Litigation Areas

Brain Injuries

The Faulkner Law Offices has years of experience helping people who have suffered brain injuries. We have the knowledge and ability you need to help you with your case.

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Trucking Accidents

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is very important that you hire knowledgeable trucking attorney to preserve the evidence and pursue your case. The Faulkner Law Offices provides the best possible advocacy for our clients in trucking cases.

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Auto Accidents

The Bakersfield auto accident attorneys at the Faulkner Law Offices has extensive experience in representing people who have been involved in auto collisions. We use the latest technology and the best experts to prove your case.

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Spine Injuries

A spinal cord injury is an injury to the spinal cord the causes full or partial loss of sensation and motor control of the body. As leading personal injury lawyers in our community, our attorneys have witnessed the horrible and debilitating consequences of spinal cord injuries. The life time costs of pain and medical expenses over a person's life time can be enormous. Spinal cord injury victims can suffer a wide range of permanent and serious health problems. Let our family of attorneys help you.

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Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are some of the most traumatic and painful injuries that a person can suffer. Not only is there the trauma of experiencing the trauma of a burn, a person has to experience the continued physical discomfort and emotional pain from the effects of disfigurement and disability. If you or a loved one has suffered from a burn injury, contact us immediately so we can help.

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Promoting the Safety of Our Community
Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

If you have been injured in an accident, you need to gain assistance from a law firm that not only has many years of experience handling personal injury cases, but also takes the time to understand the specific details about your case that are important to you. At the Faulkner Law Offices, we are dedicated to thoroughly addressing all of our clients’ needs.

Our firm has been representing injured people and their families since 1974. Focusing our practice on handling personal injury claims, we utilize the latest legal information and state-of-the-art technology in the pursuit of a resolution to your case. The following areas are just some of the types of cases our firm handles.

Faulkner Law Offices has a free initial consultation. We handle all of our cases on a contingency fee basis and we advance the costs. At the successful conclusion of case the fee is a percentage of the amount recovered and reimbursement to us for the costs we advanced. This reduces the financial risk to our clients. The fact that we are willing to handle a case on a contingent fee and advance the costs reflects our confidence in our ability to obtain a recovery for our clients. Our clients have the security and knowledge that we share the same incentive and drive to obtain the best recovery.

As a family law firm, we understand the implications that your injuries and losses have on your family. You can trust our firm to deal with your situation professionally and with compassion. We then pursue the compensation you deserve.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am not the type of person that hires an attorney, makes insurance claims, or sues people. Am I a bad person for doing any of the above?
  2. How can I hire and attorney when I cannot afford it?
  3. How are attorney fees calculated?
  4. Are there any hidden fees?
  5. Why do I need an attorney to help me? Seems like I can settle this on my own?
  6. When should I retain a personal injury lawyer?
  7. How long do I need to wait before you can settle my case?
  8. Do I have to go to trial?
  9. I have just been injured what should I do?
  10. What areas of California do you take cases?

I am not the type of person that hires an attorney, makes insurance claims, or sues people. Am I a bad person for doing any of the above?


I have heard this from decent and good people that I have helped over the years. Here is why people need to be helped by lawyers: If some person or some corporation broke safety rules and caused a person harm and injury, then they need to fix it and make it right. This is very basic to our understanding of fairness and taking responsibility that we all learn in life. Unfortunately insurance companies and corporate defendants often try to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and fixing what they broke. Instead of people taking matters into their own hands, we have a system of justice that allows jurors from our communities to decide what is fair.

Any person has a right to their day in court to have their grievances heard. This is fundamental to how our society functions and has functioned since biblical times. When people are needlessly harmed by another, our role as attorneys is to hold the rule breaker accountable for their careless actions and make amends for what they have taken away. It takes a skilled lawyer with decades of experience to accomplish restoring the balance that justice requires.

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How can I hire and attorney when I cannot afford it?


