Auto Accident

What Are the Leading Causes of Traffic Deaths in California?

by Staff | May 31st, 2021

Traffic accidents often lead to fatalities and can devastate a family in seconds. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), during the first nine months of 2020, traffic deaths across the country increased almost 5% over 2019 statistics.

In California, over 3,000 deaths occur each year due to traffic accidents, often resulting from someone else’s negligence and reckless driving. When this happens to one of your loved ones, seeking legal advice is necessary to determine whether you can file a claim to get the compensation you need to move forward with your life and hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.

Berg Injury Lawyers has been assisting car accident victims and their families since 1981, and we understand the California laws surrounding them. We know how to thoroughly review and evaluate your case and advise you of your options, negotiate with the insurance companies, and, if necessary, file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf.

Negligent behaviors of others abound when sliding behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. As a result, too many fatalities occur. In California, these negligent behaviors range from excessive speeding to several forms of distracted driving.

Leading Causes of Traffic Deaths in California

While many causes can contribute to a traffic accident, there are several which stand out in California as the leading causes of traffic deaths.


Driving too fast for the roadway conditions or excessive speeding are leading causes of traffic fatalities across the country and California. The IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) reports that speeding results in more severe accidents, often leading to catastrophic occurrences.

At higher speeds, a driver’s reaction time reduces, as does their overall control of the vehicle. As speed increases, so does the force of impact, creating a hazardous situation for other drivers. Attempts to slow down or stop to avoid a crash are limited, which increases the risk of deadly injury to all involved.


Driving while impaired is widespread and often leads to severe accidents. Impairment can be caused by alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs and can prevent the driver from acting responsibly, leading to thousands of crashes each year.

Alcohol impairment means that a driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. According to compiled statistics by the Centers for Disease Control, every 50 minutes, a death in a motor vehicle crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurs in the United States.

Drug impairment, whether from legal or illegal drugs, also contributes to deadly accidents each year. Prescription medications often lead to drowsiness, affecting the driver’s ability to drive responsibly, while illegal drug impairment often reduces reaction time or causes loss of attention.

Driver Distraction

With the advancement of technology, people’s attention is pulled in all directions, and this often leads to drivers who attempt to multi-task behind the wheel.

Driver distraction encompasses various activities, and new technology is only one cause of distraction. Examples of activities leading to distraction include:

  • Talking, texting, or internet browsing on a cell phone or other device
  • Talking or arguing with other passengers in the vehicle
  • Eating while driving
  • Grooming while driving
  • Distracted by other objects in the vehicle

While regulations exist to lower the number of distractions, it’s challenging to remove them entirely. For example, hands-free cell phones are helpful but don’t eliminate the overall distraction.

Careless Driving

Failing to adhere to common traffic laws often leads to accidents. Two that top the list of common causes of traffic deaths are failure to yield the right-of-way and the inability to keep to the proper lane. Failing to obey traffic signals and signs also contributes to deadly crashes daily.

While doing your part to follow traffic laws, others may not show you and your loved ones the same courtesy. Always be on the lookout for those careless drivers and give yourself plenty of time and space to react to their negligent actions. When you cannot do so, and injury or death occurs, you need to consider all your options.

Though filing a legal claim with experienced California car accident attorneys won’t bring your loved one back to you, it can provide peace of mind by bringing those responsible to justice and compensation for you and your family.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers to Arrange Your Free Consultation

Thousands of traffic accidents occur in California every year, leading to fatalities. When this happens to your family or loved one, the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers are here to help you achieve the justice you deserve and get you the compensation you need. If you’d like to speak to an attorney, contact our law office for a complimentary, no-obligation case review.

Can a Driver Be Impaired by OTC Drugs?

by Staff | May 3rd, 2021

If you were injured in a car crash, you might want to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, to receive compensation, you must show that the other driver’s negligence was at least a partial cause of the accident.

While there are many ways for a driver to be negligent, a commonly overlooked reason is driving after taking certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Can a Driver Be Impaired by OTC Drugs?

While not all OTC drugs affect driving, there are several that can significantly impair the ability to drive. However, many people don’t look at the side of the bottle or read about the side effects. Instead, they may try to drive with disastrous consequences.

If another driver hits your car while taking any of these OTC drugs, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and cover lost wages.

