Auto Accident


How to Get Someone’s Car Insurance Information After a Crash

by Staff Blogger | April 17th, 2023

Originally published on April 27, 2020.

Whether you forgot to collect the other driver’s insurance information at the scene, lost it after the fact, or were the victim of a hit-and-run, you might be wondering how to obtain someone else’s car insurance information. The access you have to this information depends on the circumstances. Let’s take a closer look.

STEPS FOR GETTING SOMEONE’S CAR INSURANCE INFORMATION AFTER A WRECK 

There are three main approaches to obtaining this information:

  1. After a crash, exchanging insurance information is one of the most important steps to take after checking for injuries. In most cases, the other driver will likely agree to exchange information without much hassle.
  2. After a collision, the police should be called to respond to the scene and to file an accident report. While completing this report, the responding officer will write down the insurance information of each driver involved in the accident. If the officer filing the report doesn’t give you a copy of the report in person, you can get a copy by submitting a request to the police department. You can do this yourself, or, if you’ve hired an attorney, they can request the information on your behalf.
  3. If you file a lawsuit, you or your attorney can request the information as part of the discovery process of that legal action. It’s worth noting that your own insurer can also be useful in this process. After you report the crash to your insurance company, which you should do as soon as possible after the wreck, even if you weren’t at fault, your insurer will seek more details about the scope of the other driver’s policy. 

Obtaining another driver’s car insurance information after a crash is crucial for resolving any potential disputes and ensuring fair compensation. By exchanging information with the other driver, referencing the police report, or utilizing the lawsuit discovery process, you can secure the necessary information to protect your interests.

WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD YOU GATHER AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

The more information you obtain, the easier the claims process will be. If possible, get the following information from the other driver (and any passengers):

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Insurance provider
  • Insurance policy number
  • License number
  • Registration information
  • Vehicle make and model
  • License plate number

At the bare minimum, you want the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance policy number. You can also note the location and time of the crash. If there were any witnesses to the crash, gather their names and contact information.

WHAT IF THE OTHER DRIVER REFUSES TO GIVE YOU INSURANCE DETAILS?

If the other driver refuses to give insurance details, notify the police. The police officer who responds to the scene will have taken their insurance information to put in their report, which means you will have access to the information you need to file a claim.

DOES A POLICE REPORT INCLUDE INSURANCE INFORMATION?

Yes, the police report will include insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident. It will also contain any relevant facts uncovered by the responding officer, including:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Weather conditions
  • Crash diagrams
  • Vehicle damage
  • Any violations of the drivers

In some cases, the police report includes the opinions of the officer. It’s important to obtain a copy of the police report after a crash. The report is an information-rich document that is essential for any claims that stem from the crash.

GETTING INSURANCE INFORMATION AFTER A HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT

Getting insurance information after a hit-and-run is difficult. If you managed to obtain the vehicle’s license plate number, you can report it to the police. Even if you don’t get the license plate, providing the police with the vehicle type and color can help identify the driver.

If you have no information about the hit-and-run driver, you should still notify the police (hit-and-runs are misdemeanor crimes in California) and your insurance company. Hit-and-run victims can often get compensation from their own insurance companies when the identities of the other drivers are unknown.

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WHEN TO CONTACT A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY 

If you’ve been involved in a crash, it never hurts to explore your legal options. The greater your damages, the greater your need for experienced legal representation. Remember that the other driver’s insurance provider will seek every opportunity to lessen the perceived fault of their policyholder. If possible, they’ll shift blame onto you and look for ways to deny you the compensation you deserve.

However, each step of the claims process, beginning with the information-gathering process immediately following the crash, also presents you with opportunities to build a solid case for compensation. By contacting an attorney early in the process, you’ll maximize your chances of getting the total compensation you need.

IF YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY, CONTACT BERG INJURY LAWYERS

The California auto accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers know what to do after an accident. The sooner you put us on your case, the more work we can take off your plate. Whether you were recently involved in a crash or you are partway into the claims process, contact a lawyer for help. If you need assistance getting someone’s insurance information or you want someone to handle correspondence with the other driver’s insurer, our California personal injury lawyers can help; we have offices in Alameda, Sacramento, Modesto, and Fresno. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


Common Types of Brain Injuries from Car Accidents

by Staff Blogger | March 27th, 2023

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) deaths in adults between 20 and 24 and are the third leading cause of TBIs nationwide. While TBIs can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe, they are all serious medical conditions that require prompt diagnosis and treatment. 

You may be entitled to financial compensation if diagnosed with a TBI after a car accident. An experienced California car accident lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you recover damages. 

