Auto Accident


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.


What to Tell Your College Student About Drunk Driving

by Staff Blogger | September 18th, 2019

Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest causes of fatal accidents in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10,500 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2016 alone, accounting for almost 30% of all traffic-related fatalities that year.

Young people, including college students, are the most at risk for drunk driving-related accidents and deaths at all levels of intoxication. To combat the problem, all 50 states have made it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to get behind the wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol. While stricter alcohol laws have helped curb intoxication-related accidents and deaths among young people, they haven’t eliminated the problem.

How You Can Get Involved as a Parent

As a parent, it can be difficult for you to monitor your child’s behavior, especially if they’re living across the state or even across the country while attending college. However, there are still a few important steps you can take to reduce your child’s risks of being involved in an alcohol-related accident:

  1. Talk about the consequences of intoxicated driving—Not everyone who drives while impaired will be involved in a crash, but they may get pulled over and arrested. Make sure your child understands the consequences of a DUI charge, including fines, mandatory jail time, loss of license, loss of scholarship, and more.
  2. Discuss alternate methods of transportation—There’s no excuse for anyone, including college students, to drive drunk in 2019. Talk to your child about how to get home safely after drinking, including rideshare apps, appointing a designated driver, using public transportation, or even calling you or another family member to pick them up.
  3. Set a good example—In addition to never drinking and driving yourself, it’s also important to be firm when it comes to alcohol. Never serve alcohol to your child or their friends if they’re underage or planning on driving.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to fight for the rights of people who were hurt in crashes. If you or your child were involved in an auto accident, contact our California car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.


It’s Child Passenger Safety Week

by Staff Blogger | September 16th, 2019

Car accidents can be scary and stressful, but when a child is the car, they have even more potential to be devastating. The best way to protect your child in an accident is by making sure they are securely buckled into their car seat every time you get in a car, but when kids are growing and seat designs are changing, it can be difficult to know which to use or how to use it.  

Join us September 15-21 for National Child Passenger Safety Week 2019 by accessing the guide below for key information you need to know to keep your children safe in your vehicle.   


How Music May Affect Your Driving Behavior

by Staff Blogger | August 7th, 2019

Car accidents occur every day when drivers get distracted by the radio dial or while flipping through a playlist, but is music itself a cause of traffic accidents? Music and driving have been an inseparable pair since radios were first added to vehicles, but now researchers are becoming interested in whether that relationship is helpful or harmful.

The Case for Music while Driving

In driving situations when you are locked in traffic, listening to music can boost your mood and reduce your stress levels. In turn, this can reduce aggressive driving and road rage.

In highway driving, listening to music has been connected with improved concentration, decreased lane drifting, and more accuracy in matching speed to flow of traffic. It also increases heartrate, making it easier for drivers to stay awake and aware.

The Case Against Music while Driving

Loud music, or any music played over 85 decibels (dB), has been shown to reduce reaction time. Likewise, fast music, or any music with more than 120 beats per minute (BPM), may cause overexcitement, and cause a driver to subconsciously speed.

When you really love a song, that may be another reason to take it off your road trip playlist. It becomes too easy to become distracted and begin making errors such as forgetting to signal or check blind spots. In studies comparing driving performance when listening to personal music vs music provided by researchers, tailgating also increased when drivers listened to their own music.

How to Build Your Playlist

In general, music with a tempo of 60-80 BPM is the safest to drive to, because it mimics the average human heart rate. Most music among today’s hits falls around 100 BPM, but anything over 120 BPM may encourage dangerous driving habits. Based on what we know about the safest and most dangerous tempos, we’ve found five of the most dangerous songs to listen to while driving and five safe alternatives, all pulled from the Billboard Hot 100.

Today’s Hits – Top 5 Most Dangerous Songs to Drive To

  1. bad guy by Billie Eilish – 135 BPM
  2. Talk by Khalid – 136 BPM
  3. Sucker by Jonas Brothers – 138 BPM
  4. If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes – 124 BPM
  5. Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max – 133 BPM

Today’s Hits – Top 5 Safest Songs to Drive To

  1. Old Town Road by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – 67 BPM
  2. Suge by DaBaby – 75 BPM
  3. Beer Never Broke My Heart by Luke Combs – 77 BPM
  4. Earfquake by Tyler, The Creator – 80 BPM
  5. 7 Rings by Ariana Grande – 70 BPM

You can also enjoy our all-Safe Driving Playlist for your next commute.

When You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident, Call Berg Injury Lawyers

If you’ve missed work and incurred huge medical bills after a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you don’t deserve to have to pay out of pocket. We have experience helping car accident victims get compensation for their injuries, and we want to help you, too. Call our firm today for a free consultation.


In a Post-Scooter World, Here’s What Road-Sharing Means

by Staff Blogger | July 24th, 2019

Dockless e-scooters are a fun, affordable, and convenient way to get around town, but most city streets and sidewalks weren’t built with these zippy little vehicles in mind. This has led to collisions between riders, drivers, and pedestrians, making it vital for drivers to be alert and cautious in areas where scooters are frequently used. Play it smart the next time you get behind the wheel with these road-sharing tips.

Do you have questions about whether your accident qualifies you for compensation? Contact our legal team today.

 


What to Expect: Auto Accident Claims

by Staff Blogger | June 12th, 2019

After a car accident, the most important thing you can do to protect your health and your rights to compensation is get medical attention. Even if you have no visible injuries or immediate pain, it’s important to get evaluated by a medical professional. Whether you see a first responder at the scene or visit your doctor in the days following your accident, getting medical attention can rule out or address any internal injuries, as well as create a medical record linking your injuries to the crash.

But once you’ve received the medical treatment you need, you may be wondering what to do next—especially if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we believe you should be compensated for what you’ve gone through, and we want to help. Read on to find out what happens when you file an auto accident injury claim in California.

What Happens If We Take Your Case

When you call Berg Injury Lawyers after an accident, we’ll ask questions to learn more about your claim.

If we determine that you have a case, we can collect and analyze evidence such as witness testimonies, crash scene debris, and police reports to support your claim and determine who can be held liable.

We can also assess your injury-related expenses, including your current and future medical bills, current and future lost wages, and pain and suffering, to determine a fair settlement amount. Then, we’ll negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company on your behalf to help you get the compensation you deserve. If the insurance company refuses to give you a fair settlement, we won’t hesitate to take your case to court.

After a Car Accident, Get Berg!

If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact the California car crash attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today. We have more than 35 years of experience fighting for injury victims in the Bay Area and throughout California, and we know what it takes to build strong claims. Let us get to work for you and your family today. You can contact us 24/7, and with our No Fee Guarantee®, if you don’t win, you pay nothing.