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6 Simple Tips for Dealing With Bay Area Traffic

by Staff | August 30th, 2021

If you live or work in the Bay Area, you know the reality of being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 30 minutes or even longer and are familiar with the chronic congestion choking the area. The drive from San Jose to Mountain View can take more than 2 hours instead of 20 minutes door-to-door due to gridlock. 

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, freeway congestion has increased by more than 80% since 2010. Besides using public transit options like Amtrak, BART, and Caltrain, there are several other simple ways to deal with the brutal Bay Area traffic congestion.

1.    Plan Your Driving Routes

Whether you prefer to drive to work or your job involves driving, you know that the worst time to be on the highway is during rush hour. Peak traffic usually occurs on weekdays in the mornings between 7:00 to 9:00 AM and in the evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

Instead of taking the usual route and joining the traffic jams, take advantage of free phone applications such as Waze to plan your routes. While these apps often send you on the scenic route, they can guide you through different roads and streets to get you to work or back home faster than you would on the main road. Make sure you set your destination in these apps before driving to avoid being distracted.

If possible, avoid peak hours and the worst of the rush hour traffic for a shorter and less stressful commute.

2.    Keep an Eye on 511 Alerts

You may have seen blue signs advising commuters and motorists to call 511 for travel information. The 511 service also has a website that provides real-time alerts and a live map informing you of any traffic updates, jams, construction work, and plenty of other information, making it an invaluable tool for planning your route.

3.    Consider Biking to Work

If your commute is less than 10 miles, a bicycle may be a faster, healthier, and more economical mode of transport. According to the latest statistics, the average commute time in California has exceeded 30 minutes since 2019.

On average, a bike can achieve a commuting speed of around 12 mph. With more fitness and experience, it is possible to reach speeds of 15 to 18 mph, so you should cycle 5 miles in about 15-20 minutes. Even inexperienced cyclists can bike 1 mile in 6 minutes, which is 10 mph. 

4.    Use the HOV Lane

The Bay Area carpool lane system, known as High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, is the most effective in California and one of the best nationwide, significantly reducing commute times and increasing average speeds by up to 15 mph.

If you don’t already have a coworker or a neighbor you can ride with, you can still use applications such as Merge or Waze Carpool to match with a carpool partner and enjoy commuting on the HOV lane.

5.    Green Vehicle Advantages

You may already be familiar with the carpool lanes on the highway and the rules surrounding their use, but did you know that hybrids and electric vehicles can use the carpool lane even with no passengers?

As long as your car has the correct DMV sticker (green, white, or red), you can enjoy the benefits of driving on the carpool lane even when you’re on your own.

6.    When All Else Fails

Sometimes, there’s just no avoiding being stuck in traffic in your car, no matter what you do. In those situations, you can still make the best of the time in your vehicle.

Use the opportunity to listen to your favorite music, check out a podcast, or enjoy an audiobook, so you are less stressed and frustrated by the mind-numbing traffic.  

Remember that a significant percentage of traffic accidents happen during rush hour. This is often due to drivers speeding through yellow lights, merging lanes, road rage, motorcycles lane splitting, or distracted driving.

Should the worst happen, get the help of our San Francisco car accident lawyers; they are the most qualified to represent you and help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and lost income. 

Contact Our Legal Team Today

If you are involved in an auto accident, contact our car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We have more than 40 years of experience representing victims and helping them win the settlements they deserve.


California’s Court of Appeals Amazon Product Liability Decision: Latest News

by Staff | August 23rd, 2021

The recent decision by California’s Court of Appeals regarding Amazon’s product liability in defective products sold by third parties on its platform may have profound repercussions not just for Amazon but for operators of all e-commerce sites.

The April 26, 2021, decision in Loomis v. Amazon.com LLC went against Amazon in a development likely to open doors to more lawsuits and redefine industry norms. Amazon and others may now be held liable for injuries sustained due to defective products sold on their platforms in the state of California.

What Was the Case About?

Loomis v. Amazon.com LLC was a lawsuit brought by plaintiff Kisha Loomis against Amazon for injuries sustained while using a defective hoverboard. The hoverboard was purchased from a third-party seller, TurnUpUP (a username employed by a Chinese company, SMILETO), through Amazon’s website.

Plugged in, the hoverboard caused a fire in which Loomis sustained injuries to her hand and foot. California’s Court of Appeals was charged with deciding whether strict liability could be attributed to Amazon for Loomis’ injuries.

In its defense, Amazon argued that it was not liable for Loomis’s injuries because it was only a service provider and not the seller or manufacturer and therefore wasn’t subject to strict product liability.

