The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer for Your Motorcycle Accident Case
June 5th, 2023|
Motorcycle accidents can have devastating consequences, resulting in physical injuries, emotional trauma, and significant financial losses. Even the most experienced and cautious riders can be injured due to another’s negligence. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, seeking legal representation is crucial to protecting your interests and pursuing compensation.
A California motorcycle accident lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the legal system, investigate the accident, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court. Seeking fair compensation for your injuries can help you pay for necessary medical treatment and offer financial support after a crash.
Motorcycle Accident Cases and the Law
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, motorcyclists were roughly 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than occupants of passenger vehicles per mile traveled. This increased risk for severe injuries and fatalities is due to factors such as the lack of protection offered by motorcycles and their smaller size, which makes them more challenging to see.
In addition to the physical risks, motorcyclists in California may face bias from insurance companies, jurors, and law enforcement officials who may assume that the motorcyclist was at fault in an accident. This bias can make it difficult for injured riders to receive fair compensation for injuries and damages.
California law also recognizes the concept of pure comparative negligence, which means that both parties involved in an accident can be assigned a degree of fault based on their actions leading up to the accident. Biased insurers may try to assign a higher percentage of fault to motorcycle riders who don’t have skilled legal representation to fight on their behalf, reducing your payout.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Our motorcycle attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can provide invaluable assistance to motorcycle accident victims. We have the knowledge, skill, and resources to help maximize your compensation in a motorcycle injury case with the following actions:
- Determine fault: Your motorcycle accident lawyer will investigate the accident, gather evidence like photos and witness statements, and analyze the police report to determine who is at fault. We will use our experience to build a strong argument for your case, including sending spoliation letters to preserve evidence and using reconstructionists to recreate the accident scene.
- Evaluate current injuries: Our attorneys will work with medical professionals to fully evaluate your injuries and the extent of your damages. We use this information to advocate for fair compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Review past medical history: We will review your medical history for conditions that may have been aggravated or worsened by the accident. This information will be used to help strengthen your case and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Fight for fair compensation: Our lawyers will fight for fair compensation even if your treatment exceeds the standard length of treatment accepted by the insurance company.
- Check your insurance policy: Your legal team will check your insurance policy to see if we can find coverage to pay for your damages if the person who hit you doesn’t carry insurance. For example, you may have a UMC/UIM policy covering your accident-related costs, such as medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may also have elected for MedPay coverage under your plan, which will pay for medical expenses. We will ensure you receive the maximum compensation available through all possible avenues.
- Advocate for your interests: At Berg Injury Lawyers, your attorney will advocate for your interests throughout the legal process, providing guidance and support every step of the way.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our team has over 35 years of experience representing injured motorcyclists in California. Let us use our legal expertise and knowledge of the law to protect your rights, investigate and gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and maximize your compensation. We know what a fair settlement offer looks like, and our experience will prevent you from being lowballed by the insurance company.
With our no fee guarantee, you can get the legal representation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the financial compensation you are owed.
Understanding Personal Injury Laws in California
June 2nd, 2023|
Like other states, different laws apply to different types of personal injury. California victims may be wondering which provisions are available to them. While the laws apply to everyone, each case is unique. A personal injury attorney at Berg Injury Lawyers in Sacramento can guide victims who may be unsure about which laws are relevant to their potential claim and how to pursue the maximum compensation.
Personal injury victims can count on California’s legal system to hold responsible parties accountable for any damages they caused. For example, if someone assaults another person and injures them, the law provides a means for the victim to file a claim for compensation.
This article provides an overview of California’s personal injury laws. It also explains how some of these laws are unique to California. First, let’s look at a few types of personal injury claims.
Different Types of Personal Injury Claims
In California, personal injury claims involve physical and mental injuries sustained due to another person’s negligence. Causes of personal injury are varied. The type of claim or lawsuit a victim should file depends on the grounds of their damages.
For example, victims of a vehicle accident usually find themselves with unforeseen medical bills, lost wages, and several other expenses related to the injuries sustained in addition to vehicle repair costs.