The FDA warns that these drugs can affect your driving abilities:

  • OTC drugs with codeine
  • Certain allergy medications, like Benadryl
  • Medicines that treat motion sickness
  • OTC sleeping medications
  • Some diet pills
  • Medication containing stimulants, including pseudoephedrine, caffeine, and ephedrine
  • Medicine for diarrhea
  • Any medication for relaxing muscles
  • Some cold medicines, particularly “nighttime” versions
  • Some cough medicines

Additionally, CBD consumption or smoking or eating marijuana before driving can also lead to accidents.

How OTC Drugs Can Impair a Driver

Many of the OTC drugs listed by the FDA cause tiredness, which could become deadly behind the wheel of a car. In 2017, 91,000 crashes occurred because of driver tiredness, with over 700 of them causing at least one fatality.

While it’s clear that OTC drugs marketed toward people living with insomnia cause tiredness, there are several others with sleepiness as a side-effect, including some cough medicines, motion sickness drugs, anything containing codeine, and some allergy medications.

Other side-effects caused by these medications that could impair your ability to drive include:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Altered perception
  • Decreased reaction time
  • Impaired coordination

If a driver suffers any of these side-effects while on the road, they could cause a serious accident. Driving requires strict focus and attention, and a driver closing their eyes for a few seconds or fumbling with the brake can mean the difference between avoiding an accident and causing a multi-car pile-up.

Can You Sue a Driver Who Took OTC Drugs?

Car accidents can cause significant injuries, from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) to broken bones to paralysis. In California, if you were in a car accident and received serious injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced lawyer.

The earlier you consult with a lawyer, the sooner you can receive your compensation. You should also consult with a lawyer before speaking with the insurance company since they may offer a low settlement or try to get you to admit fault.

Whether you were a passenger in the car or were in another vehicle, you can sue the driver. However, you must also prove that the driver was negligent. To prove negligence in California, you’ll need to prove that:

  • The driver breached their duty to drive safely
  • The driver’s breach caused your accident and injuries
  • The driver could have foreseen the consequences of their actions
  • You suffered demonstrable damages, either physical or financial

How a Lawyer Can Help

It’s essential that you work with a lawyer since proving negligence is challenging. Additionally, your lawyer might look for evidence that the driver had the OTC drug in their system. If you were a passenger in the car, you may have seen the driver take the drug earlier in the day. For passengers in other vehicles, your lawyer might speak with the driver’s family and friends to learn if they habitually take certain OTC drugs.

Ultimately, the driver’s actions behind the wheel can be enough to establish fault, even if proving that they took an OTC medication isn’t possible. Your lawyer will be able to determine the right path to get you the compensation you deserve.

Start Your Journey Toward Compensation

If you received serious physical injuries from a recent car crash, contact the California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers today. At your free consultation, we can review your case to determine your legal options. Our experienced team can look for evidence to show the other driver was impaired by OTC drugs or any other proof of negligence. Call us today to learn more.

How to Drive Safely in Work Zones

by Staff | April 19th, 2021

Thousands of work zone crashes occur each year in California, and more than 700 Americans are killed in these crashes annually. In most cases, those deaths are motorists. But approximately 15% of those deaths are work zone workers.

Work zones are a common fixture on California’s roads, so it’s important we take caution when driving through them, both for our safety and that of workers. Here are a few crucial safety tips for the next time you drive through a work zone.

Plan Your Route Wisely

If you know that your route includes a work zone, you can either leave earlier than usual or find an alternate route. Often, navigational apps or devices can show you whether there are significant delays on your route so you can plan accordingly.

Take Speed Limits Seriously

Speeding contributes to roughly 29% of work zone accidents. Speed limits are typically lower in work zones, and fines can be greater than in non-work zones. Whenever you see a speed limit posted in a work zone, do not exceed it, even if you don’t immediately see workers around your car.

Leave Adequate Space Between Yourself and Others

Drivers typically have less room in work zones than in normal traffic, so it’s important to leave adequate space between your vehicle and those in front of you. Approximately one-quarter of all fatal work zone crashes involve rear-end collisions, so be prepared for sudden stops.

If Possible, Change Lanes to Create Distance from Workers

If you notice workers near your lane, shift lanes whenever possible. If you’re on a single-lane road or you can’t shift lanes, slow down and keep as great a distance from workers as possible without veering outside your lane.

