Personal Injury

How Long Does a Sacramento Personal Injury Case Take?

by Staff Blogger | September 6th, 2022

Sacramento personal injury laws allow compensation to individuals involved in automobile accidents, slip-and-fall, dog bites, or any other accident caused by a party at fault. However, several factors impact the amount or how soon the plaintiff receives the compensation.

Some factors can be influenced by the plaintiff or their personal injury attorney, while others are beyond their control. Understanding these factors can help reduce the compensation waiting time. If the actions of another party injure you or your loved one, Berg Injury Lawyers could help hasten the compensation process. Contacting a personal injury attorney could also increase your chances of getting maximum compensation.      

Factors That Affect the Timeline of Your Sacramento Personal Injury Case

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

Accidents or actions that lead to personal injury claims lead to different injuries. The severity of injuries in a head-on car accident may differ from a slip and fall. Although the cause of the accident may not matter, the severity of the injuries does. Some injuries take longer than others to heal, and the time taken to achieve maximum medical improvement impacts the compensation timeline. The plaintiff or their lawyer cannot influence the doctor’s report.

Once a doctor ascertains the plaintiff has reached maximum medical improvement, they will not require further medical procedures in relation to the accident. An MMI report at this time allows for the computation of compensation amount since the cost of medical treatment is a factor in a personal injury lawsuit. Even where the plaintiff calculates the value within a reasonable time, they may have to wait for other parties in the lawsuit to recover. The delay in submission of medical bills and MMI reports, therefore, delays compensation.

Although MMI reports delay the compensation, temptations for quick settlements should be discouraged. One never knows what medical complications may arise from the injuries. A little wait could help the plaintiff get their compensation in full.

The Value of Your Claim

Insurance companies are always willing to settle small claims promptly. However, when the claim reaches tens of thousands, the insurance company may put up a spirited negotiation to reduce the amount. These negotiations may take months to conclude.

Although plaintiffs may start the negotiation early, insurance companies do not take them seriously before they file a lawsuit. After filing the suit, the respondent has 30 to 60 days to file their response. California laws also allow the respondent 30 to 45 more days to file their response. Filing the lawsuit and getting a response could take months. When the hearing finally begins, it can take several months.

Whether You Go to Trial or Decide On an Alternative Dispute Resolution

An aggrieved party can settle a personal injury claim through a trial or use alternative dispute resolution channels. The route taken affects the compensation timeline by shortening or prolonging it. Using the alternative dispute resolution route significantly reduces the waiting time. It can take 9 to 18 months to settle a compensation claim through the alternative dispute resolution channel.

If, on the other hand, the plaintiff chooses to go to court, they should expect to wait longer. Filing the dispute and getting a response takes several months, while the first appearance at the trial court happens after a year. The negotiations may take another year or longer, depending on the case.

The waiting time may also depend on the cooperation of the other parties. If the defendant is cooperative, the waiting time reduces significantly.

Should You Settle Early to Save Time?

Once the plaintiff seeks medical treatment, insurance companies are likely to make compensation offers. In most cases, the insurance company offers compensation that is way below what the plaintiff deserves. The insurance companies understand the complexity of filing a lawsuit and the waiting and hope the plaintiff will accept the offer to save time. This tactic is known as a lowball offer.

A plaintiff should not accept the lowball offer. They should reject the first and the second offer and make the defendant believe they are willing to stop at nothing but their rightful amount. However, the plaintiff should seek the opinion of a Sacramento personal injury lawyer on whether to reject a given offer. Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience in personal injury claims and can help the plaintiff make an informed decision.

The Documentation Process Takes Time

Documenting different pieces of evidence takes time. The plaintiff may have to visit their employers to calculate lost wages or wait for an MMI report. The cooperation of the parties involved also impacts the documentation time.

Specific Issues With Your Case May Arise

While issues like whether to accept offers from the insurance company are within the plaintiff’s control, others are not. For instance, some injuries are diagnosed way after the accident. In such cases, the defendants may claim they did not result from the accident. Identification of the party at fault may also consume a lot of time. Any other unforeseen issues may increase the settlement time.

