Auto Accident


Prevent Winter Driving Disasters with These Maintenance Tips

by Staff Blogger | January 13th, 2020

Winter can be harsh on roads and on your vehicle, even in Northern California. Although our winters aren’t as cold and icy as they are in other parts of the country, it’s still important to make sure your vehicle is properly winterized and ready for the impacting of dropping temperatures.

In addition to helping you avoid inconvenient and potentially dangerous vehicle breakdowns, proper car maintenance can also reduce your risks of being involved in an accident. Use the tips in our infographic below to ensure your vehicle remains in tip-top shape throughout the winter and well into spring.

Avoid These Common Vehicle-Related Winter Mistakes

Now that you’ve learned what you should do to reduce your risks of experiencing a breakdown or a crash this winter, it’s time for a quick rundown of things to never do. The following mistakes are common, and they can result in serious damage to your vehicle and even dangerous accidents:

  • Don’t defrost your windshield with hot water—Nothing melts ice as quickly as a bucket full of scalding hot water, but dumping one on your vehicle’s windshield will clear your wallet even faster. Hot water on frozen glass can mean a cracked windshield and an expensive repair.
  • Don’t swerve to avoid potholes—Potholes can be seriously damaging to your vehicle. In some cases, they can even total cars, trucks, and SUVs. But most potholes don’t cause much, if any, damage, and swerving to avoid one can increase your chances of colliding with another vehicle.
  • Don’t clear only a small porthole in your windshield—If your windshield ices over, make sure you clear it completely. Doing so can be time-consuming and might make you late for work, but driving with most of your visibility blocked can be extremely dangerous.
  • Don’t leave home without checking the weather—Winter storms are often predicted several days out. Being on the interstate or highway many miles from home when roads suddenly become slick from freezing rain can be dangerous, and you may end up trapped for several hours.
  • Don’t leave your fuel tank sitting more than half-empty. Condensation can collect in a half-empty fuel tank, and if it freezes it can damage your fuel lines.

Other important tips include packing emergency gear in your trunk, including blankets, clothing, water, and non-perishable snacks, and making sure others know your route and when you plan on arriving in case disaster strikes along the way.

We Help Auto Accident Victims Get Compensation All Year Long

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our auto accident attorneys know that winter weather can make roads much more dangerous, even in California. But we also know that crashes can occur at any time and place, whether it’s the dead of winter or the middle of summer. That’s why our legal team is ready to jump into action to help victims get the money they deserve after accidents that weren’t their fault.

If you or someone you love was hurt because of a negligent driver, we want to get you the compensation you deserve. Speeding, driving while intoxicated, driving while distracted, or even driving with a windshield full of ice and snow are all careless behaviors, and when those behaviors result in crashes, we think drivers should be held accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation. We want to put our experience to work for you.


How Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

by Staff Blogger | January 6th, 2020

Many of us enjoy staying in touch with friends and family and engaging with like-minded people through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, to name just a few. If you aren’t on them all, odds are you use at least one.

We love sharing major events in our lives on social media, good or bad, and a serious injury definitely counts as one. However, if you have filed or are thinking about filing a personal injury claim to recoup your medical expenses after an accident, your social media posts could seriously harm your chances of getting the money you need.

Social media posts are considered part of the public record, even if your accounts are set to private, and the insurance company’s lawyers don’t need a warrant to access them. To put it another way, anything you share can and may be used against you by the insurance company when reviewing your claim or in a civil lawsuit.

Your Posts

Statements Minimizing Your Injuries

A status update to the people who care about you saying something as simple as “I was in a crash but I am okay,” or “I’m just glad it wasn’t worse” could be taken out of context to argue that your injuries are not as severe or painful as they actually are.

Accidental Admissions of Fault

Posts along the lines of “I didn’t see them coming” or “I didn’t have time to stop” could be used by the defense to argue that the accident was your fault for not paying attention to your surroundings or not taking reasonable corrective measures.

Posts that Contradict Your Compensation Claim

Accidents, especially car accidents, are confusing and stressful, and everyone’s memory is fallible. If you accidentally post something that differs from how you described the crash in the police report or in your compensation claim, the defense will use it against you.

Ranting

When you’ve been injured and your life disrupted, you have every reason to be angry, especially when your injury is due to someone else being negligent. However, ranting about your injury or the responsible party online could hurt your claim. The defense could argue you are not injured and are only filing for spite or revenge.