Be Especially Careful Around Buses and Large Trucks

Buses and large trucks are even more difficult to maneuver in work zones than passenger vehicles. Avoid making any sudden lane shifts in front of these large vehicles.

Follow Signs Posted by Road Crews

Most road crews post warning signs or place barrels and cones that tell drivers where they should drive. Obey these signs and make sure to drive only in designated areas.

Avoid Distraction at All Costs

Drivers should always strive to be alert and focused solely on the task of driving, but it’s doubly important when driving in work zones. Keep conversations with passengers or on hands-free devices to a minimum. Make sure you keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road ahead throughout the entire time you’re driving through a work zone.

If You’re Injured by a Negligent Driver, You Have Options

Whether you’re working or driving in a work zone, you have legal rights to compensation when you’re injured by a negligent driver. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience standing up for the rights of injured Californians.

If you’re considering your legal options, contact our California car accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation with our team. Tell us about the details of your case, and we can help you explore ways in which you can get the compensation you deserve for the costs of the injuries you’ve suffered.

Warning Signs You’re Too Tired to Drive

by Staff | April 12th, 2021

Every driver knows that dreaded feeling: your eyes are heavy, you’re yawning uncontrollably, and you’re still many miles from your destination.

Drowsy driving results in approximately 90,000 crashes and hundreds of deaths each year in the U.S. And tragically, these crashes are entirely preventable. That’s why it’s so important for drivers to recognize the signs of fatigue, so they can take action to save themselves and others from harm in a crash.

Red Flags of Fatigued Driving

If you notice any of the following warning signs, you could be putting yourself or others at risk of a crash:

  • Difficulty keeping eyes open
  • Nodding off
  • Frequent yawning and blinking
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Missing your exit or turn
  • Missing road signs or signals
  • Failing to remember the last few miles you’ve driven

Prevention Is the Best Solution

Ideally, drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel if they’re at risk of falling asleep. Strategies for preventing drowsy driving include:

  • Getting enough sleep. For most people, that’s between seven to nine hours per night.
  • Avoiding driving for long periods without taking breaks or switching drivers. Plan to take a 15-minute break every two hours on a long trip, and to never driver for more than eight hours in a day. 
  • If possible, avoiding driving during periods of peak sleepiness, which is generally between midnight and 6 a.m. and in the late afternoon.
  • Avoiding taking medications that cause drowsiness if you know you may need to drive while it’s in effect.

These steps can help you prevent fatigue, but it’s also worth knowing what to do if you get tired behind the wheel.

What to Do If You’re Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

If you find yourself getting tired or nodding off behind the wheel, it’s time to act. That means taking the first available exit or entering the first safe place to park available, then taking a nap. Even a brief nap can help you stay awake long enough to arrive safely to your destination, as long as that destination isn’t too far away.

If you have someone else riding in your vehicle who is able to drive, ask them to drive while you take a nap. Though some strategies like listening to loud music, drinking caffeine, or blasting cold air might have marginal benefits to help you stay awake, nothing will truly rejuvenate you as well as sleep. These methods should only be used to get you to a safe place to pull over, not to get you all the way to your destination if you are already feel drowsy.

How to Spot Drowsy Drivers on the Road

We can each do everything in our power to avoid driving while tired, but we’re still at the mercy of our fellow drivers’ efforts to stay safe.

If you notice that a vehicle is drifting into another lane or off the road, then you might be near a drowsy driver. When a driver drifts into your lane or endangers you or other motorists, then you have every right to honk your horn. If possible, slow down or speed up to create a safe distance between you and the other vehicle.

When Injured by a Negligent Driver, You Have Legal Options

If you’re injured in a crash through no fault of your own, you have the right to pursue compensation for all the damages you’ve experienced, including medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering. Don’t hesitate to contact the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review with our team.

How Do You Spot a Distracted Driver?

by Staff | April 5th, 2021

An average of eight people die in distracted driving crashes every single day in the U.S. And every year, around 400,000 people are injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.

The number of distracted driving accidents has only increased as smartphones are now commonplace for most U.S. consumers. That’s despite countless warnings from safety advocates, legislators, and law enforcement officials that drivers should never use mobile devices behind the wheel.

The chances are good that on your next commute, you’ll be sharing the road with someone whose focus is not on driving. But how do you identify these drivers so you can avoid them?

