June 29th, 2020|
In presidential elections, voting in certain states repeatedly predicts the outcome of a race nationally. Ohio and New Mexico, for example, tend to cast their electoral votes for the candidate who eventually becomes the winner of the election. Political analysts refer to these states as bellwether states.
The term bellwether refers to the practice of placing a bell on a male sheep who leads the flock, but for those of us who aren’t shepherds, the word is most commonly used to mean a “predictor” or “indicator.”
Essentially, bellwethers predict outcomes, and they exist in many fields outside of politics (and sheep). They’re increasingly common in our legal system, and bellwether trials can either breathe life into future lawsuits, or they can deflate litigation.
What Is a Bellwether Case?
A bellwether case, also called a bellwether trial, is a precursor to a larger group of lawsuits. The outcome of the bellwether case can determine the momentum of similar pending cases.
Bellwether trials are a commonly used tool in multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is a special federal legal procedure that accelerates complex cases through the legal system.
A bellwether trial guide from the Federal Judicial Center summarizes the importance of these trials in MDL cases:
“If bellwether cases are representative of the broader range of cases in the MDL proceeding, they can provide the parties and court with information on the strengths and weaknesses of various claims and defenses and the settlement value of cases.”
In other words, bellwether cases are a trial run for future lawsuits.
How Do Bellwether Cases Affect Drug Injury Litigation?
Let’s say that hundreds of lawsuits are being filed nationwide against the manufacturer of a widely used heartburn medication. Before all those lawsuits move forward, one case or a handful of them are tried in court. These are bellwether trials.
If our hypothetical case ends with a win for the plaintiff (or plaintiffs), momentum builds for others hoping to file similar cases against the manufacturer. If the case is a bust, however, momentum wanes and fewer lawsuits are likely to be filed.
What Happens in a Bellwether Trial?
The process starts by establishing common themes that represent all of the cases in an MDL movement. Then, the courts and relevant parties create a group of cases that reflect those themes. The discovery process (the fact-finding portion of the case) begins, and the trial proceeds, much like it would in any other type of case.
Does an Unsuccessful Bellwether Case Spell Doom for All Similar Cases?
Not necessarily. In some cases, plaintiffs’ attorneys might view the details of a bellwether trial, even an unsuccessful one, as instructive. Flaws of certain arguments are exposed, and a more effective strategy can be built.
What Is the Impact of a Successful Bellwether Case?
If a bellwether trial results in a favorable outcome for plaintiffs, defendants might be more willing to settle future claims similar to the bellwether. You can see why plaintiffs’ attorneys watch these cases carefully—a successful ruling for the plaintiffs exposes a vulnerability of the defendant.
Should You Worry About Bellwethers as a Plaintiff?
If you’re considering filing a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer, you might now be tempted to start doing your homework on bellwether cases similar to your own. But remember that the nuances of a bellwether trial matter as much as the outcome.
Bellwether trials are a barometer that legal experts, judges, and attorneys use to determine the viability of cases and the strategy of handling such cases. In other words, plaintiffs don’t need to obsess about the details of bellwether cases, especially if they’re hiring an experienced attorney to represent them.
Are You Considering a Defective Drug Case in California?
The legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers pays close attention to bellwether trials, but we know that these cases are ultimately about people who need help. Drug manufacturers too often sell products without adequate testing or without properly labeling their products to inform consumers of potential risks. What matters in your trial is how their product harmed you, specifically.
If you want to know whether your case has the potential for a successful outcome, contact our team for a free case assessment. We want to help you explore your legal options.
Contact Berg Injury Lawyers Today
The Northern California defective drug attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience holding drug manufacturers accountable for the harm they cause consumers. If you have questions about a drug injury case, contact our team today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
June 15th, 2020|
Overexertion injuries cause more than one-third of all work-related injuries every year. They’re the most common reason for missed days at work and cost businesses billions of dollars annually.
