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How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in California?

by Staff | February 8th, 2021

According to the California Department of Insurance, you’re required to report a traffic accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of the crash IF there’s an injury or if damage to the vehicle(s) involved is greater than $750.

If you don’t report the crash to the DMV, your license might be suspended. You may also face other difficulties if you delay reporting the crash to the authorities. That includes difficulty getting much-needed compensation from insurance companies for your vehicle repairs and medical expenses.

Insurance companies could use your delay as evidence that your injuries aren’t serious. And the longer you wait to report the crash, the longer you must wait for the compensation you’re owed.

Instead of waiting to report a crash, it’s best to do so immediately. Let’s look at the other steps you should consider after a car accident in California.

The Steps You Take After a Crash Are Crucial

What you do (and don’t do) after a crash can have serious legal, health-related, and insurance-related consequences. If you’re ever involved in a crash, following these tips can help ensure you don’t face unnecessary complications.

Call the Police Right Away

Though you technically have 10 days to report a crash, it’s best practice to notify the authorities of a crash as soon as it occurs. Having a police officer arrive at the scene of the crash to fill out a report while the vehicles are still on the scene makes a big difference when it comes to getting the payment you’ll need from insurance companies.

While You Wait, Say as Little as Possible

While you wait for the police, be careful of what you say to others. Even if you simply apologize or make any other innocent statement out of politeness, your words could be used against you. There’s no need to be rude, but it’s in your best interest to be matter-of-fact when you speak to others.

Be Careful Dealing With the Police and Insurers

When the police arrive, answer all their questions truthfully and do not offer opinions or speculation. They’ll write up a police report, which you’ll need to file an insurance claim. You can also notify your insurer of the crash. However, you are under no obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. If they contact you, it’s in your best interest NOT to speak to them.

If you’re injured or if you have even the slightest suspicion you’ve been injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s likely you won’t notice the extent of your injuries immediately after a crash, so err on the side of caution and visit your doctor. Keep copies of all bills, correspondence with insurers or healthcare providers, and any other documents you receive related to the crash.

Protect Your Interests by Speaking With a Lawyer

Consider speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after the accident, especially if you’ve been injured. The other driver’s insurance company might offer you a quick settlement before your medical treatments or diagnoses are complete. These offers are typically far less than you’ll need to cover your crash-related costs, and a lawyer can help you get the compensation you truly deserve.

When You Need Help, Get Berg

The California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience getting injured motorists the compensation they’re entitled to by law. When you need legal help after a crash, we can deal with the insurance companies while you focus on your recovery.

Contact our team today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. We don’t get paid unless we win you money.


Surprising Burn Injuries Anyone Can Suffer

by Staff | February 1st, 2021

When people think of burn injuries, they typically think of those caused by fires. In reality, we all face several burn injury risks from causes that have nothing to do with open flames.

Here are a few of the most surprising, yet common, ways that burns happen.

Burn Injuries From Electrical Currents

Electrical injuries can cause some of the most serious burns imaginable. They’re common among workers who are regularly exposed to electrical currents, including electricians and construction workers.

However, we all have electrical currents in our homes. And we regularly use electronic devices. Though most devices and homes are safe from electrical hazards, problems such as manufacturing defects, improper wiring, or normal wear and tear can quickly turn a device or an electrical outlet into a burn risk.

Burn Injuries From Faucets in the Home

Home water heaters are supposed to be set at safe temperatures so that the maximum temperature reached won’t cause burns. However, water heaters often exceed these temperatures, and residents can suffer burns when a faucet is running hot water.

This is most likely in rental units, in both apartments and houses, especially when renters don’t have access to their water heaters. It’s important for all landlords to monitor the safety of water heaters to avoid risks to tenants.

Burn Injuries in the Kitchen

Though most kitchens use devices that don’t use open flames, burn risks are still very common in kitchens. The most serious burn injuries suffered in kitchens often happen to children who suffer scalding injuries from boiling liquids.

When you’re cooking in your home kitchen, make sure that children stay away from ovens and stovetops. Be sure to point cookware handles away from the edges of stoves or countertops, and always use oven mitts when handling items in the oven or cast iron skillets on the stovetop.

