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
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.
September 20th, 2021|
Most personal injury claims are settled before they proceed to trial. This is because there are often several immediate advantages to settling. For example, trials can be stressful, especially if you are still recovering from the accident that led you to file a personal injury lawsuit.
On the other hand, a plaintiff may be awarded much higher damages by a jury than by a defendant’s or their insurance company’s offer to settle the case. While there is no guarantee of this, the best strategy for maximum compensation depends on many factors related to the specific circumstances of your case.
The determining factor in whether to go to trial is usually the strength of your case and the amount you are being offered in a settlement. However, other factors may come into play. You must examine these with your attorney to determine the best course of action for your situation.
Benefits of Going to Trial
If you go to trial and a court rules in your favor, you will likely receive a higher financial reward than the settlement offer. This is because your case was noteworthy enough to be heard by a jury, who in turn are likely to award compensation with the seriousness of the matter and justice in mind.
Your case may also have broader social ramifications and may even lead to public policy changes. For example, a personal injury case against a health care provider can lead to reforms in the medical field that benefit the broader public. In this scenario, you might anticipate a higher financial reward because the jury will want to make an example of your case.
Benefits of Settling
A trial process is risky. A judge may throw out evidence, or decisions may be appealed, costing even more time and resources. In recent years in the United States, the number of cases proceeding to trial has been diminishing steadily, as both plaintiffs and defendants are finding settlements to be less risky, less expensive, and faster to resolve.
Other notable benefits of settlements are that they are private, unlike a trial, which is a matter of public record. You may not want your name permanently associated with a case publicly. Settlements are permanent, so a plaintiff doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of an appeal, while a defendant is not required to admit liability. Settlements are often in the best interests of both parties.
However, there are times when a plaintiff simply shouldn’t settle. If a personal injury is especially severe, or if a defendant’s negligence is insufferable, more than a financial amount may be at stake.
One of the most frequent reasons to go to trial despite the risks is when a defendant steadfastly offers far too little in a settlement in proportion to the damages you incurred, and there is no other chance of receiving the compensation you and your attorney know you are due.
Considering a Personal Injury Claim in San Francisco?
If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim in the San Francisco area, look no further than San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers. Our No Fee Guarantee means that you only pay if you win your case.
Because of this guarantee, proceeding with a personal injury lawsuit is no risk to you. Our legal team is available 24/7 to answer any questions regarding your case in California. We are also proud to offer multilingual representatives to ensure a language barrier does not prevent you from seeking justice.
With over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in San Francisco and the Bay Area, we know how difficult the recovery process can be and the challenges that accompany deciding to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Berg Injury Lawyers are here to help you get back on your feet. Contact us today for a free consultation without obligation. We will evaluate your claim and advise whether you have grounds to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys can also advise on whether you would be best served by settling or going to trial. With our vast experience, we are fully prepared to fight for your claim in court if it becomes necessary.
September 13th, 2021|
If you’re dealing with an insurance settlement following an accident, it can be stressful. Often you need to pay several expensive bills for medical treatment, and you may not have the money to pay for them. Unfortunately, insurance companies know this and may try to take advantage of you.
The California personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the often-complicated insurance settlement process so you can focus on recovering from your injury.
Why Insurance Companies Try to Lowball You
Insurance companies are a business and need to make a profit. They make their money by collecting insurance premiums, investing those premiums, and not paying out a lot in claims. It’s in the best interest of their bottom line to lowball you.
Some common reasons insurance companies make low initial settlement offers to injured people include:
● It’s worked for them in the past
People accept lowball offers all the time, whether because they need money quickly or just don’t know any better.
● They are trying to avoid future bills
Once you accept a settlement, it’s impossible to reopen the claim if you receive more bills or a doctor determines you need additional treatment. To save themselves money, insurance companies will make you a settlement offer before you’ve completed treatment or received all the bills related to your accident.