Oversharing About Your Life

As strange as it seems, even posts that have nothing to do with your accident could hurt your chances of getting compensation. For example, posts about stressful or upsetting recent events in your life, such as a break-up, could cause the defense to argue that your emotional state at the time caused your crash.

Your Photos

Photos that Misrepresent Your Physical Health

Photos that appear to depict you doing activities that your injuries should prevent, even if you were not participating in the activity, or if the photo was taken before your accident and only posted later, could be used to argue your injuries are being exaggerated.

Photos that Misrepresent Your Emotional Health

Unfortunately, even photos of you looking happy and smiling (and who doesn’t smile when being photographed?) could be used as evidence your accident wasn’t as traumatic as it really was.

Your Friends and Family

It’s not just your own photos you should be wary of. If you are tagged in a photo by a friend that appears to show you happy and healthy, this could also be used as evidence against you.

Furthermore, if you post about your accident, and a friend jokingly replies with a statement like, “I told you to get off your phone!”, even if you and your friend both understand it’s a joke, the insurance company or court may not. And if they believe you contributed to your own accident by not paying attention to the road or speeding, it could hurt or ruin your chances of getting compensation altogether.

Your Online Activity

Avoiding all mention of your accident online isn’t a guarantee that the insurance company won’t be able to manipulate what you post, either. If you are trying to get compensation for the pain and emotional distress your injuries caused, but you continue to post as normal, the defense may try to argue that this proves that your injury didn’t seriously affect your life or mental health.

What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk

The best way to ensure that your social media habits don’t accidentally harm your claim is to not use social media at all until after your claim is resolved. However, these steps can help protect you if you do continue to post.

  1. Set all your social media accounts to private.
  2. If possible, adjust your settings to prevent other users from being able to share your posts or to post comments on your accounts.
  3. Do not accept any new friend requests, especially from people you don’t know, while your claim is ongoing.
  4. Speak privately with friends and family and request they do not post anything about you, or especially your accident, until your claim is resolved.
  5. Avoid mentioning your settlement even after your claim is resolved. If your settlement involves a confidentiality agreement, posting about it could result in your settlement being revoked.

Hurt in a Car Accident? Call Berg Injury Lawyers.

If you were injured in a car accident, you need to contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers right away. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies, and we know all the shady tricks they like to pull. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.


Winter Driving Tips

by Staff Blogger | December 30th, 2019

Although San Francisco and the Bay Area rarely experience freezing temperatures, winter weather and its impact on roadways can still be a concern for people living throughout Northern California. Whether you’re driving through some of the mountainous regions of the state this winter, or you’re taking a road trip to stay with friends and family for the holidays, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with winter driving and the best ways to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.

Inclement weather is one of the most common causes of auto accidents, and the accumulation of snow and especially black ice on roadways means less traction for tires and increased distances required for slowing down and stopping. The combination of those effects makes it easier for drivers to lose control of their vehicles and skid, spin out, or be unable to stop in time before colliding with vehicles in front of them.

Be Cautious and Safe This Winter

At Berg Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to help injured drivers and their passengers get compensation after crashes, but we know that the best course of action is to prevent crashes altogether. You can stay safer and do your part in making roadways less dangerous this winter by following these steps:

Modern advances in vehicle safety technology, such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, all-wheel drive, stability control, and innovations in winter tire design have made cars, trucks, and SUVs safer to drive in winter weather. However, those safety features shouldn’t be taken for granted, and it’s important to always drive cautiously when there’s a chance that roadways may contain snow or ice.

What Are Your Options If You’re Hurt in a Crash Caused by Snow or Ice?

Although winter weather makes roadways more dangerous, it doesn’t mean that accidents are a foregone conclusion. Like most auto accidents, winter crashes are often due to one primary factor: driver error. When other motorists fail to take into consideration the road conditions, visibility, and the effect freezing temperatures have on their vehicles, they put themselves and other motorists like you in danger. In addition, dangerous road conditions may be caused by negligent governmental bodies, whether it’s at the city, state, or even federal level, when they fail to clear roads.

And just like any other type of crash, our California auto accident lawyers are here to help injured victims get the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love was hurt in a winter crash that was caused by a driver who didn’t take the necessary precautions, or a governmental body responsible for road maintenance and safety who failed to do their duty, you may be eligible to get compensation for expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Why Call Berg Injury Lawyers After a Car Accident?

