Personal Injury


Subrogation: Why Your Insurance Company Could Take Your Settlement Money

by Staff Blogger | September 7th, 2020

Medical bills are some of the most expensive costs associated with a serious injury. If you’ve been hurt in an accident through no fault of your own, your auto or health insurance company might pay those medical bills, especially if the at-fault party’s insurance refuses to foot the bill.

However, if you file an injury claim against the party or person who caused your injury, you will be seeking damages for those same medical bills your insurer already paid.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can seek money for bills that were already covered by your insurance company or what happens when those financial obligations overlap, then you’ve stumbled onto an important topic that plays a part in most injury claims: subrogation.

What Is Subrogation?

Subrogation is what happens when an injured person’s insurance company reclaims the money it paid out for accident-related costs. It’s how your insurance company recoups costs that the defendant (the person you’re taking legal action against) owes you.

Subrogation clauses are a part of all insurance contracts. So, insurance companies have a legal right to be reimbursed for the money they pay out if those costs are part of a successful legal claim.

Subrogation only involves recouping payments that their policyholder receives from third parties. So, for example, if your case involves only your insurance company, as it would in an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UIM) claim, subrogation would not be applicable.

Where Does Subrogation Money Come From?

Essentially, the money the insurance company wants to recoup will come from the compensatory damages you received via settlement or judgment. The insurance company will often demand full repayment of the costs they’ve paid for your care once they discover you’ve received compensation from a third party.

How Does the Insurance Company Know About Your Injury Claim?

After a doctor or emergency room visit, you likely received a letter from the insurance company. This letter might include standard language about notifying the insurance company if you file a compensation claim or hire an attorney. That’s because insurance companies often rely on self-reporting from their policyholders about potential injury claims or lawsuits.

Your insurer isn’t necessarily keeping tabs on the cause of the injury that prompted your treatment, so it might not be aware that you are seeking payment via an injury claim or lawsuit.

But insurers sometimes take steps to make sure they aren’t missing opportunities to recoup costs through subrogation. An insurance company will often work with third-party companies to identify insurance claims that are related to ongoing lawsuits or settlement negotiations.

Once an insurance company knows that your injuries are part of a lawsuit or settlement negotiation, they might again rely on a third-party company to stay in touch with you to find out how the situation is being resolved.

Do You Have to Pay the Full Amount Being Sought by Insurers?

Legally, insurance companies have every right to subrogation. In most cases, there’s little room for the policyholder to get out of paying back an insurer.

However, though insurance contracts state that the insurance company has a right to subrogation, it’s often true that attorneys will negotiate on behalf of their clients regarding the amount of money paid back to insurance companies after judgments or settlements. This can save an injured person money and help reduce the amount of settlements or judgments paid out due to subrogation.

If You Need Legal Assistance After a Crash, Get Berg!

Subrogation is one of many topics policyholders and injured people must contend with after a serious accident. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we work hard to ease our clients’ worries about their accidents and injuries. In doing so, we walk them through every aspect of their cases and deal with uncooperative insurance companies on their behalves each step of the way.

Contact the California personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with our team.


The Importance of Filing an Injury Claim Even During a Pandemic

by Staff Blogger | August 31st, 2020

While the world struggles to deal with a once-in-a-generation pandemic, we’re constantly reminded of the fact that life goes on. Despite lockdowns and outbreaks, people still have bills to pay, work to do, and injuries to deal with.

Unfortunately, accident-related medical bills won’t go away just because we’re in a pandemic, and the time in which you can file a lawsuit is still ticking down. You can’t afford to waste time waiting for the pandemic to end when you need to file a compensation claim.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know the importance of injury claims, which is why we’ve continued to offer the same level of service we’ve always given our clients, despite the limitations posed by COVID-19.

Why a Pandemic Shouldn’t Stop You from Taking Legal Action

Even with lower volumes of traffic on our roads, crashes persist. In some cases, our roads have proven to be even deadlier during the pandemic. Workplace injuries, medical malpractice, and other causes of serious injuries also continue to affect Californians.

