April 27th, 2020|
Whether you forgot to collect the other driver’s insurance information at the scene, lost it after the fact, or were the victim of a hit-and-run, you might be wondering how to obtain someone else’s car insurance information.
The access you have to this information depends on the circumstances. Let’s take a closer look.
How to Get Someone’s Car Insurance Information After a Crash
There are three main approaches to obtaining this information.
- You can exchange information with the other driver.
- You can find basic information by referencing the police report.
- You or your attorney can request the information through a lawsuit discovery process.
Let’s dig into each of these three approaches.
Exchanging information with the other driver. This is the most common way that people get someone’s car insurance information. Exchanging information should always be done after a crash, and the other driver should be compliant.
Referencing the police report. Immediately after a collision, the police respond to the scene to file an accident report. While completing this report, the responding officer will write down the insurance information of each driver involved in the accident. If the officer filing the report doesn’t give you a copy of the report in person, you can get a copy by submitting a request to the police department. You can do this yourself or, if you’ve hired an attorney, they can request the information on your behalf.
Requesting the information through a lawsuit discovery process. If you file a lawsuit, you or your attorney can request the information as part of the discovery process of that legal action.
It’s worth noting that your own insurer can also be useful in this process. After you report the crash to your insurance company, which you should do as soon as possible after the wreck, your insurer will seek more details about the scope of the other driver’s policy.
How to Get Someone’s Insurance Information if There is No Crash
If there’s no accident, and you’re simply wanting to get someone’s info for some other reason, you’ll most likely be out of luck. The details of a person’s vehicle insurance policy are private, so you won’t get access to this information unless you have a valid legal reason to obtain it.
What Information Should You Gather After a Car Accident?
The more information you obtain, the easier the claims process will be. If possible, get the following information from the other driver (and any passengers):
- Phone number
- Insurance provider
- Insurance policy number
- License number
- Registration information
- Vehicle make and model
- License plate number
At the bare minimum, you want the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance policy. You can also note the location and time of the crash. If there were any witnesses to the crash, gather their names and contact information.
What if the Other Driver Refuses to Give You Insurance Details?
If the other driver refuses to give insurance details, notify the police. The police officer who responds to the scene will have taken their insurance information to put in their report, which means you will have access to the information you need to file a claim.
Does a Police Report Include Insurance Information?
Yes, the police report will include insurance information of all the drivers involved in the accident. It will also contain any relevant facts uncovered by the responding officer, including the date, time, weather conditions, crash diagrams, vehicle damage, and any violations of the drivers. In some cases, the police report includes the opinions of the officer.
It’s important to obtain a copy of the police report after a crash. The report is an information-rich document that is essential for any claims that stem from the crash.
Getting Insurance Information After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Getting insurance information after a hit-and-run is difficult. If you managed to obtain the vehicle’s license plate number, you can report it to the police. Even if you don’t get the license plate, providing the police with the vehicle type and color can help identify the driver.
If you have no information about the hit-and-run driver, you should still notify the police (hit-and-runs are misdemeanor crimes in California) and your insurance company. Hit-and-run victims can often get compensation from their own insurance companies when the identities of the other drivers are unknown.
When to Contact an Attorney for Help
If you’ve been involved in a crash, it never hurts to explore your legal options. The greater your damages, the greater your need for experienced legal representation.
Remember that the other driver’s insurance provider will seek every opportunity to lessen the perceived fault of their policyholder. If possible, they’ll shift blame onto you and look for ways to deny you the compensation you deserve.
However, each step of the claims process, beginning with the information-gathering process immediately following the crash, also presents you with opportunities to build a solid case for compensation. By contacting an attorney early in the process, you’ll maximize your chances of getting the total compensation you need.
If You Need an Attorney, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers
The California auto accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers know what to do after an accident. The sooner you put us on your case, the more work we can take off your plate. Whether you were recently involved in a crash or you are partway into the claims process, contact a lawyer for help.
If you need assistance getting someone’s insurance information or you want someone to handle correspondence with the other driver’s insurer, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
April 20th, 2020|
Marijuana is detected in the bloodstream of drivers who have been involved in car crashes more frequently than any other drug. Some research indicates that drivers with marijuana in their system are twice as likely to be responsible for causing crashes than a typical driver.