Who should pay for all of these? The simple answer is that the at-fault driver should compensate the victim. However, it’s not always clear who is at fault and how much the claim is worth. If you live in Sacramento, California, or a surrounding area, the personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you determine whether you have a claim and how to recover damages from the responsible party.
Berg Injury Lawyers also represents victims with the following types of personal injury claims:
- Slip, trip and fall injuries
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Injuries at the workplace
- Wrongful death
- Dog bites
Let’s look at some of the laws that apply.
Personal Injury Laws in California
Although some personal injury laws are applicable across multiple counties, many variations exist. Below are some of the laws that apply in Sacramento, California.
Proof of Negligence
In California, someone is guilty of negligence if they know or should have known about a hazard but failed to take the necessary action.
For example, slip, trip and fall hazards can be any of the following:
- Protruding tree roots
- Wet or slippery floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Damaged sidewalks
- Icy surfaces
To file a claim, you must be able to prove that the person you’ve identified as being responsible is the one at fault. You can claim compensation for damages such as hospital bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
California Applies Pure Comparative Fault Law
The pure comparative fault law means that in California, victims can claim compensation even if they were partly to blame for their own injury.
The case you build against the defendant must prove that the defendant shares a percentage of the blame. That’s true, even if they’re 1% responsible. As long as they and their legal team can present the necessary evidence to proportion the blame, victims should proceed and file a claim.
Some states prevent victims from claiming damages if they are at least 50% to blame for their injuries. Others do not allow claims as long as the plaintiff played a part in the accident. These states apply the contributory negligence and the modified comparative negligence rule in contrast to California’s pure comparative law.
How Do You Know if You Have a Case?
In California, the laws are on your side, whether or not you had any part of responsibility in an accident. However, this does mean you have a higher chance of being counter-sued. Get legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if the benefits are worth filing a suit. Your case evaluation is free and confidential. Our No Fee Guarantee™ ensures that if you don’t win, you pay nothing.
Benefits of Hiring a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury cases can be complex, involving multiple parties and big-name insurance companies that are determined to pay out as little as possible. Fighting these companies on your own can be exhausting and lead to waiting for you and your family when you need help the most.
An attorney that specializes in personal injury cases has the experience, the team, and the contacts to get things done. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we will treat you with compassion and respect, and get you the compensation you deserve for the expenses and hardship that you experience.
California law provides a way to claim compensation if you incur injuries due to someone else’s negligence or purposeful actions. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers Sacramento office for a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Accidents: What Constitutes a Claim?
June 2nd, 2023|
Although common in the winter, slip and fall accidents happen all year round. Icy surfaces, puddles, trailing cable wires, and other hazards can cause personal injury accidents to occur in a moment’s time. Because these accidents can cause severe injuries that may lead to loss of wages or even life-long medical care, it is important to contact a Sacramento slip and fall attorney to evaluate if negligence was at play.
Understanding Slip and Fall Accident Liability
There is a flawed assumption in our society that it’s often older people who slip and fall. These accidents can happen to people of all ages. Everyone is at risk, including customers visiting a business premise, guests at a friend’s house, and children playing in a public park. Property and business owners have a duty to keep the area maintained to meet reasonable safety standards.
You don’t have to be inside a building to file a claim for another person’s carelessness. You can slip, trip, and fall anywhere, including the following places:
- Inside and outside business buildings
- Private homes
- Parking lots
- Steps and staircases
If you are injured on someone else’s property and believe it is due to negligence by the owner, you may have a premises liability case. The slip and fall attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers in Sacramento will evaluate the situation and provide you with the best guidance and options for moving forward.
Property and Business Owners: Reasonable Safety
To prevent accidents, property owners should remove hazards as soon as possible. The following are examples of dangerous circumstances that can lead to this type of injury:
- Stairway hazards: Stairway hazards can cause falls which can result in spinal injury, lacerations, fractured bones, and brain trauma, among others. Property owners should therefore ensure that they repair broken steps and replace missing guardrails quickly. Failure to take prompt safety measures can make the property owner liable if someone gets hurt.