The Decision

The Court leaned on Bolger v. Amazon LLC, a 2020 decision by the California Court of Appeals. The Court found Amazon liable for the cost of injuries arising from defective products because it was an integral part of the overall supply chain.

Consequently, the Court found that Amazon played a role in ensuring product safety according to its own Business Solutions Agreement (BSA), making it a direct link in the vertical chain of distribution. Because Amazon was pivotal in supplying the hoverboard to Loomis, it played a role in ensuring product safety and could therefore be held strictly liable under California’s strict liability doctrine for Loomis’s injuries. 

What’s Happening Now

Amazon is now considering whether to appeal the case at the California Supreme Court.  While the high court passed on taking up the Bolger v. Amazon case, it may be more likely to consider Loomis v. Amazon LLC, given its broader ramifications for Amazon and other e-commerce sites. Meanwhile, a bill to govern online marketplace liability has been reintroduced in the California Legislature.

Elsewhere, a similar suit in Texas seeking to hold Amazon liable for a toddler’s injury was struck down by the Texas Supreme Court in a 5-2 opinion on June 25, 2021, finding that Amazon was not a seller in the matter. Nevertheless, Amazon is likely to be held increasingly liable in the wake of the California decision.

If you have been injured by a defective product purchased from a third party on Amazon in the San Francisco area, contact Berg Injury Lawyers for a complimentary consultation. We provide support in San Francisco product liability law cases.

What it Means

Courts are becoming increasingly willing to entertain the notion that Amazon shares responsibility for defective products purchased from its platform and sold by third-party companies. This is despite the company having often successfully used the argument in the past that it is not the seller or manufacturer, and therefore cannot take proactive responsibility for the safety of products.

This era of lacking accountability appears to be coming to an end. If other courts begin adopting the stance taken in Loomis v. Amazon LLC, as seems likely, this may extend to other e-commerce platforms as well. Courts may hold several parties along the distribution chain strictly liable for negligence in injuries caused by defective products.

This has the potential to upend long-existing e-commerce norms and ways of doing business. It also has serious ramifications for victims of injuries sustained by products purchased on online platforms. They are being made increasingly aware of their right to seek compensation and hold companies like Amazon liable.  

Berg Injury, Product Liability Attorneys

The product liability attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers believe that it’s not your responsibility to pay for the negligence of manufacturers, sellers, or service providers such as Amazon.

The products we all use daily are supposed to make our lives easier, not harder. When products are imperfectly or poorly designed and have not been submitted to safety checks by all the entities responsible in the supply chain, it can lead to you or a family member suffering a severe injury. This can lead to even more trauma if you are faced with medical bills you cannot pay. 

We’ve been working with San Francisco product liability law cases since 1981 and will fight to ensure you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to. If you have been the victim of injuries caused by a defective product purchased on an online platform, schedule a free consultation with us today to learn how we can help you. Contact us today.


Vehicle Tech Features That Might Endanger Children Passengers

by Staff | August 16th, 2021

The newer your vehicle, the likelier it is to feature high-tech upgrades to existing features designed to improve the car’s safety. However, it is all too easy to get swept up, assuming that the vehicle is automatically safe because it features the latest technology.

Children, in particular, can be vulnerable to tech safety features. Because of their curiosity and need to explore, they may inadvertently trigger features that can put them in danger. You should be aware of these and how to protect your child when they travel in your vehicle. The following are some of the most common hazards to consider.  

Power Windows

Children can be injured when a power window closes on a finger, hand, or wrist. In extreme cases, children have even been strangled by power windows.

If your car has child safety settings for your power windows, turn them on. Vehicles from 2010 and later usually have pull-to-close switches that require pulling up to close the window, but older models may have window switches that a child can accidentally trigger.

Some vehicles are equipped explicitly with power windows that automatically reverse when something is in the path of a closing window. Check if your car benefits from this safety technology and keep the feature activated at all times.

Above all, never leave your child alone in the car. You should also teach your kids not to play with window switches and never put their limbs outside the window, regardless of whether the vehicle is in motion.

Seat Belts

While restraining children in car seats and with seat belts is important to their safety, a seat belt can present a potential hazard for kids. Most seat belts have a locking mechanism that activates when the belt is pulled out too far, which could cause your child to get trapped in the belt.

If your child is very young, you should ensure they are appropriately restrained at all times. Entanglement in a seat belt presents a choking and strangling hazard, so your child must be taught the belt is not a toy. Buckle up any unused seat belts within the child’s reach, and do not leave the child alone unsupervised in the car. 

