Personal Injury

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. 

Is it Better to Settle or Go to Court in a Personal Injury Claim?

by Staff | 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.

Why Do Insurance Companies Lowball Injured People?

by Staff | 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.

What Are Your Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

by Staff | 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.

●      Precedence

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.

Can You Sue a Landlord for Injuries You Suffer in a Rental Unit?

by Staff | 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.