Will New Traffic Sensors in Sacramento Actually Save Lives?

by Staff | April 18th, 2022

Like any city, Sacramento has roads that are more treacherous than others. A one-mile stretch of El Camino Avenue saw 143 crashes over a seven-year period.

This is part of the reason why the Sacramento Department of Transportation is installing dilemma zone detection sensors. These sensors help drivers make safer driving decisions when approaching an intersection to help reduce accidents that cause severe injuries and deaths.

Other cities in the U.S. have experimented with smart traffic control sensors with positive results, so they will likely also reduce fatal crashes in Sacramento. These sensors are a step toward achieving Sacramento’s goal of zero traffic deaths by 2027. Unfortunately, these sensors do little to address drivers who neglect their responsibility to drive with care for others.

When motorists drive negligently and cause serious accidents, they are liable for the damages they cause. If you have sustained an injury or a loved one has been killed in an automobile crash, contact our Sacramento car accident lawyers. You do not have to suffer financially because of someone else’s dangerous and irresponsible driving.

What Makes Sacramento’s Roads Dangerous?

While any road can be made dangerous by an irresponsible driver, speed is a major cause of accidents. The most dangerous roads have higher speed limits or encourage drivers to speed. Along with speeding, left and right turns in an intersection contribute to accident risk. Sacramento’s most dangerous roads combine these factors.

79% of serious crashes occur on only 14% of Sacramento’s roads. The highest number of serious and fatal accidents in Sacramento occur in the following corridors:

  • El Camino Ave between Del Paso Blvd and Steelhead Creek
  • Marysville Blvd between North Ave to Arcade Blvd
  • Florin Rd from 24th Street to Munson Way
  • South Stockton Blvd between Patterson Way and McMahon Drive
  • The section of Broadway and Stockton Blvd between MLK Jr. Blvd to 13th Ave

Speeds that result in pedestrian fatalities are considered dangerously high speeds. Pedestrians die 5% of the time when struck by a car going 20 miles per hour. That increases to 40% for vehicles at 30 mph. Cars traveling at 50 mph are 100% likely to cause a fatal accident if they strike a pedestrian. This shows that going above the speed limit and roads with a higher speed limit are a considerable danger to pedestrians.

The danger of high speeds combined with the fact that 78% of collisions occur in intersections is why Sacramento is opting for dilemma zone detection sensors and other intersection-related crash countermeasures.

How Sensors and Countermeasures May Help

The sensors attempt to reduce crashes by evaluating how fast cars are approaching an intersection. The sensors then decide how long to keep the traffic light in its yellow phase. When a traffic light is yellow, cars a certain distance from it are in the dilemma zone where drivers are unsure whether to stop or speed through the light. The sensors quickly turn the light from yellow to red to help drivers make a safe decision.

These sensors are shown to be most effective when 40% or less of the cars entering the intersection are turning. It is also most effective when trucks frequent an intersection, and the approaching speed limit is 45 mph or above. Some Sacramento roads will likely be safer because of the sensors, but other safety measures are necessary to achieve zero fatalities.

Other safety measures that Sacramento is considering include narrowing roads to reduce vehicle speed, pedestrian crossing only traffic signals, and speed limit reductions.

When Are Drivers Liable for Accidents?

The unfortunate fact is that all the safety measures in the world will not make an irresponsible driver safe. Drivers are responsible for exercising care for other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

That means they need to follow the laws of the road and drive as a reasonable person would, considering the road’s circumstances. When a driver fails to do this and causes an accident, they are deemed negligent.

Negligent drivers are liable for the costs associated with injuries, deaths, and other physical damages resulting from accidents. That means if you or a loved one was in an accident with a negligent driver and have medical bills, funeral costs, or need a new car, then the negligent driver may have to cover those costs.

If you think negligence was involved in your accident, contact an auto accident lawyer at our law firm. They work with you to get the financial compensation you deserve from insurance companies and the negligent driver.

What to do if You Are in an Accident

If you are the victim of someone else’s irresponsible driving, contact Berg Injury Lawyers. We will guide you through this uncertain time by collecting all the essential documentation to negotiate with insurance companies for the fair compensation you’re due.