- Slippery floors: Wet, soapy, or oily floors have sent many victims to the emergency room. It’s good practice to clean up spills immediately. Whenever a staff member is cleaning or carrying out any maintenance activity that compromises floor surfaces, clearly marked warning signs can save lives. If there is no visible warning, or the responsible party takes too long to clean up spills and puddles, they may be liable for any resulting accidents.
- Obstacles left on walkways: As a rule, walkways should always be clear. Leaving toys or tools lying around is dangerous. Someone could unexpectedly trip over them and fall. If they get hurt, they may file a claim for the damages they sustain.
- Poorly lit entryways: Walking in the dark poses a risk. Not being able to see in tight spaces can be especially hazardous. Slip and fall victims may deserve payment from the negligent party, even if the accident happened in a private home.
When to File a Claim After a Slip and Fall Accident
Victims should not be scared to demand compensation if someone else’s actions or negligence caused an accident that resulted in personal injury. Even if the injured party feels they are partly to blame, California laws allow them to receive payment in proportion to the other party’s share of the blame.
Claims should include not only medical bills but also physical and emotional pain, lost income from missed workdays, and other expenses related to the injury.
How Can a Sacramento Slip and Fall Attorney Help You?
Berg Injury Lawyers has handled slip-and-fall claims for years and can evaluate your case to determine if you should go forward. Our team of investigators, researchers, and lawyers are ready to gather documentation, identify parties responsible, and fight for you and your family. We treat you as a human being, listen to you, and simplify the complicated filing process.
Berg Injury Lawyers works hard for victims who are at a loss of where to start. Contact our Sacramento office today and have one of our personal injury attorneys help you through this difficult time.
Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits
June 2nd, 2023|
After a loved one dies unexpectedly, family members are left dealing with the aftermath of grief and pain. It’s essential to know that legal remedies are available to help the family receive monetary damages when someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing causes the death. With the support of a Sacramento wrongful death attorney, families can file a suit against those responsible for an untimely loss. With the proper support and guidance, Berg Injury Lawyers can help you navigate this trying and emotional process in the wake of tragedy.
What Wrongful Death Is and How to Understand It
When someone’s death is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. The surviving family members have the right to compensation for losses, including medical bills, funeral costs, and lost future earnings.
A wrongful death claim may involve vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, and other types of accidents.
To establish a wrongful death claim in California, the following components must be verified:
- The defendant was legally required to take reasonable care in their actions or behavior.
- The wrongful death caused the actual plaintiff suffering, such as monetary losses or mental distress.
- The defendant violated a contractual responsibility by acting carelessly, wilfully, or deliberately.
- The plaintiff’s loved one died due to the defendant’s negligence.
By engaging a wrongful death attorney, Sacramento families can manage the process better if they understand how lawsuits operate and which will help them make wise choices to pursue justice.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, or any other immediate family members are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. In some cases, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file the claim.
The Legal Procedure in Wrongful Death Claims
Depending on the case’s exclusive facts and the state in which the claim is made, the time and complexity of the legal process in a wrongful death lawsuit can vary. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney in Sacramento will guide you through the legal procedure and uphold your rights. The steps of the legal process in wrongful death cases are as follows:
- A wrongful death case relies on evidence collection, such as medical records, eyewitness testimony, and expert testimony.
- After the complaint is filed in civil court, the defendant is served with it.
- During the discovery process, the parties share information, including depositions.
- The court hears motions from both sides, such as petitions for summary judgment or the exclusion of evidence.
- During a trial, the judge or jury hears evidence and arguments.
- The defendant can question and appeal if the plaintiff wins with a court-granted judgment.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Hiring a Sacramento wrongful death attorney has several advantages, including a more detailed understanding of the legal procedure, rights protection, court representation, maximum compensation, and peace of mind. Most importantly, you get a team of investigators, experts, and lawyers that will gather the evidence needed to meet the burden of proof. The team at Berg Injury Lawyers will give you individualized advice and provide the best outcome for your case.