Airbags

While airbags make a car safer in general, they are dangerous to children weighing under 65 lbs. or generally under 13 years old. This is why children should not be allowed to sit up front until this age. Airbags cushion passengers when fully inflated but jolts them while still moving if they are too close.

As children are lighter, an airbag may lift them off their seats and cause them to hit their heads on the car roof. It can also propel them forward due to their inflate speed, and the blunt force impact could be enough to cause serious injury or even death. Letting a child ride in the passenger’s seat is not a decision to be made lightly, as airbags can deploy on impact, even if you’re driving very slowly and carefully.

Newer cars feature off switches, enabling you to turn off the airbag if a child is up front. Some now feature smart airbags that can sense if someone is too close or is not belted correctly.

Children should always be seated in the back, however, and preferably in a safety seat.

Berg Injury Lawyers, Product Liability Attorneys

The California product liability attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can help if your child has been endangered or injured by vehicle tech features. If the feature is proven defective, you may be entitled to compensation.

A child or another family member suffering a severe injury due to a car accident caused by a defective component can be traumatizing, especially if you were under the reasonable assumption that the car’s features were safe, and you observed all the requisite safety measures. The devastation of watching your child suffer can be compounded by medical bills that you may have difficulty paying. 

Since 1981, we have fought to ensure our clients obtain the compensation they’re entitled to. If your child has been the victim of injuries caused by defective vehicle tech features, schedule a free consultation with us today and let us review your case.

If your child has had an accident and you suspect it was caused by defective vehicle technology, contact us immediately.


Avoid These Common Mistakes When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California

by Staff | August 9th, 2021

Losing a loved one is a challenging moment in anyone’s life. For many, there is no pain worse than mourning the loss of a family member or friend. Although it is natural to be emotional under such hardship, the pain felt is made even worse when knowing the death resulted from another person’s negligence.

In cases where the death is due to someone else’s negligence, the victim’s family has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and hold the responsible parties accountable. If you are a California resident intending to file a wrongful death claim, learn about these common mistakes and why you should avoid making them.

Settling Your Case Without an Attorney

In times of hardship, it can be tempting to settle the case independently. However, this is one of the most common mistakes when filing a legal claim and exacerbates the stress you may already be experiencing.

Don’t fight this battle alone. Contact California wrongful death attorneys and let them handle the legal aspects of your case. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our wrongful death attorneys have the resources and qualifications to represent you, giving you the time you need to heal.

Family Infighting

The stress and pressure involved in a wrongful death lawsuit cause many families to argue over various issues, such as funeral arrangements or other estate matters.

While it’s natural to be emotional under pressure, you and your family must set aside your differences and focus on recovering. If you are having difficulty handling interaction and communication regarding a lawsuit due to grief, our wrongful death attorneys can remove the legal burden from your shoulders, so you have the time you need to grieve your loved one.   

Speaking to an Insurance Company

When dealing with their insurance providers, mistakes families make fall into one of these two categories: speaking to them before contacting a lawyer or letting multiple family members talk to company representatives.

Remember that an insurance company never has you or your family’s best interests in mind. Their priority is to minimize the amount of money they owe you, and they will attempt every tactic possible to avoid paying the compensation you deserve.

By getting family members to speak to their representatives – especially multiple members, who can contradict each other – insurance reps may gather statements and information they can use to reduce the compensation they offer or even deny your claim entirely.

Refer the reps to your attorneys, do not speak directly to them, and advise your family members not to talk to them either.

Accepting an Offer Too Early

Spend some time thinking about the costs involved in the death of your loved one. The total expenses likely include medical and funeral expenses, loss of future earnings – particularly if the deceased loved one was the family’s primary income earner – compensation for the pain and suffering endured, and more.

When filing a wrongful death claim, the settlement should adequately compensate you for all these factors. Since insurance companies will offer you as little as possible, their initial offers are seldom enough.

You must carefully consider when you should accept the compensation. Once you do, there is no going back to ask for additional funds. If you’re in doubt, ask for counseling from your attorneys; they can help you determine whether the compensation is worth accepting.

Speaking Publicly About the Situation (Even Online)

Depending on the circumstances, the situation may have garnered public attention, and local media organizations may attempt to reach you for statements or comments. While it may be tempting, don’t speak about the events to media organizations or in public settings, no matter how much you wish others to know what you’re going through.

Any public statements you make can be used against you during a trial or negotiations, potentially preventing you from getting the compensation you deserve.