Our experienced legal team can help you fight to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and the pain and suffering caused by your accident. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to learn more about how we can help you in a free consultation.

Can a Car Accident Cause a Stroke?

by Staff | April 11th, 2022

Most people associate car accidents with common injuries, such as broken bones, whiplash injuries, and bruising. However, strokes can also happen during a car crash. 

If you suffered a stroke because of a car accident, our California car accident lawyers can evaluate your case and help you file a compensation claim. 

What Are the Causes of a Stroke After a Car Accident?

High blood pressure, blood clots, and physical trauma can cause strokes. Traumatic brain and neck injuries can increase the risk of stroke for people under the age of 50.

A person who has had a head or neck injury is three times more likely to experience an ischemic stroke, a stroke occurring because of a blockage or clot in the blood vessels within the brain. 

A car accident can increase the risk of a stroke in several ways. The following injuries may trigger a stroke:

  • Whiplash: This injury happens when the body accelerates or decelerates in an accident. The neck whips back and forth upon impact, tearing soft tissues and arteries in the neck. Having this injury increases the risk of an ischemic stroke because of the ‌reduction in oxygen to the brain.
  • Brain hemorrhages: Head trauma from a car accident may cause a brain hemorrhage, increasing the risk of a stroke. The blood pools in the brain tissue, creating a mass called a hematoma. 

The hematoma can put pressure on the brain, minimizing blood flow to the brain and killing brain cells. Cerebral hemorrhages cause 13% of all strokes in the U.S. and are the second leading cause of stroke.

If the arteries are already constricted because of a pre-existing vascular condition, they may not supply enough blood to the brain. This situation might result in a stroke being triggered by a car accident, even when there is no physical trauma.

Delayed on-set strokes after a car accident

Sometimes, strokes can happen months or years after a car accident. Symptoms of tears in the arteries may not show up until three months after the accident, increasing the risk of stroke.

The risk of a stroke is typically greater for four months after a traumatic brain injury, but it can last up to five years. Getting immediate medical attention after an accident is always important to check out for any potential risk of a stroke.     

Can I Get Compensation for a Stroke?

If a stroke is caused by an accident, it can create complex coverage issues under the insurance company’s disability policies. The coverage question becomes whether the stroke or the accident was the efficient proximate cause of the disability. This means the cause must have been the most influential factor in creating the stroke. 

An insurance company must investigate the accident and determine whether there is coverage for the claim. The stroke exclusion may be determined by the circumstances of the accident, your age, and your health risks for a stroke.

Since negotiating with an insurance company takes skill and knowledge of California’s insurance laws, it’s best to get legal help collecting strong evidence and building a strong claim.

How can I prove the connection between the accident and my stroke?

All your medical records, including doctor’s notes and invoices from your treatments, can help connect your stroke to the accident. Emergency room records, medical tests, and written statements from friends and family can attest to the diminished quality of life you suffered after your stroke.

Attorneys can use their resources to collaborate with medical expert witnesses to investigate the cause of the stroke. Your lawyer can work tirelessly to achieve maximum compensation from the insurance company by using medical testimonies and records from your treatments to link the stroke to the accident.

Find Out if You Can Get Compensation for a Stroke in a Car Accident

If you suffer a stroke due to a car accident, attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can work on your case. We will evaluate your claim and advise you on your legal options, including how to move forward with a lawsuit. Call our law office to schedule your free case consultation today

Why Is Making a Left Turn So Deadly in San Francisco?

by Staff | April 4th, 2022

There are few driving situations as complicated as a left turn, especially an unprotected left turn. Drivers need to make sure they have enough time to turn before oncoming traffic arrives, deal with honking cars behind them, be aware of civilians and bikes on crosswalks, and execute a safe left turn.

The complications of a left turn make it one of the most dangerous aspects of driving, especially in heavily congested cities like San Francisco. 40% of fatal traffic accidents occurred when a car took a left-hand turn and struck a pedestrian. While some blame for these accidents can be attributed to intersection design, negligent driving is also a common cause.