How Brain Injuries are Diagnosed

Accurately diagnosing a brain injury is critical for ensuring you receive the proper treatment and care. A comprehensive evaluation is necessary to determine the type and severity of the injury and develop a treatment plan.

Your doctor will perform a physical examination and review your medical history to assess the presence of a brain injury. They may also conduct diagnostic tests, including:

  • CT scan: A CT scan uses X-rays to create detailed brain images to identify any signs of injury.
  • MRI: An MRI uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the brain, allowing the doctor to see any damage.
  • Neuropsychological Testing: This testing evaluates cognitive function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
  • EEG: An EEG records the brain’s electrical activity to assess its functioning and identify the presence of an injury.

Treatments Available for Traumatic Brain Injuries

The goal of treatment for a traumatic brain injury is to help you regain as much function as possible and minimize the injury’s long-term effects.

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy helps you regain strength and coordination and improves balance and mobility.
  • Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy helps you relearn daily activities, such as dressing, eating, and grooming.
  • Speech and Language Therapy: Speech and language therapy improves communication skills and helps you overcome speech and language difficulties.
  • Cognitive Therapy: Cognitive therapy improves your memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
  • Medications: Pain relievers, anticonvulsants, or antidepressants, manage your symptoms and promote healing.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury does not describe just one injury but is a category that encompasses several types of damage. The kind of brain injury can determine the symptoms and the prognosis for recovery.

  • Concussion. Concussions occur when the brain experiences a sudden, jarring impact and can cause headaches, blurred vision, nausea, and ringing in the ears. Long-term post-concussive symptoms occur in approximately 10-15% of patients, including memory problems and intense sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Skull fracture. A skull fracture is a break in one or more bones. Symptoms include disorientation, clear fluid running from the nose and ears, cranial swelling, and bruising around the eyes. Around 33% of people who sustain a severe head injury like a skull fracture do not survive, while 25% sustain some form of permanent disability.
  • Brain contusion. Brain contusions can occur when the head experiences a direct impact from a collision or is violently jerked forward, backward, or to the side. The force of the impact can cause the brain to collide with the skull, leading to bruising and swelling.
  • Hematoma. Hematomas, or collections of blood outside of blood vessels, often result from car accidents. Around 16 million subdural hematomas occur annually due to road crashes, with 1.25 million being severe. They can happen in the head, neck, or chest due to blunt force trauma from the impact of the collision. Hematomas pressure surrounding tissue, disrupt normal brain function and cause brain damage or death.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI). DAI occurs when the head experiences a rapid acceleration or deceleration force, such as in a high-speed collision. This force causes the brain’s axons (nerve fibers) to stretch and tear, leading to widespread brain damage. In severe cases, DAI can cause loss of consciousness, coma, or persistent vegetative state. Around 10% of people admitted to the hospital with a TBI suffer from a DAI, 25% of which result in death.

Available Resources for TBI Victims

For accident victims suffering from the effects of a TBI, receiving support and rehabilitative services can help them rebuild their lives after an accident. The following organizations provide resources to those suffering from TBIs:

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you have recently suffered a head injury in a car crash, now is the time to reach out to a qualified car accident attorney. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we understand how serious injuries can affect your quality of life, finances, and relationships with loved ones.

We can help you get compensation for your TBI treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering by gathering evidence to build your case, negotiating with the insurance company, or going to court.  

Don’t struggle with physical pain and medical bills alone; contact our legal team to schedule a free consultation. Our team will support you every step of the way.


How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Case in California?

by Staff Blogger | March 6th, 2023

Car accidents can be a traumatic and life-altering experience for those involved, and settling a car accident case can be time-consuming and complex. In California, the length of time it takes to settle a car accident case can vary greatly, depending on factors such as the case’s complexity, the willingness of the parties to settle, and the court’s schedule if you are filing a personal injury claim.

This can result in an unpredictable timeline for resolution, with some cases being resolved quickly and others taking several years.

It is crucial for those involved in a car accident to understand the claims process and what to expect in terms of the timeline. Seeking the assistance of California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can ensure that your car accident case is handled efficiently and effectively and that you receive the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.

The Car Accident Case Process

Filing a car accident claim in California follows a standardized process with built-in timelines. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) outlines deadlines insurance companies have to receive, investigate, settle, and payout for a claim.

The following are typical steps you take when filing a compensation claim and the accompanying timeframes:

Notify the Insurance Company

The first step in a car accident case is to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Once you file, the insurer has 15 calendar days to issue an initial response acknowledging their receipt of the claim. They must inform you of the start date of their accident investigation and provide instructions for sending additional documentation to prove your claim.