Similarly, anything you post publicly on social media is equivalent to making a public statement. The content of your posts can be used against you, even if you later delete them; a third party can take screenshots and save evidence of your statements.

Maintain your privacy and avoid public statements both online and offline, at least until a settlement has been reached and you’ve received compensation.

Let Us Help You

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we understand how challenging it can be for the families of wrongful death victims. Entrust your legal representation to us; we will stand up for your rights and give you compassionate legal service and counsel. Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation.


6 Tips for Helping a Loved One With a Brain Injury

by Staff | August 2nd, 2021

Brain injuries are among the worst types of physical injuries a person can endure. Although they vary in severity, the most common is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is typically sustained due to blunt force trauma or a penetrating impact.

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Brain injury symptoms may be temporary or cause permanent damage. The severity of the symptoms correlates with the extent of the damage to the brain tissue, ranging from mild to severe. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headache increases in intensity
  • Vomiting or nausea

If your loved one has sustained a serious head injury, whether from an auto accident, slip and fall, or other circumstance, and they experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Types of Brain Injuries

Different brain injuries can elicit varying symptoms and impact the level of disability that occurs as a result. The three main types of brain injury are:

  • Closed head: The injury has no visible head wound.
  • Open wound: The injury has an open wound, and the brain is vulnerable to penetration.
  • Crushing brain: This injury occurs when the brain is crushed between objects.

The most common type of brain injury is closed head, and the extent of the injury is not always immediately apparent, often leading people to postponed medical treatment. This can, unfortunately, lead to serious health complications and long-term disability.

Caring For a Loved One With a Brain Injury

If a family member, friend, or loved one sustained a TBI or another type of brain injury, it’s natural to feel lost or not know what to do. Here are things you can do to help them, making their lives and yours more manageable.

1.    Learn About Brain Injuries

The first thing you should do is gather basic information on the types of brain injuries and the severity of side effects. This can help you meet your loved one’s needs, so you can recognize changes in their personality and worsening symptoms.

2.    Help Them Organize Their Lives

One of the most common side effects of a TBI is memory loss. Although the severity varies depending on the individual, most cases involve situations where your loved ones forget where their belongings are or become unable to remember names, dates, appointments, or everyday tasks.

There are many ways you can help them reintroduce organization into their lives:

  • Encourage them to use lists, agendas, or memo applications.
  • Label cabinets, appliances, drawers, and other furniture so they can find what they need.
  • Keep photo albums with names, dates of birth, and other information they might want to remember.

3.    Don’t Let Them Flounder

Another common side effect of a brain injury is the constant sensation of fatigue and a lack of motivation to get outside or do anything. This may cause anxiety or depression, further reinforcing the sensations of fatigue.

Take them for a walk in a calming place like a park or nature preserve. Organize outings like family picnics or day trips to the lake to give them some fresh air and light socialization. However, avoid large crowds or extremely busy locations as this can be stressful or overwhelming for someone recovering from a TBI.

4.    Be Proactive

Sustaining a brain injury can often leave someone feeling confused or out of place, creating feelings of discomfort, uncertainty, and helplessness.

In other words, they may not be able to ask for help as often as they should, out of fear of feeling like a burden. It is vital to be proactive and offer to help even when they do not ask for it. There are many things you can do to ease their burden, such as:

  • Run their errands and buy them supplies at a store.
  • Do dishes or laundry.
  • Clean the house.
  • Offer to cook or order food.

5.    Be Mindful During Conversations

Brain injury victims may not have the same conversational speed as before. They may feel they are thinking or processing words in slow motion and have trouble recalling the correct terms for things.

Avoid using misleading statements or becoming frustrated when they can’t find the word they need. Instead, let them take time, offer a hint, and give praise and reassurance when they do find their words.

Certain brain injury patients may interpret promises and expressions literally, such as believing you will return in exactly one minute if you tell them you’ll be back “in a minute.” Be mindful of that fact, especially if they were already prone to this behavior before their injury.

6.    Above All, Be Patient

A brain injury is a life-changing event that can completely alter the victim’s perception of life, time, and the world. From their point of view, an inability to do even the simplest tasks may be very frustrating.

Show them patience, understanding, and support, both practical and emotional. Helping them do tasks, giving them validation and comfort, and being a supportive presence can make a significant difference in their lives.

Although it isn’t always easy, remember that their condition often causes displays of hostility or impatience. Think of it as their injury talking and not as the intention to be hurtful or hostile.

Help Your Loved One Through This Challenging Time

Recovery may be a long process for a brain injury victim, but time, treatment, and adequate support are the ingredients for returning to a normal, healthy life. Unfortunately, loss of income and medical bills can add financial strain to an already stressful time.