If you or a loved one was involved in a traffic accident, you might be due compensation for the injuries or wrongful death. San Francisco car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you recover the financial losses associated with your injuries or a loved one’s death.

What Makes Left Turns Dangerous?

San Francisco is one of the most congested cities in the world, which places considerable stress on the intersections in the city. More cars on the roads mean less time to execute safe left turns, more aggressive driving tendencies, and ultimately more dangerous situations for pedestrians.

The stress caused by these congestion-related factors increases the chance of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving includes speeding, cutting off other vehicles, and cutting corners in left turns.

The design of cars adds to the danger of left turns by blocking the driver’s view of the crosswalk. The A-pillar, which is located on the driver’s side, connects the roof to the vehicle’s hood and holds the windshield in place. While a 90-degree left turn will reposition the crosswalk into the driver’s full view, when a driver cuts the corner, the A-pillar blocks their view of the crosswalk.

How to Safely Turn Left

The first step in executing a safe left turn is being free of distractions. Do not attempt left turns while on the phone or when other preventable distractions are present. The next step is to assess the intersection. Check for the light, oncoming traffic, cyclists approaching from behind, and pedestrians. Keep your wheels pointed forward because if you wait to turn with angled wheels, a rear-end accident will send you into oncoming traffic.

You should only turn when you have enough time to go 5 mph through the intersection. Make a 90-degree turn in the middle of the intersection and slowly drive through the crosswalk to give yourself the time to make adjustments.

Stay Safe as a Pedestrian

Pedestrians are the most at-risk population at left-turn intersections, with elderly pedestrians being even more vulnerable. To keep yourself safe, watch for cars in an intersection planning to turn left, do not cross until you make eye contact with drivers, and wear bright clothing.

While these practices reduce the likelihood of a car hitting you, sometimes a driver’s negligence makes it impossible to avoid an accident and serious injury.

When Is a Driver Liable for a Left Turn Accident?

In California, all drivers are responsible for exercising a reasonable amount of care to avoid injuring others. This means that drivers must follow the road laws and drive safely and responsibly.

California law states that vehicles turning left yield to oncoming traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Failing to do so, especially by aggressively cutting the left turn corner, is a breach of the driver’s responsibility to others. Negligent drivers are liable for the injuries they cause.

What to Do if a Driver Turning Left injures You

If you sustain injuries or a loved one suffers a wrongful death due to a driver’s negligence, you likely have grounds for a lawsuit. When possible, take photos of the accident scene and retain all documentation proving your medical expenses, doctor’s appointments, and time off work while recovering.

When a loved one is wrongfully killed, recovering damages can help cover the cost of burial and funeral expenses while providing financial support during a challenging time.

Contact an attorney in California to discuss your legal options for pursuing compensation. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we can help you build a case against the negligent party and support you through the process of filing your claim. Call us today to request a free, no-obligation consultation.

Can Large Trucks Drive in the Left Lane in California?

by Staff | March 28th, 2022

In the U.S., the left lane is the passing lane or the “fast” lane. Drivers typically use the left lane to pass other vehicles. In California, lanes are numbered from left to right, with the number 1 lane being the leftmost lane. Drivers of standard passenger vehicles are advised to stay in the far-right lane for slow driving and use the left lane for passing.

Considering their relatively slow speeds, you may be wondering if semi-trucks can use the left lane. Discover what the law says about large trucks driving in the left lane in California and learn about the potential risks and dangers.

What the Law Says

Legislation regarding driving in the left lane in the U.S. varies by state. Four categories exist:

  • “Keep right” states: Driving in the left lane is prohibited in keep right states except for passing or turning left.
  • “Yield” states: Driving in the left lane is tolerated, but drivers must yield and move to the right lane if they are blocking traffic.
  • “Keep right when slower” states: These states follow the recommendations outlined in the Uniform Vehicle Code. According to UVC 11-1205, while drivers can cruise in the left lane, they should keep right if they are slower than the current traffic speed (regardless of the speed limit).
  • Permissive states: Driving in the left lane is allowed without restrictions.