What Should I Expect from a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
The following are what to expect when you hire an attorney:
- Legal counsel and direction
- Recurring interaction
- Consultation step
- Court representation
- Pursuit of maximum compensation
- Commitment and professionalism
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The time in which you must initiate a wrongful death case varies from state to state. Understanding the precise timeframes that apply to your case requires speaking with a Sacramento wrongful death attorney, as soon as possible.
The longer you wait to file a claim, the more difficult it is to gather evidence and build a solid case. If you are unsure if you have a case, you should still contact an attorney for a free case evaluation. It is confidential and will help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Berg Injury Lawyers has extensive experience working with wrongful death lawsuits in Sacramento and other areas in California. Reach out today for a free consultation with our wrongful death attorneys. We are here to help you get the compensation you and your family deserve.
5 Common Premises Liability Accidents and How to Prevent Them
May 29th, 2023|
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners to ensure the safety of individuals on their premises. Premises liability accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. Knowing the five most common types of accidents and how to prevent them can minimize the risk of injury and limit your liability.
The 5 Most Common Premises Liability Accidents
As a property owner, it’s essential to know the most common accidents that may occur on your property. Many premises liability cases involve the following types of accidents and damages:
Slips and falls are among the most common types of premises liability accidents, with around 800,000 people hospitalized across the U.S. annually due to a fall injury. They can occur due to wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces, inadequate lighting, or obstacles in walkways. Injuries from slips and falls can range from minor bruises and cuts to serious head injuries, broken bones, and even death.
Trip and fall accidents can occur because of loose floorboards or rugs, uneven sidewalks or steps, and debris or clutter on the ground, causing you to lose balance and fall. You may sustain minor scrapes and bruises or more serious injuries like head trauma or broken bones.
Trips and falls can be especially dangerous for older adults or people with mobility issues; 95% of hip fractures (often fatal for seniors) are caused by falling sideways.
Accidents due to falling objects can occur when objects are improperly secured, shelves are overloaded, or due to construction work around a property. Injuries from falling objects can be severe, including head injuries, broken bones, and internal organ damage.
Swimming pool accidents often involve drowning or near-drowning incidents. Around 4,000 people fatally drown yearly in the U.S.; for every fatal drowning, another 10 people require hospitalization for nonfatal drowning injuries.
Common causes include inadequate fencing, slippery or wet surfaces, and faulty pool equipment. Injuries from swimming pool accidents include minor cuts and bruises to serious brain damage or death.
Elevator or escalator accidents can occur due to various reasons, such as mechanical failure, improper maintenance, or inadequate safety features. Injuries from these accidents can be severe, including broken bones, head injuries, and death.
Elevator accidents are more common in commercial or residential buildings with multiple floors, while escalator accidents often occur in shopping malls or transportation hubs.
Tips for Property Owners to Protect Visitors
As a property owner, there are practical steps you can take to prevent accidents and potential liability. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your property is in good condition and free of hazards. Take the following steps:
- Repair any broken steps, handrails, or loose floorboards
- Replace burnt-out light bulbs and ensure proper lighting
- Use proper signage to alert visitors to potential hazards
- Adhere to safety regulations, such as building codes and fire safety standards
- Promptly address potential hazards, such as spills, leaks, or ice
- Keep an open line of communication with visitors to report any safety concerns
You may face significant consequences if you are found liable for an accident on your property. This can include legal fees, medical expenses, and compensation for the injured party’s pain and suffering.
As a property owner, you likely have insurance to protect your interests in case of accidents that cause injuries to visitors. Your insurance should cover medical expenses, legal fees, and pain and suffering associated with a visitor’s or guest’s injury on your property.