If your loved one sustained a brain injury as the result of negligent behavior by another party, they may be eligible for damages to cover medical costs, lost income, or for pain and suffering.

Don’t hesitate to call our San Francisco brain injury lawyers for a free consultation to help your injured loved ones take back control of their lives and secure the financial compensation they deserve.


Why Every Driver Should Know About “Stop On Red” Week

by Staff | July 26th, 2021

Every year, hundreds of people are killed by drivers running a red light. In 2017, the annual death toll reached a 10-year high, with 939 Americans losing their lives in red-light running crashes. These impatient drivers also injure thousands of people every year.

Stop on Red Week is a national campaign to help save lives by educating drivers about the dangers of red-light running. This year, the movement is more critical than ever.

Post-Pandemic Dangers

After spending a year working from home, many drivers are returning to a daily commute. However, the roads they are driving may be more dangerous post-pandemic. Last year, the U.S. saw an 8% increase in motor vehicle crash deaths and injuries. The increase is even more shocking since the number of miles driven dropped by 13%. If the trend continues, each mile driven poses more risk for daily commuters.

The reduction in driving miles may have additional consequences. Your muscle memory and reflexive skills may have weakened from underuse during the pandemic. Drivers feel more stress and anxiety about traffic conditions because they are relatively unfamiliar with these situations now. As everyone readjusts to frequent driving, their skills will return. However, the adjustment period will increase the risks of the road in the short term.

Increased Speed Limits

It’s not just you; everyone is driving faster now. In the last year, the California state highway patrol doubled the number of citations issued for speeding over 100 mph.

Speeding is happening on local roads, too, not just highways. Road surveys have led to increased speed limits in many cities. This is because California used the 85th percentile method. State engineers measure the speeds of driving over a stretch of road, then base the speed limit on the rate that 85% of the vehicles are traveling.

Traffic Intersection Dangers

Intersection crashes are incredibly dangerous. They account for more than half of accident fatalities and injuries, even though intersection crashes only account for 35% of reported accidents. Red-light running and other risky behaviors lead to increased accident risk at intersections.

Some intersections are more dangerous than others. Trees and buildings may obstruct your line of sight, and speed limit changes may lead to driving too fast for the conditions of the road. Drivers may also turn to distracting devices while stopped and fail to return to full attention at the change of the light.

Additionally, drivers at intersections need to look for more than just other cars. Pedestrians and bicyclists are particularly vulnerable when involved in a traffic collision.

In 2018, pedestrians or bicyclists were involved in 28% of intersection accident fatalities.

Stopping on Red

Installing a traffic signal improves the safety of intersections, reducing the number of traffic accident injuries and fatalities. However, intersections with traffic signals still account for thousands of deaths every year, and red-light running causes about 25% of them.

Most drivers recognize red-light running as hazardous driving behavior. A traffic safety survey showed that 85% of drivers view the practice as very dangerous. Shockingly, nearly 33% of those drivers have run a red light in the last 30 days.

Red light running is primarily the result of distracted or aggressive driving. Many drivers choose to run a red light when they could stop safely. This may be because they feel they are unlikely to be punished for the infraction. Just under half of the drivers surveyed felt police would pull them over for running a red light.

Get Involved

You can do more to increase intersection safety than simply stopping at red lights. Stop on Red week is the perfect time to get involved with local and national lawmakers regarding road safety.

One way to support intersection safety is by campaigning for improved enforcement of red lights. Red-light cameras can reduce crash rates by 21% and fatalities by 14%. When installed at appropriate locations, red-light cameras save lives. 

You can also spread the word on the shocking statistics related to red-light crashes. The National Coalition for Safer Roads has social media posts that you can share on your accounts to increase awareness. The more people know about the dangerous and real-life consequences of red-light running, the more likely they are to stop safely.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers to Arrange Your Free Consultation

If you know firsthand the damage that red-light running causes, don’t suffer alone. The skilled San Francisco car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve after your accident. Contact us today for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.


How California Might Tackle the Dramatic Increase in Road Deaths

by Staff | July 19th, 2021

In an unexpected turn of events, the 2020 pandemic and accompanying quarantine that kept drivers off the road has contributed to a rise in road accidents. Many of these accidents resulted in severe injury or death for the parties involved.

California is taking new measures to tackle the dramatic increase in road deaths and protect citizens as they get back out on the road after lockdown. Learn about these prevention measures and how Berg Injury Lawyers can help you in the event of a car accident.