By avoiding overexertion injuries, workers can be more productive, have longer careers, and enjoy a better quality of life. Before we learn how to avoid these injuries, we need to understand what they are and how they happen.
Examples of Overexertion Injuries
Overexertion injuries can occur after performing repetitive movements over long periods or with one sudden movement. A few of the most common examples of overexertion injuries include:
- Soft-tissue injuries – Injuries to ligaments, tendons, muscles, etc.
- Back injuries – Pulled, strained back muscles or damage to the spinal cord, such as a slipped disc or cracked vertebrae
- Heat stroke and dehydration – Most common among workers doing heavy manual labor outdoors
- Repetitive stress injuries – Injuries ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to stress fractures, often the result of weeks, months, or years of repeated movements
In many cases, two or more overexertion injuries can occur at the same time. For example, a worker might be more likely to pull a muscle if they are dehydrated or suffering from heat exhaustion. Lifting a heavy object can trigger an acute injury that stems from years of repeated actions.
How Overexertion Injuries Happen
Certain movements and activities are more likely to cause overexertion injuries than others. Some of the most common examples include:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Performing unnatural movements
- Sitting or standing for long periods
- Using excessive force to perform a task
- Vibrations, typically from heavy machinery
- Working in extremely hot and/or humid environments
Industries with High Rates of Overexertion Injuries
The National Safety Council provides a list of industries in which overexertion injuries are most common. They include:
- Education and health services
- Retail trade
- Professional and business services
- Transportation and warehousing
- Wholesale trade
From these two lists above, we get a clearer picture of how these injuries happen and where they’re most likely to occur. Though workers who operate heavy machinery or lift heavy objects are more likely to suffer overexertion injuries, workers in any setting are at risk if they and their employers don’t take steps to protect their health and wellbeing.
7 Tips for Avoiding Overexertion Injuries
Preventing overexertion injuries requires preparation and mindfulness. The more aware you are of how you’re performing tasks, the better positioned you’ll be to look for more efficient ways to perform them.
Here are seven ways you can reduce your chances of suffering an overexertion injury:
- Use safe lifting techniques. Keep objects you’re lifting close to your body. Maintain proper posture throughout the lift. Try to lift with your knees instead of your lower back. In addition, ask for help if an object is too large or heavy for you to lift on your own.
- Break up and limit time spent doing repetitive tasks. Distribute repetitive tasks throughout your day instead of doing them in one block of time. If possible, look for ways to avoid performing the same taxing task repeatedly.
- Move often. If you sit or stand for long periods, find opportunities to move and stretch fatigued muscles.
- Rest when you need to. Whenever you’re hot or tired, take frequent water and rest breaks.
- Take pain seriously. Persistent pain can be a warning sign of a more serious injury to come. Listen to your body and avoid performing tasks that contribute to chronic pain.
- Prioritize ergonomics. Ergonomics means “fitting a person to a job,” and it’s all about performing the correct movements for a given task. Take ergonomics seriously by considering the position your body is in when you perform tasks and look for ways to perform these tasks in a way that is less taxing on your anatomy.
- Perform corrective exercises. Whether you’re in the same position all day or using certain muscles more often than others, you’ll benefit from corrective exercises. These exercises help you correct poor posture and ensure the strength of less frequently used muscles.
Most overexertion and workplace injuries are preventable. It’s vital that employers give their workers proper training, equipment, and rest to ensure overexertion injuries never occur. When employers fail to do so, employees have rights to seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.
If You Need an Attorney, Call Us
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we help injured people get the payment they’re entitled to. If you were hurt through no fault of your own, contact the Bay Area personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today to speak to our team at no cost. We want to help you explore your legal options, so you can find the best path to the compensation you deserve.
May 25th, 2020|
California’s road laws aren’t just for motorists. Pedestrians have clear rights and laws they must follow, too.