After an accident that wasn’t your fault, you need compensation for what you’ve gone through, but you may be unable to pursue it on your own—especially if you’re seriously injured, hospitalized, or have a long path to recovery. In addition, the insurance company will start building its case against you from day one in hopes of reducing or denying your claim. One misstep during the often months-long claims process could jeopardize your claim.

When you get our legal team on your side, you won’t have to worry about the insurance company’s phone calls, trying to collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault, or making a statement that can be used against you by the insurance adjuster. We’ll handle everything from the moment you hire us until the moment you get your check. You’ve been through enough already—now you deserve a chance to recover and spend time with your family. Contact us today for a free consultation. We know what you’re going through, and we know how to help.


How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Long Car Trips

by Staff Blogger | December 23rd, 2019

Whether you are taking a roadtrip for vacation, or are visiting family for the holidays, traveling with small children can often be frustrating, especially when you need to keep your eyes on the road and be ready to react to bad drivers at any moment. Being distracted by cries of “I’m bored”, “are we there yet?”, or “my sibling won’t stop poking me” are the last thing you need while driving!

The team at Berg Injury Lawyers know how that can be, which is why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to keeping your kids entertained on your next car trip.

Must-Pack Items

Consider this your checklist when you next pack for a long car ride.

  • Kid-friendly books and/or activity books, or a kid-friendly electronic device such a tablet, portable DVD player, MP3 player with headphones, or other child-friendly electronic device, with the charger or spare batteries
  • Healthy snacks that won’t make a hard-to-clean mess if they spill
  • A lap desk—cookie sheets make a cheap and easy alternative that most people already have at home
  • Toys small enough to easily play with while seated, but large enough not to fall and become lost underneath the seats
  • Paper towels, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer to clean up messes
  • Garbage bags
  • A travel pillow
  • A disposable camera, which kids can use to take pictures out the window

Tips for Traveling with Kids

These tips are parent-tested and approved.

  • Get your kid involved in packing: allow each child to select for themselves at least one item (toy, game, or book) to bring along.
  • Make sure children requiring car seats are secured and fastened in. A study from 2015 found a startling 95% of parents make a mistake when installing a car seat, and a cranky child may be motivated to escape from their seat while their parents’ eyes are on the road.
  • Depending on how many children you have, and if any are old enough to sit up front, consider having one parent sit in the back to make it easier to get face-to-face time with the children.
  • If your child is prone to motion sickness, consider kid-friendly audiobooks rather than books or screen-time. Many libraries offer audiobooks for check-out, and several apps allow library-card holders to download audiobooks to their phones or tablets for free.
  • Plan your stopping points for lunch and bathroom breaks ahead of time, and remember that you will need to stop more frequently with small children. Plan to stop for a bathroom break around 20-30 minutes after a meal stop.
  • Consider making “snack jewelry” by looping circular snacks, such as cheerios, pretzels, or candy, onto a piece of string and allow your kid to snack at their leisure.
  • Reward good behavior by portioning out a new snack or toy every hour, instead of making all of them available at the start of the trip.
  • Avoid the “are we there yet?” with a trip tracker. Print out a map of your route and at each stopping point or major landmark (such as a state border), have your child place a sticker on the map so they can see for themselves how far they’ve gone, and how far they have left to go.

Conversation Games You Can Play Without Paper or Pens

When you don’t have toys or activity books, or when your kids lose interest, everyone can have fun with these games that don’t require any pieces or materials, just players.

20 Questions

One player thinks up an object, but does not tell the other players what it is. The other players can ask up to 20 yes-or-no questions to try to guess what the mystery object is. Examples of questions could be, “Is it smaller than a person? Is it an animal?” and so on.

Guess the Word

One player can trace a short word on the arm, back, or palm of another player using only their finger, and the player being written on must guess what that word is by the shape of the letters as they are being traced.

The Alphabet Game

Each player must find every letter of the alphabet on road signs, store signs, billboards, and so on (license plates cannot be used). However, they must be found in order. For example, if a player spots the letter ‘x’ before they’ve found a ‘w’ and every letter before it, it cannot be used. The first player to spot every letter of the alphabet wins.

License Plate Abbreviations

Players must come up with what the random letters found on a license plate of a passing car stand for. For example, a license plate that reads “TSD” might be imagined to stand for “The Silly Dog”. Whichever player comes up with the most amusing answer wins.