According to the California Vehicle Code (CVC 21654(a)), the Golden State follows UVC recommendations, making it a “Keep right when slower” state. Left-lane driving is generally legal as long as the truck doesn’t impede traffic.

What About Large Trucks?

The California Vehicle Code oversees numerous commercial vehicles’ laws and regulations, such as semi-trucks. One of California’s most critical laws that large trucks and other large vehicles must follow is vehicle-specific speed limits.

According to CVC 22406, large trucks (also referred to as motortrucks) are among the six categories of vehicles prohibited from exceeding 55 miles per hour on a highway.

Other vehicles may use the left lane to drive at speeds up to 65 mph (CVC 22349) or 70 mph (CVC 22356), depending on the conditions.

In practice, these speed limits mean trucks are not legally allowed to exceed 55 mph anywhere on the highway. Therefore, they would be highly likely to impede traffic behind them if they switched to the left lane.

Another law (CVC 21655) stipulates that any vehicle subjected to the speed limits of CVC 22406 must stay within designated slow vehicle lanes at all times unless turning left or preparing to enter or exit the highway.

  • 2-lane and 3-lane highways: The designated slow vehicle lane is the rightmost lane.
  • Highways with 4 or more lanes: The designated slow vehicle lanes are the two rightmost lanes.

Truck-Only Lanes

Some highway sections may feature truck-only lanes, reserving traffic for large commercial vehicles and prohibiting passenger cars from driving on them. Drivers can easily recognize these lanes by looking for the white signs stating TRUCK LANE, TRUCK TRAFFIC, or Trucks/All Trailers in black text.

The end of the truck-only lane zone is marked by another sign: END TRUCK LANE RESTRICTIONS.

You can find examples of truck-only lanes at the following locations:

  • At the I-5 / SR 99 junction in Kern County (southbound only)
  • At the I-5 / SR 14 junctions in LA County (northbound and southbound)

Dangers of Trucks in the Left Lane

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data, 4,805 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents. 38% of these occurred on Interstate highways.

Not only is it illegal for a truck to leave its designated lanes, but California’s 55 mph speed limit on large trucks prevents them from legally reaching the speeds necessary to pass vehicles on the highway. Driving in the left lane would impede traffic flow, create congestion, and significantly increase the risk of causing accidents. Moving any faster would constitute speeding, further increasing the potential risks.

Potential risks associated with trucks in the left lane include:

  • Trucks occupying the left lane may not reach sufficient speeds to pass vehicles on the right, impeding traffic flow.
  • Vehicles behind a truck changing lanes may brake suddenly, significantly increasing the risk of rear-end accidents.
  • Vehicles flowing in and out of the truck’s blind zone as it switches lanes may be side-swiped or struck.

Contact Our Team Today if You Need Legal Assistance

Truck accidents often cause severe, life-threatening injuries. If you or one of your family members are involved in a truck accident, contact California truck accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today. We can help you hold the trucking company accountable and get the compensation you deserve.

Who is Responsible for Crashes That Occur on Easements?

by Staff | March 21st, 2022

Accidents on easements, such as on public access roads, may be challenging to figure out since multiple parties could be liable for your injuries. When you are injured on an easement, you might not understand your rights or if you can hold them accountable for the losses you suffer. Our California car accident lawyers can help you through the legal process if your accident occurred on an easement.

What Is an Easement?

A property easement is when the title to a piece of land grants someone other than the owner the right to use it for a specific purpose. It can go to anyone, including a nearby landowner, a private company, a government agency, or a utility company.

If a property backs onto a major street, part of the land may have an easement for public access. Granting an easement to a utility company to oversee the location of a power line on a property is another common situation. 

Who Is Liable for an Accident?

An easement agreement between the original property owner and the easement rights holder identifies the liable party. Any of the parties listed in the easement agreement may be held responsible for your damages.

If the negligent party has breached their duty of care, they may be held responsible for injuries you suffer as a result. Duty of care refers to keeping a property reasonably safe and free of risks or hazards. Negligence is the failure to fulfill this duty, regardless of whether it is careless or intentional.

