Settlement vs. Trial: Which is Most Likely in a Car Accident Claim?

by Staff | August 29th, 2022

Dealing with debilitating injuries is the most taxing part of being in a car accident. However, filing a personal injury claim for compensation often initiates a complicated legal process that can also prove stressful for many accident victims, causing them to put their lives on hold.

Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney with a proven track record can relieve your legal burden, allowing you the time and funds you need to recover from your injuries. If you or a loved one have been in a car collision in California, contacting Berg Injury Lawyers can give you peace of mind and ensure that you seek maximum compensation for your damages.

How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Trial?

Approximately 5% of personal injury cases go to trial, with the remaining 95% settling out of court. Of the cases that go to trial, nearly 90% end in a loss for the plaintiff, with just 10% receiving damages. These statistics suggest ‌that it is far more likely that if you file a personal injury claim, it will be settled out of court rather than going to trial.

Reasons to Settle Your Personal Injury Case

Most car accident claims settle out of court due to the claims process. After a car accident, your attorney will help you file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. They will send a demand letter, asking for a specific amount of compensation that the insurance company can accept or reject.

If your legal team offers the insurance company strong evidence supporting your claim, such as detailed medical bills, photos, videos, or police reports, the company may agree to your demand and settle. If the insurance company rejects your initial demand, your lawyer may negotiate until both parties agree on a reasonable settlement amount.

Why Your Case Might Go to Trial

Your legal team may advise you to take your case to court if the insurance company refuses to pay you a fair amount. Although only a small number of car accident cases make it to trial, those that go on to win are often awarded greater damages. Going to trial allows you to pursue maximum compensatory damages for your injuries.

However, personal injury trials can take months or years to reach a resolution and require detailed preparation from your attorneys. Additionally, if you take your case to trial, a jury will likely decide your damages. California uses pure comparative negligence, which assigns a percentage of fault to each party. If the other side convinces the jury that you are highly responsible for the accident, you will only receive a portion of your settlement.

Hiring an Attorney Increases Your Chance of Recovering Adequate Compensation

Hiring a personal injury attorney ensures you maximize the amount of compensation you receive for all your damages. Your attorney can build a strong claim with relevant evidence and an assessment of your total damages. The attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help you obtain a fair settlement.

A lawyer can use a winning legal strategy to convince the insurance company to offer adequate compensation. This includes offering indisputable evidence that their client caused the accident and that you have suffered serious injuries because of their actions. For example, they may provide witness statements, video of the accident, or medical reports that describe the lasting consequences of your injuries.

The insurance company is more likely to compensate you adequately if they deem that you and your lawyer are serious about taking your case to court. Insurance companies prefer to settle in most cases because of the high cost and effort of litigation, including hiring expert witnesses, calling accident witnesses, and preparing testimonies and evidence.

Your lawyer can use this to your advantage in negotiating your settlement to get you the maximum amount possible.

When the insurance company refuses to settle, having an attorney by your side can increase your chances of gaining a favorable verdict with the jury. The lawyer can prepare your case and argue on your behalf to ensure the jury awards you with the maximum compensation you deserve to achieve justice for your case.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for Your Injury Claim

Whether you settle or if your case goes before a judge and jury, the California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves. We can assess your claim and discuss your legal options, including filing a lawsuit.

Call our law firm today to schedule a free evaluation with one of our lawyers to discuss your case‌.

Common Damages in Cases Involving Chronic Pain

by Staff | August 22nd, 2022

Suffering from chronic pain caused by an accident can reduce your quality of life and leave you with long-lasting financial consequences. 20.4% of U.S. adults suffer from chronic pain, which leads to the inability to work or enjoy everyday activities.

You have the right to seek compensation if you suffer chronic pain due to a personal injury accident like a slip-and-fall, car collision, or motorcycle accident. However, chronic pain is considered non-economic damage, which can be harder to prove than measurable economic damages.

By working with a skilled personal injury attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers, you can seek maximum compensation for your injuries, including chronic pain’s lasting financial, physical, and emotional consequences.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is continuous pain that lasts for more than three months. This pain can be constant or intermittent and last for years after an initial injury. Chronic pain can happen anywhere in the body. Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults experience chronic pain.

Chronic pain interferes with daily life, the ability to work, eat, participate in physical or social activities, perform self-care, or care for others can be affected.  Chronic pain can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, making the pain worse. This creates a cycle that is difficult to break. Chronic pain is a significant medical condition that can require life-long treatment.

