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Big Box Stores and Premises Liability

Californians enjoy the savings provided by big box stores. A number of major retail chains provide a wide variety of items in bulk for a significant discount. And who doesn’t like to save money, right? But are there risks to shopping in these huge stores? When accidents happen in a commercial business, the injuries are often subject to personal injury claims under premises liability laws. If you or a loved one suffer an injury while shopping in a big box discount store, you could be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney in Bakersfield can help you determine if you have a case. What is Premises Liability? Premises liability laws are in place to protect the public from accidents in public, commercial buildings, and other places. Basically, the owner or store manager has a responsibility to take all reasonable actions to ensure that the store is free of obstacles or other means by which patrons could become injured. For example, if a customer spills laundry detergent on the floor of a store, the store must take certain actions. First, a store employee will clean up the mess. Then, proper warning signs must be posted around the site for a certain amount of time, warning other shoppers of a wet floor and possible fall risk. If the mess is not cleaned up properly, or no signage is in view, and another shopper slips and falls, they could possibly file a claim against the store under premises liability law. What About Big Box Retail Stores? Large chain big box retail stores make their profits by buying huge quantities of products and selling them cheaply, and often in bulk. Warehousing costs are reduced by storing large pallets of products right in the store. Very often, this shelving is located immediately above the products on display for sale. A roll of paper towels is relatively light; but the weight of a wooden pallet containing 24 cases, each with 100 rolls of paper towels is significant. In the event of a collapse or inadvertent shifting of a load while placing more pallets of product nearby, these heavy amounts of products could fall on unsuspecting patrons, causing serious injuries. Moreover, since this accident features heavy objects falling from above, head injuries are likely and could be catastrophic. If you or a loved one suffers an injury in a bog box retail location and have questions about your legal rights, contact the Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Our Personal Injury attorneys have experience with handling premises liability accident claims. We can help you file the claim and vigorously pursue your right to compensation from the responsible parties. Call us today or send a message online to arrange your free same-day, initial case review.

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Personal Injuries Can Happen When You Least Expect Them

Accidents by their very nature occur suddenly and without warning. An accident can result in a personal injury while performing the most routine activities that you may have done hundreds of times without incident. On other occasions, personal injuries can happen when we attempt some new skill, chore or activity. Depending on the circumstances of your personal injury accident, you may be able to file a legal claim for damages. What are the Most Common Personal Injury Claims in California? California residents in and around Bakersfield experience accidents every day as they go about their daily lives. Some of the personal injury cases we see routinely at Young Wooldridge LLP include, but are not limited to, the following. Car Accidents– These are by far the most frequent cause of personal injuries throughout California. According to Driver Knowledge, approximately 2 million drivers experience permanent injuries due to car accidents every single year. The negligence of another driver can cause catastrophic injuries in a matter of moments. If you are involved in a car accident and incur a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Slip-and-Fall Accidents– Uneven or unsafe walkways are a hazard in busy public thoroughfares and places of business. Loose objects or weather conditions can cause slip and fall accidents. People often slip and fall because of unsafe surfaces or walkways in public places. If someone’s negligent care of a public walkway contributes to your personal injury accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney to determine if you have a case or not. Premises Liability – Premises liability laws are in place to protect the public from accidents in public, commercial buildings, and other places. Basically, the owner or store manager has a responsibility to take all reasonable actions to ensure that the store is free of obstacles or other means by which patrons could become injured. If an injury takes place on public or commercial property, you may be eligible for compensation. Dog Bites– California laws require pet owners to keep their pets safely under control at all times. If a pet is not properly restrained and causes you an injury, this is considered negligence under California law. If you sustain a serious injury due to a dog bite, you should consult a personal injury attorney to assist in filing a claim for financial remuneration to cover medical expenses and other damages. Defective Products– Defective products that are improperly designed or made at the factory can sometimes slip through quality control and be sold to unsuspecting individuals. If you purchase a new product and use it properly, and incur an injury from it, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer, and in some cases, the store where the item was purchased. Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Bakersfield The Personal Injury Attorneys at Young Wooldridge LLP have experience in assisting clients with claims for all types of personal injury. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, call us today at 661-327-9661 to schedule a consultation about your possible personal injury claim or fill out our online form.