● They use computer-based estimates and haven’t considered your specific case
Large insurance companies receive thousands of claims, and they may not look at each case individually. Instead, they run claims through artificial intelligence software to compare it to previous cases they’ve settled to determine how much to offer you in your settlement.
● They are taking advantage of your inexperience
Insurance companies don’t think you know enough to spot a lowball offer or hire a lawyer, especially if you’ve said the wrong thing while discussing the case with them. They hope you see the settlement offer as a take-it-or-leave-it deal and not a negotiation.
● They use a “deny first” policy
Some companies will simply deny your claim altogether without looking at it, hoping you’ll just accept it and move on.
How to Tell if Your Settlement Offer Is Lowball
There are several ways to tell if the insurance company is lowballing you.
● They actively discourage you from consulting a lawyer or pressure you to decide quickly
When you receive the settlement and say you can’t accept it until you’ve spoken with a lawyer, a disreputable insurance company will advise you not to get a lawyer because it will slow down the process. They know a good lawyer can spot their lowball offer and fight it.
● You get the settlement quickly
Insurance settlements take time to research. There’s a lot of evidence to dig through and facts to sort before they can craft your settlement. If they’ve done it too quickly, that’s a sign they didn’t take the time to investigate your claim properly.
● They ignore or dismiss evidence, blame you for the accident, or question the source of your injuries
If insurance companies tell you that specific evidence doesn’t matter or try to convince you that you are to blame for the accident, they are doing so to make their settlement offer sound more generous than it is.
This can also pressure you into taking their offer out of fear that you will lose that amount if you continue to push for fair compensation. They may also blame your injuries on other causes to prove that they aren’t liable for a payout.
● They don’t explain their math
If you ask how they arrived at your settlement total, and they can’t provide that information, they are probably lowballing you. They know that if they explain how they arrived at your offer amount, you or a lawyer will see the amount is too low.
● They suddenly become unresponsive
If you challenge the settlement offer, and the insurance company suddenly becomes unresponsive, they are probably lowballing you and hoping you will not want to draw the process out any longer and just accept the offer.
Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for Your Free Consultation Today
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you through the insurance claim process. We ensure you receive a fair settlement so you can focus on what’s important to you and get back to your regular life.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we offer a free consultation to discuss your case. Call us today so you can receive the compensation you are entitled to.
September 6th, 2021|
If you’ve been in an accident, you may be wondering if a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages is right for you. The California personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you navigate this process to determine if you are eligible to file a claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a legal dispute between two or more parties, with one party alleging that another entity is responsible for their injury through intentional action or negligence.
You can file personal injury claims to cover medical bills, travel costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, property loss, and loss of enjoyment or consortium, among other expenses.
Common Outcomes for a Personal Injury Claim
Formal lawsuit: In a formal lawsuit, a private citizen (called a plaintiff) files a civil suit against the individual, business, or government entity (called a defendant), alleging them of intentionally causing harm or causing harm through negligence.
Informal settlement: An informal settlement is the most common outcome. The involved parties negotiate a written agreement in which the defendant pays an agreed-upon amount in damages on the basis that the injured party will not pursue additional legal action for the injury.
Personal Injury Claims in California
California follows comparative fault laws, which means that there can be multiple parties at fault in the event of an accident. So, even a partially at fault victim can file for personal injury claims and win compensation.
Factors Determining the Success of Your Personal Injury Claim
Several factors determine the success of your personal injury claim.
● Proof of Fault
The most significant factor in whether your personal injury claim succeeds is the type and amount of evidence you have to prove another party is at fault, whether through intentional action or negligence.
Following an accident, take video or photos of the area and any injuries if you are able. Collect witness information and file a police report to start a paper trail that can be used to support your claim. Immediately seek medical attention and keep a record of medical documents to use as evidence.
● Severity of Harm
The severity of your injuries can influence the outcome of your personal injury claim. Victims with broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal damage often win larger settlements due to the complexity and length of treatment. It is also easier to prove that these injuries were sustained during an accident.