Alphabet Categories

After selecting a category, (ex: food, animals, cartoon characters, etc.) players take turns coming up with one answer for each letter of the alphabet, in order, that fits the category. For example, if the category is food, answers might be apple, banana, cake, and so on.

The Picnic Game

Players take turns describing what food items they are bringing to a picnic, with each player adding one additional item starting with the next letter of the alphabet. The longer the game goes on, the longer the list grows, and the more items each player must remember. For example, the first player must remember “apples”, the second player must remember “apples and bananas”, the third player must remember “apples, bananas, and cake”, and so on.

A, My Name is Anne

Players take turns moving through the alphabet and filling in the phrases, “My name is”, “I come from”, and “I have a suitcase full of” with words that start with that letter of the alphabet. For example, the first player might say, “My name is Anne, I come from Alabama, and I have a suitcase full of apples,” while the second player might say, “My name is Bert, I come from Bermuda, and I have a suitcase full of bananas.”

Team Storytelling

Each player takes turns supplying one sentence of a story, forcing players to stretch their imagination when another player takes the story in a new direction.

The Counting Game

Players taking turns counting, with the goal being to count up to 20. The first player says “one,” and then another player must say “two” and another “three” and so on, but players do not have to respond in a particular order. However, if more than one player responds at the same time, all players must start over from “one”, and if more than five seconds pass without any player responding, all players must start over from “one.”

Download Our Free Activity Book

If you are looking for more ways to keep your kids entertained in the car, the team at Berg Injury Lawyers has prepared a fun, free activity book. Download this book, print it out before your trip, and enjoy! Our book includes:

  • Coloring pages
  • Word searches
  • Mad libs
  • Mazes
  • Tic-tac-toe

After a Car Accident, Call Berg Injury Lawyers

Car accidents have the potential to be devastating, whether they occur on a roadtrip while you’re hundreds of miles from home, or on your daily commute. If you or someone you love were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, we want to help you. When you trust the experienced California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ll work hard to build a claim that proves your accident wasn’t your fault and get you the compensation you need to try to get your life back to normal.


How to Gift a Car

by Staff Blogger | December 16th, 2019

The holiday season typically brings cooler temperatures, Christmas carols, and…car commercials. The holidays mean deals on new cars, and most car commercials feature shiny new models with big red gift bows on the roof.

Most of us won’t be gifting the latest model from the dealership to a loved one this holiday season, but there are several reasons why you might want to gift a car to a friend or family member. For example, you may want to gift your old car to a young family member who recently got their license, or to help out a friend in need who may be struggling financially.

Steps to Gifting a Car

The most important step to gifting a car is having a frank discussion with the person who will be receiving the car before you do anything else. You may want the gift to be a surprise, but there is a very important reason why it should not be. Gifting a car is very generous, but the cost to buy a car is not the only expense associated with car ownership.

If the person you are gifting the car to is unable to afford the cost of:

  • gas,
  • auto insurance,
  • maintenance and repairs,
  • annual registration,
  • and other fees,

and if you are not prepared or able to also cover these expenses yourself, then gifting a car may not be the right choice at this point in time.

If you are gifting a car you already own:

First, you need to legally own the car. If you are still making payments on the car you want to gift, you will need to finish paying off the lien before you can gift the car, because the financial institution you took out the loan from is technically still the legal owner.

Not sure if you are the legal owner or not? Check the vehicle’s title, which you should have received from the loan company after paying off the lien. If you can’t locate your title document, you can request an additional one from your local DMV after paying a replacement fee.

Next, you will need to transfer the title. The person gifting the car will need to fill out the seller’s portion of the transfer section of the title, and the person receiving the car will need to fill out the buyer’s portion. In California, you will need to:

  • Sign the title
  • If lienholders are listed on the title, they will need to sign as well
  • Fill in the odometer reading (if the car is less than 10 years old)
  • Where the title asks for sales price, fill in “gift”
  • Provide proof of smog certification (UNLESS you are giving the car to a family member or if the car is less than four years old and not diesel-powered)
  • Complete a Statement of Use Tax Exemption form
  • Complete a Statement of Facts form (UNLESS you are giving the car to a family member)
  • Inform the DMV within 10 days of signing over ownership
  • Have the gift recipient take the title to the DMV to register the vehicle in their name and pay the $15 title transfer fee.

If you are buying a new/used car as a gift:

If you are buying a car to gift, you will have four main options.