Whether you believe marijuana impairs a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, or you think it has no impact at all, one thing is indisputable: driving with THC in your system has legal consequences.
California Considers a High Driver an Impaired Driver
Though recreational use of marijuana is legal in California, it isn’t legal if you’re driving. The consequences of driving while impaired by marijuana can be severe, including a misdemeanor charge, probation, and license suspension.
According to the California Highway Patrol, one impaired driving offense can cost a driver up to $13,500 when including insurance price raises, legal fees, missed time at work for court dates, restricted licensing, criminal records, and other related costs.
What’s A Person’s Liability for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?
An impaired driver is a negligent driver. So, if a driver is under the influence of a mind-altering substance such as marijuana, they should be considered at fault when involved in a collision with another vehicle. However, detecting and proving marijuana impairment isn’t easy (which we’ll get to shortly).
Even if a driver’s impairment isn’t detected, their mistakes still make them legally liable for the costs the other driver faces. For example, a stoned driver might rear end another vehicle because their reaction times were impaired. They may not be held accountable for driving impaired if it can’t be proven they were still under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident, but they can be held responsible for causing the accident.
How Does Marijuana Impact a Driver’s Performance?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse said that marijuana greatly affects a user’s judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time.
The effects of marijuana vary widely from one user to another, which makes it much more difficult to study than alcohol. That’s because a person’s blood-alcohol content is a consistent indicator of their level of impairment, while the same is not true for marijuana.
For example, once a driver’s BAC is double the legal limit, their performance behind the wheel will be severely impacted. Conversely, two people with the same level of THC in their system will be affected in very different ways. However, research shows that marijuana will impact any driver’s performance if they ingest enough of it.
Some drivers who are impaired by marijuana are also driving under the influence of alcohol. THC and alcohol compound each other’s effects, so even if a driver’s BAC is lower than the legal limit, they could still be significantly impaired if they’ve also ingested THC.
How Do You Know if a Driver Is Impaired by THC?
There’s currently no great way to tell if a driver is impaired by marijuana, and it’s a problem for law enforcement. In some cases, an officer who pulls a reckless driver over might smell marijuana in the vehicle or see physical signs of THC impairment, which could justify a request for blood or urine tests.
But even if an officer tests the blood or urine of someone they suspect is impaired, it’s difficult for tests to reveal whether the driver used marijuana minutes, hours, or days before the crash.
Though science could offer solutions that give officers a way to detect marijuana use immediately, it will take time for these technologies to be made available to local police.
The fact that THC is difficult to detect not only makes policing marijuana-impaired drivers difficult, it also makes it hard for someone who was involved in a crash with a potentially stoned driver to prove it.
What to Do If You Suspect the Driver Who Hit You Was High?
First, document the scene of the crash as best as possible. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the license plate of the other driver’s vehicle, and the location of the crash. Call 911 to request an officer, so they can respond to the scene and file a report. If you’ve been injured, seek immediate medical attention.
After you speak to the police and get the care you need, call your insurance company to tell them about the crash. Then, call an attorney, so they can remove any doubt you were at fault, and make sure you get a fair offer from the other driver’s insurance company.
Need Help? Call Berg Injury Lawyers
If you’re involved in a crash with an impaired driver, you deserve payment for all the costs you face. We help our clients get compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, and any other costs they face.
Contact our California auto accident attorneys today to schedule a free case review with our team. Let us help you explore all your available legal options.
April 13th, 2020|
Every driver is tempted by distractions. We all have smartphones buzzing with notifications that demand our attention, favorite songs that compel us to blast our car stereos, or chatty passengers who draw our focus from the task of driving.
However, giving into these distractions has consequences. The safety of drivers, passengers, and anyone else on or near the road is constantly at stake whenever drivers get distracted by texts and other notifications.
We want to tell you why distracted driving awareness matters, who it affects, and what you should do to combat it.
5 Facts About Distracted Driving
To illustrate how serious the threat of distracted driving is on our roads, consider these five statistics:
- Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured because of distracted driving.
- At any given point in the day, nearly one out of 10 drivers are using mobile devices.