Negotiate with the Insurer

After sending documentation of your damages to the insurer, the insurance company has 40 days to accept or deny your claim. If they need more time to process the claim, they may request an extension with a detailed letter explaining why.

If the insurer is allowed an extension, they must provide you with a status update in writing every 30 days until they resolve your claim. By law, insurers cannot offer unreasonable low settlements or deny your claim without providing written reasoning for the decision.

Receive Your Settlement Check

If you and the insurance company agree on a settlement amount, they must pay your claim within 30 days[HP1] .

In total, insurance companies typically can take no more than 85 days from the receipt of your claim to deny or settle a claim (15 days to acknowledge receiving the claim, 40 days to accept or deny the claim, and 30 days to pay). In most cases, you can expect your settlement check about 6 weeks after you settle.

What Affects the Timeline of the Case?

Many factors influence how long it takes to settle a personal injury case, including the willingness of the insurance company to settle, the complexity of the case, and ongoing litigation.

Complexity of the Case

Complex car crash cases can take longer to settle than straightforward claims. For instance, crashes involving more than one party or commercial or government vehicles take longer to investigate because of the number of parties who may be accountable.  

It may take longer to settle if your case involves catastrophic injuries such as disfigurement or a spinal cord injury. The potential settlement for this type of case is much higher, which means the insurance company requires evidence such as medical records, diagnostic test results, and estimates of future medical needs to agree on a payout.

Insurance Company’s Willingness to Settle

When an insurance company refuses to settle for a fair amount, the next step is to send a demand letter stating your intent to file a lawsuit.

The newly passed SB 1155 outlines several changes to how demand letters are used in car accident claims. It requires claimants to allow between 30 and 33 days for the insurer to respond to a demand letter and provide detailed reasoning for taking the case to court.

Involvement in Any Lawsuits

If you move ahead with a lawsuit, you will extend the timeline for your settlement. The court process has several phases, and you must abide by its schedule and timelines for personal injury cases.

For example, if your case requires expert witnesses, you must disclose them in accordance with the rules for the county in which your lawsuit was filed. The same holds true for discovery; You must also complete the discovery phase of gathering evidence and answering interrogatories in accordance with the rules for the county in which your lawsuit was filed.

A lawsuit can result in higher compensation; however, it typically takes several months to years to receive a settlement.

Start Your Claim with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Ultimately, the timeline for settling a car accident case in California can be difficult to predict, but with proper guidance and support, it is possible to reach a resolution.

Our attorneys have been helping clients get compensation for car accidents for over 40 years and will use our experience to win you a fair settlement as quickly as possible.

Contact us for a confidential, free consultation with a member of our legal team who will discuss the circumstances of your car accident and its impact on your life, family, and finances.



Car Accidents Caused by Texting While Driving

by Staff Blogger | February 28th, 2023

We hear a lot about the dangers of texting while driving, but is it really that dangerous? And if it is, why do we keep on doing it? Texting while driving is dangerous, as it causes drivers to take their eyes off the road. This behavior leads to car accidents that can result in serious injuries and even fatalities.

Even though California has one of the lowest records of distracted driving fatalities, texting while driving has caused life-altering injuries to victims. If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident, you need an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney to handle your case.

At Berg Injury, we offer a free consultation and answer all the questions regarding your insurance claim. In the next section, we will give you facts, laws, and statistics about distracted driving, who is liable, and ways to prevent distracted driving.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving occurs when a driver is preoccupied with something other than driving. The secondary behavior causes drivers to take their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road, and their mental focus away from the primary task of driving. These behaviors include eating, applying makeup, handling the dashboard controls, talking to a passenger, and texting.

Since nearly every driver has a mobile phone, texting while driving has become a major problem. Lawmakers have placed more emphasis on it because it has proven to be as dangerous as drunk driving.

If a distracted driver caused an injury to you or your loved one, proficient California car accident attorneys could help you fight for what is rightfully yours.

Facts About Distracted Driving

Distracted driving poses a danger to both the young and the old. In fact, young drivers are four times more likely to get into a car accident compared to experienced drivers. Other important facts about distracted driving include the following:

  • Men are twice more likely to get into an accident due to distracted driving than women.
  • Driving as you are texting is as dangerous as driving after drinking four beers within an hour.
  • Texting while driving increases the possibility of a motor vehicle accident by three times.
  • Distracted driving qualifies as a primary offense in California.
  • It takes about 27 seconds for your eyes to readjust to the road and the mental distraction to end after texting while driving.

