Auto Accident

Berg Injury Lawyers Is Representing the Montano Family After Fatal Crash

by Staff | December 3rd, 2021

A fatal crash that killed four members of a North Highland family has led to an outpouring of support and a tragic reminder of the perils of drunk driving. Berg Injury Lawyers is now representing the surviving family members and committed to getting justice on their behalf.

Brittany and Tony Montano, along with their three children—Marianna, Antonio Jr., and Julian—were traveling to the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving vacation when they were struck by a suspected drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 80.

Four-year-old Julian was the sole survivor of the crash, though he suffered head trauma and multiple fractures.

After the crash, thieves broke into the Montano home and stole irreplaceable family keepsakes, as was recently reported by Fox 40.

Showing Support for the Montano Family

Members of the North Highland community left flowers and candles on the Montano’s driveway. Surviving Montano family members expressed gratitude for the community’s ongoing support.

Anyone interested in contributing to the family’s GoFundMe page is highly encouraged to do so. The funds will be put toward Julian’s medical bills, as well as burial expenses for Tony, Brittany, Marianna, and Antonio Jr.

We’re Fighting for the Montano Family

Berg Injury Lawyers attorney Chelsea Monahan is representing the Montano family. As Chelsea told the media at a recent press conference, the Montano home robbery added insult to the immense suffering the family is already enduring. However, our team is fighting to obtain some measure of justice for these tragic deaths.

We hope that these tragic incidents serve as a reminder of the dangers of drunk driving. AAA reports that hundreds of people die each year from wrong-way crashes, and 60% of those crashes involve an alcohol-impaired driver.

Berg Injury Lawyers has been serving the Bay Area since 1981. We’re committed to pursuing justice for victims of negligence. If you have any questions or would like to speak to our team, please contact us today.

5 Common Back Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

by Staff | November 29th, 2021

The human body is not designed to absorb the force created when traveling in a car and abruptly stopping. Your back is particularly vulnerable to injury in a car crash. Although many back injuries may heal themselves, and others are treatable, some back injuries may negatively impact your quality of life, especially if they are catastrophic, like a spinal cord injury. 

Some back injuries worsen with time, while others may not be obvious right away. It is important you seek medical attention immediately following a car accident so a professional can assess you for any potential back problems.

If you’ve suffered a back injury in a car accident, experienced California car accident lawyers can help build your case and pursue compensation for damages. The state of California recognizes pure comparative negligence laws for car accidents, so you may be entitled to compensation even if you were partially at fault for a car accident.

Here is a list of five of the most common types of back injuries that occur in a car crash:

1.    Whiplash

Whiplash is perhaps the most common injury suffered in a car crash. It happens when the head and neck are propelled backward and forward with some force. This movement damages the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck. However, the cervical spine is the primary area affected, which may cause long-lasting back pain.

2.    Fractures

The force of a car crash can fracture the vertebrae in the spine. A compression fracture occurs when pressure on the spine causes cracks in the vertebrae. In major accidents, the force of the collision may be sufficient for the fracture to damage the spinal cord.

3.    Soft Tissue Injuries

These types of injuries may not be severe but can include sprains, strains, and muscle and ligament tears. Soft tissue injuries can be extremely painful and may also cause tenderness and stiffness while the healing process occurs.

4.    Herniated Disc

A car accident causes the body to absorb a lot of force. This may lead to the supportive discs slipping out of place or rupturing. A herniated disc can cause severe pain if it comes into contact with the lumbar or cervical spine nerves. This may lead to lower back pain and tingling down the leg. Compression of nerves in the cervical spine causes neck and shoulder pain. It may also cause tingling down the arm or hand.

5.    Spinal Cord Injuries

This is by far the most serious type of back injury you could sustain from a car accident. If the spinal cord is bruised or damaged during an accident, it can lead to permanent injury or even paralysis. Immediate medical treatment is needed to prevent lasting harm.