  1. Purchase the vehicle outright and follow the steps outlined above.
  2. Take out a loan in your own name but register the title under both your name and the gift recipient’s.
  3. Bring the gift recipient with you to the dealership and co-sign a loan.
  4. Bring the gift recipient with you to the dealership, gift the down payment and have the gift recipient finance the vehicle themselves.

What if the Person I Want to Gift My Car to Doesn’t Have Insurance?

The person receiving the car will not be able to register the car in their name or legally drive the car without insurance. They will need to purchase insurance to receive the gifted car.

What if the Person I Want to Gift My Car to Lives in Another State?

Title-transfer requirements vary state to state. Check the requirements for the state that the gift recipient lives in, because those are the ones you will need to follow.

Does Gifting a Car Affect Taxes?

In most cases, no.

A federal gift tax does exist. This is a tax on a gift-giver, based on the monetary value of the gift. This tax exists to prevent people from avoiding federal estate tax by giving away their money and property before they die. But this also means it only applies to large sums of money.

2019 tax code states that an individual can gift a car (or any other property) up to $15,000 in value, or up to $30,000 in value if jointly gifted with a spouse, without needing to pay gift tax, and without the recipient having to pay income tax on the gift.

Can I Get a Tax Deduction for Gifting My Car?

In most cases, no.

You can get a tax deduction if you gift it to a 501c(3) charity or to a religious organization, but not if you want to gift a car to an individual such as a friend or family member.

If you are gifting your old car to charity, you will also need to itemize your deductions, and you will need to fill out and submit Form 8283 with your tax return if the car is worth $500 or more.

When You Have Questions After a Car Accident, Contact the Team at Berg Injury Lawyers

One reason someone may need a car is because their old car has been wrecked in an accident. And when car accidents also cause injuries, they can leave victims struggling to pay their bills while they recover. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we want to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today.


Liability and Insurance in a Rental Car

by Staff Blogger | November 18th, 2019

There are endless reasons why you might need to rent a car. You might be traveling for business or on vacation and need a way to get around after you step off the plane. You may temporarily need more space or different features than your own car has, want to avoid adding additional mileage to your personal car on a road trip, or your own car may be in the shop.

Whatever the reason, road accidents are a risk every time you get behind the wheel of a car, even in a rental car.  However, getting compensation after an accident in a rental vehicle can be complicated.

What Makes Rental Car Accidents Different?

In any collision, the at-fault party has liability. However, the rental agreement you sign when you rent a car means you are responsible for any damage to the rental car, even if you were not at fault. This is why it’s so important to carefully inspect your rental vehicle for scratches and dents before leaving the lot.

After an accident caused by someone else, you will be required to pay your insurance deductible directly to the rental company, and then your insurance company will go after the at-fault party for the remainder.

Additionally, you may be responsible for paying “loss of use” fees for every day the rental vehicle is being repaired to compensate the rental company for the profit they’ve lost.

Finally, the rental company may not wait until the insurance matter is settled and charge you for the damages right away. If this happens, you will need to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance directly to get reimbursed.

What Steps to Take After an Accident in a Rental Car

Many of the initial steps you will need to take after an accident in a rental car are the same as those you would take immediately after a car accident in your own car.

Follow these steps after a car accident:

  1. Exchange contact information with the other driver.
  2. Take pictures of the scene of the accident.
  3. Make a police report.
  4. Notify your insurance provider.
  5. Seek medical attention.

However, unlike in most auto accidents, compensation could come from several sources, or none at all, and not all of your expenses may be covered. That’s why two additional steps must be added to the checklist.

  1. Notify your rental company.
  2. Contact a lawyer.

Determine What Type of Coverage You Have

There are three main sources of insurance coverage available for rental car accident claims.

  1. Your Personal Insurance: Nearly every state in the U.S. requires drivers to carry auto insurance in order to legally operate a vehicle, even if minimum coverage amounts vary. Most personal insurance policies will also cover accidents that take place in a rental car, but make sure to read the fine print. Some rentals may be excluded, such as exotics or trucks.
  2. Insurance Provided by Your Credit Card: Most major credit cards offer rental car insurance as a perk when you make the entire payment for the rental on the card. However, this is often collision insurance only, and won’t cover any medical expenses. Additionally, it may be secondary insurance, which means it only kicks in for what your personal insurance doesn’t pay, such as your deductible.
  3. Supplementary Insurance Provided by the Rental Company: When you rent a car, you will be offered additional insurance for purchase at the counter.