California Distracted Driving Laws

According to California Vehicle Code, Section 23123, a person cannot read or write text messages or receive a call while driving on a public road. However, they are permitted to do so, if they have a hands-free system in the vehicle.

Further, California VC, Section 23124, prevents people under eighteen from using a mobile phone, including hands-free. Other laws also prohibit school bus and transit vehicle drivers from using a wireless phone unless it is work-related or an emergency.

California Distracted Driving Statistics

Motorists are often surprised when they hear that texting while driving is among the leading causes of car accidents. The following statistics give a better picture of the frequency and consequences of distracted driving:

  • In a 2020 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, men caused 75% of distracted driving fatalities. Of these, 13% were mobile phone related.
  • Nationally, distracted driving causes nine deaths and more than 1000 injuries daily.
  • More than 650,000 people use mobile phones while driving (NHTSA)
  • A survey by AT&T showed that 98% of drivers who text and drive said they know the dangers of texting as they drive, but 75% of them still do it regularly.

Who is Liable in a Sacramento Texting While Driving Accident?

Since California is an at-fault state, a driver in Sacramento who caused harm to another person is responsible for the cost of the accident-related injuries. Additionally, Sacramento also follows the state’s pure comparative negligence law. For instance, if the injured person shares any liability, such as texting while driving, they may get reduced or no compensation for their role in the accident.

If you get involved in an accident due to distracted driving, talk to a car accident attorney immediately. By hiring a car accident attorney, Sacramento victims can hold the party at fault liable for their injuries and damage to the vehicle.

5 Ways to Prevent Being Distracted While Driving

A car, truck, or van is a lethal weapon when a distracted driver is on the wheels. A car accident caused by a preoccupied driver can cause permanent disability. To avoid this outcome, the following five tips can prevent you from being distracted while driving:

  1. Send texts before getting into the car or pull over and stop if you need to send one.
  2. Resist the urge to use the phone while driving.
  3. Refrain from driving if you are feeling drowsy.
  4. Prepare to drive before you start driving by ensuring everything is in place.
  5. Ensure your car is well-maintained.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento

Many drivers take the right to use public roads for granted. In the process, some cause serious accidents that change the lives of those around them. If you are a victim of a car accident due to distracted driving, a car accident attorney in Sacramento can help you decide the next cause of action.

At Berg injury, we have helped car accident victims since 1981. We know how to protect the best interest of our clients while negotiating with the insurance company. Schedule a free appointment with us and let us help you seek the compensation you deserve.


What Are the Worst Traffic Times in San Francisco?

by Staff | February 14th, 2023

Originally posted March 15, 2021

San Francisco sees some of the heaviest traffic in the U.S. In fact, the Bay Area has the 7th worst traffic in the nation, according to INRIX, a company that provides location-based data and analytics.

INRIX determined that San Francisco commuters spent an average of 64 hours sitting in traffic in 2021. While the onset of COVID dramatically reduced traffic in the city, the average time spent commuting has continued to increase since then, and is starting to trend towards pre-COVID levels, which had peaked at around an average of 90 hours. If you’re one of the many commuters in the city, then you might be wondering what’s the best time to get on the road (and avoid getting stuck in the dreaded San Francisco traffic).

The good news is that it’s not unpredictable! We’ve managed to pin down some of the worst traffic times in San Francisco so you can plan around them. The bad news is that you might not be able to completely avoid these congested times of the day.

Read on to help plan your San Francisco commutes, and to learn more about how Berg Injury Lawyers can help if you get in an accident caused by a negligent driver.

WHAT RESEARCH SAYS ABOUT THE WORST TRAFFIC TIMES IN SAN FRANCISCO

In general, traffic peaks in San Francisco on Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to the city’s own estimates. The Urban Mobility Report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute agrees to some extent, finding that the period between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday sees the most traffic congestion.

This makes sense, as these are common “rush hour” times. However, other studies have suggested that different times of the day also present heavy congestion on our roads. Zendrive found that 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. was the worst period of the day for traffic in San Francisco.

Where you’re located and where you’re headed can also impact your travel times in the Bay Area. For example, if you’re headed north on Interstate 680 over the Sunol Grade, rush hour can start as early as 2 p.m. and last until 8 p.m.

To some extent, the data tells us what we already know: traffic in San Francisco can be brutal. However, if you can avoid traveling during the afternoon rush hour and plan your route wisely, you might be able to shave off collective hours from the annual amount of time you spend behind the wheel.