Burn Injuries From Hot Liquids Served in Restaurants

Perhaps the most infamous example of a hot liquid burning a consumer is the 1994 product liability lawsuit, Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants. In this case, a 79-year-old woman suffered third-degree burns when she spilled a hot cup of McDonald’s coffee on her lap.

Though many people saw this case as an example of excessive litigation, consumer safety advocates and legal scholars cite it as a clear instance of corporate negligence and a hallmark case for consumer protection laws.

Burn Injuries in Tanning Beds

Thousands of people visit emergency departments every year in the U.S. because of burn injuries suffered in tanning beds. Tanning beds can, in extreme cases, lead to third-degree burns, which can be potentially life-threatening. These injuries also dramatically increase sufferers’ chances of developing skin cancer later in life.

When Burn Injuries Are Someone Else’s Fault, Victims Have Legal Options

Many of the burn injuries listed above aren’t the fault of the burn victims. When burns are caused by someone else’s negligence, victims have the right to pursue legal avenues for compensation. The California burn injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience getting compensation for clients who were injured through no fault of their own. If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury and want to consider legal options, contact our team today for a free consultation.


How to Mentally Recover From a Car Accident

by Staff | January 18th, 2021

After a car accident, several resources are available to help you deal with the challenges you are going to face. Doctors can diagnose and treat your injuries. Attorneys can help you deal with the insurance company to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Unfortunately, too few people find support for the emotional suffering they’ve experienced after a crash. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ve represented countless clients who were seriously injured in car accidents, and we know that some of the biggest challenges crash victims encounter are not the physical or financial, but the emotional consequences of these accidents.

To help you find ways to cope with the mental toll these crashes can pose, we compiled a few strategies that have helped many crash victims.

Find Support in Your Loved Ones

Isolation can make trauma more difficult to cope with. Instead of withdrawing, seek out people who care about you. If you feel like talking about your accident, rely on friends and family to listen. If you’re not ready to discuss your trauma, simply surrounding yourself with loved ones can help bring you to a better place mentally.

Take Solace in Activities You Enjoy

When your thoughts are consumed with unpleasant memories or the stress of dealing with healthcare providers and the insurance company, your favorite hobbies can offer a much-needed reprieve. Schedule large blocks of time to dig into something that brings you joy. If you don’t have a hobby you can get lost in, now is a great time to find an activity that you can do in your spare time.

Put Your Thoughts on a Page

Sometimes the best way to express how you feel is to work through your thoughts in a journal. Whether you want to write openly about the challenges posed by your car accident or something completely unrelated to the crash, taking time out your day to write down your thoughts can improve your mental state and emotional well-being.

A diary describing how your life has been impacted by your injury can also act as helpful evidence if your claim needs to go to trial.

Seek Out Stillness

When you’re suffering stress and anxiety, the best cure is often getting away from the noise and distractions of everyday life. This might mean spending time outdoors or retreating to a quiet place in your own home.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes seeking professional help is the best way to deal with trauma. If you find that talking to loved ones or journaling about your experiences isn’t helping you recover, consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist who has experience helping people with trauma.

Above All, Be Patient With Yourself

You might be the type of person who wants to resume life as normal as soon as possible after a setback, but it’s important to remember that mentally recovering from a traumatic experience is often a lengthy process. Be patient yourself as you progress and understand that your time and effort will eventually pay off.

When You Need Legal Help After a Crash, Call Us

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we help our clients with the aftermath of car accidents. We fight to get them the compensation they deserve from at-fault drivers and their insurance companies, but we also help them arrange to get the care they need to move forward.

We know that emotional pain and suffering are important in injury claims, which is why we include non-economic damages in the compensation we demand from insurers. If you’d like a free consultation with an experienced, compassionate legal team, contact the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today.


Can You Ever Truly Recover from a Brain Injury?

by Staff | January 11th, 2021

Broken bones heal. Bruises fade. In fact, most parts of the human body have an impressive healing capacity—with a few important exceptions. One of the few body parts that doesn’t heal like the rest is the brain.

Though not all brain injuries are permanent, the most severe ones have lasting impacts on sufferers. Let’s dive into the brain’s capacity to heal after an injury.