Signs and Symptoms

After an accident, any type of back pain should be taken seriously. You should consult a doctor even if the back pain is only mild. Remember, sometimes, the symptoms will not be apparent for several hours after the accident or even the next day.

The type of back injury symptoms you may expect after a car accident are:

  • Stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain running from the buttocks down the leg
  • Difficulty in walking or standing unaided

Claiming Compensation for Back Injuries

Back injuries may be relatively minor to extremely severe. Even low-speed collisions can cause painful and debilitating back pain. Back injuries profoundly affect your life and daily routine and may even prevent you from working. This may have a bad effect on your finances and quality of life.

You shouldn’t have to suffer financially due to a back injury caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault. If a car crash compromises your quality of life and finances, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, and even loss of companionship. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer at our law firm can explain the law to you and advise you on the best options for your circumstances.

Get the Legal Representation You Need With Berg Injury Lawyers

Berg Injury Lawyers have the experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal complexities to pursue your compensation claim. Contact us today for more information and a free consultation.

Who Is it at Fault for a Lane Change Collision?

by Staff | November 15th, 2021

Determining liability is not always straightforward in a lane change collision. You’ll need to know which California laws apply to unsafe lane changes. You must also know what factors are at play when establishing liability for a collision that occurred during a lane change.

One of our experienced California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you determine fault in your case after a serious lane change car accident so you can receive a fair settlement for your losses.

What Are California’s Laws for Unsafe Lane Changes?

California vehicle law prohibits drivers from making unsafe lane changes. According to this law, drivers can move left to right or turn from the main roadway when they are safe to do so and after signaling to other cars. Drivers are required to signal at least 100 feet before turning left or right.

No driver can suddenly stop or reduce the speed of their vehicle without first giving a signal. If a driver cannot use the turn signals in their vehicle, they should use the appropriate hand signals to indicate when they are changing lanes left or right or when they are stopping or decelerating the speed of their vehicle.

What Causes a Lane Change Collision?

A collision might occur if a driver underestimates the space between two vehicles. If a driver fails to merge properly on a roadway after stopping or yielding, they can collide with another vehicle.

A lane change collision can also be caused by:

  • Merging too slowly onto a lane compared to ongoing traffic
  • Speeding up to make a lane change
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Crossing multiple lanes at once
  • Bypassing other traffic to change lanes
  • Not checking side mirrors before merging
  • Changing lanes without checking blind spots
  • Low visibility from weather conditions like fog or heavy rain

Other situations can hold a driver liable for a lane change collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, these factors played a role in fatal collisions:

  • Driving over the posted speed limits
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Refusal to yield right of way
  • Inability to stay in proper lane
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving

In What Ways Can a Driver Be Found at Fault for a Lane Change Collision?

In a lane change collision, the court will look at various evidence to determine who is at fault.

  • Witness testimony
  • Dash cam video footage
  • Black box or electronic data recording of the car’s speed and brakes at the time of the accident
  • Data of text messages and/or calls made by the driver while driving
  • Pictures of the damage to vehicles and the scene of the accident
  • Police report that includes all the details of the accident, including the road and weather conditions
  • Test results for alcohol, drugs, or blood
  • Traffic camera footage

What About California’s Negligence Laws?

Liability issues often complicate lane change accidents. Even though the other driver may share some of the blame for the accident, the court may also examine your role in the accident based on evidence. You might be held liable if the other car changed lanes in front of you while you were texting.

This type of situation falls under the comparative negligence rule in California. If the court finds you were partially at fault for the accident, the settlement amount will be reduced by your share of fault. Furthermore, if a driver violates a statute, they are presumed to be “negligent per se” under California law. If a driver makes an unsafe lane change, they are negligent per se since the act violates a California vehicle law.

Contact the Accident Attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers

Talk with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you get answers to your questions about fault and damages after a collision caused by changing lanes. A car accident lawyer at Berg Injury Lawyers can investigate the facts of your case and work to protect your rights while maximizing your financial compensation.

Contact our legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We can evaluate your case and let you know the best course of action going forward to ensure that you get the best outcome possible.