Frustrated by traffic? Learn 6 simple tips for dealing with Bay Area traffic.

CHALLENGES POSED BY SAN FRANCISCO’S HEAVY TRAFFIC

Congested roads take a toll on the Bay Area in more ways than just frustration. First, there’s the potential “congestion pricing program” the city is considering. If implemented, drivers entering downtown and South of Market could be charged a fee in an effort to reduce the number of cars in these areas.

Second, those hours lost in traffic delays have an economic impact. INRIX estimates that the total annual economic cost of sitting in traffic is $1,348 per driver in the U.S. That’s because sitting in traffic jams digs into office hours, not to mention it subtracts from available recreational hours spent with loved ones or finding time to relax.

And, of course, heavy traffic and the frazzled nerves that come with it can put drivers at greater risks of being involved in certain types of crashes, including rear-end collisions and distracted driving accidents.

If you’re enjoying this article, you might also be interested in: What Are the Worst Traffic Times in Sacramento?

IF YOU NEED A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN SAN FRANCISCO, GET BERG!

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our San Francisco car accident lawyers know how bad traffic can get. Not only do we also travel congested roads on the way into our many offices in Northern California, we represent clients who get severely injured in Bay Area car accidents.

We know the law, and we know what it takes to fight for the compensation our clients deserve. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, contact our San Francisco personal injury lawyers anytime to get started.

To learn more about traffic in California, check out the following resources:


How Long Do Insurers Have to Settle Car Accident Claims in California?

by Staff Blogger | February 13th, 2023

You can file a compensation claim for damages if you were injured due to another driver’s negligence in California. However, the timeline for receiving a payout from an insurance company can vary based on factors like the complexity of the accident and the insurer’s investigation.

The time it takes to receive a settlement also depends on the skill of your legal counsel. An experienced car accident attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you understand the filing timeline and help you get your settlement as quickly as possible.

Dealing with Insurance Companies in California

To get a settlement for injuries you suffered in a car accident, you must deal with your insurance company and the negligent driver’s insurer.

Due to California’s pure comparative fault laws, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get compensation. This doctrine allows drivers involved in an injury crash to seek damages according to their percentage of responsibility. Pure comparative fault lets you file for compensation even if you are 99% responsible for the collision.

Filing a claim requires completing claims forms, sending a demand letter, and submitting evidence like medical bills or W2s to support the amount you’re asking for. Once your claim has been filed, the insurance company will investigate to determine how much the claim is worth.

They may attempt to contact you during this time to offer you a low settlement or to get information they can use to lower your payout. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement, potentially helping you get your payout faster.

Dealing with Your Own Insurance Company

If the accident caused injuries, death, or property damage over $750, you must report it to your insurance provider and the California Highway Patrol within 10 days. The DMV may suspend your license if you don’t report the accident in time. You can also lose insurance coverage if you don’t inform your insurer of the crash.

You can file with your insurer for compensation if the other driver doesn’t have the minimum insurance required by California and you have uninsured motorists’ coverage on your policy. Your attorney can help you file per your insurance company’s claims process.

What Does the Timeline for a Car Accident Claim Look Like?

The timeline for a car accident claim is typically a few weeks to several months, depending on the case’s complexity. For straightforward cases filed immediately after an accident, an attorney can gather evidence and submit a demand letter in a week or two.

Complex cases may take longer. For example, if your case involves multiple parties or severe injuries, your attorney may need several weeks or months to speak to witnesses, gather reports, and access related records.

Insurance companies have 40 days to investigate the claim and send a notice of acceptance or denial. Finally, if you and the insurer agree on a settlement amount, they must pay within 30 days.

If you can’t agree on a settlement amount, your attorney can negotiate, but this will delay the time frame for receiving a settlement. However, you will likely receive a higher settlement by allowing your attorney to negotiate for a few more weeks or months. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with Berg Injury Lawyers

If you’ve been in a car accident in California and are dealing with an insurance claim, it’s important to have someone on your side who understands the process and can advocate for your rights.

The California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. We’ll work to ensure that your claim is handled fairly and efficiently and prevent insurance companies from delaying or lowering your settlement.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


Will Insurance Companies Pay for Drunk Driving Accidents?

by Staff Blogger | January 23rd, 2023

A drunk driving accident can lead to severe injuries and damage to vehicles and property. The cost of medical bills and repair or replacement costs for vehicles after crashes can be thousands of dollars, leaving accident victims burdened with overwhelming expenses during an already stressful time.

Filing a drunk driving accident claim against the negligent driver’s insurance can help you receive compensation to pay for accident-related expenses. However, insurance companies will typically do everything possible to avoid paying you a fair settlement for your injuries.