● Degree of Disruption to Daily Life
If your daily life has been inconvenienced by the accident, you are more likely to get a larger settlement from your personal injury claim. For example, limitations to doing daily tasks, like walking or working, are more severe than limitations such as no longer being able to participate in social sports or hobbies.
● Type of Treatment and Length of Recovery
Trips to the doctor and hospital stays (as long as reputable medical professionals advise them) are more likely to lead to larger settlements. The duration of treatment, especially treatments that include follow-up appointments and medication, can also impact the result of the settlement.
● Degree of Emotional and Mental Trauma
Often accidents result in emotional or mental trauma like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The presence of emotional and mental trauma diagnosed by a licensed medical professional can factor into the success of your personal injury claim. However, these types of trauma are often harder to prove since they cannot be seen.
Personal injury claims are a type of torts law, and the majority of these types of cases are determined by precedence or the results of previous cases.
Discuss Your Injury With a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an accident and are dealing with a personal injury case in California, the personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers are here to help. We can negotiate with insurance companies so that you can focus on recovery.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, you won’t pay us until you win your case, whether it goes to litigation or an informal settlement. Contact us today for your free consultation.
June 28th, 2021|
In most states, the landlord of a property has a legal obligation to maintain the safety and security of the tenants they rent to. This means they must fix things such as broken stairs, weak railings, collapsing decks, or poor lighting to keep the rental free of hazardous conditions.
If your landlord fails in this regard and you become injured, they may be subject to premises liability laws and owe you compensation for your injury. Learn who can sue a landlord for personal injuries, how premises liability laws factor into your case, what type of compensation you may be entitled to, and how a slip and fall attorney can help.
Who Can Sue a Landlord?
A long list of people can sue a landlord for injuries incurred on the property. The list includes renters, tenants, visitors, workers, and even trespassers. Tenants or renters live on the property and are the most common plaintiff in landlord-tenant personal injury cases.
Visitors, such as family and friends of the tenant, may be entitled to compensation if they are injured while visiting the property. Workers such as landscaping crews, exterminators, and utility company employees can sue landlords for injuries they sustain while on the premises. Trespassers also fall under the list of people who may file a claim if they are injured in a rental property.
Examples of Unsafe Conditions
Many unsafe conditions may cause injury on a rental property. Common examples include:
- Slips and falls on slick surfaces
- Tripping on uneven stairs or obstacles that are hidden but easily fixable
- Falling through rotted or weak floorboards
- Falling on broken stairs
- Injuries from exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Injuries from a broken or weak railing
- Burns from scalding water
- Injuries from porch or deck collapse
- Injuries due to inadequate or non-existent lighting
Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
The most common type of personal injury claim affecting tenants and landlords is slip and fall accidents. These types of accidents happen when a person slips or falls and suffers a personal injury because of unsafe conditions on a property. The types of injuries a person suffers due to a slip and fall range from minor to severe. Injuries might include broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, muscle injuries like strains, tears, sprains, scrapes, wounds, or bruising.
Premises Liability Laws
The most significant legal factor in determining whether or not you can file a slip and fall claim against the property’s landlord rests in California’s premises liability laws. To win your case, you must show that the defendant owns the property where the accident occurred, that they were negligent in maintaining the property, and that their negligence was a major contributing factor to your injuries.
Negligence occurs when the property owner fails to:
- Repair the unsafe condition
- Give an adequate warning about the dangers
- Protect tenants, visitors, and workers from the hazard
Landlords in California are required to perform thorough inspections of their properties before renting to a tenant to uncover and repair hazardous conditions. If the landlord fails to discover, fix, and warn the new tenant of a hazard, they may be held liable.
Keep in mind that a landlord is not held liable for injuries that occur once you are in possession of the property. Landlords cannot perform surprise inspections on their tenants. Therefore, if a dangerous condition arises after you move in and you do not inform the landlord and then become injured, they are unlikely to be liable for your injuries.
The two exceptions to this situation are if your landlord is made aware of the hazard and fails to address it or if the accident occurs in a common area such as the hallway, stairs, or property elevators.