Examples of chronic pain include:

  • Arthritis/joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia, or “all-over” muscle pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve damage
  • Pain resulting from injuries, medical conditions, or surgery

Chronic pain can result from health conditions, but it can also result from accident injuries. For example, a slip-and-fall can cause you to experience back or spinal cord injuries that result in chronic lower back pain. Also, whiplash in a car accident can leave you with life-long chronic neck and shoulder pain and headaches.

Non-Economic Damages for Chronic Pain

When you file a personal injury lawsuit to seek damages, your lawyer will likely ask for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the easiest to recover because they are factual, such as objective totals gathered from medical bills, lost wages, and other calculated expenses.

Non-economic damages are harder to prove and quantify. They refer to damages you can receive for issues like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Chronic pain is considered non-economic damage, making it difficult to prove during a trial case. 

At trial, you and your legal team must explain your pain and its effects. You must prove your claims with evidence, and a judge or jury must subjectively place a value on your claims.

Winning Non-Economic Damages

Proving subjective information is a difficult legal task and is best handled by a professional personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can prove subjective information by using medical records, photographs, videos, testimony, and other methods to convey how your life has been and will continue to be affected by chronic pain’s physical and emotional consequences.

An experienced lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you seek damages for all current and future medical treatment, income loss, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, your lawyer can also pursue punitive damages to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Hiring a lawyer can help maximize your compensation so you get the settlement you need for your injury and chronic pain.

Having legal representation before you answer questions from an employer, medical facility, or insurance company ensures you won’t say anything that can later be held against you.

Most claims are resolved at the negotiation stage with an insurance company; however, the negligent party’s insurance company may not offer you a fair settlement. If this happens, your lawyer can take the case to court, calling on expert witnesses to convince jurors that you deserve fair compensation.

Your lawyer can help you navigate California’s pure comparative fault doctrine, which awards damages based on the percentage of fault. Your lawyer will seek to prove the other party was 100% at fault for your injuries and resulting chronic pain. This maximizes your compensation and wins you damages to cover medical bills, lost income, and additional costs associated with treating and managing your pain.

Get a Free Consultation

If you suffer from chronic pain, you deserve compensation. Berg Injury Lawyers have been helping Northern California citizens get fair personal injury compensation since 1981.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers are experienced, skilled, and won’t back down, even with the most aggressive pushback. We know you are entitled to more than the insurance companies will offer, and we know how to help you fight to get it.

We have over 40 years of experience handling personal injury cases. Our attorneys know how to get you the best possible results and settle as quickly as possible. Get the compensation you deserve by contacting our personal injury lawyers today.

Can You File a Lawsuit Against an Undocumented Driver?

by Staff | August 15th, 2022

If you have been in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have proper documentation, you may wonder about your next legal steps. Filing a lawsuit against an undocumented driver is an available legal option when you’ve suffered injuries and vehicle damage. However, you may also file a claim with your insurance company to recover compensation.

Work with a California car accident attorney when you decide how to proceed after getting into an accident with an undocumented driver. They can investigate the accident and the undocumented driver to help you determine your legal options.

Determining if an Injury Claim Against an Undocumented Driver is Required

In California, undocumented people are allowed to have driver’s licenses, and therefore should have auto insurance coverage. If you suffered injuries in a collision with an undocumented person, your attorney can investigate to see if the undocumented driver has the required auto insurance coverage. This can help you decide on your next legal steps.

If the undocumented driver carries the appropriate auto insurance, you can file a claim with their insurance company seeking a settlement. Otherwise, if the undocumented driver responsible for the accident has no way of paying for damages, you can turn to your insurance company for financial compensation.

Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

California law requires insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist coverage as part of the auto insurance policy. You can only submit a claim for the uninsured motorist coverage if you opted under your insurance policy. This type of insurance protects you against accidents caused by drivers who lack proper insurance coverage. It covers bodily injuries up to the limits of your liability insurance.

Uninsured motorist insurance includes coverage for property damage, up to $3,500 when the other driver has been identified. Property damage coverage may not be available under your uninsured motorist policy if you have separate comprehensive and collision coverage.

Your lawyer can present relevant evidence, such as photos or videos showing physical contact between you and the other vehicle, to help you file an uninsured motorist claim. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence, and an experienced lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you do this while protecting your rights to pursue compensation.

Filing a Claim for Physical Damage

Most California lenders require comprehensive and collision coverage when you lease or finance a car. Often, comprehensive coverage is bundled with collision coverage. Collision insurance covers damage caused by accidents involving other vehicles, people, or objects.

The compensation offered by the collision and comprehensive coverage are based on your policy’s limits and your car’s market value. It may not be a good idea to choose this coverage if the value of your car is low.