However, if a person files a claim, it could increase your yearly premiums and multiple claims could cause you to lose coverage. If you don’t carry general liability insurance, you may have to pay the victim’s damages out-of-pocket.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney to Review Your Case
Whether you’re a property owner or visitor, prioritize safety and proactively prevent premises liability accidents. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California personal injury lawyers understand the devastating impact of premises liability accidents, and we can help if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your rights and securing the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Bicycle Accidents: How to Protect Your Rights
May 22nd, 2023|
Bicyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users, with over 10,000 cyclists injured and 100 killed in accidents each year in California. Cyclists lack the protection afforded by a car’s metal frame and are often at risk of being overlooked by drivers.
If you’re a cyclist involved in an accident, you must know your legal rights and how to protect them so you can receive compensation to pay for your damages.
Bicycle riders in California have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Cyclists and drivers must follow traffic laws to ensure safety and avoid accidents. Common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Driver negligence: Failure to yield the right-of-way to cyclists, making unsafe turns, or opening a car door without checking for approaching bicycles can injure a cyclist. Motorists must exercise caution around cyclists and respect their right to share the road.
- Poor road conditions: Hazards like potholes, debris, and uneven surfaces can lead to accidents when cyclists are forced to swerve or lose control of their bicycles. Local authorities are responsible for maintaining safe road conditions for all users, including cyclists.
- Faulty equipment: Malfunctioning bicycle components such as brakes or tires can cause accidents. Cyclists must regularly inspect and maintain their bikes to ensure safe operation and prevent accidents.
Taking immediate action after an accident can help protect your rights and strengthen your case. The following steps can ensure you get the medical care you need and preserve your right to compensation through a bicycle accident claim:
- Seek immediate medical attention: Even if your injuries appear minor, seek prompt medical attention. Internal injuries such as TBIs or bleeding can take hours or days to show symptoms. Getting medical care prioritizes your health and provides a medical record that your attorney can use as evidence.
- Gather evidence from the scene: Collect as much information as possible, including photographs of your injuries and damage to your bicycle. Speak with witnesses and ask for their contact information. These details can be invaluable when pursuing compensation for your injuries and proving your claim.
- File a police report: Contact the police and file an accident report. This official record notes the facts of the incident and is a critical tool for strengthening your case with insurance companies. Be sure to obtain a copy of the report for your records.
A California bike accident lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can provide invaluable assistance if you’ve been injured in a bike accident. Our personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the complex claims system, protect your rights, and help you get compensation for your damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Tips to Prevent Serious Injuries While Biking
To minimize the risk of accidents and protect yourself on the road, consider the following preventative measures:
- Wear a helmet: Wearing a helmet is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent serious head injuries. It is required in California for all bicycle riders under 18 on public roads. Ensure your helmet fits properly and meets safety standards.
- Use lights and reflectors: California requires cyclists to equip their bikes with a front lamp emitting a white light visible from 300 feet away and a rear red reflector or light visible from 500 feet. Pedals or shoes must have white or yellow reflectors visible from 200 feet, and bikes should have reflectorized tires or reflectors on the wheels to enhance visibility.
- Stay vigilant: Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate potential hazards. Scan the road ahead, maintain a safe distance from vehicles, and be prepared for unexpected situations. Use appropriate hand signals when changing lanes and keep one hand on the handlebars to maintain control of your bike.
- Choose safe routes: Opt for designated bike lanes or less-congested streets whenever possible. Plan your route to avoid high-risk areas.
Protect Your Rights with Berg Injury Lawyers
As a cyclist, protecting your rights on the road is essential. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, our personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you understand your rights as a bicycle accident victim in California. We will help you seek fair compensation for your damages to help you recover from injuries you sustained in the accident.
Contact our California bike accident lawyers for a free consultation to safeguard your rights.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement Check?
May 17th, 2023|
Originally published June 21, 2021.
If your legal team has finally reached a settlement regarding your personal injury case, you are probably eager to receive the funds, pay your bills, and move on with your life. It may have taken a while for the defendant’s insurance company to agree to the settlement amount, so the idea of waiting any more time is unappealing.
Here’s what you need to know about the settlement process.