Personal Injury Compensation
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident due to landlord negligence, it is best to speak with experienced California slip and fall attorneys as soon as possible. Premises liability laws are complex, and cases of this nature are best handled by knowledgeable personal injury lawyers who specialize in the practice area.
An experienced attorney can help get you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact Berg Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to landlord negligence, contact the knowledgeable team at Berg Injury Lawyers today. During your free consultation, we will go over the facts of your case and help you consider your legal options. We have been representing victims’ rights for 40 years and will work to obtain the settlement you deserve.
June 21st, 2021|
If your legal team has finally reached a settlement regarding your personal injury case, you are probably eager to receive the funds, pay your bills, and move on with your life. It may have taken a while for the defendant’s insurance company to agree to the settlement amount, so the idea of waiting an additional amount of time is undesirable.
How long does it take to get a settlement check? The answer depends on the various processing steps and payments required before you get the check, but in most cases, you can expect to receive your funds in about six weeks. Knowing the steps that go into processing your settlement check can help you understand why it takes so long to receive it.
Signing Release Forms
The first step in receiving your settlement is to sign the appropriate release documents. These documents release the defendant and their insurance company from any further lawsuits or legal action in the case.
Depending on the terms of your settlement, your release forms may be simple or full of conditions. Go over them carefully with your lawyer to make sure you agree to all stipulations. In some cases, your legal team may wish to negotiate further on the settlement before releasing the claim. This can delay your payment further. However, it is better to wait than to accept terms you disagree with.
Insurance Company Processing
The next step is for the defendant’s insurance company to receive your release papers and sign them. Then, the company processes your payment. Payment processing does not typically take too long, but with larger settlements, the insurance company may drag out the process. Once the check is issued, the insurance company sends it to your attorney.
Trust Account and Payment of Liens
Once your lawyer receives the check from the insurance company, they are required to deposit it into a trust account. Your attorney pays off any liens or outstanding bills. This often refers to medical liens but can refer to other creditors that need to be paid. If you paid these expenses yourself, you may receive reimbursement during this stage, but this is not part of your victim’s compensation settlement amount.
Many personal injury attorneys offer to work on your case with the understanding that they don’t receive payment until you get paid. This is helpful because you don’t have to worry about money upfront to get compensation for your injuries.
At this point in the settlement process, your attorney deducts their fees from your settlement amount. This includes fees for court costs, taxes, expert testimony, and other legal expenses, as detailed in your contract. You can ask your attorney to send you an invoice of their legal fees so you know exactly how the funds were used. Once your legal team has received their payment, you are on your way to receiving yours.
The last step in processing your settlement is when you receive the funds. After paying all debts and fees, your attorney sends you the funds. You may opt to have the check sent in the mail or pick it up in your lawyer’s office. This last step can take several weeks as law offices handle many cases at one time. Always call your lawyer if you have specific questions about your settlement’s processing time.
Legal Counsel and the Settlement Process
Due to the complicated nature of personal injury cases, you stand the best chance of protecting your rights and receiving appropriate compensation if you work with a San Francisco personal injury lawyer.An experienced attorney can ensure that the defendant’s insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you by offering a quick and easy settlement that is a fraction of what you may be entitled to.
Contact the Team at Berg Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one is considering filing a personal injury claim, contact the experienced attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We can walk you through what to expect in your personal injury case and see you through the settlement process.
With 40 years of experience, Berg Injury Lawyers are ready to assess your claim and represent your interests so that you win the compensation you deserve.
May 10th, 2021|
While you might assume that a lawyer with a website and fancy office is legitimate and legally allowed to practice the law, there have been numerous cases where people have posed as lawyers for decades. These fraudulent lawyers have taken clients’ hard-earned money, lost important cases, or made critical mistakes in essential paperwork.
Before meeting a lawyer and agreeing to work with them, it’s essential you do some due diligence to ensure they have all the credentials they claim to. Whether you received a serious injury in a car accident or lost a loved one in an accident and need to file a Wrongful Death lawsuit, it’s essential that you work with a legitimate, experienced lawyer like those at Berg Injury Lawyers.