Though you might be reluctant to visit a doctor or take legal action during the coronavirus outbreak, you must remember how high the stakes can be if you don’t take a stand against an insurance company.

Personal injury claims are as important as ever, and you shouldn’t give up hope because times are challenging. Many businesses, including Berg Injury Lawyers, have adapted to the pandemic and still offer the same level of assistance as they did pre-coronavirus.

We Remain Committed to Our Clients

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve expanded the way we serve our clients by offering remote consultations, case updates, and more.

We know how important getting compensation is for our clients, which is why we guarantee the same level of dedication and service to those we represent whether we meet them in person or over the phone.

For someone dealing with the prospect of an injury claim during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to know that legal options (and legal help) are still available.

The Importance of Personal Injury Claims

People file personal injury claims because it’s usually the only path to getting the compensation that they’re entitled to after an accident that wasn’t their fault. Serious injuries are costly, and insurance companies are often reluctant to offer people the payments they deserve.

By filing a claim, an injured person is seeking compensation for accident-related costs, including property damage, medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. A successful claim can mean the difference between financial ruin and the path to recovery.

Regardless of whether there are other external factors at play (like the coronavirus), you should always demand what you’re owed from an at-fault party and their insurance company. Otherwise, you risk running the chance of paying these costly expenses out of your own pocket.

The Costs of Waiting to File a Claim

Time is of the essence when you’re considering filing a personal injury claim. First, you need to be mindful of the statute of limitations in these cases. In California, you have two years from the time of your injury to file, and once that period lapses, you won’t be able to demand the payment you’re entitled to. And, if a public entity is involved, you may only have six months to file a claim with the city, county or whichever public entity is involved

Second, the longer you wait to begin the legal process, the greater the risk that important evidence supporting your claim and pinpointing the other party’s liability will be lost. The sooner you can contact an attorney and put them on your case, the better your chances of a successful outcome.

We’re Working Hard for Our Clients

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we never stopped working hard for our clients or accepting new clients to make sure they get the legal representation they deserve. We’re fully capable of meeting with clients and conducting business remotely through video conferencing, phone, and email.

We know how important it is for injured people to have their cases taken seriously and dealt with in a timely manner. If the pandemic is giving you pause from taking legal action, don’t wait any longer to seek help.

If You Need Help, We’re Here for You

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that injury claims stop for no pandemic. We’re still here, and we’re ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.


Learn the Most Important Thing You Can Do to Help Your Injury Case

by Staff Blogger | August 24th, 2020

There are several things you can do to improve the chances of a successful outcome in your personal injury case, but one thing stands above the rest: seek medical treatment early and consistently after your injury, and always follow your doctor’s orders.

The longer you wait to get treatment, or if you fail to attend follow-ups with your doctor, the more complicated your case can become. Let’s look at why medical treatment is so important, and why you should seek it as soon as possible.

Medical Treatment Serves Two Very Important Purposes

First, your health should always be your top priority. After an injury, you run the risk of worsening your condition or causing other complications if you don’t get medical help. Recovering from serious injuries takes time, so you should always listen to your doctor and follow their recommendations.

Second, seeking medical treatment establishes a record of your injuries. If you file an injury claim but have no official record to document how the accident impacted you, you’ll face a big challenge when demanding compensation.

However, if you go to a doctor or hospital soon after your injury and go to follow-up appointments in the days, weeks, and months that follow, you and your attorney will be able to clearly show the extent of your injury and its related costs.

Why Many People Don’t Seek Treatment

An injury might not be obvious in the immediate aftermath of an accident. The adrenaline produced during the trauma of a crash, slip and fall, or workplace injury can mask symptoms. It’s always best to visit a doctor or hospital as soon as possible after an accident, even if you’re unsure of the extent of your injury.

Another reason one might delay treatment is a general reluctance to visit the doctor or admit to being hurt. This hesitation to get help causes many problems, including the worsening of a condition and the impact on a person’s ability to get adequate compensation.

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, remember one thing: go to a doctor soon and follow all the doctor’s orders. Consider getting a second opinion if you disagree with a physician’s assessment. But whatever you do, don’t put off seeking medical attention.