It’s important for both drivers and pedestrians to understand the laws (and best practices) for navigating intersections, which is why we’re giving pedestrians the lowdown on California’s crosswalk laws.
So, What Are California’s Crosswalk Laws?
CVC §21950 says that drivers should yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. However, there are a couple of important caveats.
California’s law does not absolve a pedestrian from the duty of “using care” for their safety. The statute says that “no pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”
The remainder of the statutes in this law pertain specifically to the responsibilities of drivers. It states that drivers approaching a pedestrian within “any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action” required to keep pedestrians safe.
What Does That Mean for Pedestrians?
California’s pedestrian law is somewhat at odds with commonly held wisdom that pedestrians always have the right-of-way, but it doesn’t absolve drivers from their share of responsibilities, either. It’s true that pedestrians using crosswalks have the right-of-way, but from both a legal and safety standpoint, it’s important not to stop in the middle of that crosswalk, if at all possible.
Some of the other language used in the statute is also open to interpretation. For example, the laws states that pedestrians shouldn’t “suddenly leave a curb into the path of a vehicle” in a way that presents an “immediate hazard.”
Terms like “suddenly” and “immediate hazard” introduce ambiguity into an otherwise clear-cut law. As you can imagine, this ambiguity is a focus for attorneys who are representing clients in cases involving pedestrian collisions on both sides of the issue.
The Legal Implications of a Pedestrian Collision
If a pedestrian is injured by a driver and files a legal claim, it’s possible the driver’s attorney will argue that the pedestrian walked into the street without warning, even if the pedestrian believes it would be obvious to any responsible driver that they were crossing the street.
This highlights the need for an experienced attorney when a legal dispute emerges from a pedestrian collision. An injured pedestrian will likely need an advocate to make their case using all available facts.
An injured pedestrian’s attorney might look for several types of evidence to back up their client’s argument. For example, security or street cameras might have captured footage of the accident, which can be used to reinforce the pedestrian’s claim. An attorney could also ask any eyewitnesses for their account of the collision.
What Can Pedestrians Do to Stay Safe?
Pedestrians can keep these safety tips in mind when walking near or across roads:
- Whenever possible, use sidewalks and designated crossings.
- Whether or not you’re using a designated crossing, be mindful of oncoming traffic and, when possible, try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
- If walking at night, wear brightly colored or reflective clothing.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic while maintaining a safe distance from the road.
What Are Driver’s Responsibilities Near Pedestrians?
Drivers must follow all the rules of the road to keep pedestrians safe. They can further protect pedestrians by following these guidelines:
- Always give pedestrians the right-of-way.
- Slow down when near crosswalks or in areas where pedestrian traffic volume is high.
- Never pass a vehicle when it is stopped at an intersection or crosswalk.
- Never come to a stop in a crosswalk.
- If a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, assume they’re crossing the street.
- Give vulnerable pedestrians (elderly or disabled people) more time to cross the street.
When You’ve Been Injured by a Careless Driver, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers
Though pedestrians do have the right-of-way in crosswalks, it’s possible that a driver will argue that a pedestrian acted unpredictably when crossing the road. It won’t surprise anyone who’s dealt with another party’s insurance company that insurers will use any argument possible to lessen or deny an injured pedestrian’s claim to compensation.
It’s vital that injured pedestrians get legal representation to make sure they aren’t taken advantage of by insurance companies. Berg Injury Lawyers has been representing injured people across Northern California for nearly four decades, and we’ve seen insurance companies make many outlandish claims, all for the sake of denying payments.
When you hire our California personal injury attorneys, you’ll be working with a firm that has a reputation for dealing firmly with insurance companies. We know what you’re going through, and we’re committed to fighting for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Let us hear your story, so we can help you explore your legal options. All you need to do is schedule a free consultation with our team. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.