Traffic Deaths Continue to Rise as Vehicles Return to Roads

by Staff | November 8th, 2021

Despite more people staying at home, 2020 saw an increase in traffic fatalities. As people get back on the road, traffic deaths continue to rise, with a 16% increase in traffic deaths in the first six months of 2021. Fatal accidents also result in passengers with serious injuries.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should hire an attorney to help you pursue fair compensation. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California car accident lawyers have 40 years of experience helping accident victims file claims and ensure they’re properly compensated for their damages.

Why Are Traffic Deaths Increasing?

Unsafe driving practices and reckless drivers cause many traffic accidents and deaths. Speeding, distracted driving, road rage, and drunk driving are all large contributors to serious car accidents that can result in deaths. Failing to obey traffic laws and poor road conditions also contribute to auto accidents.

As the volume of traffic increases, the number of reckless drivers goes up as well. This raises the risk of you being involved in an accident. Protect yourself and your loved ones by taking action to stay safe on the road.

Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

Following these simple safety precautions can reduce the risk of getting into an accident.

●      Wear Your Seatbelt

Wearing a seatbelt can save your life. Since 1960, over 320,000 lives have been saved because they buckled up. Wearing your seatbelt protects your body from being thrown from the vehicle during an accident. In 2019, almost half of all fatalities in accidents were among passengers not wearing their seat belts.

If you have children, make sure they’re using the appropriate car or booster seat for their age and size. Your car seat needs to be installed and used correctly for your child to be properly protected in a crash.

●      Don’t Drive Distracted

Everyone has smartphones and newer cars come with touch screen options. Those are added distractions on top of listening to music or talking with other passengers in your vehicle. The more distracted you are, the more likely you’ll get in an accident. It’s estimated that 8 people in the US die every day from crashes involving a distracted driver.

Reduce the number of distractions while you’re driving. Keep electronic devices out of sight, so they don’t tempt you. If you have an important phone call, pull over and stop your car before you take it.

●      Follow the Speed Limit

Speeding is a major factor in crashes, with high speeds involved in one-quarter of all traffic fatalities. Higher speeds give you less time to react and can result in more serious crashes and injuries.

Speeding also includes driving too fast for the conditions. Rainfall, snow, and fog can lower a driver’s visibility and make the roads slicker. If you’re dealing with bad weather, you may need to drive below the speed limit to stay safe.

●      Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

In many states, including California, it’s the law to move over for passing emergency vehicles to the side of the road. This includes ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, and tow trucks.

●      Never Drive Under the Influence

Designate a sober driver if you’re going out for a night of drinking. Never get behind the wheel or in a car with a driver who’s been drinking or using intoxicating substances. Alcohol and drugs impair your ability to concentrate and make decisions. They slow your reaction time and can increase your risk-taking. Drunk driving caused over 10,000 deaths in crashes in 2019.

●      Check Your Vehicle for Recalls

Manufacturers send out recall notices when there are safety issues or defective parts involving your car. You can check your vehicle for recalls online by entering your VIN. You should check for recalls periodically and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer if You’re Injured

It’s important to contact a lawyer if you were injured in an accident. Your attorney will help prove if another’s negligence caused your injuries. They can help you file claims so you will be compensated for your injuries. Compensation covers your medical bills, lost wages, and damages to your property.

If you live in California, contact Berg Injury Lawyers. Our legal team can help you file the required paperwork and represent your interests, so you receive a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free case review.

How Long Should You Feel Sore After an Accident?

by Staff | October 11th, 2021

California has the highest annual number of fatal crashes in the United States, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). As the most populous state in the country, California had more than 27 million registered license holders in 2019.

Car accidents are more common in high volume traffic, and even minor collisions can cause pain and soreness. Due to the shock and adrenaline after a car crash, it can take days, weeks, or even months to notice the full extent of your injuries.

For health and insurance reasons, you should seek medical attention immediately after an accident. If untreated injuries continue to cause pain and discomfort, you may find it difficult to claim injury compensation from an insurer without adequate documentation by a medical professional.