Read on to learn the factors that insurance companies in California consider when paying a settlement for a drunk driving accident. Contact the California drunk driving injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to help you seek compensation to cover your financial losses.

What Does California Law Say?

In California, it’s against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol. The law states that anyone with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher if they are over 21 years old or a BAC of 0.01% if they are under 21 cannot legally get behind the wheel.

California also has laws on driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs and medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. If a police officer suspects a driver to be under the influence of a substance, they can conduct sobriety tests and potentially put them under arrest.

However, for insurance purposes, drunk drivers are not automatically considered at fault for damages in a car accident. For example, an intoxicated driver may be involved in an accident they did not cause.

A drunk driver may be stopped at a red light when another vehicle fails to stop and rear-ends them. In this case, the drunk driver has not caused the crash, so their insurance does not need to pay to cover the other driver’s damages, even though they were driving drunk.

Drunk Driving and Liability in California

If you were involved in an accident with a drunk driver, even if they were charged with a crime, they may not be responsible for damages resulting from the accident. Legally, the driver may still face jail time, fines, or loss of driving privileges, but insurance companies don’t automatically fault the drunk driver when determining liability for a settlement.

California uses the pure comparative negligence doctrine to assign fault in an auto accident. Pure comparative negligence works by assigning responsibility to drivers involved in an accident. Pure comparative negligence allows anyone to receive damages, even if they are 99% at fault for the damages.

If you file for damages in a drunk driving incident, California insurance companies will examine the factors of the case to determine a level of fault to all parties. For example, they may look at blood-alcohol level tests, camera footage, police reports, or receipts from nearby bars to decide if the driver was drunk and if their actions caused the collision.

Based on the insurance company’s conclusion, they may take the following actions:

  • If the drunk driver wasn’t at fault: The insurance company will argue that the drunk driver was not at fault, and therefore, does not need to cover the cost of a claim even though the driver will face criminal charges for driving while intoxicated.
  • If a drunk driver was only partially responsible: The insurance of both parties involved in the crash may make payments in this case. For example, a drunk driver ran a red light, but the other driver was texting while driving and hit the drunk driver’s car.
  • The drunk driver was at fault: If a drunk driver is at fault in an accident, their insurance will most likely cover your claim because they did not intentionally cause damage or injury. However, depending on the case’s specifics, the drunk driver’s insurance may deny the claim based on illegal activity voiding their policy.

In this case, you may need to seek help from an attorney at Berg Injury Lawyers to help gather evidence, navigate the insurance claims process, and pursue a settlement.

Get Legal Help When Filing a Claim

If you or someone you know were in a car accident, you might not be guaranteed compensation from the drunk driver’s car insurance company. A lawyer specializing in personal injury resulting from drunk driving accidents can help ensure you have the money to pay for your medical bills.

California Drunk Driving Injury Attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the insurance claim process or file a lawsuit against the guilty party to help you receive the compensation you’re entitled to get you back on your feet.

Our knowledge and experience in car accidents and personal injury cases can win you a fair settlement so you can focus on recovery.

Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.


Are Back Injuries Caused by Car Accidents Difficult to Prove in a Claim?

by Staff Blogger | January 16th, 2023

If your back was injured in an automobile accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and lowered quality of life. However, these injuries can be challenging to prove liability, and insurance companies fight hard to avoid paying you what you are due.

The California auto accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and getting back injury victims the compensation they deserve.

How Common Are Back Injuries in Car Accidents?

Roughly 4.4 million Americans are injured in car accidents yearly, resulting in $380 million in medical costs. According to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, there were 15,379 traffic accidents resulting in injuries in the state in 2020.

Back injuries are some of the most common injuries in car crashes because they can happen in any type of crash, even minor fender benders. Nationwide, there are roughly 869,000 cervical spine injuries due to automobile accidents. The lumbosacral spine region was the most commonly injured portion of the back in car accidents, along with other spinal disk and column injuries.

What Makes Back Injuries Difficult to Prove?

Back injuries can result from various activities, including manual labor, existing muscle imbalances, sitting in chairs with improper lumbar support, sleeping on the wrong mattress, and minor slips and falls.

Insurance companies may try to claim that your back pain is due to another, different injury or cause. They may state that your back pain existed before your car accident, that it is a result of an injury after your accident, or that it is due to a different health issue you may have. They may even claim you are overstating the severity of the pain.

