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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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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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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

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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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

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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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Personal Injury Attorney | Best Practices and Prevention for Children Safety

Bakersfield Personal Injury Attorney assisting clients with eye injuries  Personal Injury Attorney | August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Every year thousands of eye injuries walk into emergencies rooms all over the country. The good news is that with proper prevention practices, 90 percent of these can easily be avoided. Simple steps can be taken at home and while your children are away to avoid unnecessary accidents. Common accidents occur for young children at home and at play. As they age and become more active and involved, sports-related eye risks grow. Teens and young adults face more outdoor risks as they begin to help out with household chores. By demonstrating and encouraging proper eye safety from an early age, you and your family can avoid dangerous and potentially devastating eye injuries. In the home and while playing, children come into contact with various objects that if handled inappropriately can cause harm. Keep these tips from PreventBlindness.com in mind as you keep a close eye on little ones at home: Make stairs safe with gates, lights and handrails. Cushion sharp corners on counters and furniture. Install cabinet and drawer latches and locks. Keep personal-use items like toiletries and cosmetics out of reach. Utensils and desk supplies should be inaccessible to small hands. Secure any chemicals, paints, fertilizers and pesticides. Offer only age-appropriate toys. Read all warnings and instructions and use toys as intended. Avoid flying and projectile toys, especially in children under five. Keep BB guns away from children. Inspect playgrounds and play areas for potential eye hazards. Child athletes make up the biggest portion of child eye injury victims. Regular glasses do not provide proper protection for sports and more advanced eye protection is recommended. Helmets with face shields should be worn in hockey and baseball. Goggles should be worn in basketball and racquet sports. Older kids love to help around the house on the weekends and yard chores can be a great start for teens to learn responsibility. As you and your child prepare to start on outside projects, spend some time prepping the area for safety together. This will encourage them to care for their own eye safety going forward. Inspect the grounds for potential projectiles before mowing or trimming. Paints, pesticides and fertilizers need to be handled and stored appropriately. Keep tools in good condition and well organized. Damaged tools should be discarded. Safety glasses, dust goggles and chemical goggles should be worn when working on dangerous projects around the home. Knowing what to do in the event of an eye injury can mean a world of difference. Follow these crucial recommendations: Stock a first aid kit with a rigid eye shield and commercial eyewash. NEVER assume an eye injury is harmless. Consult a doctor if you have any questions. If dirt or specks get in the eye DO NOT RUB the eye. Try to wash out dirt or specks. DO NOT try to remove them with tweezers or other items. Blows to the eye should be quickly followed with a cold compress with no pressure. Quickly seek medical attention for these types of injuries. In the event of a cut or puncture DO NOT flush or wash the eye with anything. Do not attempt to remove anything that has punctured the eye. Instead, cover the eye with a rigid shield or paper cup and seek immediate medical attention. If you or a loved one is involved in a personal injury accident due to improper eye safety, contact a Personal Injury Attorney 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 | Flip Flop State-Of-Mind-Pool Safety For a Worry Free Summer

Personal Injury Lawyer | Flip Flop State-Of-Mind-Pool Safety For a Worry Free Summer Personal Injury Lawyer | Summer fun in the sun is nothing without swimming. As thousands of kids flock to the pool, it’s a good time to brush up on water safety. While the pool can be an excellent way to beat the heat it can also be a deadly if underestimated. Each year, the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council and various local agencies launch swimming safety campaigns to inform the public. You can look to your local fire and police departments for more information. Drowning happens fast. When children drown, parents and caretakers are often quoted as saying “I only looked away for a second.” According to the National Safety Council, about nine people die from drowning in the U.S. each day. A good rule of thumb is that the younger the child, the greater the risk, but teens and young adults tend to have less concern for their safety in general. Drowning happens most often to those aged 5-24. The tips below will help keep you and your family safe as you enjoy the pool this summer: Never leave children unsupervised. Never trust older children to supervise younger children. Attentive adult supervision is the best way to prevent drowning. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Make sure young children under 5 always wear approved life jackets near water but never rely on life-jackets completely. Keep home pools and spas surrounded by fencing that meets local code to prevent neighborhood children from wandering in unsupervised. Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well but remember that no one is drown-proof. Avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol impairs judgement, delays reaction time and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm. Do not rely on lifeguards. Don’t drop children off at the pool. Stay and watch your children. With young children and inexperienced swimmers, it is best to stay within arm’s reach. Learn CPR and rescue techniques. Always have a first aid kit and emergency contact list easily accessible. Share safety instructions with all supervising adults. If you have a home pool or spa, create a home water safety plan and make all family members are aware of it. Enforce rules without fail. Set restrictions based on each person’s abilities. Do not swim during a storm. If a child is missing, look for him/her in the pool first. Seconds matter in a drowning incident. Swimming is great exercise for the whole family and a wonderful way to enjoy the summer months. However, drowning accidents happen quickly and water safety should be taken very seriously.  If you or a loved one is involved in a personal injury accident due to poor water safety, contact The Personal Injury Lawyer 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.   http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/drowning https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Summer-Safety-Tips-Sun-and-Water-Safety.aspx    