Identifying Distracted Drivers

A driver can be distracted visually, manually, or cognitively, and it’s important to recognize patterns of distracted driving so you can avoid being injured by one.

There are several signs that a driver is distracted, including:

  • Hunching over in the driver seat
  • The glow of a screen illuminating their face
  • Visibly interacting with a passenger instead of facing forward
  • Swerving or drifting outside of their traffic lane
  • Failing to slow or come to a stop when a light is red or when cars are stopped ahead of them
  • Erratic braking
  • Traveling at inconsistent speeds
  • Failing to drive when a traffic light turns green
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking behind the wheel

What to Do if You Notice a Distracted Driver

If you spot a distracted driver on the road, do your best to keep a safe distance. That means leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and theirs, doing your best to speed up (or slow down) to get as far away as possible.

If a driver is stalled in front of you at a red light or veering into your lane, don’t hesitate to use your vehicle’s horn to get their attention, especially if you feel you’re in danger of a collision.

When You’re Injured by a Distracted Driver, You Have Legal Options

Whenever any negligent driver causes you harm, you have the right to hold that driver responsible for the costs you face because of their negligence. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be the one paying for the medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain, and suffering you’ve experienced.

Distracted driving is one of the most common forms of negligence, and there are many ways to prove that the other driver was responsible for your crash. Ultimately, an injured person’s attorney can look at police reports, talk to witnesses, and gather other forms of evidence to show that the driver’s recklessness led to the accident.

If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, make sure you fully understand how much the crash will cost you. An attorney will also be able to help you calculate your damages, so you can be sure you aren’t taken advantage of by an insurance company.

If You’ve Been Injured, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California car accident lawyers have years of experience holding at-fault drivers responsible for the damages they’ve caused our clients. If you’d like to speak to an attorney at no cost, contact our team today for a free, no-obligation case review.

How Common Are Wrong Way Accidents?

by Staff | March 22nd, 2021

Every year in the U.S., 300 to 400 people die in wrong way accidents. One out of every 100 vehicle fatalities happens in these types of crashes.

Statewide, an average of 225 wrong way collisions happen every year just on freeways and expressways alone in California.

Wrong way accidents occur when a driver enters a one-way road traveling the wrong direction and causes a crash with a vehicle traveling the correct way. The most severe wrong way accidents typically occur when a driver enters an exit or entrance ramp traveling the wrong direction, but these crashes can also happen on one-way streets in urban and residential areas.

Negligence-Related Wrong Way Crashes

When a driver travels the wrong way on an entrance ramp, exit ramp, or one-way street, there could be several contributing factors, including:

  • Impairment (drugs or alcohol)
  • Distraction
  • Unfamiliarity with a location

It’s up to each driver to make sure they’re following the rules of the road. This means staying sober and focused behind the wheel, in addition to paying close attention to the traffic signs and signals placed around intersections.

In most cases, signs and signals are adequate enough to alert drivers that they’re turning the wrong way on roads. However, the visibility and placement of signage can also make wrong way accidents more likely.

How Infrastructure Contributes to Wrong Way Accidents

The way that intersections are built and signs are erected can also contribute to the occurrence of wrong way accidents. A few examples include:

  • Failure to clearly mark ramps
  • Failure to place signs clearly or in locations where signs are fully reflective at night
  • Missing signs
  • Improper ramp design
  • Low sign visibility due to obstruction by buildings, vegetation, or other objects

Though infrastructure can be a contributing factor to wrong way accidents in California, the state is taking steps to make our roads as safe as possible.

In July 2020, Caltrans and the UC Davis Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology Research Center released two reports detailing ways to prevent wrong way accidents.

The findings came after the completion of a three-year pilot study in which different methods of wrong way accident prevention were implemented on designated roads in California. The pilot study tried strategies including:

  • Two-way reflective pavement markers that show white or yellow to right way drivers, and red to wrong way drivers
  • “Wrong Way” signs at the off-ramp
  • “Do Not Enter” signs equipped with LED lights flashing 24 hours a day
  • Active monitoring systems that use radar to detect wrong way drivers and LED signs that activated when a wrong way driver entered the ramp.

The implementation of reflectors resulted in a 44% decrease in wrong way accidents on one stretch of road, leading Caltrans to install reflective markers on hundreds of miles of highways in the state.

As California takes steps to address infrastructure shortcomings that make wrong way accidents more likely, it’s up to drivers to do their part in keeping our roads safe.