February 24th, 2020|
There’s no getting around it—auto accidents are expensive. Between ambulance rides, overnight stays in the hospital, surgical procedures, and weeks, months, or even years of physical rehabilitation, the costs associated with a crash can be enormous. To make matters worse, many auto accident victims suffer disabling injuries that make it difficult or impossible for them to work. That means no paychecks until they recover, even while they’re racking up bills.
For victims and their loved ones, there’s no price too high for getting potentially lifesaving medical treatment. But when the bills arrive, they may simply be unable to afford them. Many victims pursue compensation through the other drivers’ insurance policies, but they often find out that adjusters are uncooperative and drag their feet when it comes to getting their claims moving.
That means even the most obvious situations of negligence-related crashes can leave innocent victims watching their bills pile up while the negotiation and legal processes play out. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California auto accident attorneys work hard to get fast results for our clients, but we also know that crash-related expenses don’t wait for claims to settle.
These Resources Can Help You Stay on Top of Your Healthcare Costs
If you don’t have enough money on hand to start paying your medical bills after a crash, you still have many options while waiting for a settlement. This includes:
- Your health insurance coverage—If you have health insurance coverage, you can use it to pay for many of your crash-related expenses, including the ambulance ride, in-patient treatments, and physical rehabilitation. It’s important to tell the hospital about your health insurance coverage as soon as possible, so that crash-related costs can be filed and billed correctly.
- Medicare or Medicaid coverage—If you’re enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to use that coverage toward your crash-related expenses. However, you also may be required to pay back that money if you’re later awarded a settlement.
- Subrogation—Subrogation is a process in which the insurance provider of the injured party pays their expenses under the assumption that it will be compensated for those payments after the victim receives a settlement. Subrogation is commonly used when it’s clear that the victim wasn’t at fault for the crash and has a strong basis for a compensation claim.
- Your own auto insurance—Typically, victims are paid by the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies after crashes. However, victims may be paid directly by their own insurance policies if they purchased supplemental coverage, such as med pay coverage or personal injury protection. These policies often pay regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ll not only work to help you get fair compensation for your crash-related expenses, but we’ll also help you find the best way to stay on top of your bills while you wait for your settlement check. We know that you have enough to deal with already, and unpaid bills piling up is the last thing you should have to worry about while you’re recovering from your injuries.
When You Call Us, We Have One Goal in Mind: Getting You Paid
Being able to rely on other sources of income and payment methods for your medical bills can give you peace of mind during a difficult time. We understand that waiting for a settlement isn’t easy. The real solution comes when you get the compensation you deserve. Simply put, if you were hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, you should be paid fairly by the other driver’s insurance company.
Our California car accident attorneys work hard on ensuring victims like you get full compensation, and we don’t waste time when it comes to collecting evidence, building cases, and negotiating with the insurance company. But we also know that personal injury claims often take months to resolve due to uncooperative adjusters.
The sooner you contact us after your crash, the sooner we can start building your claim—and the sooner your case will either settle or go to court. That means less time waiting for a settlement and wondering how you’ll pay for your medical bills. Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out how we can help.
January 6th, 2020|
Many of us enjoy staying in touch with friends and family and engaging with like-minded people through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, to name just a few. If you aren’t on them all, odds are you use at least one.
We love sharing major events in our lives on social media, good or bad, and a serious injury definitely counts as one. However, if you have filed or are thinking about filing a personal injury claim to recoup your medical expenses after an accident, your social media posts could seriously harm your chances of getting the money you need.
Social media posts are considered part of the public record, even if your accounts are set to private, and the insurance company’s lawyers don’t need a warrant to access them. To put it another way, anything you share can and may be used against you by the insurance company when reviewing your claim or in a civil lawsuit.
Statements Minimizing Your Injuries
A status update to the people who care about you saying something as simple as “I was in a crash but I am okay,” or “I’m just glad it wasn’t worse” could be taken out of context to argue that your injuries are not as severe or painful as they actually are.