You should always have an experienced lawyer obtain any documents related to the easement property.  An attorney can review the agreement and analyze the wording regarding liability between the property owner and easement rights holder. Easements may be the responsibility of multiple parties or just one party.

Who is Responsible for the Safety and Maintenance of an Easement?

Depending on the liability in the easement agreement, the original property owner may not be liable for accidents and maintenance on the land containing the easement. If the easement agreement addresses safety conditions for the easement property, that will also affect who is responsible. 

The party with the easement rights to use the land is responsible for safety and maintenance, including any accidents. For instance, the public utility company or local government must maintain the property if it uses the easement to access power lines and transformers on private property. It has a duty of care to trim trees, clean the areas around the power lines, and take steps to keep the land safe. If the public utility company creates dangerous conditions for anyone, they can be liable for damages.

Your lawyer may also find that in the easement agreement, the original property owner has the right to use the easement together with the easement rights holder. If the owner fails to correct safety hazards that led to your accident or doesn’t notify the easement rights holder about them, both the owner and easement rights holder may also be liable.

What Are Other Factors That Can Establish Liability for an Easement?

The details of the accident can also help determine liability for an easement. If you had an accident on a road owned by a private company due to hazardous road conditions, the evidence from the accident would determine the responsibility.

If the parties were negligent in creating the hazardous situation and neglected to correct any safety hazards, evidence aside from the easement agreement could hold them responsible. This evidence may include:

  • Photos and videos of dangerous road conditions such as fallen debris and cracks, and the lack of warning signs
  • Surveillance footage if there were any video cameras
  • Medical records and bills showing the progression and severity of your injuries
  • Any statements from nearby witnesses, if possible
  • Property records and the easement agreement

Let a California Car Accident Attorney Help You

Berg Injury Lawyers can help if you have been injured while on an easement. Despite California’s complex easement laws, we can help you find the liable party from the easement agreement and file your claim.

Learn more about accident liability on easements by scheduling a free consultation today.

What’s a Typical Settlement for Injury Claims Involving Brain Injuries?

by Staff | March 14th, 2022

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a severe form of personal injury. TBIs are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. According to the Brain Trauma Foundation, an estimated 2.5 million Americans suffer from a TBI every year. This results in about 50,000 deaths and 80,000 cases of permanent disability.

If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another party’s negligence, malpractice, or intentional acts, here’s how much you can expect from your claim.

What Constitutes a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Like most other injuries, traumatic brain injuries may vary significantly in severity. However, the highly delicate nature of the brain often means even the mildest TBI can result in lasting damage.

TBIs: Concussions

The most common type of TBI is a concussion, medically known as a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). The most common causes of concussion cases in the U.S. are falls, impacts to the head, and car accidents.

According to a 2017 study, most concussion symptoms resolve after three months. However, a small number of individuals may suffer from a rare condition called Post-concussive Syndrome (PCS).

Other types of TBI

Other forms of traumatic brain injury include:

  • Brain contusions: An impact or concussive event causing the brain to bruise and start bleeding. Some brain contusion cases require surgery.
  • Coup-Contrecoup injury: A coup-contrecoup injury (from the French words for “blow” and “backlash”) is the result of a violent impact (the coup) causing the brain to hit the back of the skull on the opposite side (the contrecoup).
  • Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI): DAIs are a more severe form of concussion. They form tears inside the brain, which often cause comas or death.
  • Penetrating brain injuries (PBI): A PBI occurs when foreign objects or projectiles pierce the skull and damage the brain (e.g., bullets). PBIs are one of the deadliest forms of TBI, with a mortality rate of 90%.

How Much Can I Expect From a TBI Claim?

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, traumatic brain injuries comprise over 30% of all injury-related deaths in the U.S., totaling more than $60 billion in medical and economic losses.

It is important to remember that each case is unique. The specific compensation amount you might receive depends on many factors. Contacting a team of experienced California brain injury lawyers is necessary to assess the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages.

How Are TBI Damages Calculated?

