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.
December 30th, 2019|
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) affect victims and their entire families, especially when victims are the primary income-earners in their households. TBIs can range in severity, and moderate to severe TBIs can make it difficult or impossible for victims to work. Some may even be unable to live independently and require assistance from family members or healthcare professionals to complete routine, daily tasks.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ve seen how devastating TBIs can be for victims and their families. In addition to being emotionally damaging to everyone involved, they can also be extremely expensive. The healthcare costs associated with TBIs can be too much for many families to bear, especially when their affected loved ones can no longer work and earn the paychecks they depended on.
Our California brain injury lawyers know all the expenses associated with TBIs, and we fight to help victims and their families get fair compensation. When victims contact us for help, we review all the facts of their claims, including how much their TBIs will cost them and their loved ones in medical bills and lost wages, present and future. We also factor in victims’ pain and suffering due to their injuries, impairments, and disabilities.
Then, we negotiate with the insurance company to get a fair settlement. We know that insurance companies are reluctant to give victims the money they deserve after accidents and injuries, but we don’t take no for an answer. When they refuse, we don’t hesitate to take them to court.
Contact us today for a free consultation if you or someone you love suffered a TBI. We’re here to help.
December 30th, 2019|
Although San Francisco and the Bay Area rarely experience freezing temperatures, winter weather and its impact on roadways can still be a concern for people living throughout Northern California. Whether you’re driving through some of the mountainous regions of the state this winter, or you’re taking a road trip to stay with friends and family for the holidays, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with winter driving and the best ways to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
Inclement weather is one of the most common causes of auto accidents, and the accumulation of snow and especially black ice on roadways means less traction for tires and increased distances required for slowing down and stopping. The combination of those effects makes it easier for drivers to lose control of their vehicles and skid, spin out, or be unable to stop in time before colliding with vehicles in front of them.
Be Cautious and Safe This Winter
At Berg Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to help injured drivers and their passengers get compensation after crashes, but we know that the best course of action is to prevent crashes altogether. You can stay safer and do your part in making roadways less dangerous this winter by following these steps:
Modern advances in vehicle safety technology, such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, all-wheel drive, stability control, and innovations in winter tire design have made cars, trucks, and SUVs safer to drive in winter weather. However, those safety features shouldn’t be taken for granted, and it’s important to always drive cautiously when there’s a chance that roadways may contain snow or ice.
What Are Your Options If You’re Hurt in a Crash Caused by Snow or Ice?
Although winter weather makes roadways more dangerous, it doesn’t mean that accidents are a foregone conclusion. Like most auto accidents, winter crashes are often due to one primary factor: driver error. When other motorists fail to take into consideration the road conditions, visibility, and the effect freezing temperatures have on their vehicles, they put themselves and other motorists like you in danger. In addition, dangerous road conditions may be caused by negligent governmental bodies, whether it’s at the city, state, or even federal level, when they fail to clear roads.
And just like any other type of crash, our California auto accident lawyers are here to help injured victims get the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love was hurt in a winter crash that was caused by a driver who didn’t take the necessary precautions, or a governmental body responsible for road maintenance and safety who failed to do their duty, you may be eligible to get compensation for expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Why Call Berg Injury Lawyers After a Car Accident?
After an accident that wasn’t your fault, you need compensation for what you’ve gone through, but you may be unable to pursue it on your own—especially if you’re seriously injured, hospitalized, or have a long path to recovery. In addition, the insurance company will start building its case against you from day one in hopes of reducing or denying your claim. One misstep during the often months-long claims process could jeopardize your claim.
When you get our legal team on your side, you won’t have to worry about the insurance company’s phone calls, trying to collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault, or making a statement that can be used against you by the insurance adjuster. We’ll handle everything from the moment you hire us until the moment you get your check. You’ve been through enough already—now you deserve a chance to recover and spend time with your family. Contact us today for a free consultation. We know what you’re going through, and we know how to help.