Patience Is Your Best Friend

For a plaintiff to get what they deserve in a Sacramento personal injury case, they should invest in patience. Patience means they will wait for their MMI, reject lowball offers, and invest their time in documentation. Even when the compensation process takes too long, the plaintiff will eventually get the compensation they deserve.

When To Contact A Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

Filing a compensation claim in Sacramento can be long and tedious. However, contacting a personal injury attorney can help simplify the process. While the time to complete the compensation process varies from case to case, the attorney takes the negotiation burden from the plaintiff. This gives the plaintiff enough time to recuperate. When dealing with a personal injury Sacramento residents are advised to contact a lawyer immediately after the accident may also hasten the compensation process.

Berg Injury Lawyers Can Help You With Your Sacramento Personal Injury Case

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we understand the complexity of personal injury cases can prolong the compensation process. Although the waiting time depends on several factors, our experienced lawyers will do everything to speed up the process. Contact us at (866) 904-2014 or fill out our free form to speak with our legal team. 

Settlement vs. Trial: Which is Most Likely in a Car Accident Claim?

by Staff | August 29th, 2022

Dealing with debilitating injuries is the most taxing part of being in a car accident. However, filing a personal injury claim for compensation often initiates a complicated legal process that can also prove stressful for many accident victims, causing them to put their lives on hold.

Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney with a proven track record can relieve your legal burden, allowing you the time and funds you need to recover from your injuries. If you or a loved one have been in a car collision in California, contacting Berg Injury Lawyers can give you peace of mind and ensure that you seek maximum compensation for your damages.

How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Trial?

Approximately 5% of personal injury cases go to trial, with the remaining 95% settling out of court. Of the cases that go to trial, nearly 90% end in a loss for the plaintiff, with just 10% receiving damages. These statistics suggest ‌that it is far more likely that if you file a personal injury claim, it will be settled out of court rather than going to trial.

Reasons to Settle Your Personal Injury Case

Most car accident claims settle out of court due to the claims process. After a car accident, your attorney will help you file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. They will send a demand letter, asking for a specific amount of compensation that the insurance company can accept or reject.

If your legal team offers the insurance company strong evidence supporting your claim, such as detailed medical bills, photos, videos, or police reports, the company may agree to your demand and settle. If the insurance company rejects your initial demand, your lawyer may negotiate until both parties agree on a reasonable settlement amount.

Why Your Case Might Go to Trial

Your legal team may advise you to take your case to court if the insurance company refuses to pay you a fair amount. Although only a small number of car accident cases make it to trial, those that go on to win are often awarded greater damages. Going to trial allows you to pursue maximum compensatory damages for your injuries.

However, personal injury trials can take months or years to reach a resolution and require detailed preparation from your attorneys. Additionally, if you take your case to trial, a jury will likely decide your damages. California uses pure comparative negligence, which assigns a percentage of fault to each party. If the other side convinces the jury that you are highly responsible for the accident, you will only receive a portion of your settlement.

Hiring an Attorney Increases Your Chance of Recovering Adequate Compensation

Hiring a personal injury attorney ensures you maximize the amount of compensation you receive for all your damages. Your attorney can build a strong claim with relevant evidence and an assessment of your total damages. The attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help you obtain a fair settlement.

A lawyer can use a winning legal strategy to convince the insurance company to offer adequate compensation. This includes offering indisputable evidence that their client caused the accident and that you have suffered serious injuries because of their actions. For example, they may provide witness statements, video of the accident, or medical reports that describe the lasting consequences of your injuries.

The insurance company is more likely to compensate you adequately if they deem that you and your lawyer are serious about taking your case to court. Insurance companies prefer to settle in most cases because of the high cost and effort of litigation, including hiring expert witnesses, calling accident witnesses, and preparing testimonies and evidence.

Your lawyer can use this to your advantage in negotiating your settlement to get you the maximum amount possible.

When the insurance company refuses to settle, having an attorney by your side can increase your chances of gaining a favorable verdict with the jury. The lawyer can prepare your case and argue on your behalf to ensure the jury awards you with the maximum compensation you deserve to achieve justice for your case.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for Your Injury Claim

Whether you settle or if your case goes before a judge and jury, the California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves. We can assess your claim and discuss your legal options, including filing a lawsuit.

Call our law firm today to schedule a free evaluation with one of our lawyers to discuss your case‌.