Mild Brain Injuries Often Heal

Mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), like concussions, typically don’t affect sufferers permanently. However, mild brain injuries can have a cumulative effect, which is why a second concussion causes more damage than your first concussion, even if you were not struck any harder than you were the first time. For this reason, some concussions may be classified as moderate brain injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), several factors impact recovery time from mild brain injuries. Those factors include:

  • The person’s age
  • Their overall health before the injury
  • How well the injured person takes care of themselves after the injury

We’ll look at proven strategies to aid recovery from mild injuries below. First, let’s understand how the severity of an injury affects the potential for recovery.

The More Severe the Brain Injury, the More Permanent the Effects

Moderate to severe brain injuries can potentially lead to permanent disability, both physically and mentally. Rather than thinking about traumatic brain injuries as events, one important study suggests that it’s more helpful to think of coping with the consequences of a serious TBI as a “disease process.”

Researchers cite several factors that make living with a TBI similar to living with a chronic disease:

  • The injuries are largely permanent.
  • They require specialized training for rehabilitation and potentially require a long period of observation, supervision, or care.
  • Serious TBIs reduce life expectancy and increase long-term mortality.
  • They are linked with increased occurrences of seizures, sleep disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and psychiatric diseases.
  • TBIs are also associated with non-neurological disorders such as sexual dysfunction, bladder and bowel incontinence, and metabolic issues.

These effects may appear or continue for months to years after someone suffers a brain injury. It’s important to understand that, just like a disease, the effects of TBI can be managed, and many sufferers do eventually return to a new normal, even if life isn’t like it was before the brain injury.

Seeking specialized medical care is essential for TBI sufferers. Through sustained effort and guidance from medical professionals, some degree of “recovery” is possible. Lifestyle choices also play a huge part in the brain’s ability to heal.

How to Help Your Brain Heal

For moderate to severe brain injuries, medical treatment and supervision are the best tools to manage life post-TBI. However, all TBI sufferers, especially those with milder injuries, will benefit from following these CDC recommendations.

  • Prioritize getting sufficient sleep at night and resting as needed throughout the day.
  • Avoid physically or mentally demanding tasks.
  • Avoid any activities that could lead to another concussion.
  • Once your doctor has cleared you to participate in certain activities, return to those activities gradually.
  • Don’t return to work until your doctor approves.
  • If possible, return to work gradually after your doctor clears you.
  • Take only medications approved by your physician.
  • Don’t drink alcohol until your doctor says it’s okay to do so.
  • Avoid staring at screens (computers, TVs, mobile devices) for long periods.
  • Understand that your memory could be impacted, so write down important notes to yourself in case you forget them.

Be patient with yourself as your brain heals. If you’re ever in doubt that you’re ready to perform a certain activity, err on the side of caution and favor rest and self-care over physically or mentally demanding tasks.

If Your Brain Injury Was Caused by Another’s Negligence, Get Legal Help Immediately

Dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury can be costly. Not only do you need medical assistance, you might not be able to do your job for some time. When your brain injury is caused by someone else’s negligence, you should demand compensation for the costs of your injury.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know what life is like for those suffering from brain injuries. We help our clients get the compensation they’re entitled to by law, and we have years of experience helping brain injury victims throughout Northern California. Contact the California brain injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation with our team.


Study Reveals Dangers of Inexperienced Truck Drivers

by Staff | January 4th, 2021

The more miles someone drives, the more competent they become behind the wheel. Though that’s true when it comes to any type of driver, it’s especially important when they’re operating a large commercial vehicle.

Large trucks are both difficult to operate and far more dangerous when involved in crashes than passenger vehicles. These vehicles are exponentially heavier than passenger vehicles, they take longer to come to a complete stop, and they are more difficult to navigate at intersections. That’s why commercial vehicles carry the potential to cause so much damage.

For the good of everyone on our roads, we should all want people operating large trucks to have very thorough training. We should also want them to have long careers behind the wheel, so the number of inexperienced truck drivers is kept to a minimum.

Unfortunately, new, insufficiently trained drivers are becoming increasingly common in the trucking industry.

What Research Shows About the Dangers of Inexperienced Truck Drivers

A study funded by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence looked at both age and experience in relation the crash risks facing truck drivers. It found that experience was a greater predictor of being involved in a crash than a driver’s age. For example, a younger driver with more experience driving trucks would have a smaller crash risk than an older driver with less experience driving trucks.