When to File a Lawsuit for Damages Against an Undocumented Driver

If the undocumented driver has enough assets to cover your accident’s damages, you can file a lawsuit against them. As part of the initial investigation into your accident, a lawyer can search the driver’s assets to determine if they are in reasonable financial standing. With this information, your lawyer can determine the chances of you receiving compensation by filing your lawsuit.

Your lawyer may conduct an asset search for unreported assets, business entities hiding assets, and other sources of income. They can also determine if any personal property exists, such as real estate, under the driver’s name.

Along with evidence of your medical bills, loss of wages, and medical records regarding the loss of future earning capacity, your lawyer can put together a lawsuit for compensation against the undocumented driver.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

You can also sue when a loved one dies in an accident caused by an undocumented driver. You and your lawyer need to prove that the negligent party committed a driving error, like going over the speed limit and that this lack of care caused your loved one’s passing.

A loved one’s death must have caused your family economic or non-economic losses, like lost wages and the loss of companionship. If you have suffered a loss, your lawyer knows how to calculate your damages and will fight for maximum compensation for you and your family on behalf of your deceased loved one.

Enlist the Help of a Car Accident Attorney Today

Legal issues relating to accidents involving undocumented immigrants are complex. When a car accident involves an undocumented driver, it is best to seek ‌the assistance of California car accident lawyers from Berg Injury Lawyers to help you assess your legal options and file a claim with the appropriate entity.

Contact us today to talk with one of our lawyers in a free case evaluation so we can review the circumstances of your accident and help you seek compensation.

Should the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Limit Be Lowered? Here’s the Argument for Stricter Laws

by Staff | August 8th, 2022

Even mild alcohol consumption by motorists can potentially prove fatal for drivers and passengers on the road. Stricter laws can save thousands of lives and prevent debilitating injuries to innocent commuters.

At the law firm of Berg Injury Lawyers, a team of knowledgeable attorneys with a proven track record in DUI lawsuits can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on a Driver?

Alcohol consumption can have a variety of effects on a driver. These include:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired coordination

These effects can make it difficult for a driver to operate a vehicle safely. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving accidents account for 30% of all traffic fatalities in the United States.

If you plan to drink, it is essential to designate a sober driver. Ride-sharing services and other public modes of transportation can also provide viable options for those intending to consume alcohol. Otherwise, drunk drivers place themselves and others at risk of severe injury or death.

The Argument Against Stricter BAC Limits

In recent years, there has been a push for lower legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limits. At the same time, there is also an argument by some against stricter BAC laws. Proponents of keeping current BAC limits note that alcohol impairment begins well before the legal limit of 0.08%. The implication is that even if the BAC limit is lowered, many drivers on the road will still be impaired.

In addition, there is a concern that stricter BAC limits could lead to more false positives, as even a small amount of alcohol can put some people over the limit. This could lead to innocent people being pulled over and arrested for DUI, even if they are not impaired.

Drunk Driving Statistics

Despite the argument for maintaining BAC levels at their current percentages, the drunk driving statistics paint a grim picture.

The 11,654 drunk driving fatalities reported in the United States for 2020 correspond to an average of one person dying every 45 minutes from this preventable cause. A 14% increase in the 2019 drunk driving fatalities presents a worrying trend that regulators and concerned citizens believe requires attention.

While the total number of injuries from alcohol-related car accidents is harder to put a number on, the $52 billion in damages and injuries that result annually indicates the scope of the problem. From traumatic brain injury and burns to amputations and paralysis, the severity of injuries from drunk driving accidents cannot be overlooked.

What the Research Shows

The NHTSA estimates that lowering the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit from .08 to .05 would save approximately 500 lives per year in the United States. The estimate is partly based on Utah’s implementation of a .05 BAC limit and its resulting reduction in DUI-related fatalities.

Proponents of stricter DUI laws argue that this is a necessary measure to make our roads safer. They point to statistics showing that drivers with a BAC of .05 are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash than sober drivers.

Additionally, lowering the BAC limit would make it easier for police to catch drunk drivers and deter people from driving after drinking.

What Happens After a Drunk Driving Accident?

After seeking medical attention and contacting law enforcement authorities, the first thing you should do post-collision is contact a personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable car crash lawyer will be able to assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.

You may need to file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver. This can be done through their insurance company or directly through the courts.

If pursuing compensation for your injuries requires litigation, your attorney can gather all relevant medical records and evidence to prove your claim. Cell phone records can be requested via subpoena in the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit if they are deemed relevant to the case.

Even when telecom providers don’t keep the contents of text messages, data about the timing of texts or calls can help provide insights into the cause of a crash.

It’s important to remember that drunk driving accidents are serious, and you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.