To avoid the common pitfalls of post-accident legal disputes and ensure you receive sufficient medical compensation for your injuries, hire the experienced California personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers.

Dealing with Soreness After an Accident

Car accident injuries vary in severity. However, collisions between vehicles create a significant impact even at low speeds, so a certain amount of soreness is expected. Depending on the extent of your injuries, pain can last for several months and may even lead to chronic conditions, such as post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Factors such as your position in the car, the speed of the vehicles involved, the size of your car, whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt, and whether the airbags deployed can influence the level of trauma you experience. Only a medical professional can advise how to treat your injuries and how long you should feel sore.

If you continue to feel discomfort after the recovery period outlined by your doctor, it may mean you have undiagnosed or more serious long-term injuries.

●      Delayed Pain

Delayed pain is very common following car accidents. This is usually due to shock or a specific type of injury. While adrenaline can help your body react to danger and minimize immediate pain, it may also make it difficult to detect injury right away. This is very dangerous because undetected injuries can worsen quickly.

Symptoms of concussion, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries may not become apparent for several days after an accident. Your doctor may prescribe tests to assess your injuries, including body scans, X-rays, motion tests, or an MRI.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance:

  • Neck pain or discomfort when you move or turn your head.
  • Persistent back pain or discomfort when you twist, turn, or crouch.
  • Dizzy spells or blurred vision.
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation in any area of the body.

Depending on your test results, your doctor may recommend medication, surgery, or physical therapy.

Common Injuries

Some of the most common car accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and strains
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Torn ligaments or muscles
  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Internal bleeding

What to Do After an Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, safety should be your priority. Whether you think you’ve sustained injuries or not, undergo a medical assessment as soon as possible. A medical report is critical if you wish to make an insurance claim.

The next step should be to contact our law firm. California abides by at-fault insurance laws for auto accidents. This means the person deemed responsible for the accident is liable to pay damages to cover the medical costs and property damage sustained by the other parties involved, depending on the percentage of fault. 

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our car accident attorneys can help you build a strong case in an auto accident claim. We work to ensure our clients collect medical payments to cover the necessary medical costs incurred by you and anyone else in your car at the time of the accident. We file all the required paperwork and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf so you can concentrate on healing. 

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Injuries from an accident can be devastating, particularly if they cause long-term discomfort. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve, including medical bills, loss of income, and non-economic loss. No matter the extent of your injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault.

We are proud to offer the “No Fee Guarantee,” which promises you don’t have to pay if you don’t win a settlement. Contact our law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation and begin your healing journey today.

Is California a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

by Staff | October 4th, 2021

Each state has different laws for resolving accident and insurance disputes. For auto accidents, states have either no-fault or at-fault insurance laws. California is an at-fault state, which means the driver deemed responsible for the accident is liable for paying the costs of potential injuries and property damage sustained by other parties.

To receive compensation, you must be able to prove liability in your case. If you’re involved in an auto accident in California, contact California personal injury lawyers,  Berg Injury Lawyers, as soon as possible to ensure you file before the statute of limitation expires and to help preserve any evidence that can be used to establish fault in your case.

Difference Between At-Fault and No-Fault Law

Understanding the difference between no-fault and at-fault laws can help you choose the right level of insurance coverage to cover damage or injury in an auto accident and can help you know what to expect if your case goes to trial.

●      How At-Fault Laws Work

In an at-fault state, the party responsible for causing the auto accident, along with their insurance company, pays for the sustained injuries and damage in relation to their degree of fault.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you can claim compensation from the at-fault party. However, you must be able to prove liability before you’re entitled to receive any compensation.

If one or both parties aren’t satisfied with the payouts or liability distribution, they can file a lawsuit or dispute the claim. The at-fault driver is liable for damages related to medical expenses, loss of income, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium or companionship.