Age was also a factor, particularly when a driver was also inexperienced. For example, an inexperienced 55-year-old was more likely to be involved in a crash than an inexperienced 25-year-old. However, inexperience increased the crash risk of truck drivers across all age groups.

Why Younger, Inexperienced Drivers Are Common in the Trucking Industry

In the past few decades, the job of a truck driver has become increasingly undesirable for many workers in the labor market. Through years of deregulation encouraged by the trucking industry, these jobs have become lower-paying and more demanding.

The turnover rates in the trucking industry tell the story of how difficult this job really is. The most recent numbers tell us that large carriers experience a turnover rate of around 96%. Surveys indicate that one of the biggest reasons drivers quit is because they’re dissatisfied with their pay.

It’s no surprise that trucking companies are having a hard time finding workers willing to do the hard job of driving long, demanding hours for inadequate pay. The trucking industry says that it is currently short about 60,000 drivers, and it is lobbying lawmakers to enact federal laws that allow younger drivers to get behind the wheel.

With few experienced drivers choosing to stay in the profession long-term, the problems posed by younger, inexperienced truckers aren’t likely to go away anytime soon. 

Why It Matters for the Rest of Us

We all share the road with big trucks, and we all face dangers when inexperienced truck drivers become the norm. Because of their size and weight, these trucks pose very serious threats to other motorists’ safety when they’re operated by someone who isn’t experienced enough to drive them safely.

Hopefully, the trucking industry will find ways to make these jobs more appealing and retain their workforces. Until then, it’s vital you know your legal rights when injured in a large truck accident.

Our Legal Team Is Here to Help

The California truck accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience handling these types of cases. Though trucking companies and their insurers will do everything they can to avoid paying injured people what they deserve, our team knows how to hold them accountable for the costs of our clients’ injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a large truck accident, contact our firm anytime for a free consultation.


8 Steps in a Personal Injury Case

by Staff Blogger | December 28th, 2020

If you’ve been injured in a serious car accident and are considering hiring a lawyer, you might want to know the steps in a personal injury case before you’re in the middle of one. The personal injury lawsuit process can seem overwhelming for those who are unfamiliar with it.

But unfamiliarity should never deter you from exploring your legal options. That’s because you’re likely owed a significant amount of compensation. If you don’t take advantage of personal injury law, you might end up accepting a fraction of what you deserve. In addition, you won’t go through the process alone, as you’ll have an experienced law firm on your side every step of the way.

From hiring a lawyer to resolving a case through settlement or trial, we have outlined eight steps commonly seen in the personal injury lawsuit process:

  1. Hiring a lawyer
  2. Investigating your case
  3. Presenting your case
  4. Receiving a settlement offer
  5. Negotiating the settlement
  6. Settling or proceeding to a lawsuit
  7. Preparing for trial
  8. Going to trial

Though there are some exceptions, most people can expect some variation of these steps in a personal injury case. Let’s dive deeper into each of these crucial steps.

BREAKING DOWN THE STEPS IN THE PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT PROCESS

Here are the eight steps in a personal injury case that you should know:

  1. Get a lawyer—As soon as you are able, you should call an experienced law firm to handle your personal injury claim. They will shepherd you through the personal injury lawsuit process from start to finish and be your main advocate in getting the compensation you deserve.
  2. Investigate your case—The first step your law firm will take on your behalf is investigating the case thoroughly. That includes actions such as analyzing the police report, examining the accident scene, and interviewing any witnesses to the accident.
  3. Present your case—Once your law firm has built its case, it will present its findings to the insurance company.
  4. Settlement Offer—The insurance company will do one of two things next. Either they will present a settlement offer based on the case we presented or deny your personal injury claim altogether.
  5. Negotiation—Typically, the initial offer from the insurance company is not enough to compensate you for the full extent of your injuries. At this stage, we’ll do our best to negotiate a fairer settlement from the insurance company.
  6. Settlement or lawsuit—If our negotiations yield a fair settlement agreement, we’ll advise you to take it. If not, we’ll take the insurance company to court.
  7. Trial Preparation—Preparing for a jury trial takes a great deal of time and resources. That’s why we try to settle out of court if possible. Sometimes, that’s not possible and we have to take your claim to the courtroom. We’ll prepare evidence, prep you for what to expect, and file all the necessary paperwork for your day in court.
  8. Trial—Depending on the complexity of the case, personal injury trials can take as little as one day or as long as a few weeks to be heard and decided. We’ll present our case to the court, and then the insurance company will have its turn. After both sides have presented their cases, the jury will deliberate and come back with a verdict.