What Caused an Increase in Road Deaths?

In 2020, California went into lockdown. Pre-pandemic, congested traffic conditions forced motorists to slow down and be alert to issues on the road. Once the quarantine order took effect, the majority of drivers stayed home, leaving roads virtually empty. Consequently, this lack of traffic led to motorists driving at higher-than-average speeds and becoming less attuned to road conditions that they would typically pay attention to. This phenomenon has resulted in a 14% increase in fatality rates for car accidents nationwide.

How is California Approaching the Problem?

California lawmakers are working on ways to lessen the number of deaths in car accidents. Although there are many proposals in the pipeline, there are three standout solutions that may be enacted in the coming year that address the problem of dangerous speeding on California’s roads.

1.    Speed Limit Changes

In California, speed limits are set by agencies using Engineering and Traffic surveys (E&Ts). One of the most common ways of establishing a speed limit is by using the 85th percentile speed. This is when the speed limit is set at whatever rate 85% of traffic is moving at.

Lawmakers want to change this rule, allow municipalities more freedom to set speed limits, and require the E&Ts to consider areas that have formerly been overlooked, such as work zones, school zones, and areas where seniors or other vulnerable populations use the roadway.

2.    Installing Speed Cameras

Currently, California has a ban on automated speed enforcement. Automated speed enforcement usually takes the form of speed cameras. Lawmakers are looking into removing this ban and piloting speed camera programs in areas that pose the most significant risk to drivers and pedestrians. This includes putting cameras on dangerous streets and in school and work zones.

3.    Harsher Consequences for Speeding

During the first year of the pandemic, highway patrol officers issued 31,600 tickets for drivers going over 100 mph, almost double the pre-pandemic number of citations. California police departments continue to crack down on dangerous speeding by issuing higher fines in greater volume to deter drivers from being reckless.

Common Injuries That Result From Speed-Induced Car Crashes

Speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. Even if you survive a collision caused by speeding, you are much more likely to have serious, life-altering injuries. The types of injuries that are commonly sustained in speed-induced car accidents are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Dismemberment
  • Permanent disfiguration
  • Spinal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limbs
  • Death

The consequences of any car accident can be dire, but when speeding is a factor, the probability of severe, long-lasting injury increases exponentially.

What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Car Accident?

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, seek the help of a California car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can aid you in seeking compensation for your injuries, so you don’t have to worry about paying medical bills while trying to heal.

Due to changing traffic laws brought on by the post-pandemic rise in traffic deaths, it is important to reach out to an attorney with knowledge about the evolving legal landscape surrounding car accidents. This can help ensure you don’t foot the bills for an accident caused by a speeding driver.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a car accident, contact the legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers today. Set up a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys to review your case and determine the best course of legal action. We will fight for your rights and help you navigate California’s complex traffic laws, allowing you to receive the compensation you are entitled to.


How a Proposed Law Could Make Intersections Safer for California Cyclists

by Staff | July 12th, 2021

The Safety Stop Bill (AB 122) aims to make intersections safer for California cyclists by letting them treat stop signs as yield signs. When a bicyclist gets to a stop sign, and there are other vehicles, they must yield and give the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection. If there aren’t other vehicles, they do not have to come to a complete stop.

Among bicyclists, this is already a common courtesy. Many of them support it, including police officers and bicycle-related associations. While not everyone is for it, this proposed law protects everyone on the streets, including drivers.

An Explanation of the Safety Stop

Safety stops are known as the “Idaho stop” because Idaho was the first state to have this bicycle law passed in 1982, which some other states have already assumed. Idaho’s law allows cyclists to treat stop signs as a yield sign and red lights as a stop sign. The broader adoption of this policy is a first step toward recognizing that cyclists use the roads differently from vehicle drivers and adjusting traffic laws accordingly.

Benefits of Implementing this Law in California

For cyclists, this proposed law can make sharing the road with other bicyclists and vehicles safer.

●      Align Laws With Other States

Aside from Idaho, Delaware, Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, and Oregon also have similar traffic laws. Utah and North Dakota have recently passed similar safety stop laws as did Oklahoma.

Some of these states have already seen significant changes in bicycle safety as a result. For example, Delaware saw a 23% decrease in bicyclist injuries. California will join other states in policing bicycles on the streets and making the roads a safer place for cyclists.

●      Boosts Safety for Bicyclists

According to a 2010 DePaul study, most bicyclists slow down and pass stop signs instead of stopping entirely, with only 1 out of 50 bicyclists coming to a complete stop. Safety laws like Idaho’s yield law led to a 14.5% decrease in bicycle injuries a year after introduction.