Common Damages in Cases Involving Chronic Pain

by Staff | August 22nd, 2022

Suffering from chronic pain caused by an accident can reduce your quality of life and leave you with long-lasting financial consequences. 20.4% of U.S. adults suffer from chronic pain, which leads to the inability to work or enjoy everyday activities.

You have the right to seek compensation if you suffer chronic pain due to a personal injury accident like a slip-and-fall, car collision, or motorcycle accident. However, chronic pain is considered non-economic damage, which can be harder to prove than measurable economic damages.

By working with a skilled personal injury attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers, you can seek maximum compensation for your injuries, including chronic pain’s lasting financial, physical, and emotional consequences.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is continuous pain that lasts for more than three months. This pain can be constant or intermittent and last for years after an initial injury. Chronic pain can happen anywhere in the body. Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults experience chronic pain.

Chronic pain interferes with daily life, the ability to work, eat, participate in physical or social activities, perform self-care, or care for others can be affected.  Chronic pain can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, making the pain worse. This creates a cycle that is difficult to break. Chronic pain is a significant medical condition that can require life-long treatment.

Examples of chronic pain include:

  • Arthritis/joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia, or “all-over” muscle pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve damage
  • Pain resulting from injuries, medical conditions, or surgery

Chronic pain can result from health conditions, but it can also result from accident injuries. For example, a slip-and-fall can cause you to experience back or spinal cord injuries that result in chronic lower back pain. Also, whiplash in a car accident can leave you with life-long chronic neck and shoulder pain and headaches.

Non-Economic Damages for Chronic Pain

When you file a personal injury lawsuit to seek damages, your lawyer will likely ask for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the easiest to recover because they are factual, such as objective totals gathered from medical bills, lost wages, and other calculated expenses.

Non-economic damages are harder to prove and quantify. They refer to damages you can receive for issues like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Chronic pain is considered non-economic damage, making it difficult to prove during a trial case. 

At trial, you and your legal team must explain your pain and its effects. You must prove your claims with evidence, and a judge or jury must subjectively place a value on your claims.

Winning Non-Economic Damages

Proving subjective information is a difficult legal task and is best handled by a professional personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can prove subjective information by using medical records, photographs, videos, testimony, and other methods to convey how your life has been and will continue to be affected by chronic pain’s physical and emotional consequences.

An experienced lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you seek damages for all current and future medical treatment, income loss, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, your lawyer can also pursue punitive damages to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Hiring a lawyer can help maximize your compensation so you get the settlement you need for your injury and chronic pain.

Having legal representation before you answer questions from an employer, medical facility, or insurance company ensures you won’t say anything that can later be held against you.

Most claims are resolved at the negotiation stage with an insurance company; however, the negligent party’s insurance company may not offer you a fair settlement. If this happens, your lawyer can take the case to court, calling on expert witnesses to convince jurors that you deserve fair compensation.

Your lawyer can help you navigate California’s pure comparative fault doctrine, which awards damages based on the percentage of fault. Your lawyer will seek to prove the other party was 100% at fault for your injuries and resulting chronic pain. This maximizes your compensation and wins you damages to cover medical bills, lost income, and additional costs associated with treating and managing your pain.

Get a Free Consultation

If you suffer from chronic pain, you deserve compensation. Berg Injury Lawyers have been helping Northern California citizens get fair personal injury compensation since 1981.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers are experienced, skilled, and won’t back down, even with the most aggressive pushback. We know you are entitled to more than the insurance companies will offer, and we know how to help you fight to get it.

We have over 40 years of experience handling personal injury cases. Our attorneys know how to get you the best possible results and settle as quickly as possible. Get the compensation you deserve by contacting our personal injury lawyers today.

Can an Attorney Subpoena Text Messages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

by Staff | July 11th, 2022

Phone companies keep billing records and call detail records. Your lawyer can subpoena these records during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit if evidence exists that the documents contain relevant information. This information could prove, for example, whether a driver sent or received text messages at the time of the accident, violating California law.

Federal law requires phone companies to protect their users’ data, requiring subpoenas or court orders to release the information. Hiring an attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers to request and review these records gives you the best chance to recover a fair settlement in a personal injury lawsuit.