Will You Need to Go Through Each Step in Your Personal Injury Case?

No. It’s often true that insurance companies will settle once an attorney shows evidence and proves that their client has a strong case. That’s one of the reasons that most personal injury cases settle without the need for a trial. Insurers know that a drawn-out trial isn’t in their best interest, and they often prefer to write a check and be done with it.

Why Step 1 Is Arguably the Most Important Step in a Personal Injury Case

Many people accept the first offer an insurance company makes. Even if they decide to dispute the fairness of the offer themselves, they likely have a limited understanding of how these claims work or how much their case is worth. That’s because personal injury law is incredibly complex, and going it alone without an attorney puts victims at a major disadvantage.

Having a lawyer handle your case positions you for a more satisfactory and fair settlement. Your lawyer will not only know the personal injury lawsuit process well, they’ll also know how to deal with insurers on your behalf, allowing you to focus entirely on your recovery.

It’s important to hire an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. Take advantage of free consultations to meet with potential lawyers and get a feel for how they work and how they treat you. You can then choose the attorney you feel most comfortable with.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we believe in our team’s ability to offer exceptional service to our clients. We will fight for maximum compensation in your case. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm anytime to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment.

TAKE THE FIRST STEP IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE—AND GET BERG!

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, we strongly recommend you proceed to step one immediately. The sooner you get an experienced San Francisco car accident attorney on your side, the sooner you can put this accident behind you. We offer free consultations, and you’re under no pressure to proceed if you don’t wish to do so.

This blog was originally published in February 2016. It has been updated and enhanced.


Legal Options When Injured by a Driver With Just a Permit

by Staff Blogger | December 21st, 2020

You might already know that you’re entitled to compensation when you’re injured by a negligent driver. You might even know that the payment you’ll receive often comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

But what do you do when the driver who hit you has just a permit and not a full license?

It’s an important question because younger drivers are often the most dangerous, simply due to the fact that they have less experience, making them more likely to cause a car accident.

Fortunately, the same rules largely apply to crashes involving a driver with a permit as those where at-fault drivers have a license. As you’ll learn below, the driver should be covered by an insurance policy—even if they only have a driver’s permit.

An Insurance Policy Is Likely Still Covering the Accident

Even when a driver has just a permit, it’s very likely an insurance policy is in place to protect them and anyone they hurt in an accident. That’s because California requires every driver to be covered by insurance. Teen drivers with permits are often covered by their parents’ auto insurance policies.

The bare minimum insurance requirements in California are what’s known as 15/30/5 requirements. That means a policy must have:

  • $15,000 per person for bodily injury coverage,
  • $30,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage,
  • and $5,000 for property damage coverage.

So, if a driver with a permit causes your injury, you can claim damages to recover the amount of compensation that is covered by their policy.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident, We Can Help

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we help injured people get the payment they deserve when they were hurt by someone else’s negligence. We can review your case in a free consultation to help you better understand your legal options if you’ve been injured by a driver with a permit.

Contact the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free case assessment with our team.


What Exactly Is a Catastrophic Injury?

by Staff Blogger | December 14th, 2020

Understanding catastrophic injuriesCatastrophic injury is a term used to describe only the most severe, debilitating injuries. It’s most commonly used in reference to brain and spinal cord damage, though it can also refer to other life-altering permanent injuries.

Attorneys and doctors use the term catastrophic injury to describe the severity of a client’s or patient’s injury. But for injured people, knowing whether an injury is legally or medically considered “catastrophic” can help them understand their path to recovery and their legal options in personal injury claims.

Hallmarks of a Catastrophic Injury

In general, catastrophic injuries include one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Disability or a loss in function of essential body parts
  • Extreme cognitive decline or loss of key cognitive functions
  • The need for lifelong assistance to perform routine tasks
  • Extreme psychological suffering related to the injury
  • Dramatic loss in ability to enjoy life’s pleasures

Let’s review specific injuries that the legal and medical community consider catastrophic.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Though traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can include everything from mild brain injuries like concussions to severe brain injuries that dramatically affect a person’s cognitive abilities, catastrophic brain injuries typically refer to the latter type of TBI.