- More than two-thirds of respondents to a AAA survey reported talking on cell phones while driving during the previous month.
- Nearly one-third of survey respondents admitted engaging in distracting behaviors fairly often or regularly.
- Hands-free isn’t risk-free: One study found that listening to someone talking decreased activity in the part of the brain associated with driving by 37%.
What Are California’s Laws on Distracted Driving?
California law bans all driver use of hand-held devices. Certain drivers, like minors and school bus drivers, are prohibited from using cellphones entirely, even as hands-free devices. You can also be given a “reckless driving” or “speed unsafe for conditions” ticket for driving while performing distracting activities, such as drinking, eating, grooming, or reaching for objects on the floor.
Who Is Affected by Distracted Driving?
We all have a stake in raising distracted driving awareness. That includes distracted drivers, their victims, and the loved ones of those victims.
Few drivers intend to cause themselves or other drivers harm. Causing a crash because you couldn’t resist the temptation to pick up a mobile device could ruin a person’s life.
Consider the lives of all the people connected to those who cause crashes and those that suffer injuries because of another driver’s inattention. The chances are good that you or someone you know has been affected by distracted driving in some way.
Are Certain Drivers More Susceptible to Distraction?
Most California’s drivers know our state’s “Put Your Phone Down. Just Drive” campaign that targeted drivers between the ages of 16 and 24. There’s a reason that younger, less-experienced drivers are often the focus of safety awareness campaigns; drivers under the age of 20 are involved in a disproportionate number of distraction-related crashes compared to drivers of other age groups.
However, young people are not the only distracted drivers. For example, a study from the AAA Foundation for Driving Safety reported that drivers age 55 and older were distracted for more than eight seconds longer than younger drivers when programming navigational devices or using their car stereo.
How to Observe Distracted Driving Awareness Month
The most important thing you can do is purge distracting activities from your routine. If you’re tempted by your smartphone, place the device in an out-of-reach place inside your vehicle to avoid the urge to use it. If you’re a parent, setting a positive example could influence your child to be equally diligent when they get behind the wheel.
Several apps and smartphone settings are capable of preventing distracting notifications. Consider using Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, the AT&T DriveMode app, or Samsung’s In-Traffic Reply app.
You might also consider spreading the word about the dangers of distracted driving. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is the perfect opportunity to talk about this important issue. Don’t be afraid to tell a friend or family member to put away their phone if you notice them texting while driving.
When Distracted Drivers Cause Accidents in California, Call Our Team
We hope that safety awareness campaigns make our roads safer, and you never need to deal with the fallout of a distracted driving accident. However, if you do, know that the law is on your side.
Never pay the price for another driver’s mistakes. Holding that driver accountable for their carelessness is a key part of making our roads safer for everyone.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ve represented countless clients in Northern California who have been injured by reckless drivers, including drivers who injured others because they were texting while driving. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, we can help.
Insurance companies will want you to accept the first settlement they offer. In some cases, they’ll deny your claim entirely.
Before you speak to an insurance company’s representative, talk to an attorney. Contact the California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers and schedule your free consultation today.
April 6th, 2020|
California drivers know that our state’s traffic laws are some of the strictest in the nation. However, some safety groups, such as the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety (AHAS), say that when it comes to teen drivers, our laws might not go far enough.
AHAS evaluates laws concerning distracted driving, seat belt usage, and teen drivers to determine their effectiveness at reducing accidents. Though California scores well overall, it falters when it comes to teen driving laws.
Why Does California Fall Short on Teen Driving Laws?
Though California currently bans first-year drivers from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., AHAS suggests that the ban should begin an hour earlier and include drivers up to the age of 18. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 40% of crashes involving teens (as both drivers and passengers) happen between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
California also bans first-year drivers from transporting passengers under the age of 20 unless they’re traveling with a licensed parent, driving instructor, or driver age 25 or over. AHAS suggests that California extend that restriction to include drivers up to the age of 18.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research suggests that fatality rates for teen drivers increased by 45% when their passengers are other teens. The fatality risk increases even more (56%) for occupants of vehicles that are involved in crashes with teen drivers. For each additional teen passenger that a teen driver transports, the greater the risk of a crash.