Why Should You Check a Lawyer’s Credentials?
To become a lawyer, you must attend law school, graduate, and pass the state bar where you plan to practice. Completing law school and proving your knowledge by passing the bar are essential since it demonstrates that a lawyer has a complete understanding of their state’s laws.
If someone claims to be a lawyer but has not gone through this process, it’s unlikely they have the expertise necessary to navigate the court system successfully. They could make significant mistakes, causing you to lose your case while also taking your money.
Another reason to check your lawyer’s background is that many people who lie about being lawyers also lie about other aspects of their lives or participate in identity theft or fraud.
When you work with a lawyer on a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney-client relationship is essential and must be based on trust. If you later learn that your lawyer is fake and has stolen money from you or used your information to take out a line of credit, you may need to enter into another lawsuit or partake in criminal proceedings to protect your finances.
How to Tell if Your Lawyer Is Legitimate?
While checking your lawyer’s legitimacy adds an additional step during an already stressful time in your life, it’s relatively straightforward.
Each state, including California, has a registry of all lawyers who have passed the bar and can legally practice law. When you speak with your lawyer, ask them for their full name, and, if it’s a common name, ask for their state bar number. You can then input their name into the State Bar of California’s Attorney Search engine and confirm that the name your attorney gave you matches the bar number. The search engine gives you their office address, contact information, where they went to law school, and their license status.
If the status of the license states Active, and all the information from the website matches the information your attorney gave you, then your lawyer is likely legitimate. You can also see when the lawyer joined the California bar. If the website states they joined over 20 years ago, but the lawyer appears to be around 35, that could be a sign they are not who they say they are.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
If you need a San Francisco personal injury lawyer, you should do some research to ensure you choose the best lawyer for your needs. First, ensure that the lawyer you choose has experience with similar cases to yours. For example, if you suffered a slip and fall injury at a hotel, ask your lawyer about their experience with those types of cases.
Once you’ve confirmed their experience and legitimacy, schedule a free consultation where you can get to know them. If you’re happy with what you read, schedule a free consultation where you can get to know them. During your meeting, be sure to ask questions. Depending on the case, you could need to work with your lawyer for several years, so you want to make sure you feel comfortable discussing personal matters with them.
Another thing to confirm at your consultation is how you can contact your lawyer with questions or concerns about your case. A legitimate lawyer always makes themselves available to their clients and addresses concerns in a timely manner.
Work With a Legitimate, Experienced Personal Injury Firm
If you’re in Northern California and require legal advice about an injury you’ve sustained because of someone else’s negligence, contact Berg Injury Lawyers today. With over 35 years of experience, our team can help you navigate the complicated legal process of filing a personal injury claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
We’re happy to provide any information you would like to prove our legitimacy and encourage you to learn more about our qualifications. If you’d like to learn more about us or determine if your situation allows you to file a lawsuit, call us today to arrange a free consultation.
February 22nd, 2021|
When you’re seriously injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be legally entitled to money to cover all the costs you’re facing because of your injury. But even if you’re already aware of your rights to compensation, you might be reluctant to pursue the money you’re entitled to.
We know and understand the reasons why you might be, but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to be, especially if you’re worried you can’t afford to file a lawsuit.
Unfortunately, people often wrongly assume that filing a personal injury lawsuit is too expensive for the average Joe to do. That assumption ultimately leaves them paying all the costs for someone else’s mistake out of their own pocket, simply because they never take legal action.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we believe everyone should know that they won’t be taking on debt when they decide to file a personal injury claim. Here are a few things you should know when filing a lawsuit when you have no money to hire a lawyer.
Find a Lawyer Who Works on a Contingency Fee Basis
Many personal injury attorneys, including those at our firm, work on a contingency fee basis. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our No Fee Guarantee® is a promise that if you don’t win, you pay nothing, and you never have to pay upfront—not even for your initial consultation.