What Are the Phone Privacy Laws?

Due to the fraudulent acquisition of phone users’ data by data brokers, the federal government passed several laws regulating consumer privacy protection. These laws protect records kept by mobile phone companies, including usage data.

The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act and the Communications Act require customer approval, a subpoena, or a court order to obtain this information.

Requests must be made to the service provider before they purge the records. Most companies keep them for at least 12 months, but federal law only requires them to keep records for 180 days. The federal government also requires companies to preserve these records while awaiting court orders.

Types of Phone Records

Call detail records, or CDR, have the following information:

  • Record the time of the call or text
  • The receiving or sending number
  • Whether the call went to voicemail
  • Duration of the conversation
  • Location of the phone at the time

Phone bills only provide information on billable services, and call data times are not precise. Text messages and unanswered outgoing calls will not appear.

Obtaining Phone Records

Several state court decisions have affected when to subpoena phone records in civil cases. In Ortiz v, a judge had ordered the plaintiff to provide their cell phone records under a court order. However, the plaintiff failed to provide them since the cell phone account was under his wife’s name. The judge then ordered the plaintiff to submit their name and address for the defendant to subpoena the cell phone records from them.

Phone records and text message records must come from the service provider instead of a user’s cell phone. Depending on the phone company’s policy, these records may include the content of the messages or only the time, date, and location the messages were sent or received.

When You Should Talk to an Attorney to Obtain Cell Phone Records

An attorney can investigate cell phone records to prove the cause of negligence in an accident. Your lawyer can take steps to ensure the phone company preserves the records you need and make test calls to determine the time difference between the device and the 9-1-1 reports.

To obtain the content of text messages, your lawyer may request a different type of record if the company keeps that information. Your attorney can request the driver’s text messages as soon as possible after the accident if you need those records.

How Can Your Lawyer Use Phone Records?

Cell phone data from the company that shows a driver sent or received a text at the time of an accident can help prove driver negligence. However, these records don’t prove the driver used the handset to take a voice call but would corroborate witness testimony.

If records show the driver was texting at the time of the accident, your attorney may ask for a negligence per se jury instruction. Negligence per se means the driver’s texting constitutes negligence because it violates laws designed to keep drivers safe.

Your lawyer might make test calls to account for any deviation between CDRs and the logs from the 9-1-1 system. These discrepancies could otherwise lead a jury to conclude that the messaging didn’t occur at the time of the wreck.

What are the challenges of using CDRs?

While CDRs show incoming and outgoing text messages, they don’t prove whether the user interacted with the phone at that time. Some smartphone applications can automatically respond to incoming texts while in the car. Your personal injury lawyer can hire experts to examine this data and discover evidence of negligence.

Hire an Experienced Car Crash Lawyer

Obtaining cell phone records can be helpful in proving negligence in your case with the legal assistance of the California car accident lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers. We can take steps to ensure we gather proper evidence during the discovery phase of your case. We fight vigorously for your right to fair compensation and have represented victims of negligence for nearly 40 years.

Contact us to schedule a free case review today and let us help you establish your claim by subpoenaing phone records of the at-fault party. 

Berg Wins 60x Insurance Company’s Offer in Auto Accident Case

by Staff | February 16th, 2022

Berg Injury Lawyers recently obtained a recovery worth SIXTY TIMES the insurance company’s original settlement offer in an auto accident case.

Our client suffered a significant neck injury in a crash caused by another driver who made an illegal U-turn in front of him. He required two cervical fusions because the hardware used in the first procedure failed. Our client was offered a settlement by the insurance company prior to hiring Berg Injury Lawyers which he did not accept. The representation by Berg Injury Lawyers helped him settle for 60x what he was offered prior to hiring our law firm.

What’s the Purpose of a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?

by Staff Blogger | February 14th, 2022

Depositions assist the court and the two implicated parties, the injured and the liable, by sharing information about the facts of a personal injury case. A deposition is a legally admissible testimony where an attorney asks the deposed a series of questions about the case.

In a personal injury case, a host of people may be called to give a deposition. For example, an eyewitness may have valuable information about the property where a slip and fall occurred. The injured party and the potentially liable party almost always give depositions in personal injury cases.