Accidental Admissions of Fault
Posts along the lines of “I didn’t see them coming” or “I didn’t have time to stop” could be used by the defense to argue that the accident was your fault for not paying attention to your surroundings or not taking reasonable corrective measures.
Posts that Contradict Your Compensation Claim
Accidents, especially car accidents, are confusing and stressful, and everyone’s memory is fallible. If you accidentally post something that differs from how you described the crash in the police report or in your compensation claim, the defense will use it against you.
When you’ve been injured and your life disrupted, you have every reason to be angry, especially when your injury is due to someone else being negligent. However, ranting about your injury or the responsible party online could hurt your claim. The defense could argue you are not injured and are only filing for spite or revenge.
Oversharing About Your Life
As strange as it seems, even posts that have nothing to do with your accident could hurt your chances of getting compensation. For example, posts about stressful or upsetting recent events in your life, such as a break-up, could cause the defense to argue that your emotional state at the time caused your crash.
Photos that Misrepresent Your Physical Health
Photos that appear to depict you doing activities that your injuries should prevent, even if you were not participating in the activity, or if the photo was taken before your accident and only posted later, could be used to argue your injuries are being exaggerated.
Photos that Misrepresent Your Emotional Health
Unfortunately, even photos of you looking happy and smiling (and who doesn’t smile when being photographed?) could be used as evidence your accident wasn’t as traumatic as it really was.
Your Friends and Family
It’s not just your own photos you should be wary of. If you are tagged in a photo by a friend that appears to show you happy and healthy, this could also be used as evidence against you.
Furthermore, if you post about your accident, and a friend jokingly replies with a statement like, “I told you to get off your phone!”, even if you and your friend both understand it’s a joke, the insurance company or court may not. And if they believe you contributed to your own accident by not paying attention to the road or speeding, it could hurt or ruin your chances of getting compensation altogether.
Your Online Activity
Avoiding all mention of your accident online isn’t a guarantee that the insurance company won’t be able to manipulate what you post, either. If you are trying to get compensation for the pain and emotional distress your injuries caused, but you continue to post as normal, the defense may try to argue that this proves that your injury didn’t seriously affect your life or mental health.
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk
The best way to ensure that your social media habits don’t accidentally harm your claim is to not use social media at all until after your claim is resolved. However, these steps can help protect you if you do continue to post.
- Set all your social media accounts to private.
- If possible, adjust your settings to prevent other users from being able to share your posts or to post comments on your accounts.
- Do not accept any new friend requests, especially from people you don’t know, while your claim is ongoing.
- Speak privately with friends and family and request they do not post anything about you, or especially your accident, until your claim is resolved.
- Avoid mentioning your settlement even after your claim is resolved. If your settlement involves a confidentiality agreement, posting about it could result in your settlement being revoked.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Call Berg Injury Lawyers.
If you were injured in a car accident, you need to contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers right away. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies, and we know all the shady tricks they like to pull. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.
December 11th, 2019|
Christmas isn’t complete without decorations, and that includes everything from the Christmas tree and stockings, to outdoor lights and wreaths. And while putting up holiday decorations can be a fun-filled, albeit time-consuming, activity, it’s important to note that it can also be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t followed.
Unsteady ladders, toppling Christmas trees, and even defective lights can all turn even the most joyous holiday into a disaster. Don’t pull a Clark Griswold this Christmas—be smart and be safe by following our guide to safely putting up holiday decorations in, around, and outside your home.
8 Holiday Décor Dos and Don’ts
When putting up your Christmas decorations this year:
- DO keep pets away from Christmas trees—Christmas trees are irresistible to pets, especially cats. They love nothing more than to climb their way to the top, knocking off ornaments and lights in the process—and sometimes, they even topple the entire tree itself. To keep your pets away from your Christmas tree, make sure the lower branches aren’t easily reached from the floor and that the tree isn’t positioned to close to furniture. In addition, avoid hanging shiny ornaments near the bottom, as they can attract pets’ attention.