If You Need Legal Help, Contact Us

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California car accident lawyers have years of experience holding negligent drivers responsible, including those who cause wrong way accidents. If you’d like to speak to our team, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case assessment.

What Are the Worst Traffic Times in San Francisco?

by Staff | March 15th, 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 97 hours sitting in traffic in 2019 (and other studies estimate that time is even greater). If you’re one of the many commuters in the city, then you might be wondering what’s the worst time to get on the road (and get 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. The bad news is that you might not be able to completely avoid these congested times of the day.

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 agreed 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 a few collective hours from the annual number of hours 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:

Can You File a Lawsuit for Defective Mechanic Work?

by Staff | March 8th, 2021

If you trusted a mechanic to fix your vehicle only to get it back with the same or new problems, you’re likely wondering if the harm they’ve done to it opens them up to liability, especially if you got into an accident because of that faulty repair job. This happens more often than you might suspect, and there’s a clear answer to your question.

You can sue a mechanic if they were negligent in repairing or servicing your vehicle and that negligence resulted in damage to you or your vehicle. Of course, this means proving that the mechanic failed to do their job with a reasonable standard of care.

Proving Negligence on the Part of a Mechanic

It’s important to show a direct causation of the mechanic’s faulty work to the damages you experienced. In other words, it’s not enough to say that the mechanic worked on your vehicle and then you were involved in a crash. You must demonstrate that the mechanic’s work was the direct cause of your crash, injuries, or property damage.

Attorneys representing clients filing lawsuits typically have many potential ways to prove this. For example, they might have a crash expert or another reputable mechanic examine the vehicle, along with the circumstances of the crash, and connect the dots needed to prove the mechanic’s failure to repair or service your vehicle with a reasonable standard of care caused the crash.

Remember that the intentions of the mechanic are irrelevant to the case you’re making when seeking compensation for your damages. Personal injury lawsuits aren’t seeking to prove that the allegedly at-fault party (the defendant) deliberately meant to impair your vehicle’s performance or to cause you harm. You’re simply asserting that the mechanic made a mistake or acted carelessly, and that those actions resulted in your injuries.

How Mechanics Get It Wrong

Mechanics can make any number of mistakes when working on a vehicle. Careless actions by a mechanic can include:

  • Failure to fix an existing problem
  • Introducing another vehicular problem while repairing the original one
  • Using the wrong part on a vehicle
  • Failing to properly reassemble vehicle parts after a repair

These are just a few examples of auto repair negligence. There are many scenarios that could make a mechanic liable for the damages suffered by an injury victim.

Considerations After Possible Auto Repair Negligence

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, and you suspect that a mechanic’s negligence is responsible, remember that preserving the evidence will be key to proving your case. Don’t attempt to fix your vehicle without first consulting an attorney, so they can document the condition of your vehicle at the time of the crash.

Make sure you seek medical treatment as soon as possible after your injury occurs. Personal injury lawsuits are only successful when clear damages have been suffered by the person filing the suit. If you don’t establish that you’ve suffered injuries, you’ll have no damages on which to base your claim.

Contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your crash will help ensure that you do what’s needed to build a solid case while also helping you avoid common pitfalls people encounter when filing lawsuits.

Need Legal Help for an Auto Repair Negligence Case? Get Berg!

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience representing injury victims throughout Northern California. To schedule a free consultation, contact our California car accident lawyers today.

Everything You Need to Know About Unmarked Crosswalks in California

by Staff | March 1st, 2021

Unmarked crosswalks are very common throughout California. With the absence of pedestrian traffic signals, drivers and pedestrians might be confused about who has the right of way, but fortunately the law is very clear.

First, let’s look at what an unmarked crosswalk actually is.

What Is an Unmarked Crosswalk?

An unmarked crosswalk is the extension of a sidewalk, trail, or any other pedestrian pathway. They’re located exclusively at intersections. In other words, an unmarked crosswalk is anywhere a marked crosswalk could be but does not feature painted lines or a “walk” signal.

If there are no sidewalks or pedestrian pathways near the intersection, then there is no unmarked crosswalk either. However, the rules for pedestrians using an unmarked crosswalk and the rules for crossing a street where there is no unmarked crosswalk are the same.

What Should You Do at an Unmarked Crosswalk?