The information obtained in depositions can go a long way to proving liability. Learn how a lawyer can assist you in the deposition process.

Who Orders a Deposition?

Depositions are a part of the discovery process in a personal injury case. Discovery is the period when both sides of the case communicate freely and gather information about the case.

The goal of discovery is to collect all the pertinent information about the personal injury case. This includes information about negligent actions, the injured party’s actions, and any third-party information related to the injury.

Both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s attorneys have the right to order a deposition of anyone crucial to the case. Sometimes only the injured and liable parties are essential to the case. Other times an attorney may depose eyewitnesses or an expert witness with authority on an important topic.

In California, each side of a case may only depose someone once. This limits the ability of either side to use the deposition process as a harassment tool.

How to Set Up a Deposition

The deposition process consists of much legal, clerical work, even more so if the deposed does not voluntarily attend their deposition. This frequently happens because it can sometimes be stressful and time-consuming to be deposed.

To get the opposing party to a deposition, you or your attorney writes an original Notice of Taking of Deposition. To get a third party to attend a deposition, you or your attorney must serve them with a subpoena. You need to serve an additional subpoena if they are required to bring documents related to the case.

Setting up a deposition is time-consuming and full of legal complexities. If you are involved in a personal injury case, contact a San Francisco personal injury lawyer for guidance.

What if You Are Called to a Deposition?

If you are the injured party in a personal injury case, it is possible that you will be the subject of a deposition. The opposing party’s lawyer will ask you questions about the incident. Their goal is to show that their client was not responsible for your injury.

Lawyers often ask open-ended questions to get long answers in response. Long answers can include seemingly unimportant information that proves the case one way or another.

An experienced personal injury lawyer advises you on how to answer questions. Your lawyer can also object to questions, which may get them stricken from the record. Having your lawyer present for depositions to protect your legal rights gives you the best chance at getting the compensation you deserve.

How a Deposition Helps You

A deposition can help prove that the negligent party owes you compensation by unveiling the facts of the case that support your side of the story. Your personal injury attorney studies your case and considers the relevant laws to determine what questions they need to ask the negligent party.

Once all depositions are over and the rest of the discovery phase is complete, your attorney can settle your case out of court or take it to trial. If a negligent party injured you, then either of these options can lead to financial compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses you experienced due to the injury.

Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You

A deposition is an essential part of your personal injury case because it can uncover evidence proving you deserve compensation. Even small mistakes in depositions can lead to significant financial losses in potential damages.

Let the experienced San Francisco injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers handle your case and prep you for your deposition. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for more information and a free initial consultation.

What Happens if I Reject an Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?

by Staff | January 31st, 2022

If you suffer a personal injury due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation in California. The negligent party’s insurance company may contact you with a lowball settlement offer. They do this to avoid paying out maximum compensation, hoping you will accept rather than seek damages in court. You have the right to refuse a settlement offer if you believe it’s not a fair amount.

Learn what happens when you reject an insurance company’s offer and why working with a skilled attorney can increase the compensation you receive.

Why Are You Receiving a Settlement Offer?

After an accident, each party files a report with their insurance company. As part of the process, each insurance company assesses the incident to determine three factors:

  • Damages: The costs of the incurred damage
  • Liability: Who is responsible for the incident
  • Terms of the insurance policy: What is covered by the policy

Insurance companies only make settlement offers on claims where their policyholders are liable for accidents.

What Happens if You Accept the Offer?

When you accept an insurance settlement, you may be settling for a portion of what you’re entitled to through a personal injury lawsuit. Accepting a settlement offer closes off all other compensation options and terminates your rights to seek damages in the future.

After accepting the offer, your attorney receives the settlement funds and gives them to you after deducting their fee and other associated costs such as medical bills and case expenses.

What Happens if You Reject the Insurance Settlement?

If you reject the insurance settlement, you retain your right to seek full damages through the legal system. Rejecting the settlement protects your rights to maximum compensation under California personal injury law and allows you to fight for a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses. It can also compensate you for the psychological and emotional damages you incurred.

When you decide to reject the initial settlement offer, your attorney can respond with a demand letter. You’ll ask for more than the amount the company offered and wait for a response with an adjusted settlement offer.

When Should You Reject a Settlement?