- DO anchor your Christmas tree—Small children are another source of potential Christmas tree-related disasters. Anchoring your tree helps keep it upright even when “outside forces” push or pull it in a direction it shouldn’t go. Enclosing the area around your tree with a safety gate can also keep small children away from it, protecting them and your tree.
- DO test your ladder before hanging lights or wreaths—Hanging Christmas lights and wreaths outdoors completes the look of any home during the holidays, but it’s not a job for anyone with a fear of heights—or an unsteady and unreliable ladder. Always test your ladder to make sure it’s suitable for hanging lights and wreaths before you climb to the top, and always secure it on level, steady ground. Having someone hold the ladder can also improve your stability and safety.
- DO burn candles sparingly—The scent of holiday candles can be the finishing touch on a Christmas wonderland of a home, but candles are a major fire hazard. Light candles sparingly, and never in more than one room at a time to avoid losing track of them. In addition, keep lit candles away from the reach of small children and pets, and be sure to thoroughly extinguish matches and used candles before throwing them away.
- DO keep cords and cables away from walkways—Whether indoors or outdoors, make sure your walkways, including hallways and sidewalks, are free from loose or hanging cables and wires. Cords can be major trip hazards for your family and your holiday guests. However, take care to not twist, kink, or crush cords when moving them out of the way, as doing so can damage wiring and even create a fire hazard risk.
- DON’T buy the cheapest lights you can find—You can find Christmas lights everywhere nowadays, including supermarkets, drug stores, discount stores, and even thrift stores. And while it may seem that all Christmas lights are the same, there’s often a huge difference in quality, reliability, and safety among different brands. Cut-rate Christmas lights are not only dimmer and more likely to burn out than higher-quality lights, but they also may pose greater risks to you, your loved ones, and your home due to inferior wiring. Make sure any lights you purchase have the UL Listing Mark to ensure fire safety.
- DON’T buy small/glass ornaments and decorations if you have kids or pets—Ornaments are an essential part of decorating a Christmas tree, but they can also be one of the most dangerous parts of holiday décor. That’s because many ornaments are small enough to be choking hazards for children and pets. In addition, glass ornaments can be dangerous as they can shatter if they fall off trees, creating a risk of cuts or ingested glass.
- DON’T let your tree dry out—Synthetic trees can be reused year after year, but there’s something about the smell of a live tree that makes the extra preparation and setup time worth it. However, when buying a tree, be sure to pick one that was recently cut and that still retains moisture. When setting a live Christmas tree up in your home, keep it far from heat sources, including radiators, space heaters, and even warm lights that might cause your tree to catch fire. Finally, keep your tree watered, and be sure to dispose of it promptly when it begins to dry out.
Christmas Décor-Related Injury? You Need a Lawyer on Your Side.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that injuries can happen anytime and anyplace. Whether you’re driving to the store to buy Christmas decorations, or you’re at home putting them up, someone else’s negligence can cause you to suffer a serious injury.
And when that happens, our California personal injury lawyers are here to help. We know what it takes to get maximum compensation for injured victims, and we’re here to make sure you get paid. Contact us today for a free consultation.
November 25th, 2019|
In recent years, deep frying the Thanksgiving turkey has become the most talked about cooking method, and for plenty of good reasons. Deep frying a turkey keeps the meat succulent and juicy while ensuring a perfectly crispy skin. It also cooks significantly faster than in the oven. However, deep frying a turkey can be extremely dangerous, and anyone who attempts it should always use extreme caution.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), more than twice as many fires are started from cooking accidents on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Additionally, frying poses the highest risk of fire of any method of cooking.
Based on data gathered between 2014-2016, roughly 2,400 cooking fires occur on residential property every Thanksgiving, causing an average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $19 million in property damage. But if you decide the taste is worth the danger, make sure to keep all potential sources of accident and injury in mind.