There Are Other Ways to Help Your Injury Case, Too

There are several steps you can take to make sure your personal injury case is positioned for success. For example, you should stay off social media so you don’t give insurance companies reasons to deny your claim. You should avoid speaking to the representative of any insurance company that isn’t your own. You should also contact an attorney early in the process, so they can help you avoid other common mistakes.

Need Legal Help? Contact Berg Injury Lawyers.

If you’ve been injured and you need legal assistance, contact the California personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today. We’ve helped many injured people get the compensation and medical help they need to rebuild their lives after a serious injury.

Contact us today for a free consultation.


What Is a Bellwether Case—And How Does It Affect Drug Injury Litigation?

by Staff Blogger | June 29th, 2020

In presidential elections, voting in certain states repeatedly predicts the outcome of a race nationally. Ohio and New Mexico, for example, tend to cast their electoral votes for the candidate who eventually becomes the winner of the election. Political analysts refer to these states as bellwether states.

The term bellwether refers to the practice of placing a bell on a male sheep who leads the flock, but for those of us who aren’t shepherds, the word is most commonly used to mean a “predictor” or “indicator.”

Essentially, bellwethers predict outcomes, and they exist in many fields outside of politics (and sheep). They’re increasingly common in our legal system, and bellwether trials can either breathe life into future lawsuits, or they can deflate litigation.

What Is a Bellwether Case?

A bellwether case, also called a bellwether trial, is a precursor to a larger group of lawsuits. The outcome of the bellwether case can determine the momentum of similar pending cases.

Bellwether trials are a commonly used tool in multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is a special federal legal procedure that accelerates complex cases through the legal system.

A bellwether trial guide from the Federal Judicial Center summarizes the importance of these trials in MDL cases:

“If bellwether cases are representative of the broader range of cases in the MDL proceeding, they can provide the parties and court with information on the strengths and weaknesses of various claims and defenses and the settlement value of cases.”

In other words, bellwether cases are a trial run for future lawsuits.

How Do Bellwether Cases Affect Drug Injury Litigation?

Let’s say that hundreds of lawsuits are being filed nationwide against the manufacturer of a widely used heartburn medication. Before all those lawsuits move forward, one case or a handful of them are tried in court. These are bellwether trials.

If our hypothetical case ends with a win for the plaintiff (or plaintiffs), momentum builds for others hoping to file similar cases against the manufacturer. If the case is a bust, however, momentum wanes and fewer lawsuits are likely to be filed.

What Happens in a Bellwether Trial?

The process starts by establishing common themes that represent all of the cases in an MDL movement. Then, the courts and relevant parties create a group of cases that reflect those themes. The discovery process (the fact-finding portion of the case) begins, and the trial proceeds, much like it would in any other type of case.

Does an Unsuccessful Bellwether Case Spell Doom for All Similar Cases?

Not necessarily. In some cases, plaintiffs’ attorneys might view the details of a bellwether trial, even an unsuccessful one, as instructive. Flaws of certain arguments are exposed, and a more effective strategy can be built.

What Is the Impact of a Successful Bellwether Case?

If a bellwether trial results in a favorable outcome for plaintiffs, defendants might be more willing to settle future claims similar to the bellwether. You can see why plaintiffs’ attorneys watch these cases carefully—a successful ruling for the plaintiffs exposes a vulnerability of the defendant.

Should You Worry About Bellwethers as a Plaintiff?

If you’re considering filing a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer, you might now be tempted to start doing your homework on bellwether cases similar to your own. But remember that the nuances of a bellwether trial matter as much as the outcome.

Bellwether trials are a barometer that legal experts, judges, and attorneys use to determine the viability of cases and the strategy of handling such cases. In other words, plaintiffs don’t need to obsess about the details of bellwether cases, especially if they’re hiring an experienced attorney to represent them.

Are You Considering a Defective Drug Case in California?

The legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers pays close attention to bellwether trials, but we know that these cases are ultimately about people who need help. Drug manufacturers too often sell products without adequate testing or without properly labeling their products to inform consumers of potential risks. What matters in your trial is how their product harmed you, specifically.