THE SETTLEMENT PROCESS
How long does it take to get a settlement check? The answer depends on the various processing steps and payments (such as liens) required, but in most cases, you can expect to receive your funds in about six weeks. Knowing the steps that go into processing your settlement check can help you understand why it takes so long to receive it.
SIGNING RELEASE FORMS
The first step in receiving your settlement is to sign the appropriate release documents. These documents release the defendant and their insurance company from any further lawsuits or legal action in the case.
Depending on the terms of your settlement, your release forms may be simple or full of conditions. Go over them carefully with your lawyer to make sure you agree to all stipulations. In some cases, your legal team may wish to negotiate further on the settlement before releasing the claim. This can delay your payment further. However, it’s better to wait a little longer than to accept terms you disagree with.
INSURANCE COMPANY PROCESSING
The next step is for the defendant’s insurance company to receive your release papers and sign them. Then, the insurance company processes your payment. Payment processing does not typically take too long, but with larger settlements, the insurance company may drag out the process. Once the check is issued, the insurance company sends it to your attorney.
TRUST ACCOUNT AND PAYMENT OF LIENS
Once your lawyer receives the check from the insurance company, they are required to deposit it into a trust account. Your attorney also pays off any liens or outstanding bills at this stage. This often refers to medical liens but can refer to other creditors that need to be paid. If you paid these expenses yourself, you may receive reimbursement during this stage.
Many personal injury attorneys offer to work on your case with the understanding that they don’t receive payment until you get paid. This is helpful because you don’t have to worry about money upfront to hire a lawyer to get compensation for your injuries.
At this point in the settlement process, your attorney deducts their fees from your settlement amount. Their fee will be a previously agreed on percentage of your settlement, rather than being based on an hourly rate. It may also include fees for court costs, taxes, expert testimony, and other legal expenses, as detailed in your contract.
You can ask your attorney to send you an invoice of their legal fees so you know exactly how the funds were used. Once your legal team has received their payment, you are on your way to receiving yours.
The last step in processing your settlement is when you receive the funds. After paying all debts and fees, your attorney sends you the funds. You may opt to have the check sent in the mail or pick it up in your lawyer’s office. This last step can take several weeks as law offices handle many cases at one time, so there is no need to be concerned by any delay. Always call your lawyer if you have specific questions about your settlement’s processing time.
LEGAL COUNSEL AND THE SETTLEMENT PROCESS
Due to the complicated nature of personal injury cases, you stand the best chance of protecting your rights and receiving appropriate compensation if you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can ensure that the defendant’s insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you by offering a quick and easy settlement that is a fraction of what you may be entitled to.
CONTACT THE TEAM AT BERG INJURY LAWYERS TODAY
If you or a loved one is considering filing a personal injury claim, contact the experienced attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Our San Francisco personal injury lawyers can walk you through what to expect in your personal injury case and see you through the settlement process.
With 40 years of experience, Berg Injury Lawyers are ready to assess your claim and represent your interests so that you win the compensation you deserve.
The Importance of Proper Lighting in Establishing Fault in Premises Liability Cases
May 15th, 2023|
If you were injured on someone else’s property due to poor lighting, you might be able to pursue compensation for your damages. Property owners can be held responsible for injuries resulting from their negligence.
The California premises lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you understand the importance of proper lighting in your premises liability case and seek compensation from the negligent property owner who caused your injuries.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal doctrine that holds property owners responsible for damages that occur on their property, such as slip and fall incidents and assaults. In California, property owners and managers are legally obligated to maintain safe conditions on their premises and warn visitors of any known hazards.
Proper lighting is an essential aspect of maintaining safe conditions on a property. Property owners must ensure their premises are adequately lit to prevent accidents and injuries. For example, installing lighting in hallways, staircases, and parking lots and maintaining the lighting in areas such as swimming pools or where there are uneven surfaces.
The Risks of Inadequate Lighting
Adequate lighting plays a pivotal role in preventing injuries on a property. Improper lighting can seriously affect a visitor’s or resident’s safety.
Poor lighting can make it difficult to see hazards on the floor, such as spills or wet surfaces, increasing the risk of losing footing and slipping. It can also lead to trips caused by obstacles like steps or buckled carpeting.