●      How No-Fault Laws Work

For auto accidents in a no-fault state, drivers must make claims through their insurance policies, whether or not they’re at fault. No-fault states require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their policy. 

Neither party needs to prove who is at fault since both insurance companies cover the costs of their client’s medical expenses. Property damage laws can vary between states, with some states requiring drivers to submit a separate claim if their vehicle is significantly damaged during an accident.

While no-fault laws eliminate lengthy disputes and claims, insurance coverage is typically expensive.

California: An At-Fault State

If you’re involved in an auto accident in California, you’re entitled to file a claim against the responsible party for the injuries and damage they caused, provided you can prove liability. However, according to California law, all drivers must have liability insurance that adheres to the state’s minimum requirements despite being an at-fault state.

  • $5,000 coverage for property damage.
  • $15,000 coverage for bodily injuries or death of one individual.
  • $30,000 coverage for bodily injuries or death of multiple individuals.

California uses pure comparative negligence for car accidents. This means that responsibility can be shared when determining who is at fault. So, you may be entitled to receive compensation for injuries and damages even if you are partially at fault for a car accident.

This system is beneficial for both plaintiffs and defendants. Even if the plaintiff’s degree of fault exceeds the defendant’s, they can still recover a percentage of the damages awarded. For example, if a jury determines that the plaintiff is 80% at fault and the defendant is 20% at fault, then the defendant only pays 20% of the damages amount to the plaintiff.

Insurance companies determine the degree of fault based on the available proof. The more evidence you have regarding accident liability, the more likely you will collect a higher amount of compensation. Some forms of proof include photographs and videos of the accident scene, copies of medical and police reports, eyewitness accounts, driver and vehicle information, and receipts for medical and property costs.

What to Do If You’re Involved in an Accident in California

If you are involved in an auto accident in California, the state’s at-fault insurance laws protect you no matter the degree of fault assigned to you. However, to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries and any damage to your vehicle, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the complex California legal system.

The car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help gather the evidence to determine liability in your case and represent you in court. Contact us for a free consultation, and let us help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

6 Simple Tips for Dealing With Bay Area Traffic

by Staff | August 30th, 2021

If you live or work in the Bay Area, you know the reality of being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 30 minutes or even longer and are familiar with the chronic congestion choking the area. The drive from San Jose to Mountain View can take more than 2 hours instead of 20 minutes door-to-door due to gridlock. 

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, freeway congestion has increased by more than 80% since 2010. Besides using public transit options like Amtrak, BART, and Caltrain, there are several other simple ways to deal with the brutal Bay Area traffic congestion.

1.    Plan Your Driving Routes

Whether you prefer to drive to work or your job involves driving, you know that the worst time to be on the highway is during rush hour. Peak traffic usually occurs on weekdays in the mornings between 7:00 to 9:00 AM and in the evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

Instead of taking the usual route and joining the traffic jams, take advantage of free phone applications such as Waze to plan your routes. While these apps often send you on the scenic route, they can guide you through different roads and streets to get you to work or back home faster than you would on the main road. Make sure you set your destination in these apps before driving to avoid being distracted.

If possible, avoid peak hours and the worst of the rush hour traffic for a shorter and less stressful commute.

2.    Keep an Eye on 511 Alerts

You may have seen blue signs advising commuters and motorists to call 511 for travel information. The 511 service also has a website that provides real-time alerts and a live map informing you of any traffic updates, jams, construction work, and plenty of other information, making it an invaluable tool for planning your route.

3.    Consider Biking to Work

If your commute is less than 10 miles, a bicycle may be a faster, healthier, and more economical mode of transport. According to the latest statistics, the average commute time in California has exceeded 30 minutes since 2019.

On average, a bike can achieve a commuting speed of around 12 mph. With more fitness and experience, it is possible to reach speeds of 15 to 18 mph, so you should cycle 5 miles in about 15-20 minutes. Even inexperienced cyclists can bike 1 mile in 6 minutes, which is 10 mph. 