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Personal Injury Attorney | Holiday Highway Safety | Young Wooldridge, LLP

TRAVELING TO SEE FAMILY AND FRIENDS THIS SEASON? AVOID DANGEROUS HIGHWAY DISASTERS WITH THESE TIPS For many Americans, the holidays are a time to jump in the family vehicle and make the hike to visit loved ones who live far away. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, long-distance trips (more than 50 miles, one way) increase by 54% over the short Thanksgiving holiday period and by 24% through the Christmas and New Years stretch. About 91% of holiday travel is done by personal vehicle. These facts mean our nation’s major highways are more crowded than usual with travelers who may not be familiar with the roads. Concerns like inclement weather, drowsy driving, distracted driving and, the always dangerous, driving while under the influence are heightened during the holiday season. As an increased number of people crowd onto the roadways, more of these hazardous driving situations become realities. It’s no wonder that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years consistently rank in Deadliest Holiday Lists. Before you gas up for that long drive this year, check out the list below for tips to prepare you for safe holiday travel. Never start a trip after you’ve been drinking. Get some rest and allow your body enough time to return to an alert state before getting behind the wheel for any long, or even short, periods of time. Get a good night’s sleep before a long-distance trip. Drowsy driving is one of the deadliest factors on the road. Don’t make plans to leave straight from work, early in the morning or at times you would otherwise be resting. If you become tired while driving, stop and rest or get some caffeine to wake you up. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. The potential for multiple car accidents increases in heavy traffic. Maintain safe speeds and distance from the vehicles around you to ensure you have time to stop or space to avoid a collision. A safe rule to stick to is one car length for every ten miles per hour you’re traveling. Don’t be a distracted driver. Distracted driving accidents now make up roughly one-quarter of all traffic accidents. With the widespread use of cell phones and other handheld devices, we are less present behind the wheel than ever before. When you are operating a vehicle, you need to be focused on one thing only: the road. Leave work emails, family texts and GPS directions for your rest breaks and gas stops. Keep your seatbelt on. It is common for drivers or their family members to unbuckle during long drives for comfort. Everyone in the vehicle should wear their seatbelts at all times while the car is in motion. It is no secret that seatbelts save lives, especially in high-speed auto crashes. Maintain your vehicle. Before your trip, take some time to ensure your vehicle’s safety. Check tire pressure, refill washer fluid and test all lights and signals. Make sure that there is nothing lose or hanging from your vehicle. If you should break down while traveling, be sure to pull as far off the road as you can or at a designated rest stop if possible. Be prepared. Map your route before you embark on your trip and be ready for crowded roads. Have emergency roadside assistance information on hand. Keep cell phones charged and handy in the event of an accident. Keep the holidays merry and bright and protect yourself and your loved ones from deadly highway accidents by staying alert and properly preparing for your trip. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, 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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Cooking Safety Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is almost here, 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.  When preparing your Thanksgiving meal, follow these safety tips from the American Red Cross to 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 Have 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 Thanksgiving safety tips on your menu to reduce the risk of injury to you and your loved ones.  Happy Thanksgiving from Young Wooldridge, LLP! 

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