Brain injury lawyers assess the value of your settlement by calculating the damages you’ve suffered. There are two primary types of damages you can recover in California: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages

The economic damages are the calculable losses you sustained due to your injury. These can include:

  • Lost or reduced wages and salaries
  • Property damage assessments
  • Repair or replacement bills
  • Medical expenses, including medications, assisted living, and nursing personnel

If the exact value of a loss sustained due to your injury can be financially quantified, it is a form of economic damage. Your settlement value typically at least includes the totality of the monetary damages sustained, reimbursing you what you can demonstrate you’ve lost due to the injury.

Non-economic damages

The non-economic damages are the pain, suffering, anguish, and other trauma you’ve suffered due to the injury. Although these aren’t easily quantifiable, skilled brain injury lawyers use various methods to put a specific value on the pain and suffering their clients sustain.

One of the most common approaches is to add together the total economic damages and apply a multiplier (typically ranging from 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity) to this value. Due to the severity of a typical TBI case, they tend to command higher multipliers.

Another approach is the Per Diem method, a daily rate calculator. According to the Per Diem principle, your lawyers estimate a specific dollar value for each day you’ve had to live with pain and trauma (usually based on your salary), then multiply this value by the number of days spent in pain.

For example, if your yearly salary is $50,000 and you work 250 days a year, your daily rate is $200. If you wear a neck brace for 3 months and use pain medication for another 3 months following an accident (totaling 6 months of days in pain), an example formula may be:

  • $200 daily rate calculated from your salary x 180 days spent in pain = $36,000 in non-economic damages

Count on Berg Injury Lawyers for Your Brain Injury Case

Don’t take on the responsibility of handling your settlement case alone while you’re dealing with the pain and suffering of a TBI. Instead, call Berg Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with one of our highly skilled brain injury lawyers.

We can help you calculate the value of your claim and fight to get you the maximum compensation you need.

Can a Car Accident Lead to Degenerative Disc Disease?

by Staff | March 7th, 2022

Due to the weight of motor vehicles and their speed, the impact they can cause is intense, resulting in serious injuries for drivers and passengers. Head, neck, and back injuries are common in car accidents and can affect those with pre-existing conditions such as degenerative disc disease.

If you have neck or back pain after a car accident, it may be related to this condition. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible and consult with one of our California car accident lawyers.

How Do Car Accidents Affect Degenerative Disc Disease?

The sudden impact at the back of your vehicle can move your body forward before your seatbelt snaps you back violently. If you experience an impact on another part of your vehicle, this can cause a violent jolt to the spine, damaging spinal discs and causing them to shift out of alignment.

Many people have a form of this injury before the accident, especially those over 40. The cartilage pads between bones in your spinal column can dry out during disc degeneration.

Tears and cracks can be a factor in worsening your condition. If your back injuries cause the spinal discs to degrade, they can result in chronic pain throughout your body and affect your quality of life.

How to Identify Degenerative Disc Disease

A doctor must first diagnose the condition before you can file a compensation claim for additional pain from your degenerative disc disease. If you experience the symptoms of degenerative disc disease, you can seek treatment. Some common symptoms include:

  • Mild to severe pain in the lower back, hips, and legs
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms or legs
  • Increased levels of pain while sitting, twisting, or lifting
  • Chronic pain lasting for weeks or months at a time

The doctor can check for signs of bone deterioration by using X-rays and determine the distance between the vertebrae. Diagnostic imaging can show whether a disc’s soft tissue compresses the spinal cord or a nerve.

Additionally, your doctor might use a reflex hammer to test your reflexes and touch your back so they can measure your neural function and pain levels. If you have little or no reaction, you have likely damaged or compressed nerves. They can also check to see if there is muscle weakness or shrinkage from degenerated discs in your spine.

Treating Degenerative Disc Disease

Your doctor may recommend non-invasive treatments for your degenerative disc disease, which include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications, such as muscle relaxers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or steroids
  • Steroid injections to lessen inflammation and pain near your spinal nerves, disc, and joints
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy to burn sensory nerves and prevent pain signals from going to your brain with electric currents

Spinal decompression surgery can alleviate nerve pressure if you have persistent pain and weakness from this condition. These treatments can result in an increasing number of medical bills for which you can receive compensation.  