Understanding the Risks Young Drivers Face
Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, who are three times more likely than drivers age 20 and over to be in a fatal crash.
AHAS’s push to broaden the scope of these bans is a much-needed effort, and it’s backed by research; a 2017 National Household Travel Survey found that the crash-per-mile rate for 16-year-old drivers is 1.5 times greater than it is for 18- and 19-year-old drivers.
Studies consistently show that teen drivers engage in riskier behavior than older drivers. For example, teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and follow vehicles too closely. They’re also less likely to wear seat belts.
California’s Teen Driving Laws Get Some Things Right
Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from cell phone use of any kind when behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, even with hands-free functionality. Because younger drivers are more likely to engage in distracting activities while driving, laws that restrict mobile device use of any kind could save lives.
Critics of these laws cite a study showing that, despite stricter laws in California regarding mobile device usage by drivers, the rate of drivers using their phones behind the wheel actually increased the following year. But advocates insist that laws take time to make an impact, and they often reference California’s seat belt laws to make their point.
When the state announced its seat belt requirement in 1985, seat belt use increased from about 20% to 40%. By 1997, compliance had risen to about 88%. By 2016, compliance rates reached approximately 97%.
Preventing Teen Driver Crashes Requires More Than Just Laws
Studies show that parents have many ways to keep teen drivers safe, and it starts with setting a good example. A 2018 study found that approximately half of parents driving with children in their vehicles talked on their cell phones, while one-third read text messages in front of their children while driving.
Parents also expect their children to respond when they call, even when their teens are driving. Research suggests that more than half of teens who talk on their phones while driving talked to a parent, compared to 46% who talk to friends.
A parent’s presence inside the vehicle is enough to make a difference; AAA found that when a teen driver is accompanied by someone age 35 or older, their fatality risk decreases by 8%.
If You’re Injured in a Crash, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers
Berg Injury Lawyers represents injured people throughout Northern California to help get them the compensation they deserve. We know how quickly things can go from bad to worse when you’ve been injured by a reckless or distracted driver, so consider contacting an attorney as quickly as possible after an accident.
If you need legal assistance, we’re here to help. Contact the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free case review.
March 23rd, 2020|
Crashes involving heavy trucks are a driver’s worst nightmare. No one wants a 40-ton tractor-trailer smashing into their vehicle, because we all know how devastating that can be.
In the aftermath of a large truck crash, injured people are left to deal with intense physical pain, posttraumatic stress disorder, medical bills, lost income, and other monumental obstacles. Unfortunately, any injury claims filed in the wake of a serious truck accident tend to be more complicated than those involving other crash types.
Why are these claims more complex? The damages are typically far greater, which almost guarantees resistance from insurance companies. But the fact that trucking crashes involve so many parties is one of the key reasons truck accident cases are so unique.
Who Is Liable for Truck Crashes in California?
Any number of parties might be responsible for a truck accident. To break down this important topic, we’ve created a brief guide:
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of liability in trucking accidents after reading the guide linked above. However, we also know that you likely have other questions you want addressed. If you need to speak to an attorney who has experience with these cases, call Berg Injury Lawyers.
We’ve been helping injured people get the money they deserve for nearly four decades. In our years of experience, we’ve learned so much about how these claims play out, and we want to use that experience to help you and your loved ones.
What You Should Know About Truck Accident Cases
If you’re filing a personal injury claim after being involved in a truck accident, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney. As you learned in our guide above, a single truck accident can involve several well-funded parties, and paying you the money you deserve is the last thing on their minds.
Insurers and trucking companies don’t play nice when money is at stake. It’s not uncommon for one of these companies to send a representative to the scene of a crash to mitigate the liability of the truck driver or the trucking company.
If you are ever involved in a crash with a large truck, DO NOT speak to a representative of the trucking company or the truck driver’s insurance company. If you’ve hired an attorney, direct that representative to them.
To Speak to an Experienced Truck Crash Attorney, Call Berg Injury Lawyers
Don’t leave your claim hanging in the balance when so much is at stake. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to speak to a California truck accident attorney who knows how to get results.