Drunk driving accident victims in California can contact the skilled Sacramento car accident lawyers at Berg Injury. Call our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your case today.

The Most Common Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Injury Claims

by Staff | August 3rd, 2022

injuries can cost you thousands in medical bills and lost wages, with little to no respite offered by insurance companies that you might file a personal injury claim with.

These profit-driven insurance companies stay in business by denying or reducing settlements. They cite various reasons to justify their decision and hope you don’t question their reasoning.

Met with physical pain, hefty medical bills, and denied insurance claims, it is natural to feel helpless and frustrated, but you shouldn’t have to deal with it all on your own. The experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers specialize in injury claims and can help you fight for the compensation you truly deserve. 

A crucial part of building a strong case is understanding why your insurance company might deny your injury claim ahead of time.

The Accident and Injuries Are Your Fault

Since California is an at-fault state, insurance companies decide who is to blame for the accident. They do so by considering police reports, witness statements, photos, and videos of the accident scene. The insurance company of the individual at fault then compensates the victim with a monetary settlement.

The insurance company can deny your auto accident claim if evidence shows you violated a traffic rule, such as speeding or drunk driving, and causing the accident. If you are liable for the accident, it may affect the amount of compensation you receive.

California’s pure comparative negligence means your settlement is reduced by the percentage of fault you hold. So, for example, if the insurance company can prove you are 60% at fault for the accident, you will only receive 40% of your settlement.

You Aren’t Really Injured

Insurance companies can deny claims for injuries by claiming that no injuries were caused during the accident. They might use evidence from your social media accounts and personal life to prove that you did not suffer injuries or that they are less severe than you claim.

If you post a photo on social media of yourself enjoying a party after claiming compensation for your injuries, the insurance company may use the image against you to deny your claim. Your social media accounts can also track your location, proving you were active after the accident to the insurance company.

A Pre-Existing Condition Caused Your Injury

Insurance companies can also deny injury claims because of pre-existing health conditions. They might argue that your injury is not caused by the car accident but is instead a result of a health problem, that you were already struggling with prior to the accident.

For example, your insurance company may attribute the crippling pain in your knee joint to arthritis instead of the trauma caused by the accident.


Your Injury Was Not Caused By the Car Accident

Insurance companies sometimes also deny claims by simply stating that the car accident did not cause your injury. If you suffer an injury such as a torn rotator cuff, they might argue that repetitive motions and heavy lifting from your job caused the injury. If the car insurance company does not have evidence connecting your injury to the car accident, you will not receive compensation for the injury.

Your Injury Was Avoidable

Insurance companies often cite failure to mitigate or avoid the injury as reason enough to deny you your rightful insurance claim. They may argue that you could have reasonably avoided the accident or prevented the injury by taking some necessary steps, making you responsible for the injury and hence ineligible for any compensation.

The same argument can ‌reduce, if not completely deny, your settlement. If the insurance company thinks you are equally responsible for the injury, your settlement could be negatively affected.

Injury Claim Denied: Now What?

Even though a claim denial can be prevented by building a strong case, a denied injury claim is common and does not mark the end of your settlement journey. You can work with your legal team to persist in pursuing your claim with more aggressive tactics.

Your attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers can negotiate with the insurance company, providing proof of your injuries and how their client was at fault for the accident. If the insurance company won’t make a fair settlement offer, your lawyer can threaten legal action and take the case to court.

Many insurance companies end up paying out a fair settlement to avoid costly litigation, so working with a lawyer who understands this element can help you get maximum compensation.

Schedule Your Free Case Review

If you suffer injuries in a car accident in California and face a denied claim, contact Berg Injury lawyers to help you reverse the decision and get a fair settlement. We will fight on your behalf and ensure you know your legal options.

Book a free consultation with our skilled car accident lawyers for a free case review to get started on your settlement.

Are Brain Injury Cases Worth More Than Other Injuries?

by Staff | July 25th, 2022

Auto accidents cause 14.3% of brain injuries, and brain injuries contribute to over 30% of injury-related deaths in the U.S. Approximately 2% of the population currently lives with a disability caused by brain injuries.

Brain injuries from car accidents vary in severity, but doctors can’t predict the outcome with as much confidence as other automobile injuries like broken bones and lacerations. The invisible nature of brain injuries makes hiring a personal injury attorney a vital step in recovering damages.

The legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery. Our car accident attorneys know what evidence to present and how to prove the differences in your personality and cognition.

Types of Brain Injury

Car accidents commonly cause five types of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Each type of injury can range from mild to severe and cause short-term or long-term damage.

1.     Concussion

A concussion occurs because of blunt force trauma to the head, such as an accident causing impact against a window or from whiplash due to rapid head movement. This type of injury can damage neurons in the brain and result in chemical changes.

Symptoms typically resolve within three months, but some people may experience post-concussive syndrome or long-lasting adverse effects.

2.     Brain contusion

Blunt force and whiplash injuries can cause brain contusions or bruises in the brain tissue. While concussions result in widespread damage to the brain, contusions affect a localized area.

Complications from a brain contusion can include seizures, cognitive issues, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. A severe contusion may require surgery to relieve hemorrhaging.

3.     Coup-contrecoup

This type of injury refers to how the brain injury can occur in an accident, resulting in bruising of the brain. A blow to one side of the head (coup) causes the brain to slam into the opposite side of the skull (contrecoup).

People who suffer a coup-contrecoup may experience confusion, disorientation, seizures, and speech changes. Treatment may require surgical procedures, including lobectomy and decompressive hemicraniectomy.

4.     Diffuse axonal injury

The accident causes brain tissue to change shape, adding more stress to the blood vessels and the long axons of nerves. This stress disrupts the regular neurotransmitters and changes the chemical concentrations. Tears in blood vessels lead to bleeding, and the microscopic damage from the deformation occurs in the large regions of the brain.

5.     Foreign head trauma

A penetrating head injury happens when an item penetrates the skull. This damages the area where the penetration occurred, and the body’s response can cause swelling around that area. People who suffer penetrating head trauma require immediate medical and surgical intervention to remove the object.

Severe forms of these injuries can cause permanent damage that affects how you live and whether you can work. A car accident lawyer at our law firm can help you get financial compensation for your accident.

What Damages Can You Receive for a TBI?

TBIs can affect your ability to walk, speak, regulate your emotions, or control your body. Severe TBIs may require costly, ongoing medical care to treat headaches, dizziness, seizures, and balance problems. Some patients need long-term nursing care and medications. Your treatment plan might include:

  • Physical therapy can help you regain mental and physical function after an accident. It improves balance and coordination and prevents complications, including pneumonia.
  • Occupational therapy can help you re-learn daily tasks such as personal hygiene and food preparation.
  • Speech therapy can help you recover the ability to converse and develop other communication skills. Some TBI patients may also require specific devices, such as touchpads or tablets for speech therapy.
  • Mental health counseling can improve your quality of life. It may also involve medications to treat chemical imbalances after a TBI.

These therapies can help you recover after an accident, but they cost a significant amount of money and require frequent appointments.

A personal injury attorney at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you get compensation for your medical bills and future medical expenses. We can assess the loss of wages and your future earning capacity. We can also help you pursue non-economic damages that can include pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life.

Hire a Lawyer You Can Trust

TBIs can cause far-reaching consequences, affecting your income, relationships, and mental and physical health. These consequences mean you might need more compensation than victims of other types of injuries. Because of the intricacies of brain injury cases, you need a lawyer who understands brain injuries so that they can maximize your compensation.  

The California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers understand the unique needs of TBI victims and will fight for your right to a fair settlement.

Contact our law firm today for a confidential, complimentary case review so we can advise you of your legal rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Who Is Considered Liable for an E-Scooter Accident?

by Staff | July 18th, 2022

Electric scooters or e-scooters offer an environmentally friendly option for traveling in congested urban areas. With a 48% increase in electric scooter traffic in one year in San Francisco, people should know what to expect if they get in an accident while on their electric scooter.

Determining liability in an e-scooter accident can be complicated because there may be several at-fault parties. If a scooter collision caused your injuries, having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side can improve the outcome of your case.

The car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can evaluate your case during a free case review and advise you of your next steps.  

How Common Are E-Scooter Accident Injuries?

San Francisco saw a 58% increase in scooter collisions from 2020 to 2021. E-scooters represent 6% of crashes in the city. Most crashes occur when a vehicle hits the scooter broadside at an intersection. Doctors see most injuries to the head and face because most riders don’t use protective gear.

Crashes with motor vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, damage to internal organs, and broken bones.

A University of California San Francisco study found a 365% increase in hospital admissions from scooter-related injuries between 2014 and 2018. Almost one-third of these patients experienced head trauma, more than double the rate for bicycle accidents, and researchers believe these figures under-report the true scope of the issue.

Determining Liability in an E-Scooter Accident

Several parties can potentially be liable for an e-scooter accident and the resulting injuries and damages. These include:

Motor vehicle drivers

Drivers can cause motor vehicle accidents by using smartphone devices, talking with passengers, or adjusting the radio or climate control. Fatigued drivers might struggle to stay awake, limiting their ability to concentrate on the road and decreasing their reaction times.

In traffic, aggressive drivers often overlook smaller vehicles like e-scooters. Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s vision, decision-making skills, and reaction time, increasing the risk of a car accident.

E-scooter manufacturer or rental company

The scooter manufacturer might be held responsible for the accident if one of their scooter parts or software caused it.  If the rental company knew about these defects and failed to correct them, they can be held liable for injuries caused by the defects.

If injuries are caused by faulty equipment and loose handlebars, the e-scooter rental company can be held liable. If there was a mechanical failure with the scooter, the manufacturer may be liable in a product liability case due to defective equipment.

Commercial property owner

It is the responsibility of the commercial property owner to maintain their properties and keep them safe. If an accident occurs because of debris and hazards, the property owner may be held liable for the injuries.

What to Do if Injured in an E-Scooter Accident

If you have been injured while you were on your e-scooter, ‌follow these steps to protect your rights to compensation. 

1.     Get medical attention

If you and the other driver suffered injuries, call 911 to ask for emergency services. Immediate medical attention is not only for your well-being, but you will need your medical records to connect your injuries to the accident and the liable party.

2.     Report the accident to the police

Tell the responding police officer the details of the e-scooter accident, including how and when it started. Do not speculate about who is liable for the accident or give incriminating statements. The officer can write a police report for you to use as evidence for your insurance claim.

3.     Gather evidence

If possible, take photos and videos of any damage caused by the accident. Find out the other driver’s insurance information and their vehicle’s license plate number. Gather contact information from any witnesses who were present at the scene.

4.     Contact a personal injury lawyer

Getting the help of experienced California car accident lawyers from Berg Injury Lawyers will ensure you have the best chance of winning your case. Your lawyer can investigate the crash, review your medical records, and interview witnesses to determine liability. They can then calculate a fair settlement and negotiate with the insurance company.

Get Compensated for Your Injuries

If you suffer injuries in an accident while on your e-scooter, the car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Our legal team can work with you to achieve the best possible financial outcome with the insurance company. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

Can an Attorney Subpoena Text Messages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

by Staff | July 11th, 2022

Phone companies keep billing records and call detail records. Your lawyer can subpoena these records during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit if evidence exists that the documents contain relevant information. This information could prove, for example, whether a driver sent or received text messages at the time of the accident, violating California law.

Federal law requires phone companies to protect their users’ data, requiring subpoenas or court orders to release the information. Hiring an attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers to request and review these records gives you the best chance to recover a fair settlement in a personal injury lawsuit.

What Are the Phone Privacy Laws?

Due to the fraudulent acquisition of phone users’ data by data brokers, the federal government passed several laws regulating consumer privacy protection. These laws protect records kept by mobile phone companies, including usage data.

The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act and the Communications Act require customer approval, a subpoena, or a court order to obtain this information.

Requests must be made to the service provider before they purge the records. Most companies keep them for at least 12 months, but federal law only requires them to keep records for 180 days. The federal government also requires companies to preserve these records while awaiting court orders.

Types of Phone Records

Call detail records, or CDR, have the following information:

  • Record the time of the call or text
  • The receiving or sending number
  • Whether the call went to voicemail
  • Duration of the conversation
  • Location of the phone at the time

Phone bills only provide information on billable services, and call data times are not precise. Text messages and unanswered outgoing calls will not appear.

Obtaining Phone Records

Several state court decisions have affected when to subpoena phone records in civil cases. In Ortiz v, a judge had ordered the plaintiff to provide their cell phone records under a court order. However, the plaintiff failed to provide them since the cell phone account was under his wife’s name. The judge then ordered the plaintiff to submit their name and address for the defendant to subpoena the cell phone records from them.

Phone records and text message records must come from the service provider instead of a user’s cell phone. Depending on the phone company’s policy, these records may include the content of the messages or only the time, date, and location the messages were sent or received.

When You Should Talk to an Attorney to Obtain Cell Phone Records

An attorney can investigate cell phone records to prove the cause of negligence in an accident. Your lawyer can take steps to ensure the phone company preserves the records you need and make test calls to determine the time difference between the device and the 9-1-1 reports.

To obtain the content of text messages, your lawyer may request a different type of record if the company keeps that information. Your attorney can request the driver’s text messages as soon as possible after the accident if you need those records.

How Can Your Lawyer Use Phone Records?

Cell phone data from the company that shows a driver sent or received a text at the time of an accident can help prove driver negligence. However, these records don’t prove the driver used the handset to take a voice call but would corroborate witness testimony.

If records show the driver was texting at the time of the accident, your attorney may ask for a negligence per se jury instruction. Negligence per se means the driver’s texting constitutes negligence because it violates laws designed to keep drivers safe.

Your lawyer might make test calls to account for any deviation between CDRs and the logs from the 9-1-1 system. These discrepancies could otherwise lead a jury to conclude that the messaging didn’t occur at the time of the wreck.

What are the challenges of using CDRs?

While CDRs show incoming and outgoing text messages, they don’t prove whether the user interacted with the phone at that time. Some smartphone applications can automatically respond to incoming texts while in the car. Your personal injury lawyer can hire experts to examine this data and discover evidence of negligence.

Hire an Experienced Car Crash Lawyer

Obtaining cell phone records can be helpful in proving negligence in your case with the legal assistance of the California car accident lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers. We can take steps to ensure we gather proper evidence during the discovery phase of your case. We fight vigorously for your right to fair compensation and have represented victims of negligence for nearly 40 years.

Contact us to schedule a free case review today and let us help you establish your claim by subpoenaing phone records of the at-fault party. 

When Car Accidents Cause Miscarriages, What Legal Options Do Mothers Have?

by Staff | July 4th, 2022

States don’t include pregnancy status in their accident report databases, but researchers estimate 92,500 car accident-related injuries to pregnant people every year in the U.S. These accidents cause more miscarriages than any other source of trauma.

Research indicates that 1,500 to 3,000 fetal losses occur each year due to trauma from auto accidents. These estimates may not reflect the full scope of the problem due to the absence of reporting requirements and injuries sustained early in pregnancy.

Nothing is more heartbreaking and emotionally devastating than a miscarriage due to a preventable car crash. The terrible loss can result in emotional distress and mental anguish for the mother, which is usually the basis for a claim against the negligent party. Berg Injury Lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party to recover restitution for your tragic loss.

How Car Accidents Cause Miscarriage

According to a 2014 study, pregnant women injured in car accidents require hospitalization more often than any other cause. Accidents can cause several injuries that lead to miscarriage, even if the mother seems okay.

  • Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches partially or entirely from the uterus, hindering or severing blood flow to the fetus. This injury accounts for 60-70% of all miscarriages.
  • Premature rupture of the membranes happens when the water breaks before the baby’s due date. This injury dramatically increases the risk of infection and can lead to miscarriage.
  • Uterine rupture can cause hemorrhaging in the mother and fetus. It can lead to fetal loss if it occurs before the fetus can survive outside the uterus or if surgery doesn’t happen quickly enough.
  • Direct trauma to the fetus can cause fatal brain or internal organ injuries.
  • Maternal trauma can damage the mother and fetus’ shared systems, leading to miscarriage.

Every pregnant person should seek medical attention immediately after a motor vehicle accident because injuries to the placenta may not present symptoms right away. Many cases of miscarriage after an accident involve no observable harm to the mother.

If you’ve suffered a miscarriage caused by a car accident, trust the personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to help you get compensated for your loss.

Your Legal Options

If a reckless driver causes your accident, your lawyer may file a personal injury claim. California allows you to pursue compensatory damages for your injuries. You can seek non-economic damages for factors such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life. You can also seek economic damages for calculable expenses like medical bills and lost wages.

If the other car driver acted with malice, fraud, or oppression, for example, the driver was drunk; you may file for punitive damages. The state does not cap compensatory or punitive damages, except in medical malpractice cases.

Unfortunately, California does not allow you to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of your unborn child. The only exception may be if the accident induced labor and your child was born alive but subsequently died due to injuries received during the collision.

Why You Should Hire an Experienced Lawyer

An experienced car crash attorney can help you pursue maximum compensation for your car accident injuries. They can investigate your accident to determine the other driver’s percentage of fault and calculate a fair settlement for your injuries and the emotional fallout of the accident.

Investigate your accident

Your lawyer can investigate your accident to prove the other driver bears liability for your loss. This process includes reading accident reports, studying photographs of the scene, recreating the accident, interviewing witnesses, and looking at your medical records.

Calculate a fair settlement

Personal injury attorneys have extensive experience with attaching monetary figures to non-financial losses. They can use state guidelines to determine a fair amount and consider records of emotional distress, such as a journal where you discuss the emotional impact of the event or therapy receipts.

Negotiate your claim

Lawyers understand the tactics insurance companies use to deny claims. When you don’t have a lawyer, the insurance company may try to get you to make a statement, ask to see your medical records, or suggest you undergo an independent medical evaluation.

The company might also use a variety of excuses, such as requesting additional documents to delay a settlement with the hope you will give up or get you to settle for less than you deserve. Your lawyer can keep your case moving forward and negotiate for the best outcome on your behalf.

Try your case

If the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation, your lawyer can take the claim to court. Your legal team will prepare you to testify, cross-examine defense witnesses, and provide expert witnesses to substantiate your arguments.

Challenges to Your Claim

Cases in which a car accident causes a miscarriage present unique challenges. You need a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to help you win your case and hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions.

The defense may argue aggressively that their client did not cause your loss or that your loss doesn’t merit the damages you request. Some arguments that insurance companies or defense lawyers use include:

  • You have other children, so the loss doesn’t matter as much
  • You have a history of abortion or miscarriage
  • You didn’t know about the pregnancy until the accident
  • You don’t have a partner
  • You might have miscarried anyway

Your lawyer must prove that your accident caused your miscarriage to win a settlement. This typically requires a statement from your doctor and an expert medical witness asserting that your injuries accident-related caused the miscarriage. The statement must also agree that the miscarriage would not have happened if not for the accident.

Berg Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Case

Car accidents cause more miscarriages than any other source of trauma in the U.S. The Oakland car accident lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers understand the challenges these cases present and how to navigate them. If you lost a child or children due to a miscarriage after a car accident, our legal team will fight aggressively to protect your rights, even in the face of pushback from insurance companies, because you deserve justice and compensation. Contact us to schedule your free case review.

How Well Do You Know California’s Vehicle Mirror Laws?

by Staff | June 27th, 2022

Mirrors are a critical element in any motor vehicle. They allow the driver to see at multiple angles behind them without turning their head from the road. Mirrors also enable drivers to pay proper attention to the car’s surroundings.

Without functional mirrors, driving any type of vehicle is hazardous. For this reason, it is critical to keep your mirrors in good shape and compliant with all local laws. Learn about car mirror safety, California’s vehicle mirror laws, and how compliance helps keep you and others safe on the road.

California Legislation on Vehicle Mirrors

Division 12, Chapter 4 of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) contains all relevant laws and regulations regarding mirror usage on motor vehicles in the state.

According to CVC 26709, all motor vehicles must feature two or more rearview mirrors. One of the two mirrors must be on the driver’s side. The second mirror can be located anywhere else, but it must provide the driver with a clear view of the vehicle’s rear. Both mirrors must allow the driver to see clearly for at least 200 feet.

All motorcycles must feature at least one rearview mirror.

Vehicles with obstructed rear views

A few exceptions to these general guidelines exist, primarily for buses, trolley coaches, and vehicles towing other vehicles. Exceptions also pertain to automobiles with an obstructed rear view without passengers, such as vehicles with no rear windshield.

These vehicles are still legally required to have at least two mirrors. They must feature at least one side-mounted rearview mirror on each side of the vehicle per CVC 26709(b).

Autonomous vehicles

California vehicle mirror legislation does not apply to autonomous vehicles if the human driver inside cannot physically operate the vehicle. The CVC 38750 defines an autonomous vehicle as any vehicle “equipped with autonomous technology” meeting the SAE Driving Automation Level 3, 4, or 5 specifications.

For example, a remote-controlled construction vehicle with no cockpit for human operators would be exempt from the mirror laws. In contrast, a regular passenger car with self-driving modes would not.

Is it Legal to Hang Objects from the Rearview Mirror?

California does not legally allow you to hang decorative items, air fresheners, pendants, face masks, and other objects onto the interior rearview mirror. The experienced California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers recommend playing it safe and removing these items when driving in the Golden State.

The CVC 26708 (2) explicitly forbids obstructing the driver’s view through the side window or windshield. Although hanging objects from your rearview mirror may not necessarily obstruct your view of the rear, a law enforcement officer may consider it an obstruction of your clear view through the windshield, potentially resulting in a ticket.

What Are the Consequences of Violating California Mirror Laws?

Breaking the California Vehicle Code’s rearview mirror provisions is a minor infraction. The typical punishment is a small fine; however, different jurisdictions can add additional fees and penalties.

A mirror law fine is referred to as a non-parking infraction, which stipulates that you have 20 days to pay the fine, starting from the date of issuance of your penalty assessment mail. Failure to pay on time results in late fees, including a 50% upcharge of your original penalty. For example, if you received a $185 fine, not paying within 20 days increases the amount owed to $277.50.

If you were injured in an accident involving a vehicle with improperly placed or missing mirrors, contact the attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to handle your case. We can examine the circumstances of your accident to determine if the mirror infraction caused the accident and help you seek compensation for any injuries or damages you suffered due to the driver’s negligence.

Get Legal Help for Your Car Accident Injuries

If you are injured in an auto accident, we will use our more than 40 years of legal experience to help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. Don’t take on the insurance company alone, contact Berg Injury Lawyers today for a free, confidential consultation.