Rolling through a stop sign makes the journey easier for cyclists than completely stopping and regaining momentum. For the sake of safety, using stop signs as yield signs benefits cyclists.

●      Protects Drivers

Many car accidents occur at intersections because of confusion among drivers and bicyclists. Drivers do not always come to a full stop, and bicyclists move at a momentum where they cannot always stop on time at an intersection. Sometimes, drivers do not see bicyclists before they make a turn at an intersection. As a result, drivers regard bicyclists as disrespectful of the law. 

If the Safety Stop law passes, drivers can fully understand that bicyclists must yield to other vehicles and wait until their turn. The law gives bicyclists a head start, making themselves visible to other drivers, preventing crashes if a driver needs to turn in the same direction as the bicyclist.

The Safety Stop Law is Safer for Drivers and Bicyclists

Approximately 70% of bicyclists who rode through stop signs did so for safety reasons, as reported in a recent study. The study also found that drivers more often break the traffic safety law.

Drivers will have to learn to adapt to the new law and better recognize bicyclists on the streets. Transportation is changing as a society pivots more toward walking and bicycling rather than a heavy reliance on vehicles. Legalizing the Safety Stop law will make intersections safer for bicyclists and drivers in California.

A Local Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Until the law passes, California still requires bicyclists to come to a complete stop and follow the same rules of the road as drivers. If you are injured in a car or bicycle accident in California, you need an experienced attorney in your corner. A car accident can result in serious injuries, incurring medical expenses, and wages lost for time off work. The consequences may be especially severe for a cyclist involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. California car accident attorneys can help you understand your rights following a collision. With four decades of experience, Berg Injury Lawyers are skilled in many related practice areas, including car accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury cases. Contact us today to request a no-obligation, free consultation.


The Surprising Ways COVID Made U.S. Drivers More Dangerous

by Staff | July 5th, 2021

In March 2020, governments worldwide instigated nationwide lockdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic. People stayed home, traffic lessened, and there were fewer cars on the roads. The National Highway Safety Administration reported traffic deaths decreased by 2% in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. After June 2020, the data showed a significant shift.

As traffic volumes decreased, the deaths per mile increased by 31%. Although staying home kept many people safe, the pandemic created unexpected dangers for people on the roads.

6 Surprising Ways Covid Made U.S. Drivers More Dangerous

The statewide lockdowns eased traffic in the early months of 2020. The open roads and the emotional state of drivers during the height of the pandemic influenced how people drove, making some drivers reckless.

●      Speeding

Since the number of cars on the road was lower during the COVID-19 pandemic, vast stretches of highways and streets were empty. The lockdowns also removed more risk-averse drivers who previously contributed to safer streets.

With fewer cars on the road, more people began speeding, putting other drivers, pedestrians, and themselves in danger. Many police departments around the country decreased the number of police officers patrolling the streets because of the lockdowns and for their safety. The reduced police presence and less traffic made for a deadly combination.

The California Highway Patrol noted an increase in speeding by 87% from March to April 2020. In San Francisco, unsafe speeding was the most common factor in fatal car collisions.

●      Impaired Driving

Lockdowns disrupted many people’s daily lives and routines. According to public health officials, some people began using drugs and drinking more alcohol to cope with stress, boredom, and anxiety.

64.7% of fatal car accidents involved at least one drug in the victims’ systems. Around the country, alcohol and drugs were contributing factors to an increase in car accidents.

●      Distracted Driving

Lengthy lockdowns made people more likely to be distracted while driving. After not driving for several months, it takes time to get back into defensive driving habits.

●      Pedestrian Accidents

In 2020, the U.S. saw 2,957 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, roughly a 20% increase from 2019. This number is particularly troubling when you consider there were far fewer drivers on the streets in 2020.

●      Increase in Aggressive Driving

The stress, anxiety, and depression from the COVID-19 pandemic can affect drivers’ mental state, leading to increased aggressive driving and disrespect for other drivers and pedestrians on the road. With more aggressive driving, there is an increased possibility of accidents and injuries.

●      Fewer People Wearing Seatbelts

22,215 vehicle occupants were killed in 2019 U.S. car accidents, and of those, 47% were not wearing a seatbelt. It’s evident that seatbelts save lives, but unfortunately, in 2020, fewer drivers in the U.S. buckled up, potentially contributing to increased fatality rates.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, between March 17, 2020, and July 18, 2020, 40.8% of drivers drove unbelted, compared to just 24.6% the previous quarter.