March 16th, 2020|
Motorcycle crashes are notoriously deadly. Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in crashes than other types of motorists. That’s a reality that most motorcycles know instinctively when they get on their bikes and share the road with less-than-generous drivers.
If you ride, you already know some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Each time a driver follows you too closely or veers into your lane, you get a glimpse of how motorcycle accidents occur.
But it’s important for all motorists, whether drivers or riders, to be aware of what causes accidents so we can all do our part to save motorcyclists’ lives. Check out our helpful infographic below for more information.
A Closer Look at the Numbers in California
All the information above applies to motorcycle accidents in our state as well as in the broader U.S., but we can dig a little deeper to learn about the specific causes of crashes in California. First, let’s look at the most recent data about the number of motorcycle accidents, which was last updated in 2016.
In 2016, 548 motorcycle fatalities occurred in California, which was an 11% increase from the previous year. There was also a 9% increase in motorcyclist deaths from not wearing a helmet from 2015 to 2016.
Data from the California Office of Traffic Safety lets us see even more recent data. There were 113 people injured or killed in motorcycle accidents in Sacramento in 2017. In Sacramento County, 500 people were injured or killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017.
But What About the Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in California?
How did these crashes happen? Here are the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in California, specifically:
- A failure of the non-motorcyclist to give the motorcyclist the right-of-way.
- Other motorists turning into the path of a motorcycle (in about one-third of all multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcyclists).
- Driving or riding after consuming alcohol (in about 43% of all motorcycle crashes)
Then, of course, there are the common culprits of all crashes, including motorcycle crashes:
- Failure to adjust driving to the conditions of the road
- Failure to follow traffic signs or signals
As California motorcycle accident attorneys, we’ve seen first-hand how devastating a moment of distraction or one careless turn by a motorist can be for motorcyclists. Sadly, even though motorcyclists aren’t at fault for these crashes, they often face a stigma in each stage of the claims process.
Motorcyclists can be discriminated against by fellow motorists, law enforcement agencies, and insurance companies. This is one of the many reasons we suggest that motorcyclists like you contact an experienced attorney immediately following a crash—you deserve to have your rights protected.
Have Questions? Contact Berg Injury Lawyers
We know motorcycle accidents, and we want to hear from you if you’ve been injured by a careless driver. Schedule a free consultation with our team, and we’ll listen to your case and let you know your legal options. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to get started.
March 9th, 2020|
If you visit a car lot this year, you’ll notice that vehicles at all price points are loaded with safety features that were either reserved for high-end luxury vehicles or simply not possible just a decade or two ago. Bells and whistles such as lane departure warnings, blind spot indicators, stability control, collision avoidance systems, and backup cameras are commonplace or even mandatory on new models, making vehicles safer than ever. However, when it comes to protecting occupants during crashes, nothing is more effective than the tried and true seat belt and airbag.
But what happens when one of those safety devices is defective and potentially dangerous? That’s exactly what happened to millions of vehicles manufactured since 2003. In November 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demanded that Takata Corporation recall its defective airbags that were equipped in millions of cars, trucks, and SUVs made by manufacturers ranging from Ford and Toyota to GM and Honda. The recall continued to expand for years after it was announced, making it the largest consumer product recall in history.
In December 2019, Takata was forced to recall yet another airbag component. Like the first recalled airbag, this one is capable of exploding during collisions, but it can also under-inflate, rendering it less effective at protecting occupants. All told, between 65 and 70 million vehicles are part of the recall, putting countless Americans at risk of serious injuries and even death.
Use These Websites to Find Out if Your Vehicle Is Affected
Everyone who owns an affected vehicle was supposed to receive a notification from its manufacturer informing them of the recall and instructing them on what to do next. However, some people didn’t receive the notifications, misplaced them, or simply forgot about them. If you’re unsure whether your vehicle is equipped with defective and recalled airbags, visit the following websites and enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly find out:
Please note that not all vehicles included in the December 2019 recall have been added to the recall database as of right now. More information will be released over the coming months, so continue to check back to find out if your vehicle is included. You can also subscribe to the NHTSA’s Recall Alerts system to get up-to-date information when it’s released.
What Should You Do if Your Vehicle’s Airbags Are Recalled?