If you want to know whether your case has the potential for a successful outcome, contact our team for a free case assessment. We want to help you explore your legal options.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers Today

The Northern California defective drug attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience holding drug manufacturers accountable for the harm they cause consumers. If you have questions about a drug injury case, contact our team today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


How to Avoid Overexertion Injuries at Work

by Staff Blogger | June 15th, 2020

Overexertion injuries at workOverexertion injuries cause more than one-third of all work-related injuries every year. They’re the most common reason for missed days at work and cost businesses billions of dollars annually.

By avoiding overexertion injuries, workers can be more productive, have longer careers, and enjoy a better quality of life. Before we learn how to avoid these injuries, we need to understand what they are and how they happen.

Examples of Overexertion Injuries

Overexertion injuries can occur after performing repetitive movements over long periods or with one sudden movement. A few of the most common examples of overexertion injuries include:

  • Soft-tissue injuries – Injuries to ligaments, tendons, muscles, etc.
  • Back injuries – Pulled, strained back muscles or damage to the spinal cord, such as a slipped disc or cracked vertebrae
  • Heat stroke and dehydration – Most common among workers doing heavy manual labor outdoors
  • Repetitive stress injuries – Injuries ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to stress fractures, often the result of weeks, months, or years of repeated movements

In many cases, two or more overexertion injuries can occur at the same time. For example, a worker might be more likely to pull a muscle if they are dehydrated or suffering from heat exhaustion. Lifting a heavy object can trigger an acute injury that stems from years of repeated actions.

How Overexertion Injuries Happen

Certain movements and activities are more likely to cause overexertion injuries than others. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Performing unnatural movements
  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Using excessive force to perform a task
  • Vibrations, typically from heavy machinery
  • Working in extremely hot and/or humid environments

Industries with High Rates of Overexertion Injuries

The National Safety Council provides a list of industries in which overexertion injuries are most common. They include:

  • Government
  • Education and health services
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail trade
  • Professional and business services
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale trade

From these two lists above, we get a clearer picture of how these injuries happen and where they’re most likely to occur. Though workers who operate heavy machinery or lift heavy objects are more likely to suffer overexertion injuries, workers in any setting are at risk if they and their employers don’t take steps to protect their health and wellbeing.

7 Tips for Avoiding Overexertion Injuries

Preventing overexertion injuries requires preparation and mindfulness. The more aware you are of how you’re performing tasks, the better positioned you’ll be to look for more efficient ways to perform them.

Here are seven ways you can reduce your chances of suffering an overexertion injury:

  1. Use safe lifting techniques. Keep objects you’re lifting close to your body. Maintain proper posture throughout the lift. Try to lift with your knees instead of your lower back. In addition, ask for help if an object is too large or heavy for you to lift on your own.
  2. Break up and limit time spent doing repetitive tasks. Distribute repetitive tasks throughout your day instead of doing them in one block of time. If possible, look for ways to avoid performing the same taxing task repeatedly.
  3. Move often. If you sit or stand for long periods, find opportunities to move and stretch fatigued muscles.
  4. Rest when you need to. Whenever you’re hot or tired, take frequent water and rest breaks.
  5. Take pain seriously. Persistent pain can be a warning sign of a more serious injury to come. Listen to your body and avoid performing tasks that contribute to chronic pain.
  6. Prioritize ergonomics. Ergonomics means “fitting a person to a job,” and it’s all about performing the correct movements for a given task. Take ergonomics seriously by considering the position your body is in when you perform tasks and look for ways to perform these tasks in a way that is less taxing on your anatomy.
  7. Perform corrective exercises. Whether you’re in the same position all day or using certain muscles more often than others, you’ll benefit from corrective exercises. These exercises help you correct poor posture and ensure the strength of less frequently used muscles.

Most overexertion and workplace injuries are preventable. It’s vital that employers give their workers proper training, equipment, and rest to ensure overexertion injuries never occur. When employers fail to do so, employees have rights to seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.