Back injuries are complex, and the other driver’s insurance company can claim that the car accident was only one of several causes or that only a minor injury resulting from the accident was then made worse by an unrelated activity or injury later. Back injuries often take years to heal, if they heal at all, so they could also claim that it is an old injury that predates your accident.

The insurance company will try everything possible to avoid paying you what you deserve. With legal representation from Berg Injury Lawyers, your skilled attorney can help you prove your case and get the compensation you deserve. We can gather evidence to support your medical claim and negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement on your behalf.

What Steps Can You Take to Strengthen a Claim?

If you have a back injury resulting from an automobile accident, there are steps you can take to strengthen your claim. In any potential legal case, you must prove:

  • Your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver
  • Your back injuries are a direct result of the accident
  • The financial damages you deserve are a result of your back injuries

Successful back injury legal cases require two types of proof, evidence from the accident and medical evidence that backs up your health claims.

Accident evidence should include:

  • Any possible physical evidence from the scene, including any debris on the road
  • Witness testimony
  • Police reports or other investigations of the accident
  • Pictures of the damage, crash scene, skid marks, and road conditions
  • Any possible video footage from CCTV cameras or dashcams

For medical evidence, visit your doctor immediately after an accident and receive a complete exam. Schedule an X-ray, MRI, and CAT scans to show the physical condition of your back, particularly when compared with any scans taken before your injury. Ask your doctor for a report detailing the damage and its effects on your body.

It is also essential to prepare a detailed report of how your injuries affect your life, including:

  • Calculation of any wages lost
  • Detailed tabulation of all associated medical expenses
  • Estimate of future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering losses quantified into a dollar amount
  • An affidavit detailing your pain and how it has impacted your life
  • Personal testimony in journal entries or from friends or family that can attest to the changes in your personality or physical capabilities

This information, along with the assistance of the car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers, can help you present a case that will be difficult for an insurance company to refute.

Our team will work with you to depose witnesses, take your sworn statements, help confirm your expense calculations, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get the settlement you deserve.

Get Compensation for Your Back Injury with Berg Injury Lawyers

If you suffered a back injury in a California auto accident, you can seek compensation with the help of Berg Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys have worked hard for clients for more than 40 years to get them the compensation they deserve when a negligent driver causes a life-changing injury.

Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation regarding your auto accident case. We can review your medical records and the circumstances of the accident to help ensure you get the maximum compensation so you can rebuild your life.


Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Self-Driving Car Accident?

by Staff Blogger | January 5th, 2023

Self-driving cars represent a new age in the auto industry. Along with implementing smart technologies like traffic sensors in major cities like Sacramento, vehicle manufacturers are creating self-driving cars to change the roadways for drivers.

The federal Department of Transportation has mapped safety standards and plans for integrating autonomous vehicles on American roads. Self-driving cars could create employment opportunities for two million people with disabilities and save the healthcare system $19 billion annually in healthcare costs of missed appointments.

However, no amount of technological advancement can put an end to all risks associated with driving. The California DMV has received 533 reports of accidents involving autonomous vehicles from manufacturers during test runs as of December 2022.

If you are involved in a self-driving vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, determining liability for this type of accident can be challenging. Learn more about liability in self-driving car collisions and how Berg Injury Lawyers can help you with your case.

How Self-Driving Cars Work

Self-driving cars rely on automated safety features to detect surrounding objects, cars, and other vehicles. These features include cameras and sensors to operate and navigate on highways and roads.

Map Building

Cameras and Light Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology scan the car’s surroundings when out on the road. The vehicle’s computer builds a map of its surroundings and places the car within the map, allowing the technology to plan a route for the vehicle to travel.

Path Planning

Path planning allows driverless cars to find routes that are as safe and fast as possible while maneuvering in traffic. They start with a long-range plan and then generate short-range plans that can change as the trip progresses.

Obstacle Avoidance

A self-driving vehicle’s map includes all visible and predicted obstacles it may face. Machine learning enables them to identify specific objects such as motorcycles and bicycles and avoid them accordingly.

Other self-driving vehicles can communicate with each other over a wireless connection to see if hidden objects are ahead. When one vehicle encounters an obstacle, it warns the other cars so they can avoid it.

The self-driving car may become dangerous if it cannot detect hazards effectively and efficiently. Sensor degradation and failure can cause detection errors, confuse the car’s computer, and make driving dangerous. A human driver may need to take over if the car’s systems fail during the trip. If this occurs, it may complicate identifying who was at fault in a car accident.

Who is Liable if Autopilot Crashes?

Self-driving car accident liability can fall on the human driver or the self-driving vehicle manufacturer. Responsibility depends on whether the car’s auto-pilot system was turned on during the accident.