The overall risk of your vehicle’s airbags exploding or under-inflating during an accident are low. However, any level of risk above zero is unacceptable, and that’s why the airbags are being recalled. If your vehicle is affected by the recall, schedule a replacement as soon as possible at your local dealership. Because of the dangers posed to drivers and passengers in these vehicles, dealerships are offering free replacements.
If you own a 2006 Ford Ranger or 2006 Mazda B-series pickup truck, the manufacturers recommend that you don’t drive them unless absolutely necessary or if you’re taking them to have their airbags replaced. These vehicles are known for posing higher airbag explosion or malfunction risks than other vehicles and should be kept off the road until they’ve been serviced.
Let Us Help You Get Paid After a Defective Airbag Injury
Defective, exploding, and under-inflating airbags have already injured or killed dozens of Americans. If you or someone you love was hurt by a recalled airbag, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The California defective product attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have protected the rights of people who were hurt by a variety of dangerous products, including medical devices, household items, and vehicular components.
We know what it takes to win, and we don’t settle for less than what our clients deserve. It’s our goal to help you get maximum compensation so you can move forward with your life. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re ready to put our experience to work for you.
March 2nd, 2020|
When you hear the phrase traumatic brain injury, you probably imagine a terrifying incident where someone is rushed to an emergency room and treated by a team of physicians. Though these injuries are most definitely terrifying, they often happen with far less attention than most might assume. But that doesn’t make them any less dangerous.
A concussion, for example, is considered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries happen every day across the U.S., and while many of them are treated appropriately, others go undiagnosed and untreated. This means that thousands of people are unknowingly suffering from the consequences of traumatic brain injuries.
The Importance of Brain Injury Awareness Month
This all leads us to Brain Injury Awareness Month, which is observed every March. By knowing how brain injuries happen and how to recognize them, we might be able to prevent the suffering that victims face after a TBI.
We’ve created a free guide in honor of this yearly observance. However, the information we provide is useful any time of year. We encourage you to take a couple of minutes to learn more about:
- The causes of brain injuries
- Warning signs that a brain injury has occurred
- Long-term consequences of brain injuries
- Legal options for sufferers of brain injuries caused by others
Hopefully, you’ll come away from our guide with helpful insights that you can use to start the conversation about brain injuries with others.
Get started with our free guide by clicking the image below.
What to Do If You Suspect a Brain Injury
If you suspect that you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury, see a doctor immediately. Treating a brain injury soon after it occurs can lessen some of the effects that sufferers experience. Even if you suspect that an injury might not be severe, never forgo medical treatment. Go to an emergency department immediately and make sure to tell the doctor or nurse how your injury occurred.
When Your Brain Injury Is Someone Else’s Fault
When brain injuries are caused by the actions of another person, whether intentional or not, the injured person has the right to consider their legal options. TBIs can be costly, painful, and disabling. If your injuries were someone else’s fault, you should not have to pay the price for their negligence. Filing an injury claim can help you get the money you need from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
If you want to discuss your case with an experienced California brain injury lawyer, contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.
We want to hear more about your injury, so we can assess your situation and help you learn more about your legal options and how much money you may need to treat your TBI-related injuries both now and in the future. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
February 24th, 2020|
There’s no getting around it—auto accidents are expensive. Between ambulance rides, overnight stays in the hospital, surgical procedures, and weeks, months, or even years of physical rehabilitation, the costs associated with a crash can be enormous. To make matters worse, many auto accident victims suffer disabling injuries that make it difficult or impossible for them to work. That means no paychecks until they recover, even while they’re racking up bills.
For victims and their loved ones, there’s no price too high for getting potentially lifesaving medical treatment. But when the bills arrive, they may simply be unable to afford them. Many victims pursue compensation through the other drivers’ insurance policies, but they often find out that adjusters are uncooperative and drag their feet when it comes to getting their claims moving.
That means even the most obvious situations of negligence-related crashes can leave innocent victims watching their bills pile up while the negotiation and legal processes play out. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California auto accident attorneys work hard to get fast results for our clients, but we also know that crash-related expenses don’t wait for claims to settle.