Knowing whether to reject an insurance company settlement may be difficult. This decision is best made with the help of a team of skilled San Francisco personal injury lawyers. A lawyer can assess your case and determine if the settlement the insurance company is offering is fair or whether further negotiation or legal action is in your best interest.

An experienced personal injury attorney with Berg Injury Lawyers can help you better understand how much your claim is entitled to under California law. Damages in a personal injury case can include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship or consortium

In California, there are no caps on economic or non-economic damages in personal injury cases. This means that you may be entitled to a much higher settlement than the insurance company is offering with the proper legal counsel.

How Pure Comparative Negligence Affects Your Settlement

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Berg Injury Lawyers can also help you navigate the complex legal terrain surrounding pure comparative negligence.

Pure comparative negligence allows you to receive compensation based on your percentage of responsibility in causing the accident. For example, you may receive 10% of possible damages if you are 90% responsible for an accident, or you can receive 99% of allowable damages if you are only 1% responsible.

When you work with a skilled attorney, they can navigate these complexities to hold the other party responsible and increase your awarded amount. Proving they are more at fault for the accident than you can mean a much higher settlement value for your case.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

After suffering a personal injury, seek legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid being taken advantage of by unfair insurance settlement offers. Work with Berg Injury Lawyers to protect your rights and fight for a fair settlement from the liable party.

Our legal team can seek maximum compensation for your injuries so you can get back on your feet rather than settle for less than you deserve. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation to review your case.  

Getting Compensation for Facial Nerve Damage

by Staff | December 20th, 2021

Facial nerve damage is a serious problem that can lead to disfigurement. If you’ve suffered facial nerve damage, it’s important to understand how much compensation you may get from the person or party responsible for your injury.

Many factors need consideration when calculating the total cost of compensation associated with facial nerve injury claims. These could include medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for any pain and suffering caused by this injury.

What Causes Facial Nerve Damage?

Several factors can damage or injure your facial nerves.

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Head trauma
  • Birth trauma for babies with the usage of forceps or during a difficult childbirth
  • Medical and surgical errors involving the delicate parts of the face

Sometimes, damaged facial nerves may regain function following an auto accident or partial laceration. However, with severe nerve damage, it may be impossible to restore facial muscle function.

Factors in Determining Compensation for Facial Nerve Damage

There are three primary factors in determining compensation for facial nerve damage. Based on these areas, an attorney can advise you on how much your case may be worth.

●     The severity of the injury

It is necessary to see a doctor for a diagnosis of facial nerve damage. This may entail diagnosing facial trauma or testing the facial nerves. The doctor can examine your face and check the symmetry of the muscles of the facial expression. They may require you to show how high you can raise your eyebrows, smile, close your eyes, and wrinkle your nose during your appointment.

CT and MRI imaging can pinpoint the site of an injury. The Seddon and Sunderland Classification can help the doctor label the five degrees of injury. It is almost always possible to recover from a first-degree injury, whereas a fifth-degree injury has little chance of recovery.

Doctors can measure a muscle’s responsiveness with electrical tests from electromyography or EMG tests. They can also use electroneuronography or ENoG when they apply skin electrodes on either side of your face. These electrodes send electrical pulses to measure the health of your facial nerves. If the muscle function is less than 10%, surgical compression may be necessary.

●     Medications and physical therapy

With the right medications and physical therapy, most facial nerve damage goes away within 2 to 4 weeks, and complete recovery can occur within 6 months. Your doctor may prescribe oral steroids to reduce swelling. Antiviral medications can also fight infections caused by inflammation in the facial nerve. If you cannot blink because of facial nerve damage, eye drops can help relieve dry eye symptoms.

A physical therapist can help people regain the ability to move their facial muscles with slow, small movements. According to one study, this therapy can be used with other treatments administered by a doctor, such as targeted botulinum toxin injections.