How to Prove Damages in a Car Accident From Degenerative Disc Disease

If you suffered from degenerative disc disease before your accident and your symptoms worsened, you can still seek compensation for the additional pain from the exacerbated symptoms. This is because you may only receive compensation for the harm resulting from the accident, not for injuries that occurred previously.

Keep a journal that demonstrates how the increased pain from your accident exacerbated your degenerative disc disease. This may include recording the difficulty of completing your daily tasks and the steps you have taken to lessen the pain.

Your medical bills from your treatments and surgeries, if applicable, can also show the extent of your pain and suffering.

A lawyer can work closely with your doctor and a medical expert to obtain your medical records, including your official diagnosis and any imaging results that show the difference from before the accident.

These documents highlight the harmful effects the driver’s negligence had on your body. A medical expert can discuss how the accident worsened your symptoms of degenerative disc disease.

Talk About Your Injury With California Auto Accident Attorneys

With an experienced lawyer by your side, you can take steps to build a strong case and find a way to recover fair compensation. To find out how to get started with your claim, book a free consultation with Berg Injury Lawyers today.

Is Jaywalking Legal in California?

by Staff Blogger | February 28th, 2022

Jaywalking is the act of crossing a road somewhere other than at a designated crosswalk. Jaywalking is illegal in California and can result in a fine of up to $250 for the guilty party. Even so, if you were hit by a vehicle while jaywalking, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

California’s comparative negligence laws and the road rules in the Vehicle Code combine to give those injured as a pedestrian legal recourse even if they were jaywalking. If you or someone you know was injured while jaywalking, contact a California car accident lawyer to determine if you are due compensation.

Who is at Fault?

Multiple considerations are necessary to determine fault when a vehicle hits a jaywalking pedestrian. Pedestrians must use due care when entering a road at a crosswalk and cannot stop unnecessarily while crossing. Pedestrians can be deemed negligent and partially at fault for an injury.

However, vehicles are not free of legal blame just because a pedestrian contributed to their own injuries. The California Vehicle Code holds that drivers have the duty to exercise due care for pedestrians when they are jaywalking. If they do not exercise due care, they may be classified as a negligent driver and liable to pay compensation for the pedestrian’s injury.

Comparative Negligence

California operates under the law of comparative negligence, which means that an injured party may recover damages from liable parties in accordance with their level of responsibility in the accident.

In the case of a jaywalking injury, if the court decides the jaywalker is 30% responsible for the injury while the driver is 70% responsible, the jaywalker can only recover 70% of the damages because of their percentage of fault.

How to Prove the Driver’s Negligence

If you were injured while jaywalking and believe it was at least partially the fault of a negligent driver, you may be due compensation for your injuries. To prove that the driver was negligent, you and your lawyer need to demonstrate three things.

The driver owed you a duty of care

The California Vehicle Code establishes that the operator of a vehicle owes a pedestrian due care. The mere fact that you are a pedestrian and that they are a driving a vehicle establishes that they owed you a duty of care.

The driver breached their duty of care

Drivers have a duty of care to act as a reasonable person would in the same situation to avoid harming others.  In the context of driving, this could mean that if a driver is on the phone and eating while driving, they are not acting as a reasonable person would and have breached their duty of care.

Evidence that the driver did not act as a reasonable person is essential to win a jaywalking injury case. Eyewitnesses, videos, and police reports are a few pieces of evidence that can help your case.

Contact California car accident lawyers as soon as possible after the accident to give yourself the best chance of collecting the essential evidence.

Experienced personal injury attorneys know what evidence proves a driver’s negligence. They can gather essential documents and interview witnesses while you recover from your injuries.

The driver caused your injuries

To prove a driver was negligent, you must show that the driver’s breach of duty caused your injury. Filing a police report of the accident and saving all medical records from the accident create a paper trail of critical evidence. Injuries can often be long-lasting, so getting written doctor’s opinions about the lasting effects of your injuries helps build your case.