Visitors may not see where they are going in poor lighting, leading to serious falls from elevated surfaces, like stairs or balconies. Collisions can occur due to improper lighting, making it hard to see other people or objects in areas like parking lots or hallways.
Poor lighting can also lead to negligent security in areas that require surveillance, such as parking lots or walkways. Criminals can hide more easily or move undetected, increasing the risk of assaults or robberies that could be prevented with proper illumination.
Establishing Fault in Premises Liability
Inadequate lighting can establish fault in a premises liability case by demonstrating negligence on the property owner’s part. Property owners can be held liable for any injuries or damages resulting from their negligence if they fail to provide adequate lighting.
When evaluating the adequacy of lighting, courts consider factors such as the area’s location, purpose, and conditions. For example, if you slip and fall on a dimly lit staircase, the court will consider whether the staircase is in a frequently used area, if it’s intended to be a thoroughfare or isolated space, and if there were any contributing factors, like an obstacle in the stairwell or a slippery surface.
If it’s determined that the lighting was inadequate and contributed to the accident, the property owner may be required to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Steps to Follow After an Accident Due to Poor Lighting
If you believe that inadequate lighting played a role in your accident, take the following steps to improve your chances of successfully pursuing a claim for damages:
- Document the scene, including the lighting fixtures and any obstacles or hazards that may have contributed to the incident.
- Gather evidence, such as photographs of the location, hazards, or obstacles that may have contributed to the incident, witness statements, medical records, and correspondence with the property owner or manager.
- Report the incident to the property owner or manager and request a copy of the incident report.
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if the injuries seem minor. This ensures that injuries are properly documented, which can strengthen your case.
- Consult with a premises liability attorney to assess the strength of your case, help you collect evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent you in court if necessary.
Get Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
If you are a victim of an accident caused by poor lighting, the California premises lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you secure compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact our law firm for a free case review. Our experienced legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers will help you get the settlement you deserve.
Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents and Their Long-Term Effects
May 8th, 2023|
Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of modern life in the United States, with approximately 2.1 million injuries and 42,000 deaths resulting from automotive accidents in 2020. The resulting physical and emotional injuries can be catastrophic and life-altering, requiring extensive, ongoing medical treatment and dramatically impacting a victim’s quality of life.
The Most Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries like broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. Some common car accident injuries include:
Whiplash is a neck injury commonly sustained in car accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions. It occurs when the neck and head are thrust forward and backward suddenly, which causes damage to the soft tissues and cervical spine.
Immediate symptoms can include neck pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. However, whiplash can cause numerous long-term effects that require ongoing treatment, including chronic pain, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.
- Broken Bones
Broken bones are another common injury in car accidents, ranging from simple fractures to complex, multiple breaks.
Acute symptoms of broken bones include pain, swelling, and deformity at the injury site. Long-term effects include limited mobility, arthritis, and chronic pain, limiting your ability to work and enjoy daily activities.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs are serious and potentially life-altering injuries that can result from car accidents. Symptoms can vary widely, from mild concussion symptoms like headache, dizziness, and confusion to severe cases involving loss of consciousness and memory problems.
TBIs can also result in numerous long-term issues, including chronic headaches and difficulty concentrating. They may also cause emotional and behavioral changes, such as mood swings, depression, and anxiety. TBIs can also result in long-term physical disabilities that limit your ability to work, drive, or engage in social activities.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur in car accidents when the force of impact causes the spine to twist, bend or compress beyond its normal range of motion. This can happen when the body is thrown forward in a collision, and the head and neck are suddenly jerked, causing the spinal column to twist or bend unnaturally.
Spinal cord injuries can also result from direct trauma to the back or neck during the accident, such as when a car occupant’s back hits a hard object like a steering wheel or dashboard.
Symptoms can include paralysis, loss of sensation, and difficulty breathing, depending on the severity and location of the injury. Long-term damage can include permanent paralysis, chronic pain, and a decreased life expectancy, profoundly affecting your independence.
- Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and contusions, are common in car accidents. These injuries occur when the body is jolted or thrown suddenly during a collision, causing damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Soft tissue injuries can be mild, causing minor discomfort and swelling, or more severe, resulting in significant pain and restricted movement. Long-term effects include chronic pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, impacting your ability to work and engage in daily activities.
Challenges Injured Car Accident Victims Face
Car accidents can result in severe injuries that can impact victims physically, emotionally, and financially. Seeking prompt medical attention after an accident is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome and to reduce the risk of long-term complications.
Recovering from these injuries can be a long and challenging process that often requires ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation. Your physical injuries, such as head trauma and spinal cord injuries, may require extended hospitalization and rehabilitation.
These injuries can also result in emotional challenges such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. You may face significant medical expenses, lost wages, and the need to modify your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries.
A timely settlement can provide essential support as you recover from an accident. It can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and modifications you require for daily life.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
California car accident lawyers play a critical role in helping car accident victims secure compensation for their injuries. We can help navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for fair compensation covering medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for a free case review if you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to fighting for your rights and helping you get the financial compensation you deserve.
Surviving Family Members’ Rights in a Wrongful Death Claim
May 1st, 2023|
When a loved one passes away due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions, it can be devastating for surviving family members. If you are a surviving family member, you can seek compensation for the damages you suffered due to your loved one’s death.
The California wrongful death attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you seek compensation for the loss of your loved one. We will help you pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent party to receive restitution for the financial, emotional, and psychological harm caused by your family member’s wrongful death.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a legal action taken by the surviving family members of a person who has died due to another party’s negligence or intentional act. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to seek financial compensation for the loss of the deceased person, including damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and emotional pain and suffering.
Wrongful death claims differ from survival actions, where a claim is brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate for the damages they suffered before their death.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
When a loved one dies due to another person or entity’s negligence or recklessness, it can be a devastating and heartbreaking experience. In California, certain individuals have the right to bring a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the losses suffered as a result of the death, including:
- The Surviving Spouse or Registered Domestic Partner
In California, the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner of the deceased is typically given priority to bring a wrongful death claim. California Family Code Section 297 recognizes the special relationship between registered domestic partners and their rights to seek compensation for the losses suffered due to their loved one’s death.
- Surviving Child or Children
In the absence of a surviving spouse or registered domestic partner, the surviving child or children of the deceased may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim in California.
- Dependent Minors Living in the Household
Dependent minors, including stepchildren and adopted children, who lived in the household of the deceased at the time of their death and for at least 180 days prior and who depended on the deceased for at least 50% of their monetary support may be able to bring a wrongful death claim.
- Other Heirs
If no spouse or child survives the deceased, other family members deemed to be heirs under California intestacy laws have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Heirs are legally entitled to inherit the decedent’s property if the deceased died without a will.
- Next of Kin
If no relatives entitled to the deceased’s property exist, then any of the victim’s next of kin are eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
What Types of Damages are Possible in a Wrongful Death Claim in California
In California, the damages in a wrongful death case compensate heirs for the support they could have expected to receive from the deceased if they had lived.
Economic damages are calculable losses related to your loved one’s death, including:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income and future earnings potential
- Loss of investments and financial support
Non-economic damages are for intangible losses, including:
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
- Loss of guidance from a loved one
- Loss of sexual intimacy
- The pain, suffering, or disfigurement your loved one suffered before their death
Allocating damages among eligible family members in a wrongful death case is typically done through apportionment. Apportionment ensures that the damages are allocated fairly among eligible family members based on their individual circumstances and losses.
Settlements in these cases can be paid out as a lump sum or a structured settlement with payments made over time.
Discuss Your Situation with a California Wrongful Death Attorney
A personal injury attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers can represent your interests as a surviving family member in a wrongful death claim. Your attorney will help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and provide valuable legal guidance and support.
Our experienced attorneys will help secure the financial compensation you deserve for your losses. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.