●     Surgical costs

If medical treatments are not enough to help with facial nerve damage, your doctor may require you to undergo one of these surgical procedures:

  • Decompression: This is performed to relieve the nerve compressed by a skull fracture, blood clot, or swelling. It involves drilling the bone canal surrounding the facial nerve to expose the nerve. After that, the surgeon cuts the sheath of the facial nerve to ease the pressure caused by blood clots or swelling.
  • End to end anastomosis: The doctor will sew the two ends together when a person’s facial nerve is cut. This surgery is only performed when they are millimeters apart.
  • Nerve grafts or cable grafts: A nerve graft can be performed if an end-to-end anastomosis isn’t possible because of the severity of the cut in the facial nerve. This procedure requires grafting a nerve from the thigh or the lower leg.
  • Plastic surgery operations: These are typically used in situations of facial nerve injury that have been present for a long time. Some people who have long-term facial nerve damage may require facelift surgery or muscle transfers. These procedures improve facial mobility and symmetry.

Get Compensation for Your Facial Nerve Injury

Depending on the severity of the injuries you sustained and the impact on your job and daily routine, your personal injury claim may be worth a lot of money. During your recovery from your operation, you may have lost income due to time off work. You may also experience non-quantifiable challenges like pain and suffering due to a long recovery from your facial nerve injury.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a facial nerve injury because of an accident that wasn’t your fault, your San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you. We can estimate the costs of your ongoing medical care and loss of wages to determine compensation. Call us today to schedule your confidential, free consultation and find out how you can move forward with recovery from your injury.

Understanding Burden of Proof in Civil Lawsuits

by Staff | November 22nd, 2021

If you’ve been injured due to someone’s actions or negligence, you may be eligible for compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. This can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages the incident caused.

You may receive a better outcome of your civil lawsuit by hiring an attorney to manage your case.

Our San Francisco personal injury lawyers have decades of experience helping injured parties file claims and fight their case in court. We understand the requirements of burden of proof and proving fault. We can help make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

What Is Burden of Proof?

Burden of proof is the legal requirement that identifies the party responsible for presenting evidence to prove or disprove a claim.

If your party has the burden of proof, you are legally required to provide enough evidence for your claim to be supported. Your evidence may include documents, witness testimony, and objects.

In most cases, the burden of proof falls on the party bringing the claim, also known as the plaintiff.

In a trial, the judge assigns the burden of proof. After evidence is presented to the court, the judge and jury decide if the burden of proof was satisfied and what consequences will result assuming the burden of proof was met.

The type of evidence and the amount of proof a party submits depend on the case’s circumstances.

Some cases require the plaintiff to prove their claim beyond a reasonable doubt, while others are less strict and have straightforward standards of proof.

Burden of Proof in Civil Lawsuits

In civil lawsuits, the party filing the lawsuit, known as the plaintiff, has burden of proof. Plaintiffs must prove their allegations are true and that the other party, known as the defendant, is responsible for causing the damages.

Plaintiffs establish the burden of proof by presenting a preponderance of evidence; clear and convincing evidence, including evidence of negligence.

How Attorneys Prove Fault in Civil Cases

The plaintiff’s lawyer can establish burden of proof and prove fault by presenting evidence in court.

●      Preponderance of Evidence

The lowest standard of proof required is a preponderance of evidence. The standard of preponderance occurs when the plaintiff convinces the court their claim has a 50% or more chance of being true and that the defendant is responsible for 50% or more of the plaintiff’s suffering or loss.

●      Clear and Convincing Evidence

More serious civil cases require a higher probability that the claim is true, called clear and convincing evidence. This standard is more rigorous than preponderance of evidence but less rigorous than beyond a reasonable doubt standard.

To meet the clear and convincing evidence standard, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the claim is substantially more likely to be true than not true. It requires a higher probability than preponderance of the evidence.

The clear and convincing standard is used in claims involving fraud, withdrawing life support from a relative, and with wills and inheritance.

●      Proving Negligence

In claims where negligence is involved, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the defendant acted in a way that failed to exercise care. They must prove that this failure resulted in the plaintiff’s injury or damages. Your lawyer also needs to prove that the defendant acted in a way that others in their position would not have acted. Negligence is an unintentional behavior, meaning they weren’t acting with the intent to harm others.

How it Differs from Criminal Cases

In criminal cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until the prosecutors establish guilt. The prosecution in criminal cases has the burden of proof. The defendant doesn’t need to prove their innocence in a criminal case. The plaintiff, however, must prove guilt.