4.    Use the HOV Lane

The Bay Area carpool lane system, known as High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, is the most effective in California and one of the best nationwide, significantly reducing commute times and increasing average speeds by up to 15 mph.

If you don’t already have a coworker or a neighbor you can ride with, you can still use applications such as Merge or Waze Carpool to match with a carpool partner and enjoy commuting on the HOV lane.

5.    Green Vehicle Advantages

You may already be familiar with the carpool lanes on the highway and the rules surrounding their use, but did you know that hybrids and electric vehicles can use the carpool lane even with no passengers?

As long as your car has the correct DMV sticker (green, white, or red), you can enjoy the benefits of driving on the carpool lane even when you’re on your own.

6.    When All Else Fails

Sometimes, there’s just no avoiding being stuck in traffic in your car, no matter what you do. In those situations, you can still make the best of the time in your vehicle.

Use the opportunity to listen to your favorite music, check out a podcast, or enjoy an audiobook, so you are less stressed and frustrated by the mind-numbing traffic.  

Remember that a significant percentage of traffic accidents happen during rush hour. This is often due to drivers speeding through yellow lights, merging lanes, road rage, motorcycles lane splitting, or distracted driving.

Should the worst happen, get the help of our San Francisco car accident lawyers; they are the most qualified to represent you and help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and lost income. 

Contact Our Legal Team Today

If you are involved in an auto accident, contact our car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We have more than 40 years of experience representing victims and helping them win the settlements they deserve.

Why Every Driver Should Know About “Stop On Red” Week

by Staff | July 26th, 2021

Every year, hundreds of people are killed by drivers running a red light. In 2017, the annual death toll reached a 10-year high, with 939 Americans losing their lives in red-light running crashes. These impatient drivers also injure thousands of people every year.

Stop on Red Week is a national campaign to help save lives by educating drivers about the dangers of red-light running. This year, the movement is more critical than ever.

Post-Pandemic Dangers

After spending a year working from home, many drivers are returning to a daily commute. However, the roads they are driving may be more dangerous post-pandemic. Last year, the U.S. saw an 8% increase in motor vehicle crash deaths and injuries. The increase is even more shocking since the number of miles driven dropped by 13%. If the trend continues, each mile driven poses more risk for daily commuters.

The reduction in driving miles may have additional consequences. Your muscle memory and reflexive skills may have weakened from underuse during the pandemic. Drivers feel more stress and anxiety about traffic conditions because they are relatively unfamiliar with these situations now. As everyone readjusts to frequent driving, their skills will return. However, the adjustment period will increase the risks of the road in the short term.

Increased Speed Limits

It’s not just you; everyone is driving faster now. In the last year, the California state highway patrol doubled the number of citations issued for speeding over 100 mph.

Speeding is happening on local roads, too, not just highways. Road surveys have led to increased speed limits in many cities. This is because California used the 85th percentile method. State engineers measure the speeds of driving over a stretch of road, then base the speed limit on the rate that 85% of the vehicles are traveling.

Traffic Intersection Dangers

Intersection crashes are incredibly dangerous. They account for more than half of accident fatalities and injuries, even though intersection crashes only account for 35% of reported accidents. Red-light running and other risky behaviors lead to increased accident risk at intersections.

Some intersections are more dangerous than others. Trees and buildings may obstruct your line of sight, and speed limit changes may lead to driving too fast for the conditions of the road. Drivers may also turn to distracting devices while stopped and fail to return to full attention at the change of the light.

Additionally, drivers at intersections need to look for more than just other cars. Pedestrians and bicyclists are particularly vulnerable when involved in a traffic collision.

In 2018, pedestrians or bicyclists were involved in 28% of intersection accident fatalities.

Stopping on Red

Installing a traffic signal improves the safety of intersections, reducing the number of traffic accident injuries and fatalities. However, intersections with traffic signals still account for thousands of deaths every year, and red-light running causes about 25% of them.

Most drivers recognize red-light running as hazardous driving behavior. A traffic safety survey showed that 85% of drivers view the practice as very dangerous. Shockingly, nearly 33% of those drivers have run a red light in the last 30 days.