December 23rd, 2019|
The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes a percentage of every paycheck earned by workers in the U.S. That money is later paid back to workers in the form of Social Security retirement benefits. However, some people need that money sooner rather than later, especially if they suffer a serious injury or illness before retirement age that prevents them from working.
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are designed to replace lost income for people whose health prevents them from earning normal paychecks. But even when workers have paid into the SSA’s system for years and years, the SSA doesn’t always approve people’s SSD claims. While it’s true that some people try to scam the SSA and get benefits when they’re perfectly healthy, many otherwise valid claims are unfairly denied.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we believe that anyone suffering from an injury or illness that interferes with their livelihood deserves access to the money they’ve paid into the Social Security system. It’s our goal to help applicants get their claims approved, whether they’re filing for the first time or appealing the SSA’s decision. Our California Social Security Disability lawyers know what the SSA looks for when approving or denying claims, and use that knowledge to our clients’ advantage.
It’s important to have an experienced law firm on your side when it comes to applying to collect the SSD benefits you’ve earned over the course of your career. There are many pitfalls that can result in claims being denied, and we can help you avoid them. Contact us today for a free consultation.
December 23rd, 2019|
Whether you are taking a roadtrip for vacation, or are visiting family for the holidays, traveling with small children can often be frustrating, especially when you need to keep your eyes on the road and be ready to react to bad drivers at any moment. Being distracted by cries of “I’m bored”, “are we there yet?”, or “my sibling won’t stop poking me” are the last thing you need while driving!
The team at Berg Injury Lawyers know how that can be, which is why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to keeping your kids entertained on your next car trip.
Consider this your checklist when you next pack for a long car ride.
- Kid-friendly books and/or activity books, or a kid-friendly electronic device such a tablet, portable DVD player, MP3 player with headphones, or other child-friendly electronic device, with the charger or spare batteries
- Healthy snacks that won’t make a hard-to-clean mess if they spill
- A lap desk—cookie sheets make a cheap and easy alternative that most people already have at home
- Toys small enough to easily play with while seated, but large enough not to fall and become lost underneath the seats
- Paper towels, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer to clean up messes
- Garbage bags
- A travel pillow
- A disposable camera, which kids can use to take pictures out the window
Tips for Traveling with Kids
These tips are parent-tested and approved.
- Get your kid involved in packing: allow each child to select for themselves at least one item (toy, game, or book) to bring along.
- Make sure children requiring car seats are secured and fastened in. A study from 2015 found a startling 95% of parents make a mistake when installing a car seat, and a cranky child may be motivated to escape from their seat while their parents’ eyes are on the road.
- Depending on how many children you have, and if any are old enough to sit up front, consider having one parent sit in the back to make it easier to get face-to-face time with the children.
- If your child is prone to motion sickness, consider kid-friendly audiobooks rather than books or screen-time. Many libraries offer audiobooks for check-out, and several apps allow library-card holders to download audiobooks to their phones or tablets for free.
- Plan your stopping points for lunch and bathroom breaks ahead of time, and remember that you will need to stop more frequently with small children. Plan to stop for a bathroom break around 20-30 minutes after a meal stop.
- Consider making “snack jewelry” by looping circular snacks, such as cheerios, pretzels, or candy, onto a piece of string and allow your kid to snack at their leisure.
- Reward good behavior by portioning out a new snack or toy every hour, instead of making all of them available at the start of the trip.
- Avoid the “are we there yet?” with a trip tracker. Print out a map of your route and at each stopping point or major landmark (such as a state border), have your child place a sticker on the map so they can see for themselves how far they’ve gone, and how far they have left to go.
Conversation Games You Can Play Without Paper or Pens
When you don’t have toys or activity books, or when your kids lose interest, everyone can have fun with these games that don’t require any pieces or materials, just players.