These Resources Can Help You Stay on Top of Your Healthcare Costs
If you don’t have enough money on hand to start paying your medical bills after a crash, you still have many options while waiting for a settlement. This includes:
- Your health insurance coverage—If you have health insurance coverage, you can use it to pay for many of your crash-related expenses, including the ambulance ride, in-patient treatments, and physical rehabilitation. It’s important to tell the hospital about your health insurance coverage as soon as possible, so that crash-related costs can be filed and billed correctly.
- Medicare or Medicaid coverage—If you’re enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to use that coverage toward your crash-related expenses. However, you also may be required to pay back that money if you’re later awarded a settlement.
- Subrogation—Subrogation is a process in which the insurance provider of the injured party pays their expenses under the assumption that it will be compensated for those payments after the victim receives a settlement. Subrogation is commonly used when it’s clear that the victim wasn’t at fault for the crash and has a strong basis for a compensation claim.
- Your own auto insurance—Typically, victims are paid by the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies after crashes. However, victims may be paid directly by their own insurance policies if they purchased supplemental coverage, such as med pay coverage or personal injury protection. These policies often pay regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ll not only work to help you get fair compensation for your crash-related expenses, but we’ll also help you find the best way to stay on top of your bills while you wait for your settlement check. We know that you have enough to deal with already, and unpaid bills piling up is the last thing you should have to worry about while you’re recovering from your injuries.
When You Call Us, We Have One Goal in Mind: Getting You Paid
Being able to rely on other sources of income and payment methods for your medical bills can give you peace of mind during a difficult time. We understand that waiting for a settlement isn’t easy. The real solution comes when you get the compensation you deserve. Simply put, if you were hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, you should be paid fairly by the other driver’s insurance company.
Our California car accident attorneys work hard on ensuring victims like you get full compensation, and we don’t waste time when it comes to collecting evidence, building cases, and negotiating with the insurance company. But we also know that personal injury claims often take months to resolve due to uncooperative adjusters.
The sooner you contact us after your crash, the sooner we can start building your claim—and the sooner your case will either settle or go to court. That means less time waiting for a settlement and wondering how you’ll pay for your medical bills. Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out how we can help.
February 17th, 2020|
Your job is your livelihood. When an injury or illness makes it difficult or impossible for you to work, you need a way to replace your lost paychecks. Thankfully, there are two primary ways that people in California can get replacement income when they’re unable to work: workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD).
Because both are designed to give you money when you’re not capable of earning paychecks, it’s easy to get them confused. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we help people who suffer disabling injuries and illnesses get the compensation they need to replace lost pay checks when they can no longer work. That means helping them get SSD benefits.
Each injured worker’s case is unique, and some people’s injuries or illnesses mean they may be eligible for only one type of benefit. Others may be eligible for both. Our California SSD lawyers have years of experience building claims for disabled workers. That includes appeals when applications are denied.
Get the Facts on Workers’ Comp vs SSD Benefits
Laws related to workers’ compensation benefits and SSD benefits are completely different. They also have vastly different application requirements. Knowing the differences between these two types of compensation is important for anyone who can’t work and needs a way to replace their lost paychecks.
To learn more, check out the infographic below.
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In addition to workers’ compensation benefits and SSD benefits, California residents also may apply for the state’s own disability benefits. However, a recipient can’t receive them at the same time as workers’ compensation benefits.
It’s also important to note that both state disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits are designed to be temporary; SSD benefits are designed to be more of a long-term income replacement. In fact, some SSD benefits recipients receive checks for the rest of their lives, or until they transfer to Social Security retirement benefits.
Because of the complexities involved with all three types of benefits, it’s essential to have an experienced law firm on your side that is looking out for your best interests when applying for the benefits you need.
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Both workers’ compensation benefits and SSD benefits are notoriously difficult to get and retain. Both the Social Security Administration and the California Division of Workers’ Compensation have strict criteria for approving claims from injured workers. And when they deny initial applications, successfully appealing their decisions is often an uphill battle.
Our team has years of experience and a thorough understanding of how state and federal bodies process claims and appeals. When you contact us, we’ll review the facts of your injury. We’ll then determine how it affects your ability to work and the best course of action for you. Contact our California SSD attorneys today for a free consultation.