Catastrophic brain injuries often impair a person’s reasoning, memory, and personality. In some cases, catastrophic brain injuries also cause some form of physical impairment.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Catastrophic injuries to the spine often result in paralysis or, at the very least, a reduced ability to use one’s arms or legs. Paralysis is usually permanent, leaving the afflicted with serious challenges performing routine tasks without assistance. These injuries can also be extremely costly, resulting in millions of dollars in lifetime expenses.

Other Injuries Frequently Categorized as Catastrophic

Though serious, debilitating damage to the brain and spinal cord are universally considered catastrophic, other types of injuries are also sometimes called catastrophic because of the serious implications for the sufferer.

Those injuries include:

  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of Limbs
  • Burns
  • Paralysis
  • Severe organ damage
  • Vision loss

You’ll notice that these injuries carry many of the hallmarks of catastrophic injuries. They can all dramatically affect a person’s physical and emotional well-being in profound ways, as well as impact their ability to earn a living for themselves post-injury.

Seeking Damages for Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injury cases are unique. Though some personal injury claims involve comparatively minor injuries, catastrophic injuries have deeply impacted a person’s way of life. Thus, when someone suffers a catastrophic injury and files a personal injury lawsuit, they will typically demand far more in damages than people who suffered a more minor injury.

Damages in catastrophic injury cases can include:

  • Medical expenses: The costs of initial, ongoing, and future treatment for the injury itself, as well as costs for physical therapy, psychological counseling, prosthetic limbs, and any other related expenses.
  • Loss of income: This includes the income lost during the period in which the initial injury occurs, as well as the income that the injured person won’t be able to earn throughout the remainder of their life because of their injury, including any raises or benefits they may have been eligible for before.
  • Pain and suffering: These costs are called non-economic damages, and they include both the physical and emotional suffering one experiences in the wake of a life-changing injury. These damages are typically very substantial in catastrophic injury claims.

How to Determine Whether You Have a Catastrophic Injury Case

Because catastrophic injury is largely a legal term, the best way to determine whether you have a catastrophic injury claim is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in California. It’s important to make sure the attorney knows these types of cases well, so they can give you an informed opinion on whether your injury legally qualifies as “catastrophic.”

Let Us Evaluate Your Catastrophic Injury Case

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know how difficult it can be for an injured person to determine the potential for a successful catastrophic injury claim. That’s why we offer free case reviews to injured people in California.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, and you want to explore your legal options, our personal injury lawyers want to help. Our consultations are free, and you’ll be under no pressure to move forward with a case unless you wish to do so.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.


What to Do If Injured While Christmas Shopping

by Staff Blogger | December 7th, 2020

injured while shoppingFor many people, giving gifts is the most rewarding part of the holiday season. Unfortunately, the chaos at shopping centers that often begins on Black Friday tarnishes that giving spirit and, in the worst of cases, leads to serious consumer injuries.

If you’ve had the misfortune of being injured while shopping or you simply want to know what to do if it happens to you, keep the following tips in mind.

Seek Medical Treatment

It’s most important to get medical treatment as soon as possible. First, you want to be sure your injury is diagnosed and treated by a physician. This will hopefully help you deal with the pain you’re experiencing and prevent the injury from worsening.

Getting medical treatment will also establish a record of your injuries – specifically, what they are and when and how they occurred. That will be critical if you need to file a personal injury claim to get compensation for the damages you’re facing from your injury.

Document Whatever You Can About How the Injury Happened

If at all possible, take pictures of the scene of the incident that led to your injuries. This means taking pictures of the place where the injury happened, the conditions of the property where it occurred or the injury itself. If there were witnesses to the incident, ask them for their contact information.

Talk to a Premises Liability Attorney

Premises liability claims help injured people get compensation when their injuries were caused by conditions of the property. Premises liability claims can also help someone get payment when their injuries were caused by another person on that property, which is typically the case in negligent security claims.

A premises liability attorney will be able to determine your best path forward when seeking compensation.

If You’re Contacted by an Insurer, Don’t Give Them a Statement

It’s possible that you’ll be contacted by an insurance company representing the party at fault for your injuries. If you’re contacted by an insurer’s representative, do not speak to them. They’ll want to get you on record with a statement, and they’ll use that statement against you if at all possible. Tell the representative to talk to your lawyer and say nothing else.