If You Need an Attorney, Call Us

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we help injured people get the payment they’re entitled to. If you were hurt through no fault of your own, contact the Bay Area personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today to speak to our team at no cost. We want to help you explore your legal options, so you can find the best path to the compensation you deserve.


What are California’s Crosswalk Laws?

by Staff Blogger | May 25th, 2020

California crosswalk lawsCalifornia’s road laws aren’t just for motorists. Pedestrians have clear rights and laws they must follow, too.

It’s important for both drivers and pedestrians to understand the laws (and best practices) for navigating intersections, which is why we’re giving pedestrians the lowdown on California’s crosswalk laws.

So, What Are California’s Crosswalk Laws?

CVC §21950 says that drivers should yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. However, there are a couple of important caveats.

California’s law does not absolve a pedestrian from the duty of “using care” for their safety. The statute says that “no pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

The remainder of the statutes in this law pertain specifically to the responsibilities of drivers. It states that drivers approaching a pedestrian within “any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action” required to keep pedestrians safe.

What Does That Mean for Pedestrians?

California’s pedestrian law is somewhat at odds with commonly held wisdom that pedestrians always have the right-of-way, but it doesn’t absolve drivers from their share of responsibilities, either. It’s true that pedestrians using crosswalks have the right-of-way, but from both a legal and safety standpoint, it’s important not to stop in the middle of that crosswalk, if at all possible.

Some of the other language used in the statute is also open to interpretation. For example, the laws states that pedestrians shouldn’t “suddenly leave a curb into the path of a vehicle” in a way that presents an “immediate hazard.”

Terms like “suddenly” and “immediate hazard” introduce ambiguity into an otherwise clear-cut law. As you can imagine, this ambiguity is a focus for attorneys who are representing clients in cases involving pedestrian collisions on both sides of the issue.

The Legal Implications of a Pedestrian Collision

If a pedestrian is injured by a driver and files a legal claim, it’s possible the driver’s attorney will argue that the pedestrian walked into the street without warning, even if the pedestrian believes it would be obvious to any responsible driver that they were crossing the street.

This highlights the need for an experienced attorney when a legal dispute emerges from a pedestrian collision. An injured pedestrian will likely need an advocate to make their case using all available facts.

An injured pedestrian’s attorney might look for several types of evidence to back up their client’s argument. For example, security or street cameras might have captured footage of the accident, which can be used to reinforce the pedestrian’s claim. An attorney could also ask any eyewitnesses for their account of the collision.

What Can Pedestrians Do to Stay Safe?

Pedestrians can keep these safety tips in mind when walking near or across roads:

  • Whenever possible, use sidewalks and designated crossings.
  • Whether or not you’re using a designated crossing, be mindful of oncoming traffic and, when possible, try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
  • If walking at night, wear brightly colored or reflective clothing.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic while maintaining a safe distance from the road.

What Are Driver’s Responsibilities Near Pedestrians?

Drivers must follow all the rules of the road to keep pedestrians safe. They can further protect pedestrians by following these guidelines:

  • Always give pedestrians the right-of-way.
  • Slow down when near crosswalks or in areas where pedestrian traffic volume is high.
  • Never pass a vehicle when it is stopped at an intersection or crosswalk.
  • Never come to a stop in a crosswalk.
  • If a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, assume they’re crossing the street.
  • Give vulnerable pedestrians (elderly or disabled people) more time to cross the street.

When You’ve Been Injured by a Careless Driver, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers

Though pedestrians do have the right-of-way in crosswalks, it’s possible that a driver will argue that a pedestrian acted unpredictably when crossing the road. It won’t surprise anyone who’s dealt with another party’s insurance company that insurers will use any argument possible to lessen or deny an injured pedestrian’s claim to compensation.

It’s vital that injured pedestrians get legal representation to make sure they aren’t taken advantage of by insurance companies. Berg Injury Lawyers has been representing injured people across Northern California for nearly four decades, and we’ve seen insurance companies make many outlandish claims, all for the sake of denying payments.