Dangers Associated with Deep Fryers
- Deep fryers can tip over and spill dangerously hot oil.
- Overfilling the cooking pot can cause the oil to overflow when the turkey is added.
- Any amount, even a drop, of cooking oil coming in contact with the burner can result in a fire.
- The pot, handle, and lid can become hot enough to cause severe burns.
- Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat the oil and combust.
- Any water that hits the hot oil, even condensation, can cause a spray of flaming oil outward.
If you are interested in learning how to safely deep fry a turkey this year, we want to help. Follow our guide by clicking the image below for tips on how to avoid fires and burn injuries this Thanksgiving when frying a turkey.
Injured on Thanksgiving?
Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, but other times this isn’t true. If you’ve been injured in an accident because someone was behaving negligently and ignored safety measures, you may be eligible to get compensation for your medical expenses.
Even if you were injured at the home of a friend or family member during Thanksgiving dinner, don’t put aside the idea of contacting a lawyer––you still need to pay your bills, and in many cases, your loved one won’t be responsible for paying out of pocket. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our team of California personal injury attorneys work with the at-fault party’s insurance company to help injury victims get the compensation they deserve.
If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, we want to help you. And when you reach out to us for assistance, your initial consultation is always free.
November 4th, 2019|
Football season is in full swing, and that means the renewal of friendly sports rivalries, and plenty of tailgating. And while tailgating before a game is a great way to spend time with friends, family, and fellow fans, it can turn dangerous if you’re not prepared for potential emergencies.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’re all too familiar with unforeseen accidents and injuries. And while we’re dedicated to helping victims of accidents get the legal representation they deserve, we’re firm believers that preventing accidents in the first place whenever possible is the best way to go.
Check out the infographic below to find out how you can protect yourself, your tailgate guests, and others around you this football season.
Injured at a Tailgate? You May Be Eligible for Compensation.
Unfortunately, not everyone is always safety conscious when tailgating outside the stadium. When other tailgaters are negligent, they can put you and your guests in danger. Injury-causing accidents include everything from pedestrian accidents and vehicle crashes to grill fires and even explosions.
The injuries associated with tailgate accidents can be devastating, and victims often need expensive medical care, including emergency surgery, prolonged stays in the hospital, and long periods of physical rehabilitation. To make matters worse, they may be unable to work while they’re recovering from their injuries.
Getting compensation after a tailgate accident isn’t easy. It can be difficult to prove who was at fault and determining that a specific person or multiple parties were negligent often requires significant proof. Having a lawyer on your side can help you build a claim that maximizes your chances of getting compensation.
Our Legal Team Is on Your Side
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California personal injury attorneys help people who have been hurt through no fault of their own—including at tailgate parties. Your injuries are serious, and the last thing you want to deal with is an uncooperative fellow tailgater and their insurance company denying responsibility. You need time to recover and focus on your family—not dealing with an endless back and forth with a claims adjuster.
That’s where we come in. We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured Californians, and we know what it takes to win all types of injury cases. Contact us today for a free consultation of your claim. There’s no obligation, and we’re available to take your call 24/7. Best of all, our No Fee Guarantee® means you don’t owe us anything unless we get money for you!
October 28th, 2019|
Halloween is around the corner, and residents of California, like those elsewhere, love to celebrate the holiday with thrills, chills, haunted houses, and of course, trick-or-treating. But as they say, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. That’s the kind of scary no one wants on Halloween. So what happens if you are injured while participating in a Halloween activity?
Assumption of Risk
When you enter a haunted house, you take on an assumption of risk. For example, anyone going to a haunted house can reasonably assume it’s going to be scary. In fact, you pay to be scared! So if you suffer a panic attack or heart attack from fear, or twist your ankle running away from a haunted house actor, you likely don’t have legal grounds to sue. However, frights are not the only way to get injured at a haunted house.