As a pedestrian, you must check to make sure that stepping into the unmarked crosswalk won’t put you in the way of oncoming traffic that presents a safety risk, for example, vehicles that are rapidly approaching and not stopped at a traffic signal or far away. However, once a pedestrian starts crossing the road, drivers should yield the right of way to the pedestrian.

Who Is at Fault When a Driver Hits a Pedestrian Using an Unmarked Crosswalk?

California law states that a pedestrian has a “duty of using due care for his or her safety.” That means they can’t walk into oncoming traffic. So, as long as the pedestrian entered the unmarked crosswalk safely, they may be able to hold the driver responsible for any injuries they suffer.

Determining fault isn’t always simple in cases involving a pedestrian collision. Drivers often assert, rightly or wrongly, that they weren’t at fault for the crash. Witnesses to the collision can be valuable resources for injured pedestrians who need to prove a driver’s fault when seeking compensation. Street cameras can also help establish liability in pedestrian collision cases.

What to Consider If You Were Injured at an Unmarked Crosswalk

If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver for the costs of your injury. It’s essential you also seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the injury.

In the hours, days, or weeks following your injury, you might be contacted by a representative of the driver’s insurance company. They’ll want you to give them a statement on the record. It’s important that you NOT speak to that representative.

Insurance companies often attempt to offer lowball settlements to injured people. It’s possible the offer an insurer makes you will be nowhere near enough to cover the many costs you face due to the actions of the at-fault driver.

Consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your injury occurs. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine how much you’re owed and deal with the insurance company on your behalf to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Need Legal Help? Get Berg!

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California car accident attorneys have years of experience fighting for the maximum amount of compensation our clients deserve. We offer free consultations to help you explore your legal options. Contact our team today to get started.

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in California?

by Staff | February 8th, 2021

According to the California Department of Insurance, you’re required to report a traffic accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of the crash IF there’s an injury or if damage to the vehicle(s) involved is greater than $750.

If you don’t report the crash to the DMV, your license might be suspended. You may also face other difficulties if you delay reporting the crash to the authorities. That includes difficulty getting much-needed compensation from insurance companies for your vehicle repairs and medical expenses.

Insurance companies could use your delay as evidence that your injuries aren’t serious. And the longer you wait to report the crash, the longer you must wait for the compensation you’re owed.

Instead of waiting to report a crash, it’s best to do so immediately. Let’s look at the other steps you should consider after a car accident in California.

The Steps You Take After a Crash Are Crucial

What you do (and don’t do) after a crash can have serious legal, health-related, and insurance-related consequences. If you’re ever involved in a crash, following these tips can help ensure you don’t face unnecessary complications.

Call the Police Right Away

Though you technically have 10 days to report a crash, it’s best practice to notify the authorities of a crash as soon as it occurs. Having a police officer arrive at the scene of the crash to fill out a report while the vehicles are still on the scene makes a big difference when it comes to getting the payment you’ll need from insurance companies.

While You Wait, Say as Little as Possible

While you wait for the police, be careful of what you say to others. Even if you simply apologize or make any other innocent statement out of politeness, your words could be used against you. There’s no need to be rude, but it’s in your best interest to be matter-of-fact when you speak to others.

Be Careful Dealing With the Police and Insurers

When the police arrive, answer all their questions truthfully and do not offer opinions or speculation. They’ll write up a police report, which you’ll need to file an insurance claim. You can also notify your insurer of the crash. However, you are under no obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. If they contact you, it’s in your best interest NOT to speak to them.

If you’re injured or if you have even the slightest suspicion you’ve been injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s likely you won’t notice the extent of your injuries immediately after a crash, so err on the side of caution and visit your doctor. Keep copies of all bills, correspondence with insurers or healthcare providers, and any other documents you receive related to the crash.

Protect Your Interests by Speaking With a Lawyer

Consider speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after the accident, especially if you’ve been injured. The other driver’s insurance company might offer you a quick settlement before your medical treatments or diagnoses are complete. These offers are typically far less than you’ll need to cover your crash-related costs, and a lawyer can help you get the compensation you truly deserve.

When You Need Help, Get Berg

The California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience getting injured motorists the compensation they’re entitled to by law. When you need legal help after a crash, we can deal with the insurance companies while you focus on your recovery.

Contact our team today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. We don’t get paid unless we win you money.