Red light running is primarily the result of distracted or aggressive driving. Many drivers choose to run a red light when they could stop safely. This may be because they feel they are unlikely to be punished for the infraction. Just under half of the drivers surveyed felt police would pull them over for running a red light.

Get Involved

You can do more to increase intersection safety than simply stopping at red lights. Stop on Red week is the perfect time to get involved with local and national lawmakers regarding road safety.

One way to support intersection safety is by campaigning for improved enforcement of red lights. Red-light cameras can reduce crash rates by 21% and fatalities by 14%. When installed at appropriate locations, red-light cameras save lives. 

You can also spread the word on the shocking statistics related to red-light crashes. The National Coalition for Safer Roads has social media posts that you can share on your accounts to increase awareness. The more people know about the dangerous and real-life consequences of red-light running, the more likely they are to stop safely.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers to Arrange Your Free Consultation

If you know firsthand the damage that red-light running causes, don’t suffer alone. The skilled San Francisco car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve after your accident. Contact us today for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.

How California Might Tackle the Dramatic Increase in Road Deaths

by Staff | July 19th, 2021

In an unexpected turn of events, the 2020 pandemic and accompanying quarantine that kept drivers off the road has contributed to a rise in road accidents. Many of these accidents resulted in severe injury or death for the parties involved.

California is taking new measures to tackle the dramatic increase in road deaths and protect citizens as they get back out on the road after lockdown. Learn about these prevention measures and how Berg Injury Lawyers can help you in the event of a car accident.

What Caused an Increase in Road Deaths?

In 2020, California went into lockdown. Pre-pandemic, congested traffic conditions forced motorists to slow down and be alert to issues on the road. Once the quarantine order took effect, the majority of drivers stayed home, leaving roads virtually empty. Consequently, this lack of traffic led to motorists driving at higher-than-average speeds and becoming less attuned to road conditions that they would typically pay attention to. This phenomenon has resulted in a 14% increase in fatality rates for car accidents nationwide.

How is California Approaching the Problem?

California lawmakers are working on ways to lessen the number of deaths in car accidents. Although there are many proposals in the pipeline, there are three standout solutions that may be enacted in the coming year that address the problem of dangerous speeding on California’s roads.

1.    Speed Limit Changes

In California, speed limits are set by agencies using Engineering and Traffic surveys (E&Ts). One of the most common ways of establishing a speed limit is by using the 85th percentile speed. This is when the speed limit is set at whatever rate 85% of traffic is moving at.

Lawmakers want to change this rule, allow municipalities more freedom to set speed limits, and require the E&Ts to consider areas that have formerly been overlooked, such as work zones, school zones, and areas where seniors or other vulnerable populations use the roadway.

2.    Installing Speed Cameras

Currently, California has a ban on automated speed enforcement. Automated speed enforcement usually takes the form of speed cameras. Lawmakers are looking into removing this ban and piloting speed camera programs in areas that pose the most significant risk to drivers and pedestrians. This includes putting cameras on dangerous streets and in school and work zones.

3.    Harsher Consequences for Speeding

During the first year of the pandemic, highway patrol officers issued 31,600 tickets for drivers going over 100 mph, almost double the pre-pandemic number of citations. California police departments continue to crack down on dangerous speeding by issuing higher fines in greater volume to deter drivers from being reckless.

Common Injuries That Result From Speed-Induced Car Crashes

Speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. Even if you survive a collision caused by speeding, you are much more likely to have serious, life-altering injuries. The types of injuries that are commonly sustained in speed-induced car accidents are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Dismemberment
  • Permanent disfiguration
  • Spinal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limbs
  • Death

The consequences of any car accident can be dire, but when speeding is a factor, the probability of severe, long-lasting injury increases exponentially.

What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Car Accident?

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, seek the help of a California car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can aid you in seeking compensation for your injuries, so you don’t have to worry about paying medical bills while trying to heal.