Prosecutors in criminal cases have the highest standard of proof compared to any other type of case. They must prove the defendant carried out the criminal act beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sometimes defendants will enter a plea to help with their defense, such as entering a plea of self-defense or insanity plea to justify their actions.

Hire an Attorney for Your Civil Lawsuit

Parties that make a claim have the responsibility of proving their claims are true. You need enough high-quality evidence to fulfill your burden of proof. The higher the stakes of the lawsuit, the more convincing your evidence needs to be.

Hiring an attorney can help your case. They understand the burden of proof and how to prove the other party is at fault. Your lawyer will gather evidence and put a strong case together to help you succeed in court.

If you live in California, consider hiring Berg Injury Lawyers for your civil case. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for you to help ensure you’re compensated for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How Do Attorneys Prove Psychological Suffering?

by Staff | September 27th, 2021

Psychological trauma refers to the mental anguish that one party inflicts on another. There is no exclusive lawsuit for psychological trauma, but it forms an important part of personal injury lawsuits involving emotional distress. If you have suffered psychological trauma, consider enlisting the services of lawyers to help you file a lawsuit. 

What Is Psychological Suffering?

According to the law, injury subjects a victim to two types of pain: emotional pain and physical pain. Therefore, in a personal injury lawsuit, the negligent party can cause both mental and physical injury. While physical injuries are easy to quantify, mental suffering can be more difficult. 

If you intend to file a case for psychological suffering, your lawyer must attest that the level of trauma meets the legal threshold for mental anguish. You need to provide sufficient evidence to show that you suffered severe mental trauma to cause lasting detrimental effects. 

California recognizes instances of mental anguish caused by a negligent party. The court awards damages for non-economic damages caused by the defendant willingly or unwillingly or through negligence. In this case, non-economic damages refer to non-monetary losses such as emotional distress, humiliation, loss of society and companionship, mental suffering, pain, suffering, injury to reputation, and loss of consortium.  

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Psychological Suffering

Since there are no lawsuits for mental suffering exclusively, it is included in some personal injury lawsuits. If you intend to file a lawsuit for psychological suffering, you must show that you have suffered mentally due to the defendant’s negligence. You can file for mental trauma in any of the following personal injury lawsuits:

  • Wrongful death
  • Medical malpractice 
  • Assault 

Usually, psychological suffering goes hand-in-hand with emotional distress. The jury considers the two conditions in personal injury trials. For instance, if you have suffered psychologically due to wrongful treatment, you can hire San Francisco personal injury lawyers to help you sue for wrongful treatment alongside psychological suffering. 

How Will an Attorney Prove Psychological Suffering?

If you are considering filing for psychological trauma in a personal injury lawsuit, here are a few ways that your attorney can help prove your claim.

●      The Intensity of Your Mental Trauma

Your lawyer will gather evidence to prove to the court that your condition was severe. The severity of mental suffering is evident if it manifests in conditions like PTSD, depression, or acute anxiety. A record showing any of these conditions can help strengthen your case.

●      Evidence of Treatment by a Physician

If you have sought treatment for your condition from a licensed physician, the attorney can provide this evidence in court. The evidence of treatment strengthens your claim, and you are more likely to receive compensation. Provide your lawyer with medical records that show doctor visits, prescriptions, and any other appropriate documents showing medical intervention. If possible, your physician can provide testimony during a hearing to further support your claim. 

●      Duration of the Symptoms

The longer you suffer from the symptoms of mental distress, the more likely the court will consider your condition to be severe. You must provide your lawyer with all records of doctor visits from the time your psychological suffering began to reflect the extent of your condition.

●      Physical Harm

Your lawyer will provide evidence showing the physical manifestation of your mental trauma. A physical injury is a more tangible measure of your suffering for the jury to assess.

The lawyer may gather information from friends, family, and colleagues to ascertain any changes in your personality. Physical manifestations of mental trauma include insomnia, body aches, extreme alertness, edginess, social isolation and withdrawal, loss of memory, and disorientation. 

Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you are considering filing a psychological trauma case, a personal injury lawyer can support you through the process. An attorney can help you put together the required proof and present it in court in an organized manner.

Our team will talk to you about your rights and help you navigate the California legal system. If you are looking for a law firm to help you file a claim, contact Berg Injury Lawyers today for a consultation regarding your case.