Though filing a lawsuit can be expensive, you’ll be protected from these costs if your lawsuit is unsuccessful—as long as you hire an attorney who works strictly on a contingency fee basis.
Don’t Forgo Medical Treatment Out of Fear You Can’t Afford It
People sometimes don’t get medical treatment after suffering a serious injury because they’re afraid they can’t afford care. Ironically, this failure to get treatment is then used as evidence by insurance companies that someone isn’t actually injured.
If you have health insurance, it’s possible your insurer will cover your medical bills. However, if the injury was caused by someone else, that person’s insurance company should ultimately cover your injury-related bills once they are found to be at fault.
When your health and the viability of a compensation claim are on the line, don’t fail to seek medical treatment just because of the possible expenses you face. Do everything you can to have your injuries treated and documented. You can then demand payment from the at-fault party’s insurer with the help of your attorney. If you inform your healthcare provider you intend to file a lawsuit to reclaim your damages, they may even agree to cover your treatment under a lien rather than send you a medical bill right away.
Resist the Temptation to Accept an Insurance Company’s First Offer
If you have no money, and the at-fault party’s insurance company offers you a quick settlement, you might be tempted to accept it right away. However, that offer is likely far less than you deserve. There’s no way to know how much you’re owed before your medical treatment is complete, but an attorney can help you calculate not only your medical costs but your non-economic damages as well, such as pain and suffering.
Though it might seem like you’re getting money in your pocket right now, it’s likely you’ll eventually lose money when accepting the insurer’s offer, since the settlement may run out before you’ve finished paying your bills.
Know That a Lawsuit Might Not Even Be Necessary
It’s very likely that you’ll receive the compensation you need without ever filing a lawsuit. Most personal injury claims are settled before they go to court when you have an attorney negotiating with the insurance company for you.
You Don’t Have Money? We Can Help You Fight for Compensation.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we believe that everyone deserves equal access to the legal system, regardless of how much money they make. That’s why we only get paid if you get paid. If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in San Francisco or Northern California, contact our team today to schedule a FREE case assessment.
December 14th, 2020|
Catastrophic injury is a term used to describe only the most severe, debilitating injuries. It’s most commonly used in reference to brain and spinal cord damage, though it can also refer to other life-altering permanent injuries.
Attorneys and doctors use the term catastrophic injury to describe the severity of a client’s or patient’s injury. But for injured people, knowing whether an injury is legally or medically considered “catastrophic” can help them understand their path to recovery and their legal options in personal injury claims.
Hallmarks of a Catastrophic Injury
In general, catastrophic injuries include one or more of the following characteristics:
- Disability or a loss in function of essential body parts
- Extreme cognitive decline or loss of key cognitive functions
- The need for lifelong assistance to perform routine tasks
- Extreme psychological suffering related to the injury
- Dramatic loss in ability to enjoy life’s pleasures
Let’s review specific injuries that the legal and medical community consider catastrophic.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Though traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can include everything from mild brain injuries like concussions to severe brain injuries that dramatically affect a person’s cognitive abilities, catastrophic brain injuries typically refer to the latter type of TBI.
Catastrophic brain injuries often impair a person’s reasoning, memory, and personality. In some cases, catastrophic brain injuries also cause some form of physical impairment.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Catastrophic injuries to the spine often result in paralysis or, at the very least, a reduced ability to use one’s arms or legs. Paralysis is usually permanent, leaving the afflicted with serious challenges performing routine tasks without assistance. These injuries can also be extremely costly, resulting in millions of dollars in lifetime expenses.
Other Injuries Frequently Categorized as Catastrophic
Though serious, debilitating damage to the brain and spinal cord are universally considered catastrophic, other types of injuries are also sometimes called catastrophic because of the serious implications for the sufferer.
Those injuries include:
- Loss of Limbs
- Severe organ damage
- Vision loss
You’ll notice that these injuries carry many of the hallmarks of catastrophic injuries. They can all dramatically affect a person’s physical and emotional well-being in profound ways, as well as impact their ability to earn a living for themselves post-injury.