Due to changing traffic laws brought on by the post-pandemic rise in traffic deaths, it is important to reach out to an attorney with knowledge about the evolving legal landscape surrounding car accidents. This can help ensure you don’t foot the bills for an accident caused by a speeding driver.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a car accident, contact the legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers today. Set up a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys to review your case and determine the best course of legal action. We will fight for your rights and help you navigate California’s complex traffic laws, allowing you to receive the compensation you are entitled to.

How a Proposed Law Could Make Intersections Safer for California Cyclists

by Staff | July 12th, 2021

The Safety Stop Bill (AB 122) aims to make intersections safer for California cyclists by letting them treat stop signs as yield signs. When a bicyclist gets to a stop sign, and there are other vehicles, they must yield and give the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection. If there aren’t other vehicles, they do not have to come to a complete stop.

Among bicyclists, this is already a common courtesy. Many of them support it, including police officers and bicycle-related associations. While not everyone is for it, this proposed law protects everyone on the streets, including drivers.

An Explanation of the Safety Stop

Safety stops are known as the “Idaho stop” because Idaho was the first state to have this bicycle law passed in 1982, which some other states have already assumed. Idaho’s law allows cyclists to treat stop signs as a yield sign and red lights as a stop sign. The broader adoption of this policy is a first step toward recognizing that cyclists use the roads differently from vehicle drivers and adjusting traffic laws accordingly.

Benefits of Implementing this Law in California

For cyclists, this proposed law can make sharing the road with other bicyclists and vehicles safer.

●      Align Laws With Other States

Aside from Idaho, Delaware, Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, and Oregon also have similar traffic laws. Utah and North Dakota have recently passed similar safety stop laws as did Oklahoma.

Some of these states have already seen significant changes in bicycle safety as a result. For example, Delaware saw a 23% decrease in bicyclist injuries. California will join other states in policing bicycles on the streets and making the roads a safer place for cyclists.

●      Boosts Safety for Bicyclists

According to a 2010 DePaul study, most bicyclists slow down and pass stop signs instead of stopping entirely, with only 1 out of 50 bicyclists coming to a complete stop. Safety laws like Idaho’s yield law led to a 14.5% decrease in bicycle injuries a year after introduction.

Rolling through a stop sign makes the journey easier for cyclists than completely stopping and regaining momentum. For the sake of safety, using stop signs as yield signs benefits cyclists.

●      Protects Drivers

Many car accidents occur at intersections because of confusion among drivers and bicyclists. Drivers do not always come to a full stop, and bicyclists move at a momentum where they cannot always stop on time at an intersection. Sometimes, drivers do not see bicyclists before they make a turn at an intersection. As a result, drivers regard bicyclists as disrespectful of the law. 

If the Safety Stop law passes, drivers can fully understand that bicyclists must yield to other vehicles and wait until their turn. The law gives bicyclists a head start, making themselves visible to other drivers, preventing crashes if a driver needs to turn in the same direction as the bicyclist.

The Safety Stop Law is Safer for Drivers and Bicyclists

Approximately 70% of bicyclists who rode through stop signs did so for safety reasons, as reported in a recent study. The study also found that drivers more often break the traffic safety law.

Drivers will have to learn to adapt to the new law and better recognize bicyclists on the streets. Transportation is changing as a society pivots more toward walking and bicycling rather than a heavy reliance on vehicles. Legalizing the Safety Stop law will make intersections safer for bicyclists and drivers in California.

A Local Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Until the law passes, California still requires bicyclists to come to a complete stop and follow the same rules of the road as drivers. If you are injured in a car or bicycle accident in California, you need an experienced attorney in your corner. A car accident can result in serious injuries, incurring medical expenses, and wages lost for time off work. The consequences may be especially severe for a cyclist involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. California car accident attorneys can help you understand your rights following a collision. With four decades of experience, Berg Injury Lawyers are skilled in many related practice areas, including car accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury cases. Contact us today to request a no-obligation, free consultation.