When you hire our California personal injury attorneys, you’ll be working with a firm that has a reputation for dealing firmly with insurance companies. We know what you’re going through, and we’re committed to fighting for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Let us hear your story, so we can help you explore your legal options. All you need to do is schedule a free consultation with our team. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.


How to Handle Medical Bills While Waiting for a Settlement

by Staff Blogger | February 24th, 2020

There’s no getting around it—auto accidents are expensive. Between ambulance rides, overnight stays in the hospital, surgical procedures, and weeks, months, or even years of physical rehabilitation, the costs associated with a crash can be enormous. To make matters worse, many auto accident victims suffer disabling injuries that make it difficult or impossible for them to work. That means no paychecks until they recover, even while they’re racking up bills.

For victims and their loved ones, there’s no price too high for getting potentially lifesaving medical treatment. But when the bills arrive, they may simply be unable to afford them. Many victims pursue compensation through the other drivers’ insurance policies, but they often find out that adjusters are uncooperative and drag their feet when it comes to getting their claims moving.

That means even the most obvious situations of negligence-related crashes can leave innocent victims watching their bills pile up while the negotiation and legal processes play out. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California auto accident attorneys work hard to get fast results for our clients, but we also know that crash-related expenses don’t wait for claims to settle.

These Resources Can Help You Stay on Top of Your Healthcare Costs

If you don’t have enough money on hand to start paying your medical bills after a crash, you still have many options while waiting for a settlement. This includes:

  • Your health insurance coverage—If you have health insurance coverage, you can use it to pay for many of your crash-related expenses, including the ambulance ride, in-patient treatments, and physical rehabilitation. It’s important to tell the hospital about your health insurance coverage as soon as possible, so that crash-related costs can be filed and billed correctly.
  • Medicare or Medicaid coverage—If you’re enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to use that coverage toward your crash-related expenses. However, you also may be required to pay back that money if you’re later awarded a settlement.
  • Subrogation—Subrogation is a process in which the insurance provider of the injured party pays their expenses under the assumption that it will be compensated for those payments after the victim receives a settlement. Subrogation is commonly used when it’s clear that the victim wasn’t at fault for the crash and has a strong basis for a compensation claim.
  • Your own auto insurance—Typically, victims are paid by the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies after crashes. However, victims may be paid directly by their own insurance policies if they purchased supplemental coverage, such as med pay coverage or personal injury protection. These policies often pay regardless of who was at fault for the crash.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ll not only work to help you get fair compensation for your crash-related expenses, but we’ll also help you find the best way to stay on top of your bills while you wait for your settlement check. We know that you have enough to deal with already, and unpaid bills piling up is the last thing you should have to worry about while you’re recovering from your injuries.

When You Call Us, We Have One Goal in Mind: Getting You Paid

Being able to rely on other sources of income and payment methods for your medical bills can give you peace of mind during a difficult time. We understand that waiting for a settlement isn’t easy. The real solution comes when you get the compensation you deserve. Simply put, if you were hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, you should be paid fairly by the other driver’s insurance company.

Our California car accident attorneys work hard on ensuring victims like you get full compensation, and we don’t waste time when it comes to collecting evidence, building cases, and negotiating with the insurance company. But we also know that personal injury claims often take months to resolve due to uncooperative adjusters.

The sooner you contact us after your crash, the sooner we can start building your claim—and the sooner your case will either settle or go to court. That means less time waiting for a settlement and wondering how you’ll pay for your medical bills. Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out how we can help.


How Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

by Staff Blogger | 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.

Your Posts

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.

Ranting

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.

Your Photos

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.

  1. Set all your social media accounts to private.
  2. If possible, adjust your settings to prevent other users from being able to share your posts or to post comments on your accounts.
  3. Do not accept any new friend requests, especially from people you don’t know, while your claim is ongoing.
  4. Speak privately with friends and family and request they do not post anything about you, or especially your accident, until your claim is resolved.
  5. 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.


How to Safely Put Up Holiday Decorations

by Staff Blogger | 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.


How to Safely Deep-Fry Your Thanksgiving Turkey

by Staff Blogger | 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.