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Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In most California personal injury cases, negligence is a deciding factor. Therefore, knowing about what constitutes negligence and how to prove it is important. If you or someone you love have suffered a personal injury through the fault of another party, it is highly likely that negligence is involved. Defining Negligence Negligence is legally defined as follows: “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct).” While aspects of “ordinary prudence” and “some duty to act” are often debated, the courts generally have a firm understanding of these terms as applied to personal injury negligence cases. Basically, a person of ordinary intelligence and capacity who acts or fails to act in such a way that causes another person or party to sustain an injury is guilty of negligence. Proving Negligence Claiming another person or party was negligent in their actions or lack thereof is not sufficient; the law demands that the injured party provide sufficient proof of said negligence. Legally, four elements must combine to prove negligence occurred. They are: Duty, breach, cause, and harm. The existence of a legal duty of care – this means that the defendant (the accused) was obligated to prevent harm from happening to the plaintiff (the victim of injury). The breach of that duty – this means that the negligent party created or allowed a dangerous situation to occur when they could have taken reasonable measures to stop it. The sufferance of an injury or harm – this refers to the physical and mental trauma, property damage, and lost income that resulted from the breach of duty. The proof that said breach caused the injury – this is evidence that the actions or omissions of the defendant directly or indirectly caused the plaintiff’s injury. If all four factors can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before the court, you may be able to collect financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence. Many other factors can be involved, as every personal injury case is different, whether it happened in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, through a defective product, a construction accident, or by other means. If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury where you believe negligence is a factor, contact Young Wooldridge, LLP by phone or contact form. We are able to fully serve your legal needs during the Coronavirus pandemic and can provide a same-day review of your case with a free phone or video consultation.

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When Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Life is never really the same when you or someone you love suffers a personal injury. You may be forced to adopt dramatic changes to even performing the most mundane tasks. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that around 31 million people each year receive medical treatment due to injury. Many people wonder when or if they should contact a personal injury attorney in Bakersfield. Young Wooldridge, LLP has served our surrounding communities since 1939, and we have the seasoned experience to help you in the event of an accident. What is Involved in CA Personal Injury Law? The personal injury laws of California provide legal recourse for those suffering personal injuries from the actions or negligence of another party or parties. Young Wooldridge, LLP can assist you with filing a claim with the courts to pursue compensation. Our attorneys have forged strong relationships throughout our community with legal and medical professionals. These partnerships allow us to formulate the best possible defense for your claim. When you need a talented, experienced personal injury attorney in Bakersfield, Young Wooldridge, LLP can provide the legal assistance you need for the following types of accidents: Car Accidents Construction/Industrial/Oil Field Accidents Burn Accidents Dangerous and Defective Products Dog Bites Motorcycle Accidents Premises Liability Traumatic Brain Injuries Truck Accidents Wrongful Death If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP by phone or online to schedule a confidential consultation. How Can Young Wooldridge, LLP Help? Every accident is as unique as the Bakersfield resident who suffers an injury. Due to these differences, and the many complexities that can be present, California personal injury laws can be complicated. You need a seasoned, knowledgeable personal injury attorney to defend your rights and fight to obtain you the compensation you deserve. In cases where one of the family’s providers becomes injured and unable to work, it is especially important that your attorney be able to provide efficient and effective negotiation and litigation on behalf of your claim for compensation.  Call or send an online message to Young Wooldridge, LLP today if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence.

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Beat the Heat: Smart Ways to Stay Cool This Season

Personal Injury Attorney | Bakersfield, we are officially in a heatwave! While we are used to July being the hottest month of the year, the last week has combined hot temperatures with higher than average humidity resulting in some very uncomfortable outdoor conditions. What’s worse is that the current heatwave will likely be followed by an even hotter heatwave. During these extreme weather conditions, it’s important to take proper precautions to beat the heat. Heatstroke and heat-related injuries can be extremely dangerous. With effects ranging from lethargy to brain damage, heat illnesses left unchecked can escalate quickly. In 2017, 87 people died from exposure to excessive heat. Anyone can be vulnerable to heat illness. However, infants and children up to four years are at the greatest risk. Other risk groups include: People aged 65 and older Individuals who participate in strenuous outdoor sports or activities Those who work in extreme weather conditions People with chronic health conditions or who are taking certain medications Individuals in poor health No one can stay inside all summer. And who would want to? But there are ways to prevent heat-related illnesses and injuries and still have fun outdoors this season. Kern County Public Health has issued the following tips to help you stay cool during these hot, summer days: Never leave infants, children, elderly or pets in a parked car. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to rise to levels that can kill. Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcohol.  Avoid outdoor physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day. Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck and loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun. Regularly check on any elderly relatives or friends who live alone. Many may be on medications which increase the likelihood of dehydration. To prevent overheating, use cold compresses, misting, showers and baths. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a rapid, strong pulse, you feel delirious or have a body temperature above 102 degrees. Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts. Liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before venturing outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen may reduce the risk of skin cancer. The County of Kern will open Cooling Centers when temperatures are forecasted by the NWS to exceed certain highs. For more information on Cooling Centers hours and locations, click here. By keeping these guidelines in mind when you spend time outside in this extreme heat, you will dramatically reduce your risk of heat-related illness or injury. If you or someone you love has suffered a heat-related injury due to negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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Distracted Driving | Devices on the Road