How to Stay Safe on the Streets During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide decreases and vaccination rates steadily increase, it’s inevitable that more drivers return to the roads. After long periods of inactivity, boredom, and staying home, some drivers may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors on the road.

Take steps to protect yourself and your family when driving by being wary of other drives on the road. You can drive defensively by anticipating the moves of other drivers and being aware of your surroundings at all times. Be on the lookout for drivers who speed, weave between lanes, or run red lights and stop signs.

Despite your best efforts, accidents can still occur due to negligence by another driver. If you’re  injured in a collision due to a driver’s reckless actions, our San Francisco car accident lawyers can help you file a claim for compensation.

Work With an Experienced California Car Accident Attorney

Many people have lost their lives during the pandemic, and tragically some of these losses are due to vehicle accidents. If you are involved in an auto accident, our car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can provide you with a no-cost review of your case so that you can hold a reckless driver accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve.


Can You Sue a Landlord for Injuries You Suffer in a Rental Unit?

by Staff | June 28th, 2021

In most states, the landlord of a property has a legal obligation to maintain the safety and security of the tenants they rent to. This means they must fix things such as broken stairs, weak railings, collapsing decks, or poor lighting to keep the rental free of hazardous conditions.

If your landlord fails in this regard and you become injured, they may be subject to premises liability laws and owe you compensation for your injury. Learn who can sue a landlord for personal injuries, how premises liability laws factor into your case, what type of compensation you may be entitled to, and how a slip and fall attorney can help.

Who Can Sue a Landlord?

A long list of people can sue a landlord for injuries incurred on the property. The list includes renters, tenants, visitors, workers, and even trespassers. Tenants or renters live on the property and are the most common plaintiff in landlord-tenant personal injury cases.

Visitors, such as family and friends of the tenant, may be entitled to compensation if they are injured while visiting the property. Workers such as landscaping crews, exterminators, and utility company employees can sue landlords for injuries they sustain while on the premises. Trespassers also fall under the list of people who may file a claim if they are injured in a rental property.

Examples of Unsafe Conditions

Many unsafe conditions may cause injury on a rental property. Common examples include:

  • Slips and falls on slick surfaces
  • Tripping on uneven stairs or obstacles that are hidden but easily fixable
  • Falling through rotted or weak floorboards
  • Falling on broken stairs
  • Injuries from exposure to dangerous chemicals
  • Injuries from a broken or weak railing
  • Burns from scalding water
  • Injuries from porch or deck collapse
  • Injuries due to inadequate or non-existent lighting

Slip and Fall Accident Injuries

The most common type of personal injury claim affecting tenants and landlords is slip and fall accidents. These types of accidents happen when a person slips or falls and suffers a personal injury because of unsafe conditions on a property. The types of injuries a person suffers due to a slip and fall range from minor to severe. Injuries might include broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, muscle injuries like strains, tears, sprains, scrapes, wounds, or bruising.

Premises Liability Laws

The most significant legal factor in determining whether or not you can file a slip and fall claim against the property’s landlord rests in California’s premises liability laws. To win your case, you must show that the defendant owns the property where the accident occurred, that they were negligent in maintaining the property, and that their negligence was a major contributing factor to your injuries.

Negligence occurs when the property owner fails to:

  • Repair the unsafe condition
  • Give an adequate warning about the dangers
  • Protect tenants, visitors, and workers from the hazard

Landlords in California are required to perform thorough inspections of their properties before renting to a tenant to uncover and repair hazardous conditions. If the landlord fails to discover, fix, and warn the new tenant of a hazard, they may be held liable.

Keep in mind that a landlord is not held liable for injuries that occur once you are in possession of the property. Landlords cannot perform surprise inspections on their tenants. Therefore, if a dangerous condition arises after you move in and you do not inform the landlord and then become injured, they are unlikely to be liable for your injuries.

The two exceptions to this situation are if your landlord is made aware of the hazard and fails to address it or if the accident occurs in a common area such as the hallway, stairs, or property elevators.

Personal Injury Compensation

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident due to landlord negligence, it is best to speak with experienced California slip and fall attorneys as soon as possible. Premises liability laws are complex, and cases of this nature are best handled by knowledgeable personal injury lawyers who specialize in the practice area.

An experienced attorney can help get you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact Berg Injury Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to landlord negligence, contact the knowledgeable team at Berg Injury Lawyers today. During your free consultation, we will go over the facts of your case and help you consider your legal options. We have been representing victims’ rights for 40 years and will work to obtain the settlement you deserve.