Our firm uses contingency fee basis. That means we advance all case costs and gets paid a percentage of what he is able to earn for his client. We do not get paid until we recovers something for our client. If there is no recovery, then there is no attorney fee. The risk of success or failure is carried by our firm.

Contingency fees are a way to level the playing field for everyday people. Most of us could not afford to pay an attorney $400.00 an hour to help us when we are injured by someone’s careless conduct. It is hard enough to pay for the medical treatment, even with health insurance. Without contingency fee agreements large corporations and insurance companies could just say “sue me” to most people and get away with it. Insurance companies and large corporations can afford to employ in-house attorneys or they can pay armies of lawyers $400-$800 an hour without thinking about it. Contingency fee agreements allows us to represent teachers, nurses, contactors, mechanics, welders, oil field workers, farm workers and janitors against any defendant, no matter how big and powerful they are. The person or corporation that caused the injury can still be brought before twelve people from the community for justice.

All of our clients retain us through a contingency contract. At our initial meeting we will go over your case and the financial paperwork. We will answer any questions about the contract. While it is important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible, it is more important that you get the right lawyer for your case. You have to feel comfortable and trust them. We work very hard on every case that we have to make sure that our clients are treated fairly with dignity and respect as we pursue justice for them. Every person and every case is given individual attention to make sure that we get the best result for our clients.

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How are attorney fees calculated?


In most of our cases our fee is calculated on one third of the net amount if the case settles without any litigation. If the case goes to trial, our fees go up to 40%. This is a standard fee arrangement for personal injury cases. If you are considering hiring an injury attorney that takes a smaller percentage on their fees, ask them about their qualifications and how they calculate their fees if there are unpaid bills or medical liens. I have never taken a contingency fee where my attorney fees were more than the amount my client received. I believe that is wrong and should not happen.

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Are there any hidden fees?


No. When we close your case we will meet with you to go over all of the costs and how all of the funds are being disbursed. This is a completely transparent process so there are no hidden fees. Our office fronts all of the costs on behalf of the client which are recovered after the case is settled or a verdict is rendered by a jury. Our office communicates with our clients as to what the costs are, so that they are not blindsided at the end.

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Why do I need an attorney to help me? Seems like I can settle this on my own?


There is that old saying that an attorney that represents himself has a fool for a client. It is even worse for someone not experienced in law. When a case is personal our judgment is clouded. People might focus on things that are really not that important and not understand what they need to do to prove thier case. That includes documenting evidence and locating witnesses early on.

Getting past the emotion of an injury case, there is also the practicality that Insurance companies are only interested in settling cases for the least amount possible. Their interests are directly adverse to yours. Every time you speak to the person from risk management or the insurance adjuster they are taking notes of everything you say. They are going to probe you for information that they can exploit to their advantage later on down the line. It could be facts about the case or even trying to get you to discuss settlement numbers before you even know what the extent of your injuries are. We have the expertise in building cases from the ground up, evaluating cases in terms of liability, and what they are worth, and dealing with insurance tactics designed to make most injury victims want to quit. Just remember that your only leverage to being treated fairly is to file a lawsuit and take your case to either an arbitrator or a jury. If you are not represented by a lawyer, the other side knows that you have no leverage so why should they treat you fairly.

For more infomation, watch these videos from Anderson Cooper 360 showing how indurance companies deliberately delay, deny and dispute legimate injury claims.

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When should I retain a personal injury lawyer?


Being injured is stressful enough; suddenly you are missing work, experiencing the painful consequences of being injured, not having your normal vehicle, and going back and forth to medical providers, all while trying to juggle your everyday family issues. That is quite a bit to deal with, especially if this goes on for some time. While we cannot take away all of the above, we can keep the insurance adjusters from calling and sending you letters. We will let your medical providers know that we represent you and request they not send you to collections. This will give you some peace of mind so that you can focus on feeling better and not which insurance adjuster said what over the phone.

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How long do I need to wait before you can settle my case?