Personal Injury Attorney | Distracted Driving An experienced Personal Injury Attorney can inform you of your rights if you or someone you love is injured in a motor vehicle accident due to distracted driving. Distracted driving has existed just as long as the vehicle. Defined as anything that takes your attention away from the act of driving, “distracted driving” covers all manner of activities commonly occurring on our roads everyday. Smoking, eating and adjusting the radio are all forms of distracted driving. All of these activities can be deadly when behind the wheel. However, there is another that gets particular attention, cellphone use. Forty-eight states have created laws governing device use in vehicles. High visibility campaigns aim to bring awareness to the extreme dangers of distracted driving. To understand more about why devices are so dangerous to drivers, it’s important to understand the three types of distraction. These are: Visual: Takes your eyes off the road. Manual: Takes your hands off the wheel. Cognitive: Takes your mind off driving. Texting and driving have been noted as the most dangerous distraction because it encompasses all three of these categories. What are the facts? Simply reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. This is enough time to cross a football field at 55 miles per hour. Studies show that concern over the safety of driving while texting is decreasing. At the very least, more and more people are becoming increasingly distracted and less sensitive to the dangers of operating a device and a vehicle simultaneously. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 660,000 people in the U.S. are using phones or devices behind the wheel every day. Over the last five years, approximately 13% of distracted driving crashes involved the use of a cellphone. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 31.5% of drivers admitted to typing a message while driving. The age group most affected by distracted driving fatalities are those under the age of twenty. What are the laws? Laws against cellphone use are governed at the state level at this time. In 2001, New York passed the first law banning handheld cellphones use while driving. In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), while having no enforcement authority, did recommend the ban of cellphone use in all states, the first federal agency to do so. Currently, the laws are as follows: 15 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam ban drivers from hand-held phone use. 38 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit it for school bus drivers. 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam ban texting while driving. Distracted driving can be fatal. Before engaging with your device while driving, consider the dangerous possibilities. Model proper device responsibility around novice drivers, take the pledge and help keep the roads safe. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury due to distracted driving, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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Personal Injury Lawyer │ Thanksgiving Cooking Safety

Personal Injury Lawyer │ Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it is time again to join loved ones for a delicious home-cooked meal.  While entertaining family and friends during the holidays can be fun, it is important that we not forget about basic kitchen safety during the festivities. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are three times more likely on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year.  In 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving. Here are a few safety tips to follow that will minimize your risk in the kitchen and ensure that your holiday feast is prepared as smoothly – and safely! – as possible. Before Cooking Begins Start the day off by making proper attire choices. Cooks should avoid loose clothing and dangling sleeves while preparing food. Test all smoke alarms in the home and replace batteries, if necessary. Smoke alarms should be located near the kitchen, on each level of the home, and near sleeping areas. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Contact a local fire department to learn about the proper use of fire extinguishers. While in the Kitchen  Check food regularly and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on. Be sure to stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you are simmering, baking roasting or broiling food, remain in the home. Keep all flammable items away from the stove, oven, or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat. This includes pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or even curtains. Children should stay away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free” zone and have kids stay at least three feet away from the stove After You’ve Finished Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off. Don’t forget to include these safety tips on your Thanksgiving menu to reduce the risk of injury to you and your loved ones. If an injury occurs due to the negligence of another or a faulty product, call to schedule a free initial consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP. From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

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Personal Injury Attorney | Drowsy Driving Prevention