Most haunted houses will require visitors to sign a waiver before entering or may include an implicit waiver on the back of the ticket. However, this doesn’t mean you have no recourse after an injury. If you were injured due to grossly negligent actions on the part of the haunted house operator, you can sue even if you signed a waiver.
Haunted House Injuries
Haunted houses are dark, oftentimes hastily constructed, and full of props and equipment that can cause injury. Visitors may trip over extension cords, injure themselves on exposed nails or broken guardrails, be hit by falling props, receive injuries from overaggressive cast members, risk being trampled by frightened groups of people, or even suffer carbon monoxide poisoning from artificial fog and insufficient ventilation.
Haunted house operators who fail to adhere to safety codes, are non-ADA compliant, or fail to warn about potential risks such as strobe lights or uneven surfaces may be liable for injuries suffered as a result.
Injured at a Haunted House?
Most haunted houses carry liability insurance in case a guest is injured at the attraction. If you are injured at a haunted house or other Halloween attraction, there are several important steps to take that can improve your chances of getting compensation for your injuries.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. These can be used to show how your injury occurred, i.e. poor lighting conditions or tripping hazards.
- Speak with a manager, and request to file an incident report.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Seek medical attention and inform the medical staff how you received the injury.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. Consulting an attorney is always free at Berg Injury Lawyers.
Making Your Home Safe for Trick-or-Treaters
Premises liability goes two ways. It doesn’t only apply to a commercial property owner’s responsibility to keep paying customers safe, but also to homeowners’ responsibility to keep guests safe; that includes trick-or-treaters. To prevent injuries at your home this Halloween, follow these tips:
- Ensure your homeowner or renters insurance is up to date. Most homeowner and renters insurance policies protect not only your belongings, but also provide personal liability protection if someone is injured in your home or on your property.
- Clear your sidewalk, yard, and porch of leaves and any tripping hazards that may not be visible in the dark, such as hoses, extension cords, potted plants, or lawn decorations.
- Ensure the outside of your home is well-lit.
- Firmly secure decorations to ensure they can’t fall over and avoid decorations that pop up or jump out and risk startling visitors into tripping and injuring themselves.
- Restrain any pets that may leap on, scratch, or accidentally bite a trick-or-treater.
- Avoid fire hazards by replacing the typical tea candle in your jack-o-lantern with a flameless LED version.
Halloween Activity Safety Tips
Whether your plan to spend October 31st trick-or-treating with your kids or enjoying fun scares as you make your way through a haunted house, there are several important safety tips you should keep in mind that are useful in either situation.
- Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes with good traction.
- Choose costumes made of non-flammable material.
- Avoid masks that limit your vision or ability to breathe.
- Consider including reflective material in your costume or adding reflective tape to your candy bucket to make yourself more visible in the dark.
- Inspect candy before eating and throw away any candy if the wrapper appears tampered with.
- Closely monitor any children in your group.
- Arrive to any activity sober and free of drugs and alcohol.
- Follow all posted safety rules at any attraction you visit.
- Stay in a group, follow clearly marked paths, and cross streets only at crosswalks.
- Be conscious of your own limits and avoid activities that may aggravate a pre-existing medical condition.
From all of us at Berg Injury Lawyers, we wish you a safe and happy Halloween! If you or a loved one suffered injuries while visiting a Halloween attraction, don’t hesitate to call our team.
September 25th, 2019|
Personal injury lawsuits often get a bad rap, but the truth is that they are often the only recourse for people who have been injured in accidents to pay their medical bills. Here at Berg Injury Lawyers, we think that no one should have to pay out of pocket when their injuries are someone else’s fault, which is why we want you to know all the facts so you can be prepared if you or someone you love ever find yourself in need of a lawyer.
After an Injury, Call Berg Injury Lawyers
If you are injured through no fault of your own, don’t believe the myths you’ve heard about personal injury lawsuits. You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering, and we want to help you get it. Contact our team today for a free consultation.