What Type of Coverage is Available from the Rental Company?

The most common type of supplementary insurance provided by the rental company is collision insurance, but there are four major types of insurance you can purchase at the time you make a rental.

  1. Collision Damage Waiver: This absolves the renter of responsibility for damage to or theft of the rental, except as the result of reckless driving or if the damage occurred while someone other than renter was driving.
  2. Liability Coverage: This covers property damage and medical expenses incurred by individuals other than the renter after a car accident in which the renter was at fault.
  3. Personal Accident Insurance: This covers medical expenses of the renter and any of the renter’s passengers.
  4. Personal Effects Coverage: This covers lost or damaged personal property kept in the rental vehicle.

What if I Was Hit By Someone Driving a Rental Car?

If you were hit by someone in a rental car, you will not be able to sue the rental company for any damage or medical expenses­­–federal law protects rental car companies from liability in situations like this.

Exchange information with the other driver and learn what insurance they may have. You may need to use your own insurance, through uninsured or underinsured coverage, to recover your medical expenses. A personal injury lawyer experienced with these types of cases will be best suited to help you learn what you need to do to get compensation.

Get Help Today

When there are multiple potential sources of compensation for an accident, filing a claim for your expenses after an accident that wasn’t your fault can be frustrating. Contact the car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation on your case.


Tailgating Safety

by Staff Blogger | November 4th, 2019

Football season is in full swing, and that means the renewal of friendly sports rivalries, and plenty of tailgating. And while tailgating before a game is a great way to spend time with friends, family, and fellow fans, it can turn dangerous if you’re not prepared for potential emergencies.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’re all too familiar with unforeseen accidents and injuries. And while we’re dedicated to helping victims of accidents get the legal representation they deserve, we’re firm believers that preventing accidents in the first place whenever possible is the best way to go.

Check out the infographic below to find out how you can protect yourself, your tailgate guests, and others around you this football season.

Injured at a Tailgate? You May Be Eligible for Compensation.

Unfortunately, not everyone is always safety conscious when tailgating outside the stadium. When other tailgaters are negligent, they can put you and your guests in danger. Injury-causing accidents include everything from pedestrian accidents and vehicle crashes to grill fires and even explosions.

The injuries associated with tailgate accidents can be devastating, and victims often need expensive medical care, including emergency surgery, prolonged stays in the hospital, and long periods of physical rehabilitation. To make matters worse, they may be unable to work while they’re recovering from their injuries.

Getting compensation after a tailgate accident isn’t easy. It can be difficult to prove who was at fault and determining that a specific person or multiple parties were negligent often requires significant proof. Having a lawyer on your side can help you build a claim that maximizes your chances of getting compensation.

Our Legal Team Is on Your Side

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California personal injury attorneys help people who have been hurt through no fault of their own—including at tailgate parties. Your injuries are serious, and the last thing you want to deal with is an uncooperative fellow tailgater and their insurance company denying responsibility. You need time to recover and focus on your family—not dealing with an endless back and forth with a claims adjuster.

That’s where we come in. We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured Californians, and we know what it takes to win all types of injury cases. Contact us today for a free consultation of your claim. There’s no obligation, and we’re available to take your call 24/7. Best of all, our No Fee Guarantee® means you don’t owe us anything unless we get money for you!


What You Need to Know About Post-Accident Shock

by Staff Blogger | October 21st, 2019

There are two types of shock that can occur after accidents and physical injuries—physical shock and psychological shock. Whether they’re high speed, head-on collisions or relatively minor fender-benders, car accidents have the potential to cause both types of shock.

People who suffer from either type of post-accident shock often need multi-faceted treatments to help them recover. In addition, it’s not uncommon for victims of car accidents to suffer from either or both types of shock, especially after crashes that weren’t their fault.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California auto accident attorneys take into consideration victims’ physical and mental health after crashes caused by others’ negligence. Then, we do everything in our power to help them get maximum compensation for their accident-related expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you were hurt in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver, we want to speak with you. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re ready to put our experience to work for you.

Types of Physical Shock

Physical shock can become apparent in the minutes, hours, or days after an auto accident. Victims often experience serious symptoms that can impair their quality of life and even become life-threatening.

