit, they can obtain damages that often include burial and funeral expenses, lost income, and compensation related to losing their loved one’s companionship and support.

However, it is also important to note that you need to act fast if you lost a loved one in this tragic accident, since the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the death.

For these reasons, you should reach out to an experienced Bakersfield drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can not only determine if you have a viable wrongful death claim, but they can also provide you the support you need during this trying time and help you go after the maximum financial damages your family needs.

It is important to remember that the insurance company is not your friend. They are not here to help you get the money you need or ensure you get your medical bills paid. Instead, these companies are like other businesses, and they want to make a profit.

By paying you less for your injuries or denying your claim altogether, the more money the insurance company makes. That is why it is always best to err on the side of caution when speaking to the insurance company and its adjusters since they will try to do anything they can to get you to admit fault for the incident.

For these reasons, you should not make any statements to the insurance company or even discuss the accident with them until you reach out to experienced Bakersfield drunk driving accident lawyers like The May Firm. These lawyers can make sure you know how these insurance companies work and help you understand what accident details you should and should not discuss with them.

Better yet, these attorneys can even handle these conversations on your behalf and make sure that you do not say anything that can impact your claim.

At The May Firm, we know that nothing will entirely erase the damages, hurt, and losses you suffered because another motorist decided to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. However, we also know that we can help you start rebuilding your life after such a tragic event and get you the justice you deserve by obtaining the compensation you need for your injuries and damages.

That is why, once you retain our experienced Bakersfield drunk driving accident attorneys, we can:

  • Go over your drunk driving accident, figure out if you have a viable legal case, and discuss the legal options you can pursue.
  • Investigate your drunk driving accident and obtain the evidence necessary to prove what happened and who was at fault for your injuries.
  • Bring in the experts such as accident reconstructionists, economists, doctors, and even engineers to substantiate your claim.
  • Make sure that legal documents are filed before time runs out.
  • Handle all the discussions and negotiations with the insurance company and the other side and go after the just settlement you need.
  • Take your case to trial, if required, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Bakersfield drunk driving accident, do not wait any longer to seek the legal assistance you need. Instead, reach out to The May Firm online or call today at (844) 629-3476 for a free case review, and let our experienced drunk driving accident lawyers show you how we can fight for you and your rights.

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