Injuries can lead to lost wages and lost jobs. If this occurs, talk with your lawyer about compensation for these financial damages. Personal injury lawyers also know about the pain and suffering caused by others’ negligence, which represent another set of damages to consider.

Do not let a small mistake like jaywalking get in the way of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact a Lawyer Immediately

It is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a jaywalking injury. The evidence collection process is time-sensitive, and an experienced attorney can fight on your behalf while you focus on recovering.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with a California car accident lawyer. With 40 years of experience, we are prepared to take on your case and help you fight for maximum compensation.

California School Bus Driver Requirements

by Staff Blogger | February 21st, 2022

With over 10,000 public schools in the Golden State, the California school transportation system is effectively the state’s largest mass transport network and one of the largest nationwide.

California schools operate over 24,000 buses and transport over 1.1 million students of all ages each day, presenting numerous opportunities for safe and qualified drivers.

If you’re a parent, you might be wondering what qualifications a person must possess before they can drive a bus full of schoolchildren. Let’s review the requirements to become a school bus driver in California and find out why their education and training are crucial to road safety.

Legal Requirements

Although the specific requirements to become a school bus driver in California may vary slightly between counties, all applicants must meet the following state requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old (however, due to CDL requirements, you effectively must be at least 21 to drive a school bus)
  • High school diploma
  • Medical examination certificate asserting the applicant’s good physical condition; must not suffer from Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent), epilepsy, seizure disorders, or unmedicated high blood pressure
  • Department of Justice fingerprint clearance
  • Valid driving license with a clean driving record
  • Clean criminal record
  • Clean alcohol and controlled substance test results

If you meet all these criteria, you may apply to obtain a California Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The legal requirement to drive a school bus in California is an S Endorsement on your license.

Obtaining the coveted S on your license is challenging; you must already possess a CDL with a P endorsement, which allows you to drive a vehicle capable of carrying 16 or more passengers, such as standard commercial buses.

If you’re starting from scratch, here are the requirements you’ll need to pass:

  • Visit the local DMV and apply for a Commercial Instruction Permit
  • With your CIP in hand, apply for a Commercial Driver’s License Test, Class A or B
  • Once you have your CDL, apply for the Passenger Transport Test to obtain your P endorsement
  • If you possess a CDL with a P endorsement, you may apply for an S endorsement test.

Passing the S test and obtaining both the P and S endorsements means you are qualified to operate a school bus in California.

What Training Do School Bus Drivers Receive?

Although applicants must apply at a local school or education facility, all training and education materials are managed by the California Department of Education (CDE). The state mandates a minimum of 20 hours of classroom time and 20 hours of driving time.

California’s training requirements are among the strictest in the nation, placing a high degree of importance on safety and skillful driving. School bus operators must know all relevant laws, regulations, and rules.

A typical California school bus driver class schedule includes multiple elements. The first day is typically an orientation day, where applicants learn state and local laws. Then, they have an interview with the California Highway Patrol, education regarding school bus vehicle parts and components, safe vehicle loading and unloading, passenger management, and expected driver-student interactions.

Applicants also learn to conduct a vehicle inspection and systems check (tires, brakes, lights, steering, etc.), which is required before starting each workday. Most courses also include education on emergency procedures such as defensive driving techniques, emergency loading and unloading, and first aid.

Applicants will also learn how to manage field trips and special needs students and a short public relations module.

The final day is devoted to the exam, known as the CHP Rules and Regulations Test. Passing is critical to becoming a certified school bus driver.

Why Qualified School Bus Drivers are Essential

According to the NHTSA, school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road nationwide, approximately 70 times safer than a standard passenger car. Similarly, certified school bus drivers must pass rigorous tests proving they are in good physical and mental condition.

Although these requirements may seem stringent, they are instrumental to students’ safety. Most often, a qualified, properly trained school bus driver makes a difference on the road, making them one of the safest types of drivers nationwide.

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Berg Injury Lawyers has over 40 years of experience providing injury victims with expert representation in a court of law. If you were injured in a traffic accident, contact one of our qualified California car accident lawyers today and schedule a free initial consultation.

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by Staff | February 16th, 2022

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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.