Bakersfield Personal Injury Attorney helping drivers reduce their risk on the road when it comes to drowsy driving. Personal Injury Attorney | Drowsy drivers are a dangerous addition to America’s roads. With nearly one-quarter of American adults saying that they know someone who has fallen asleep at the wheel, it’s no wonder that drowsy driving has become an increasingly concerning issue on our nation’s roads. From 2011 to 2015, 4,121 lives were claimed due to car accidents related to drowsy driving. The National Safety Council warns against these symptoms of drowsy driving: Frequent yawning or difficulty keeping your eyes open “Nodding off” or having trouble keeping your head up Inability to remember driving the last few miles Missing road signs or turns Difficulty maintaining your speed Drifting out of your lane One staggering statistic from the American Sleep Foundation tells us that more than half of all U.S. drivers admit to consistently operating a vehicle while feeling drowsy. Drowsy driving can be hazardous to you, your passengers and other motorists around you. Driving when fatigued affects awareness and attention behind the wheel and greatly reduces the driver’s reaction time. Our team of Personal Injury Attorneys advise you to follow these safety tips to prevent drowsy driving and reduce your risk on the road.   Remember the following tips and help put an end to tragic drowsy driving accidents. If you’ve been awake for 24 hours or more, do not drive. It isn’t safe. Travel during times you are normally awake. If you feel fatigued, stop and drink something with caffeine. Make sure you are not fatigued by any medications you might be taking. If you are, use public transportation instead. On long road trips, make a pit stop every 100 miles (or every two hours) to stretch, get something to eat or drink and break up the monotony of the road. If you simply cannot shake your exhaustion, stop and nap in a safe place. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. For many of us, stress, responsibility and distractions make it hard to get this recommended amount. That means that many of us are susceptible to drowsy driving much of the time. Statistics show us that men are slightly more at risk for fatigued driving as are people between the ages of 18 and 25. Most fall asleep accidents happen at high speeds, on long road trips or rural highways. Armed with this knowledge and the above warning signs and safety tips, you can help to reduce the number of drowsy drivers on the road. If you have suffered a personal injury due to drowsy driving, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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Personal Injury Attorney | Halloween Safety Tips

Personal Injury Attorney | Happy Halloween!  It’s time for kids (and parents too!) to get dressed up and hit the streets in search of the ultimate treat!  However, what’s scarier than any costume you may see, are the child safety statistics that this holiday brings. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.  Here are some tips to ensure you and your kids have a safe holiday. Walk Safely Use traffic signals and crosswalks; cross the street at corners When crossing the street look left, right, then left again; keep looking as you cross. Do not use electronic devices when crossing the street. Walk, don’t run across the street. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If no sidewalks are available, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never cross in between parked cars or to dart out into the street. Trick or Treat With an Adult Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If children are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should remain in well lit, familiar areas, and trick-or-treat in groups. Costumes can be Creative and Safe! Use reflective stickers or tape to decorate costumes and trick-or-treat bags. If possible, choose light colors for costumes. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. When possible, choose face paint or makeup. Give children flashlights or glow sticks to help them see and be seen by drivers. When selecting a costume, make sure it fits properly to prevent trips and falls. Drive Extra Safely on Halloween Kids get excited about Halloween and can move in unpredictable ways. Slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Remove all distractions inside your car so you can fully concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic. Drive slowly and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for children during these peak hours. Following these effective tips can greatly reduce the risk of injury for you and your child on this holiday.  Young Wooldridge, LLP wishes you and your family a safe and Happy Halloween!

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Personal Injury Lawyer | Basic School Bus Safety

An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if your child is injured on a school bus due to negligence.  Personal Injury Lawyer | School buses are the safest form of travel for children going to school. By taking an average of 36 cars off the road per bus, school buses aren’t only decreasing car accidents for children, they’re decreasing traffic and subsequent accidents, in general. However, as with any motor vehicle, school bus accidents do occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, four to six school-age children die each year and about 17,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with school buses. School bus injuries can occur when children are riding the bus, getting on or off the bus, or just standing near the bus. Understandably, some parents can be apprehensive about putting their children on school buses each day. To help dissuade some of their concerns, parents can follow and talk about some recommended practical safety measures with their school-aged children before sending them off to ride the bus. To limit risk and ensure the safest ride to school for your child, teach them to practice these safety guidelines: When Riding the Bus: If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up. Stay in your seat. Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before exiting. Don’t yell, speak loudly or make abrupt noises that may distract the driver. Keep your hands, arms, and heads inside the bus at all times. Getting On and Off the Bus: Stand away from the street as the bus approaches. When crossing the street before boarding or after exiting, teach kids to make sure the bus driver indicates it is safe to cross. Children should always walk in front of a school bus. Teach them to look left, right and left again before crossing. Bus Stop Safety: Walk children to the bus stop and wait with them until the bus arrives. Make sure that your bus stop and the children waiting are highly visible to other neighborhood drivers. Drivers should always exercise extreme caution around school buses. Although motorists are required, by law, to stop and wait for a school bus and exiting or boarding children, more school-aged pedestrians are killed in the hour before and after school than any other time of day. Every motorist should expect that children boarding or exiting the bus are not paying attention to other vehicles as they cross the street. If you or someone you love has suffered a personal injury involving a school bus, contact the Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.

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