Examples of Shopping-Related Injuries

Causes of shopping-related injuries come in many forms. A few of the most common include:

  • An attack by one shopper on another
  • A slip and fall injury caused by dangerous conditions in the store
  • An injury from the product itself
  • A negligent driver in the parking lot of a shopping center

Each of these causes can mean a different legal path to compensation. It’s best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn your legal options.

Property Owners Have a Responsibility

Property owners must ensure the safety of their premises to reduce the likelihood of an injury. They might fall short of that responsibility when they fail to staff adequate security personnel or when they fail to maintain the conditions of their property.

If you’ve been injured while shopping, know that you likely have legal options available. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we can help you determine whether you’re eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim.

Contact our California premises liability attorneys today for a free consultation.


Most Dangerous Toys in 2020

by Staff Blogger | November 30th, 2020

beware these dangerous toysWhen you buy a toy for child, you just hope they like it. The last thing most consumers even consider is that a toy could present serious health risks for a child. But if you assume that toy manufacturers don’t release dangerous toys, think again.

Toys can cause children harm in often surprising ways. For example, though U.S. law forbids manufacturers from using lead in toys, there were at least two high profile instances of toys containing lead (Super Soaker water guns and Aflac toy ducks).

In short, though consumers can be somewhat confident about the safety of toys available on the market, they shouldn’t be 100% confident. Consumer safety has come a long way in recent years, but shopping for toys in 2020 is still a buyer beware situation.

So, which toys should you think twice before buying in 2020?

Some Dangerous Toys to Avoid in 2020

We’ve compiled the following list based on information from World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), along with information from other consumer safety resources, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Specific Toys to Avoid

Based on recent recalls and warnings from consumer safety advocates, toy buyers should be cautious if considering any of the following toys:

Toys included on the 2020 W.A.T.C.H. list:

  • Calico Critters Nursery Friends
  • GO! Launch Missile Launcher
  • Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw
  • Gloria Owl
  • WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists
  • Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime
  • The Original Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO
  • Boom City Racers Starter Pack
  • My Sweet Love Lots to Love Babies Minis
  • Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber

Toys from previous lists and recent recalls:

  • NERF Ultra One
  • Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
  • Bunchems Bunch N’ Build
  • Yeti
  • Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime
  • Anstoy Electronic Toy Gun
  • Diecast School Bus
  • Pogo Trick Board
  • Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw
  • Viga Pull Along Caterpillar
  • Musical Lili Llama
  • Manhattan Ball
  • Super Soaker XP 20 and XP 30 Water Guns

Even though some of these toys have already been recalled, it’s possible early shoppers already purchased them or that stores continue to stock remaining inventory.

General Types of Potentially Dangerous Toys

The following types of toys regularly present dangers to children, even though they continue to be popular among consumers in the U.S. If you’re considering purchasing any of these types of products, at least make sure you’re purchasing them for children old enough to use them safely.

  • Trampolines
  • Bounce houses
  • Water balloon slingshots
  • Micromobility products, including e-scooters, hoverboards, and e-bikes
  • BB guns

What Makes a Toy Dangerous for Children?

Several factors can make toys particularly hazardous for young children. These include:

Choking hazards – This hazard is present in toys that have small breakable or detachable components, especially when those toys are marketed to very young children.

Dangerous chemicals – Some chemicals, like lead, are less prevalent in toys than they used to be, but they’re still inadvertently included in some toys. Once detected, these products are typically recalled. Toys manufactured overseas (where laws aren’t as restrictive) might also contain dangerous chemicals.

Burns – Products that quickly overheat could cause burn or explosion risks to children, as was the case when hoverboards (powered by lithium ion batteries) were popular products.

Sharp objects – Toys that have pointy ends or sharp corners can cause serious injuries like lacerations.

Improper labeling – If toys aren’t safe for young children or contain dangerous components, consumers should be made aware through easily seen labels on the product or the product’s packaging.

Legal Options for Injuries from Dangerous Products

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous product, you have legal rights to compensation. Product liability laws give you the right to hold manufacturers accountable for the harm caused by dangerous products.

To speak to an experienced product liability attorney in Northern California, contact Berg Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.