One player thinks up an object, but does not tell the other players what it is. The other players can ask up to 20 yes-or-no questions to try to guess what the mystery object is. Examples of questions could be, “Is it smaller than a person? Is it an animal?” and so on.
Guess the Word
One player can trace a short word on the arm, back, or palm of another player using only their finger, and the player being written on must guess what that word is by the shape of the letters as they are being traced.
The Alphabet Game
Each player must find every letter of the alphabet on road signs, store signs, billboards, and so on (license plates cannot be used). However, they must be found in order. For example, if a player spots the letter ‘x’ before they’ve found a ‘w’ and every letter before it, it cannot be used. The first player to spot every letter of the alphabet wins.
License Plate Abbreviations
Players must come up with what the random letters found on a license plate of a passing car stand for. For example, a license plate that reads “TSD” might be imagined to stand for “The Silly Dog”. Whichever player comes up with the most amusing answer wins.
After selecting a category, (ex: food, animals, cartoon characters, etc.) players take turns coming up with one answer for each letter of the alphabet, in order, that fits the category. For example, if the category is food, answers might be apple, banana, cake, and so on.
The Picnic Game
Players take turns describing what food items they are bringing to a picnic, with each player adding one additional item starting with the next letter of the alphabet. The longer the game goes on, the longer the list grows, and the more items each player must remember. For example, the first player must remember “apples”, the second player must remember “apples and bananas”, the third player must remember “apples, bananas, and cake”, and so on.
A, My Name is Anne
Players take turns moving through the alphabet and filling in the phrases, “My name is”, “I come from”, and “I have a suitcase full of” with words that start with that letter of the alphabet. For example, the first player might say, “My name is Anne, I come from Alabama, and I have a suitcase full of apples,” while the second player might say, “My name is Bert, I come from Bermuda, and I have a suitcase full of bananas.”
Each player takes turns supplying one sentence of a story, forcing players to stretch their imagination when another player takes the story in a new direction.
The Counting Game
Players taking turns counting, with the goal being to count up to 20. The first player says “one,” and then another player must say “two” and another “three” and so on, but players do not have to respond in a particular order. However, if more than one player responds at the same time, all players must start over from “one”, and if more than five seconds pass without any player responding, all players must start over from “one.”
Download Our Free Activity Book
If you are looking for more ways to keep your kids entertained in the car, the team at Berg Injury Lawyers has prepared a fun, free activity book. Download this book, print it out before your trip, and enjoy! Our book includes:
- Coloring pages
- Word searches
- Mad libs
After a Car Accident, Call Berg Injury Lawyers
Car accidents have the potential to be devastating, whether they occur on a roadtrip while you’re hundreds of miles from home, or on your daily commute. If you or someone you love were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, we want to help you. When you trust the experienced California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ll work hard to build a claim that proves your accident wasn’t your fault and get you the compensation you need to try to get your life back to normal.
December 16th, 2019|
As Northern Californians, we’re lucky to avoid the harsh winters that other parts of the country experience every year. We’re also only a short drive away from warm temperatures in the Southern part of the state, which means boating season can last all year long.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to help people who are injured in boat accidents get the compensation they deserve, no matter what time of year their accidents occur. We know that boat accidents can happen on days when the water is crowded in the middle of summer, and also during the slow parts of the year when the ocean, lakes, and rivers are calm.
Accidents don’t abide by a schedule, and they don’t discriminate when it comes to time, place, or location. Simply put—if you’ve been hurt in a boat accident, you need experienced legal representation on your side, and our California boat accident lawyers are here to help. We know that you may have suffered serious injuries that result in expensive medical bills, and you may be too hurt to go back to work.
It’s important to have a law firm on your side that cares about your recovery and that knows how to maximize your chances of getting compensation. When you contact us about your boat accident injury, we’ll collect evidence to determine who was at fault and that proves your injuries were caused by the accident itself. Then, we’ll find out how much money you’re owed and negotiate with the insurance company to get you paid. Contact us today for a free consultation.