Seeking Damages for Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injury cases are unique. Though some personal injury claims involve comparatively minor injuries, catastrophic injuries have deeply impacted a person’s way of life. Thus, when someone suffers a catastrophic injury and files a personal injury lawsuit, they will typically demand far more in damages than people who suffered a more minor injury.
Damages in catastrophic injury cases can include:
- Medical expenses: The costs of initial, ongoing, and future treatment for the injury itself, as well as costs for physical therapy, psychological counseling, prosthetic limbs, and any other related expenses.
- Loss of income: This includes the income lost during the period in which the initial injury occurs, as well as the income that the injured person won’t be able to earn throughout the remainder of their life because of their injury, including any raises or benefits they may have been eligible for before.
- Pain and suffering: These costs are called non-economic damages, and they include both the physical and emotional suffering one experiences in the wake of a life-changing injury. These damages are typically very substantial in catastrophic injury claims.
How to Determine Whether You Have a Catastrophic Injury Case
Because catastrophic injury is largely a legal term, the best way to determine whether you have a catastrophic injury claim is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in California. It’s important to make sure the attorney knows these types of cases well, so they can give you an informed opinion on whether your injury legally qualifies as “catastrophic.”
Let Us Evaluate Your Catastrophic Injury Case
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know how difficult it can be for an injured person to determine the potential for a successful catastrophic injury claim. That’s why we offer free case reviews to injured people in California.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, and you want to explore your legal options, our personal injury lawyers want to help. Our consultations are free, and you’ll be under no pressure to move forward with a case unless you wish to do so.
December 7th, 2020|
For many people, giving gifts is the most rewarding part of the holiday season. Unfortunately, the chaos at shopping centers that often begins on Black Friday tarnishes that giving spirit and, in the worst of cases, leads to serious consumer injuries.
If you’ve had the misfortune of being injured while shopping or you simply want to know what to do if it happens to you, keep the following tips in mind.
Seek Medical Treatment
It’s most important to get medical treatment as soon as possible. First, you want to be sure your injury is diagnosed and treated by a physician. This will hopefully help you deal with the pain you’re experiencing and prevent the injury from worsening.
Getting medical treatment will also establish a record of your injuries – specifically, what they are and when and how they occurred. That will be critical if you need to file a personal injury claim to get compensation for the damages you’re facing from your injury.
Document Whatever You Can About How the Injury Happened
If at all possible, take pictures of the scene of the incident that led to your injuries. This means taking pictures of the place where the injury happened, the conditions of the property where it occurred or the injury itself. If there were witnesses to the incident, ask them for their contact information.
Talk to a Premises Liability Attorney
Premises liability claims help injured people get compensation when their injuries were caused by conditions of the property. Premises liability claims can also help someone get payment when their injuries were caused by another person on that property, which is typically the case in negligent security claims.
A premises liability attorney will be able to determine your best path forward when seeking compensation.
If You’re Contacted by an Insurer, Don’t Give Them a Statement
It’s possible that you’ll be contacted by an insurance company representing the party at fault for your injuries. If you’re contacted by an insurer’s representative, do not speak to them. They’ll want to get you on record with a statement, and they’ll use that statement against you if at all possible. Tell the representative to talk to your lawyer and say nothing else.
Examples of Shopping-Related Injuries
Causes of shopping-related injuries come in many forms. A few of the most common include:
- An attack by one shopper on another
- A slip and fall injury caused by dangerous conditions in the store
- An injury from the product itself
- A negligent driver in the parking lot of a shopping center
Each of these causes can mean a different legal path to compensation. It’s best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn your legal options.
Property Owners Have a Responsibility
Property owners must ensure the safety of their premises to reduce the likelihood of an injury. They might fall short of that responsibility when they fail to staff adequate security personnel or when they fail to maintain the conditions of their property.
If you’ve been injured while shopping, know that you likely have legal options available. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we can help you determine whether you’re eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim.