February 10th, 2020|
When you read an article about self-driving cars or interactive dashboards, what do you feel? Do automated vehicles fill you with dread, or are you excitedly anticipating the day when you can get in your car and have it drive itself?
As a law firm that pays close attention to road and vehicle safety, we know that these advances will present both good and bad consequences for all of us.
In other words, there are pros and cons of new vehicle technology, which we should all consider as we cruise into this brave new world. Before we dive into the potential downsides of emerging technologies, let’s focus on the perks.
Pro – A Safer Commute
More than 35,000 people die in vehicle crashes every year in the United States. For each of those deaths, even more motorists are involved in nonfatal crashes that often result in injuries. The biggest upside of improved vehicle technology is the potential to reduce the number of overall crashes.
This is exactly what the U.S. Department of Transportation and countless road safety advocates are hoping automated systems will accomplish. Officials also hope that automation will bring less traffic and improved fuel efficiency in vehicles.
Pro – A Better Experience for Motorists
From smart displays on windshields to brain wave technology that helps drivers avoid crashes, new vehicles could offer features we can’t even imagine. Many of these innovations might dramatically improve our experience behind the wheel and, in some cases, improve our health.
For example, vehicle technology could not only get better in diagnosing problems with vehicles, but also diagnosing the health of drivers. Ford is currently developing technology that monitors a driver’s heart health through sensors placed in the seats of its vehicles.
Con – The Growing Pains of New Technologies
Over the years, manufacturers have made safety features available that were anything but safe. For example, seatbelts and airbags are some of the most basic but useful features in vehicles. However, several incarnations of the technologies have posed a threat to vehicle occupants. The latest examples of potential dangers include Takata airbags that could cause shrapnel injuries when deployed and allegations of Honda seatbelt defects.
Automation is likely to become integrated into our vehicles slowly as cars edge toward being fully autonomous. During this transition, we will need to learn how to operate new semi-autonomous systems. That could present an entirely new learning curve for drivers. So far, manufacturers and safety officials don’t seem to know who will be responsible for educating buyers on how to operate semi-autonomous vehicles safely.
Con – Smart Cars are Vulnerable to Hackers
An increasingly digital world has made our lives easier in many ways. But we are also more vulnerable to fraud and hackers. As our vehicles become more reliant on technology, they too are susceptible to hackers.
Cybersecurity concerns prompted a 2015 recall involving 1.4 million vehicles after researchers discovered that it was possible to disable vehicles’ brakes and steering capabilities while they were on the highway. Hackers have already found ways to access the information of drivers and even shut down some engines remotely.
Understanding Your Rights as a Consumer
You likely have your own list of pros and cons of new vehicle technology. If you’re skeptical of automakers’ capacity to address some of our biggest road safety challenges, we understand your reservations. Manufacturers often make mistakes that have serious consequences for all of us.
Consider some of the fatal defects in vehicles over the past few decades. From GM’s faulty ignition switches to Takata’s defective airbags to the top-heavy design of Ford’s Bronco II, manufacturers haven’t always inspired hope in car buyers.
When a defective product harms a consumer, the consumer have the right to hold the manufacturer accountable through product liability claims. These claims don’t just offer consumers a pathway to compensation; they also make the market safer for others who might purchase potentially dangerous products.
Schedule a Free Case Assessment with Berg Injury Lawyers
The good news is that you have the right to hold a manufacturer accountable if they sell you a product that causes you harm. If you have been sold a defective vehicle or vehicle part, we encourage you to contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers.
Our California defective product lawyers have years of experience handling these claims. We believe that unless consumers take a stand against negligent manufacturers, companies will continue to sell dangerous products to buyers. Don’t pay the price for a manufacturer’s mistakes.
We know you might have questions you want answered about your legal options, which is why we offer free consultations. Fill out our online contact form today to get started with a case evaluation.
February 5th, 2020|
If you’re considering how to pick a safe nursing home, then you or someone you love likely needs specialized care. Choosing the right facility is a big decision, and you’re right to be taking it seriously.
What to Consider When Searching a Nursing Home
Just like any other important decision in life, choosing a nursing home requires forethought and research. Our free guide covers the many factors you’ll need to consider when creating your shortlist of potential candidates. Once you have that field narrowed, you can dig into what each offers and compare that with your requirements.
There are qualities you should look for in an ideal nursing home and warning signs that could signal inadequate care. Our guide provides a list of both, so you’ll be prepared to recognize a facility that is as safe as possible.
Signs that a Nursing Home Isn’t Up to Par
Some nursing homes are staffed by people who aren’t good at their jobs. Staff members can not only overlook the needs of their residents, but also abuse or neglect them. Warning signs that a loved has been improperly cared for include:
- Poor hygiene
- Bruises, cuts, or fractures
- Drastic changes in mood or personality
- A noticeable fear of staff members or other residents
When you notice these signs in your loved one at their nursing home, you should act immediately by contacting a nursing home abuse attorney. Your lawyer will help you plan the next steps to get your loved one proper care and begin the process of seeking compensation for what they’ve suffered.
Contact Berg Injury Lawyers with Any Questions
The safety of your loved one is obviously your biggest concern. To make sure a nursing home is one you can trust, you’ll need to do some research and identify warning signs of a dangerous nursing home. The more thorough you are when making your decision, the better the chance you’ll find a facility that is right for you and your loved one.
Unfortunately, some people only realize how poor a nursing home’s care is after a loved one suffers an injury. If this sounds familiar and you’re considering taking legal action, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney immediately.
We hope our tips help you pick a safe nursing home. If you or your loved one suffers from emotional or physical abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you should know that you have options. Contact the California nursing home abuse attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.
January 27th, 2020|
Whether it’s a product you purchased at a store, an item you use at work, or even a medical device that’s implanted into your body, you expect the products you come into contact with to be well-tested and safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, there are a nearly endless number of products that are potentially dangerous.
How does this happen? In an effort to save money and ensure their products get released, manufacturers sometimes skip important testing phases, putting consumers at risk. Manufacturers might poorly design a product, use inferior parts, or improperly label a commonly used good.
3 Types of Products That Might Harm Consumers
Safety advocates have linked many types of products to serious injuries, illnesses, and complications, such as:
- Medical devices—Because medical devices are often surgically implanted, their risk level is high. Devices in this category include birth control implants, joint replacements, pacemakers, hernia and transvaginal mesh, and many more.
- Military earplugs—3M provided the U.S. military with a double-sided earplug for many years. The evidence now shows that these earplugs are defective and don’t provide enough protection. As a result, thousands of servicemembers have developed hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Dangerous chemicals and substances—Builders used asbestos in construction for decades, and it’s still used in some applications. There’s a strong link between asbestos and mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer. Other dangerous chemicals sold to consumers include glysophate and certain types of flame retardants.
This is only the beginning of the dangers that consumers face. There are many other types of products that are potentially dangerous, too. From defective automobile parts to improperly labeled children’s toys, we all encounter dangers when manufacturers don’t get it right.
What To Do If You’ve Suffered a Product-Related Injury
To avoid buying dangerous products in the first place, you can find a helpful resource in the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. However, you might have already purchased a dangerous product. If that’s the case, you should speak to a product liability attorney immediately.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California defective product attorneys are waiting for your call, and we’re ready to fight for your rights to compensation. If you suffered an injury due products that are potentially dangerous, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team now. Contact us today for a free consultation.
January 27th, 2020|
Whether or not you’re a football fan, Super Bowl Sunday is always a big event on social calendars around California. And unfortunately, it’s also one of the worst days of the year for motor vehicle accidents. Between drunk, fatigued, and distracted drivers, your risk of being hurt is far higher than usual on Super Bowl Sunday.
According to a 2013 study conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California measuring traffic accidents over the course of 10 years, there is an average of 75% more alcohol-related crashes on Super Bowl Sunday than on all the other Sundays in January and February. And that number is only growing. The same organization conducted a similar study back in 2004 found a 41% increase in alcohol-related crashes on Game Day.
That’s why the team at Berg Injury Lawyers put together these tips. They’re useful for anyone attending a Super Bowl party this year, whether it’s at the home of a friend, family member, or coworker, or at a bar or restaurant.
Tips for Super Bowl Party Hosts
Car accidents aren’t the only potential danger awaiting partygoers. If you are planning on having friends and neighbors over to watch the Big Game, follow these tips to protect your guests, and protect yourself from liability if someone gets hurt.
- Make sure the path to and from your door is clearly lit and free of ice and snow. This will prevent guests from slipping or tripping.
- Take everyone’s keys at the door. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, but it can be hard to follow that rule when some of your guests make an Irish exit and leave without saying goodbye.
- Politely make sure each guest knows how they are getting home. If at the end of the night it looks like a guest may be unsafe to drive, have alternate arrangements ready. That might mean calling a cab or allowing them to stay until it’s safe for them to drive home.
- Make sure non-alcoholic drink options are available, and never serve alcohol to an underage guest. If an underage guest has alcohol at your home and gets into an accident driving home, you could be liable.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter to allow everyone time to sober up. This is also a good time to bring out coffee and dessert.
- Be aware of any food allergies your guests might have. Some food allergies are airborne, meaning the person does not have to eat or touch the food but only needs to be in the same room to experience symptoms.
- Always clean your knives and cutting boards between each step when preparing food to avoid contamination.
- Cook all meat to the proper internal temperature. Don’t leave food sitting at room temperature for more than two hours, even if that means ferrying it back and forth between the table and the fridge or oven.
- If you are a pet owner, keep your dog in another room throughout the party. Even if your dog is normally friendly, you may not know how they will react to a large number of unfamiliar people in their territory or unexpected loud noises like the cheers at a touchdown.
We’re Here to Help After Super Bowl Injuries
Big events like the Super Bowl offer many opportunities for injuries to occur. Injuries might come in the form of car accidents, slips, falls, dog bites, or any other unexpected event. Knowing how they happen and how to prevent them is the best way to protect yourself from liability and injury. But when others are less careful than you, you may still end up injured due to someone else’s negligence. When that happens, we want to help.
Contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers today for help getting the compensation you deserve after your accident. We will gather evidence proving you were not at fault for your injury. We’ll also calculate how much you may be owed. We’ll factor in your medical bills and all other injury-related damages, including emotional harm or lost income.
Our track record of success helping injured victims get full compensation spans decades, and we’re ready to put our experience to work for you and your loved ones. Contact us today for a free case review.
January 20th, 2020|
If your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to have a law firm on your side that is dedicated both to getting you maximum compensation and ensuring your needs are taken care of. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences in life, especially when the loss was preventable and due to carelessness or even corporate greed. That’s why simply getting compensation isn’t always enough.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California wrongful death attorneys know what you’re going through. When you contact us, it’s our job to treat you and your family members with compassion, care, and sensitivity. We’ll work hard to get you the money you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and more, while also doing everything we can to honor your loved one’s memory.
Whether your loved one died as a result of a road accident, a workplace accident, medical malpractice, or any other preventable cause, we want to be your advocate. We know that insurance companies are often reluctant to pay surviving family members the money they’re owed after their losses, even when there’s plenty of evidence that shows victims weren’t at fault for their own accidents and injuries. That’s why we never give up, and we work hard to hold liable parties accountable for the damages they’ve caused.
Contact us today for a free consultation. You’ve gone through enough already—let us help you honor your loved one’s memory and get full compensation for your loss.
January 20th, 2020|
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we spend a lot of time helping people who were hurt in crashes caused by negligent drivers. Most of the time, that negligence occurs in the form of speeding, driving while impaired, driving while distracted, running red lights and stop signs, or following other vehicles too closely. And while those drivers can and should be held liable for the damage and injuries they caused, they likely didn’t intentionally set out to harm others.
However, there’s another common driving behavior that occasionally results in crashes that can have a more intentional and even malicious undertone: road rage. Everyone experiences frustration and sometimes even anger when stuck in traffic or after being cut off on the highway, but road rage is a completely different phenomenon. People who experience road rage may lose control of their emotions and their behavior, causing them to act aggressively and potentially harm others through traffic accidents.
How to Spot and Handle Road Rage in Others
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that road rage incidents are on the rise in America. The number of deaths related to road rage increased from 80 in 2006 to 467 in 2015—an increase of nearly 500 percent. Knowing how to spot the signs of road rage in other drivers won’t just help you avoid a crash, but it could also save your life.
The next time you’re driving, keep an eye out for drivers who exhibit the following behaviors:
- Speeding—Drivers who are angry often take out their aggression by increasing their speed, often significantly over the posted speed limits for the roads they’re on. If you encounter a speeding driver, change lanes and move out of the way as soon as you can do so safely.
- Tailgating—Whether they’re angry over a perceived slight, or they’re impatient and angry, drivers experiencing road rage may tailgate others. Never slam on your brakes when you’re being tailgated. Instead, change lanes and allow the other driver to pass.
- Honking—People experiencing road rage often want others to be aware of their anger and frustration. One of the easiest ways to do that is by honking their horns. If someone is frequently honking or holding down their horn, they may be about to act aggressively and should be avoided.
- Staring/gesturing—When the objects of their frustration are nearby, drivers with road rage may stare or gesture at them, hoping to get a response or incite a reaction. Never respond to a driver who is attempting to antagonize you. Instead, continue looking straight ahead.
Tips for Defusing Road Rage in Yourself
Road rage isn’t always extreme cases of aggression. It can also be defined as taking unnecessary risks due to frustration and anger, both of which are common emotions for drivers to experience from time to time. Keep a cool and calm head in even the most trying traffic situations by following these tips:
- Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination—Running late is one of the most common causes of bad decisions behind the wheel, including speeding, following too closely, and running red lights.
- Get plenty of sleep—Being sleep-deprived is a major source of accidents on its own, but it can also make you more prone to impatience and even road rage. If you feel sleepy, take a nap before heading out on the road.
- Listen to soothing music—The music you listen to have can have a major effect on your mood and your behavior. Calm, relaxing, and easygoing music with between 60 and 80 beats per minute is more conducive to safe driving than up tempo or aggressive music.
We Help Road Rage Victims Get the Money They Deserve
When we build claims for innocent victims of auto accidents, one of the first things we do is find evidence that the other driver was negligent. Drivers who let their anger, impatience, and frustration get the best of them aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities to drive safely, and that’s why they can be held liable for any injury-related expenses they cause.
If you or someone you love was hurt because of an aggressive driver, we want to help you get maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Successfully building a case that road rage or other negligent behaviors led to your crash requires years of experience, but we have a track record of compensation won for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.
January 13th, 2020|
For many people, implantable medical devices can make a huge difference in their quality of life. They can ease symptoms of serious illnesses and diseases and even restore mobility and reduce or eliminate chronic pain. But like all products, medical devices have the potential to be defective, whether it’s due to a flawed design, a flawed manufacturing process, or the use of inferior materials and components.
Three common medical devices that are often associated with injuries, illnesses, and complications include:
- Joint replacements—A variety of conditions can cause people’s hips and knees to degrade and even fail. When that happens, they may require an artificial joint replacement. Unfortunately, joint replacements are subject to many possible complications, including metallic particles leaking into the bloodstream, infection, bleeding, and more.
- Surgical mesh—Surgical mesh is used both to support the internal structure of the vagina in women who have suffered pelvic organ prolapse, and also during hernia repair, chest wall construction, and the treatment of surgical wounds. Both hernia and transvaginal mesh are linked to serious complications, including organ perforation and bleeding.
- Birth control implants—Birth control implants are supposed to make contraception easier, more reliable, and more convenient for women. But some of them are linked to serious injuries, including implant breakage inside the body, internal organ perforation, bleeding, and more.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California defective medical device attorneys fight for the rights of people who were hurt by flawed and dangerous products. Contact us today for a free consultation if you or someone you love suffered because of a manufacturer’s negligence.
January 13th, 2020|
Winter can be harsh on roads and on your vehicle, even in Northern California. Although our winters aren’t as cold and icy as they are in other parts of the country, it’s still important to make sure your vehicle is properly winterized and ready for the impacting of dropping temperatures.
In addition to helping you avoid inconvenient and potentially dangerous vehicle breakdowns, proper car maintenance can also reduce your risks of being involved in an accident. Use the tips in our infographic below to ensure your vehicle remains in tip-top shape throughout the winter and well into spring.
Avoid These Common Vehicle-Related Winter Mistakes
Now that you’ve learned what you should do to reduce your risks of experiencing a breakdown or a crash this winter, it’s time for a quick rundown of things to never do. The following mistakes are common, and they can result in serious damage to your vehicle and even dangerous accidents:
- Don’t defrost your windshield with hot water—Nothing melts ice as quickly as a bucket full of scalding hot water, but dumping one on your vehicle’s windshield will clear your wallet even faster. Hot water on frozen glass can mean a cracked windshield and an expensive repair.
- Don’t swerve to avoid potholes—Potholes can be seriously damaging to your vehicle. In some cases, they can even total cars, trucks, and SUVs. But most potholes don’t cause much, if any, damage, and swerving to avoid one can increase your chances of colliding with another vehicle.
- Don’t clear only a small porthole in your windshield—If your windshield ices over, make sure you clear it completely. Doing so can be time-consuming and might make you late for work, but driving with most of your visibility blocked can be extremely dangerous.
- Don’t leave home without checking the weather—Winter storms are often predicted several days out. Being on the interstate or highway many miles from home when roads suddenly become slick from freezing rain can be dangerous, and you may end up trapped for several hours.
- Don’t leave your fuel tank sitting more than half-empty. Condensation can collect in a half-empty fuel tank, and if it freezes it can damage your fuel lines.
Other important tips include packing emergency gear in your trunk, including blankets, clothing, water, and non-perishable snacks, and making sure others know your route and when you plan on arriving in case disaster strikes along the way.
We Help Auto Accident Victims Get Compensation All Year Long
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our auto accident attorneys know that winter weather can make roads much more dangerous, even in California. But we also know that crashes can occur at any time and place, whether it’s the dead of winter or the middle of summer. That’s why our legal team is ready to jump into action to help victims get the money they deserve after accidents that weren’t their fault.
If you or someone you love was hurt because of a negligent driver, we want to get you the compensation you deserve. Speeding, driving while intoxicated, driving while distracted, or even driving with a windshield full of ice and snow are all careless behaviors, and when those behaviors result in crashes, we think drivers should be held accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation. We want to put our experience to work for you.
January 6th, 2020|
There are many reasons to ride a motorcycle over driving a car or truck. They’re easier to park, are extremely fuel efficient, and they have excellent acceleration and handling. But all those perks come at a huge cost: safety. Motorcycles have no safety features to protect riders, and even the most well-equipped riders can still suffer serious injuries during accidents. In fact, nearly 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries, and 4% are fatal.
The injuries associated with motorcycle accidents are painful, debilitating, and often disabling. Victims may need expensive medical treatments, and they may be unable to work for long periods of time. Getting compensation is a big priority for motorcycle accident victims, but insurance companies don’t often cooperate. That’s because insurers and their adjusters are typically biased against motorcyclists, and they often approach motorcycle accident claims believing that the riders were responsible.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that injured victims face enough hurdles already when trying to get compensation for accidents that weren’t their fault. If you or someone you love was hurt in a motorcycle crash, the last thing you need is to deal with is an insurance company that has already made its mind up about who caused the accident.
Get in touch with our California motorcycle accident lawyers. We’ll investigate the crash, collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault, and negotiate to get you paid fairly and on time. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re ready to put our experience to work for you.
January 6th, 2020|
Many of us enjoy staying in touch with friends and family and engaging with like-minded people through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, to name just a few. If you aren’t on them all, odds are you use at least one.
We love sharing major events in our lives on social media, good or bad, and a serious injury definitely counts as one. However, if you have filed or are thinking about filing a personal injury claim to recoup your medical expenses after an accident, your social media posts could seriously harm your chances of getting the money you need.
Social media posts are considered part of the public record, even if your accounts are set to private, and the insurance company’s lawyers don’t need a warrant to access them. To put it another way, anything you share can and may be used against you by the insurance company when reviewing your claim or in a civil lawsuit.
Statements Minimizing Your Injuries
A status update to the people who care about you saying something as simple as “I was in a crash but I am okay,” or “I’m just glad it wasn’t worse” could be taken out of context to argue that your injuries are not as severe or painful as they actually are.
Accidental Admissions of Fault
Posts along the lines of “I didn’t see them coming” or “I didn’t have time to stop” could be used by the defense to argue that the accident was your fault for not paying attention to your surroundings or not taking reasonable corrective measures.
Posts that Contradict Your Compensation Claim
Accidents, especially car accidents, are confusing and stressful, and everyone’s memory is fallible. If you accidentally post something that differs from how you described the crash in the police report or in your compensation claim, the defense will use it against you.
When you’ve been injured and your life disrupted, you have every reason to be angry, especially when your injury is due to someone else being negligent. However, ranting about your injury or the responsible party online could hurt your claim. The defense could argue you are not injured and are only filing for spite or revenge.
Oversharing About Your Life
As strange as it seems, even posts that have nothing to do with your accident could hurt your chances of getting compensation. For example, posts about stressful or upsetting recent events in your life, such as a break-up, could cause the defense to argue that your emotional state at the time caused your crash.
Photos that Misrepresent Your Physical Health
Photos that appear to depict you doing activities that your injuries should prevent, even if you were not participating in the activity, or if the photo was taken before your accident and only posted later, could be used to argue your injuries are being exaggerated.
Photos that Misrepresent Your Emotional Health
Unfortunately, even photos of you looking happy and smiling (and who doesn’t smile when being photographed?) could be used as evidence your accident wasn’t as traumatic as it really was.
Your Friends and Family
It’s not just your own photos you should be wary of. If you are tagged in a photo by a friend that appears to show you happy and healthy, this could also be used as evidence against you.
Furthermore, if you post about your accident, and a friend jokingly replies with a statement like, “I told you to get off your phone!”, even if you and your friend both understand it’s a joke, the insurance company or court may not. And if they believe you contributed to your own accident by not paying attention to the road or speeding, it could hurt or ruin your chances of getting compensation altogether.
Your Online Activity
Avoiding all mention of your accident online isn’t a guarantee that the insurance company won’t be able to manipulate what you post, either. If you are trying to get compensation for the pain and emotional distress your injuries caused, but you continue to post as normal, the defense may try to argue that this proves that your injury didn’t seriously affect your life or mental health.
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk
The best way to ensure that your social media habits don’t accidentally harm your claim is to not use social media at all until after your claim is resolved. However, these steps can help protect you if you do continue to post.
- Set all your social media accounts to private.
- If possible, adjust your settings to prevent other users from being able to share your posts or to post comments on your accounts.
- Do not accept any new friend requests, especially from people you don’t know, while your claim is ongoing.
- Speak privately with friends and family and request they do not post anything about you, or especially your accident, until your claim is resolved.
- Avoid mentioning your settlement even after your claim is resolved. If your settlement involves a confidentiality agreement, posting about it could result in your settlement being revoked.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Call Berg Injury Lawyers.
If you were injured in a car accident, you need to contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers right away. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies, and we know all the shady tricks they like to pull. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.