Human Driver

California’s Vehicle Code 38750 requires self-driving cars to have safety alert systems to warn drivers of computer failures. The driver must regain complete control over the car’s brakes, acceleration, and steering wheel if a computer failure occurs. A driver who doesn’t take control during an emergency can be held responsible for the accident.

Auto Manufacturer

Since driverless vehicles use computers and cameras to plan routes, computing factors can contribute to defects in these vehicles. Computing problems can include:

  • Software bugs
  • System failures
  • Inability to warn the operator to take over the vehicle

Product liability laws in California hold those who design, manufacture or sell defective products strictly responsible for any injuries. Vehicle manufacturers must consider collision safety when designing and building their products. Therefore, vehicle manufacturers are liable for damages caused by manufacturing or design defects.

The Question of Venue to File Your Lawsuit

The appropriate court or venue can be an issue in filing a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident. You can file in any judicial district where the crash happened or where the other party lives. However, venue issues can arise if the other party is an out-of-state corporation, such as an auto manufacturer.

You can work with the California auto accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers to help you with your lawsuit against the auto manufacturing company. We can help you establish the manufacturer’s minimum contacts, such as having an in-state physical location or accepting online orders in-state.

A state court must find these contacts sufficient to assert personal jurisdiction and allow you to sue the company in California. If your damages are at least $75,000, we can help you transfer your case to federal court.

Start Your Case with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Proving liability in a self-driving car accident can be complex with the assistance of an accomplished car accident attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers. We understand California’s self-driving vehicle laws and can help you build a claim against the driver and/or the manufacturer who caused your injuries.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our lawyers.


How Long Do I Have to Make a Car Accident Claim in California?

by Staff Blogger | December 19th, 2022

A bad car accident can upend your life. When you’re facing the cost of car repairs, medical treatment for your injuries, and challenges of daily life, handling time restrictions on making a car insurance claim can feel like an overwhelming task. Some people get help from an auto accident attorney to help with the process and ensure they file a claim in time.

It can be difficult to keep up with claims and filing deadlines after a car accident. Learn how long you have to file a claim after a car accident and how Berg Injury Lawyers can assist with the process.

The Car-Accident Claim Process

When you’ve been in a car accident in California, you must file a claim with your car insurance company immediately, per California law. Some insurance policies have a deadline for filing, so it’s essential to check your policy details.

After filing with your insurance, your insurance company will reach out to you to ask about the circumstances of the accident and assess your damages. While your insurance company will usually work with an adjuster and your repair shop to determine the cost of damages to your car, they won’t take the initiative to investigate other damages.

Damages to anything other than your car, like medical expenses, will need to be documented so you can give them to your insurance company. There may also be deadlines for filing these documents, which will be listed in your insurance policy.

Per the California Department of Insurance, most insurance companies must:

  • Advise you of your policy benefits, coverage, provisions, and time limits.
  • Acknowledge, begin investigating, and correspond with you regarding your claim within 15 days.
  • Accept or deny the claim within 40 days of receiving the proof of claim document.
  • Offer a fair settlement, payable within 30 days of reaching an agreement.

California is an at-fault insurance state, so your insurance and the other driver’s insurance will determine who is most responsible for the accident. The driver considered not at fault will receive monetary compensation for their damages, while the other driver will not receive payment.

What Insurance Companies Will Try to Do

Car insurance companies are often reluctant to cover the damages you’re owed. To try and get out of compensating you, they may deliberately undervalue your car, claim you were at fault for the accident, or refuse to cover medical bills or wages you were unable to earn due to the accident.

Unethical insurance companies may even resort to bad faith tactics like deliberately delaying your claim, causing you to miss a deadline, and then denying your claim because the deadline has passed.

If you’re facing challenging negotiations with the insurance company, get in touch with a Sacramento car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can review your case and determine whether you’ll need to file a claim in court.

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney if You’ve Been Injured

Handling the aftermath of a car accident is stressful, even in the best of times. Being badly injured in a car accident makes it significantly harder to keep on top of filing deadlines and necessary paperwork. Hiring a car accident attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers can give you peace of mind and ensure you file a well-supported compensation claim.

Berg Injury Lawyers has a team of experienced car accident attorneys who can help you through the claims process and ensure you file on schedule. If the other driver or their insurance company is unwilling to pay you what you’re owed, we will be prepared to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Let a lawyer handle the legal aftermath of your car accident so you can focus on getting your life back to normal. Contact us today for a free consultation and get started on your claim.