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.
September 23rd, 2019|
If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation by making a personal injury claim. However, you may be hesitant to take legal action, as you may be worried about the ramifications on the person who caused the accident.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that choosing to pursue damages after an injury can be a difficult decision for you and your loved ones—especially if the at-fault party is someone you know, such as a friend, family member, or coworker.
When we take on your claim, we’ll handle it with the sensitivity and confidentiality it deserves while working to maximize your compensation. Contact our California accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
The 2 Sources of Compensation for Victims After Injuries
Personal injury claims are often complex, and it’s not uncommon for victims to pursue multiple avenues of compensation. When we build injury claims for victims like you, we seek compensation from the following:
- The at-fault parties’ insurance providers—In the vast majority of personal injury claims, victims collect compensation from insurance companies—not the people or parties who caused their accidents. That’s why auto accident coverage is required in all 50 states.
- The at-fault parties themselves—In a small number of cases, at-fault parties may have to pay out of pocket for victims’ expenses. For example, drivers who don’t carry auto insurance may have to personally pay victims compensation for causing accidents.
No two personal injury claims are alike, and factors like insurance coverage, who’s at fault, the amount of compensation needed, and the type of injury can all impact damages and how victims get paid.
We Know How to Build Strong Claims That Get Results
Insurance companies want to protect their profits, and companies and individuals may deny responsibility altogether after accidents. That means compiling convincing evidence can be difficult, let alone getting the money you deserve, when you try to pursue compensation on your own.
When you contact our firm, we’ll investigate your injury, determine who was responsible, and plan the most effective way to get you every penny you deserve. Contact us today.
August 28th, 2019|
A new school year is upon us in California, and that means stocking up on school supplies, buying new clothes, and establishing a new daily routine for your child. As important as homework and extracurricular activities are, you should always prioritize your child’s safety, especially on their way to school. Check out these tips to help your child stay safe during the 2019-2020 school year.
August 21st, 2019|
Fully loaded semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be 65 feet in length or longer. In comparison, even the largest SUVs and pickup trucks max out at around 6,500 pounds and 20 feet in length. Simple physics dictate that big trucks are likely to do massive damage to smaller vehicles when they’re involved in crashes, putting drivers and their passengers at high risk of suffering serious injuries.
If you or someone you love was recently hurt in an accident involving a tractor trailer or other commercial vehicle, your injuries may require extensive medical treatments, and you may be unable to work for the foreseeable future. Keeping up with your day-to-day living expenses can be difficult enough when you’re not working, and paying for expensive medical bills may be out of the question.
You know you need to file a compensation claim for your truck accident, but you may be hesitant to do so, especially if you’ve never needed a lawyer before. At Berg Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to make the process as easy as possible for you. We have years of experience assisting injured truck accident victims like you, and we’re ready to put our track record of success to work for you and your loved ones. Contact us today for a free consultation.
How We’ll Help You with Your Truck Accident Claim
Truck accident claims can be legally complex. That’s because multiple parties may be considered at fault. Our California truck accident lawyers know both state and federal laws concerning the trucking industry, and we’ll put that knowledge to use when we build your claim.
When you contact us, you can count on us to take the following steps on your behalf:
- We’ll determine who was responsible for the crash—Whether the liable party was the truck driver, truck owner, truck company, another driver, or any combination of parties, we’ll collect evidence that proves their responsibility.
- We’ll calculate your accident-related expenses—Your medical bills may keep piling up, and you may be unable to return to work for weeks or months because of the crash. We’ll tally up your total expenses and make sure the insurance company knows how much you’re owed.
- We’ll negotiate to get you maximum compensation—Trucking companies are required to carry much larger insurance policies, and this makes insurance companies even more combative after truck accidents than after car accidents. We’re not afraid to stand up to them regardless of the stakes, especially when it comes to getting you the money you need.
You’ve gone through a difficult experience, and the last thing you need to deal with is the insurance company and its schemes. Let us protect your rights to the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.
August 14th, 2019|
Roundup is the world’s most popular weed killer, and it’s used not only on farms and commercial properties, but it can also be found in the garages and sheds of many ordinary people. That’s what makes recent revelations that Roundup may cause cancer so alarming.
If you are looking for ways to reduce your health risks as you care for your lawn or garden, you will likely want to look for safer, chemical-free alternatives. We’ve compiled seven Roundup-free methods of keeping your yard, driveway, and garden free of weeds and looking beautiful this summer which you can access by clicking the image below. And if you think your cancer diagnosis may be related to Roundup, don’t hesitate to talk to the team at Berg Injury Lawyers to see if you may be eligible for compensation.