Types of physical shock that can occur after auto accidents include:

  • Hypovolemic shock—This type of shock occurs when victims suffer significant blood loss resulting in a rapid and severe reduction in blood pressure. The reduced blood volume and blood pressure make it difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body, including to vital organs. Hypovolemia can be caused by external and internal bleeding, as well as burns.
  • Neurogenic shock—This type of shock occurs when victims experience spinal cord injuries. When the spine is damaged, it can affect the sympathetic nervous system, which controls essential functions like the heartbeat and breathing. Victims who experience neurogenic shock may suffer from rapid losses of blood pressure and reduced oxygenation.
  • Cardiogenic shock—This type of shock occurs when victims experience damage to their hearts. Although it’s commonly associated with heart attacks, it can also occur during accidents and injuries, especially in people with weakened hearts or who are at risk of cardiac events. Victims who experience cardiogenic shock have reduced blood flow throughout their bodies.
  • Septic shock—Although rare, this type of shock can occur when victims’ wounds become infected after a serious, injury-causing accident. Victims who experience septic shock may be at risk of severe complications, and they require treatment via antibiotics and fluids.

Symptoms of physical shock are varied and depend on the type of shock victims experience. However, there are a few common symptoms, including:

  • Irregular heartbeat and rapid pulse
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting

Because shock can be life-threatening and may not be immediately apparent after a crash, it’s vital for victims to get medical treatment right away.

Types of Psychological Shock

Psychological shock often overlaps with and may be classified as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can result in symptoms that may persist for weeks, months, years, or decades. Some patients may even struggle with PTSD for the rest of their lives.

Common symptoms of PTSD after auto accidents include:

  • Intrusive thoughts and worries about the accident and future accidents
  • Irritability and anger
  • Fear of driving or riding in a vehicle
  • Depression and anxiety

PTSD can be difficult to treat, especially in comparison to physical shock, which can be monitored via laboratory tests, imaging, and pain scales. People with PTSD and other types of psychological shock often need time to heal, including intervention from behavioral and cognitive therapists.

How We Can Help Post-Accident Shock Victims

The aftermath of an auto accident can be a challenging time for victims and their families. In addition to suffering from serious and often painful injuries, they may experience complications due to those injuries that can significantly impact their daily lives.

In addition, psychological shock can even result in victims making mistakes that could jeopardize their claims, such as admitting fault for crashes they didn’t cause. That’s why getting a lawyer right away is so important.

If you or someone you love was recently injured in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have a long path to making a full physical recovery, and you may be suffering from psychological symptoms that are consistent with PTSD. You deserve compensation for what you’ve gone through, but the insurance company is more interested in protecting its profits than paying you and your loved ones the money you deserve.

Having an experienced California auto accident lawyer on your side can make a big difference in your chances of getting maximum compensation. The legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers knows how to build strong claims and present evidence in a manner that insurance companies simply can’t ignore. Don’t leave your physical, psychological, and financial recovery up to chance. Contact us today, and let us put our resources, our determination, and our track record of success to work for your family.


Would You Pass Your Driver’s Exam Today?

by Staff Blogger | October 14th, 2019

Turning 16 is a big milestone for many people, because it’s when they first become eligible to apply for their driver’s license. That means greater independence and another step towards adulthood and maturity.

However, as anyone who has taken a driver’s exam knows, getting a license isn’t always easy or automatic. Both permit and license exams cover a wide variety of general driving and traffic law knowledge and skills, and it’s not uncommon for first-time applicants to fail.

In California, teens and other driver license applicants can study the California Driver Handbook to improve their chances of passing. It covers virtually all aspects of driving in the Golden State, from new 2019 traffic laws to general information concerning restrictions placed on minors, right-of-way laws, examples of legal and illegal turns, and much more.

Ready to Take the 10-Question Driver Quiz?

This quiz can help you learn where you stand in terms of overall driving knowledge. Whether you ace it or flunk it, it’s important to remain a lifelong student when it comes to driving knowledge.

How did you do? Is your score better or worse than you expected? If you aced the test, congratulations! Your knowledge of traffic laws will be an asset every time you get behind the wheel. If you flunked the test, use it as an opportunity to refresh yourself on state laws and vehicle requirements. There’s no such thing as being too knowledgeable and too prepared for operating a vehicle!

Still Feel Confident in Your Knowledge of Traffic and Vehicle Laws?

Unless your license is revoked for legal reasons or you fail to renew it on time, you remain a valid driver in California and throughout the U.S. after passing your driver license exam. That means even people who received their license 60 or more years ago are just as eligible to drive as those who received theirs yesterday, despite potentially thousands of traffic law and vehicle requirement changes in the ensuing decades.

Regardless of how long ago it was when you received your license, it’s important to stay up to date on current driving laws and refresh your memory on other laws that may be a little more obscure. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we believe that knowledge is every driver’s best weapon when it comes to protecting themselves behind the wheel. The more you know about California’s traffic laws and best practices, the safer you’ll be on the state’s highways and interstates.

We’re Here to Help People Who Were Hurt in All Types of Crashes

Our California auto accident lawyers know that lack of knowledge or even outdated knowledge of traffic laws is no excuse when drivers cause accidents, and that applies to all drivers on the road. But in many cases, crashes are caused by drivers who are well aware of what they’re supposed to do and not do when they’re behind the wheel, and are simply too careless or negligent to do the right things.

All states emphasize the dangers of speeding, not using turn signals, driving while impaired or distracted, failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs, running red lights, and making illegal turns in their driver’s handbooks. Unfortunately, many drivers still engage in those dangerous behaviors on a regular basis, putting themselves, their passengers, and others in serious danger.

Almost all crashes are caused by driver error, and when collisions involve innocent victims, those people can pursue compensation claims for their accident-related expenses from the negligent driver’s insurance. If you were hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, our legal team is here to help. We’ll investigate your crash, calculate how much money you’re owed, and fight to get you maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.


Your Fall Leaves Viewing Guide

by Staff Blogger | October 9th, 2019

As September gives way to October, we are excited to see the spectacular burst of color found in autumn leaves. But as lovely as the trees on our streets are, there’s nothing quite like seeing an entire forest come to life with brilliant color.

If you’ve ever been tempted to hit the road to get a better view of the leaves changing, you’re not alone. Fall foliage is a major tourist attraction across the U.S., beginning in late September and continuing on through November. Areas will often see “peak” color for just a week or two out of the year, making timing very important, but even if you miss peak color, the sight can still be marvelous.

If you are considering using up some of those saved vacation days this fall, there’s nothing better than a road trip to take in the amazing forests and scenic highways this country has to offer. We’ve picked some of our favorite locations, depending on where you’d like to go.

Safety Tips for Roadtripping

Road trips can be a lot of fun, but when you are spending many hours a day in the car, there’s a lot that can go wrong, whether it’s running into debris in the road, hitting an animal, or encountering a careless driver. You can’t prepare for everything, but there’s some things you can. Use this checklist to determine what you may need before heading out to see the leaves this year.

  • Get the right car for the job. Maybe that’s your own car, but maybe it’s not. If you know you are going somewhere with hiking, consider renting a vehicle with four-wheel drive. If you know you are sticking with scenic byways, maybe you’ll want to rent a convertible to better enjoy the sights.
  • Get Your Vehicle Inspected. If you are taking your own car, take it to a mechanic a few days beforehand for an inspection. This will find any malfunctioning parts or parts that may be near to malfunctioning before they cause a problem hundreds of miles from home.
  • Prepare for a roadside emergency. You should also have a spare tire, a jack, and a jumper kit in your trunk.
  • Prepare for all other emergencies. If you get stranded, injured, or something else goes wrong, an emergency kit is good to have on hand. We suggest including items like sunblock, bug spray, bottled water and granola bars, a flashlight with batteries, a phone charger and battery pack, a Swiss Army knife or other multipurpose tool, a first aid kit, and a blanket or towel.
  • Carry Cash. Between toll stations, state or national park entry fees, and remote small towns along your route, using your credit card may not always be an option.
  • Plan your music ahead of time. Remote areas like state parks may cause you to lose cell phone service, which means streaming may not be possible. Plan ahead and visit the library to get CDs or download your playlists to your MP3 player ahead of time. This also means less time fiddling with the entertainment system and potentially losing control of the car.
  • Have a backup map. If you use the GPS on your cell phone, you may lose your turn-by-turn directions if your cell phone signal cuts out.
  • Get a good night’s sleep beforehand. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous or more dangerous than driving drunk.

After a Road Trip Accident, Call Berg Injury Lawyers

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know car accidents. When you’re involved in an accident because another driver was behaving recklessly, it’s more than an inconvenience, it can cause serious disruption to your life! If you or a loved one were injured, whether it was on a road trip or just a trip down the street, we want to help you get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today. Your consultation is always free, and if you don’t win, you pay nothing.