The length of a case depends on a number of factors. When did the injury causing incident occur? In California there are different statutes that govern when a case has to be filed. If you are close to the deadline, your case has a chance of going to trial or resolving faster than a case that just occurred.

Another factor is whether you are medically stationary. That means that you have fully recovered, your permanent injury is not going to get any better with medical treatment or your treatment providers believe they understand your injuries and have a plan laid out for future care such as surgery should it be necessary.

Faulkner Law Offices is not a factory that rushes the clients through the mill. We will not attempt to settle a case until we know what is going on medically. Once a client is medically stationary, we will request their bills and records from their medical providers. Getting medical records is an inexact science. This can take two days or six months. I can tell you that my office will be thorough and work diligently in our attempt to get all of your records so we can make an accurate assessment of your case.

Once we have all of your records, we go through all of them and evaluate your case. We will then meet with you to discuss our evaluation and plan. Upon your approval and input we will send out a demand on your behalf. The defense will take time to evaluate the settlement package we sent and eventually contact our office. If an agreement does not occur, then it is time to file a lawsuit. Trials typically take place within 13 months of filing. This can be delayed much longer depending on the complexity of the case.

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Do I have to go to trial?


You do not have to take your case to trial, but sometimes it is necessary beacuse the insurance company has not made a reasonable offer to settle. That is why it is critical that you hire a firm like Faulkner Law Offices since we have the experience to try personal injury cases and that is the only type of cases we handle. For the last 40 years, we have helped people resolve their personal injury cases either through settlement or jury trial.

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I have just been injured what should I do?


If you have been injured you should go to see a medical professional and let them know exactly what are your injuries. We want our clients to be accurate in telling the doctors what is hurting them, in order to help the provider run the necessary diagnostic tests and give the proper treatment.

It is also important to photograph any physical injuries as well as any evidence of what caused the injury. This can be difficult if you had a serious injury and are hospitalized, so it is helpful to have your partner help out in coordinating this effort. If you do not have someone to help, do not stress about it. Get an attorney on board and focus on treating your injuries.

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What areas of California do you take cases? Why should I hire a local attorney?


Our office is located in Bakersfield, California so a majority of our cases come from Kern County. We prefer to practice exclusively in the Kern County area. There are several reasons that it is important to hire a local attorney.

  1. You can learn about the reputation of our firm and the quality of our work by asking others who have resided in the community for a number of years. Locals know about us. They are unlikely to know anything about lawyers from other communities who travel to Bakersfield once a week or once a month to meet with or solicit clients.
  2. When you have an attorney who is truly local, you can see him or her in the office whenever the need arises. You don't have to wait for an attorney to travel from Los Angeles, Orange County, Fresno or the Bay Area just to meet with your attorney. If you hire us to work on your case, you will not just be handed off to a paralegal. Your case will be handled personally by an experienced attorney who thoroughly know you and your case.
  3. A local attorney values his reputation in the community and will go out of their way to prove that reputation is deserved. Nothing is more important to a local attorney than to maintain the reputation of being fair and honest to achieve the best results possible on their behalf.
  4. A local attorney, like any local business or proffessoinal, does their business in the Kern County area and has an interest in investing in our community.
  5. Out-of-Pocket costs, such as travel expenses, including hotels and meals are typically reimbursed out of your share of a recovery. You don't incur that expense when you hire a local attorney. Your local attorney can meet with witnesses, including medical professionals, without incurring travel expenses and it is convenient for him or her to do so.

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Faulkner Law Offices is a firm dedicated to representing people who have been wrongfully injured involving auto accident cases, bicycle and motorcycle accidents, brain injuries, neck and spin injuries and traumatic brain injury cases. We are a firm made of James L. Faulkner, Kathleen Ellis Faulkner and Matthew J. Faulkner. We were all born and raised right here in Bakersfield. Our firm was started by James L. Faulkner in 1974. We have an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell that is a significant rating indicating that our peers rank us at the highest level of professional and ethical conduct. Call us for a free consultation today at (661) 327-0601.

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