5 Tips for Motorcycle Road Share

by Staff | May 17th, 2021

Whether you are commuting to or from work or heading out for fun, sharing the roadways with motorcyclists is common. Unfortunately, road sharing results in a higher number of accidents daily, often leading to devastating injuries or death.

According to statistics, California has the highest number of registered motorcycles of all 50 states, so the likelihood of sharing the roadway with more than one is exceptionally high. A large percentage of collisions occur due to passenger vehicle distracted driving or failure to see a motorcyclist, so learning how to avoid these is the best way to get started in creating a safer state when it comes to road sharing.

When an accident does happen, you’ll need to seek legal advice to determine what your options are going forward. Contact a knowledgeable legal team specializing in motorcycle law and accidents so you can receive the thorough and experienced legal help you need.

With so many motorcycles on the road, keeping everyone safe is critical. You can do your part by staying alert and aware. Here are the 5 tips for motorcycle road share, creating a safer commute for everyone.

1. Stay Aware and Check Your Blind Spots

When in a passenger vehicle, be on the lookout for motorcyclists sharing the road and keep your distance. Knowing where these are at all times can help you stay focused and keep everyone safe.

One of the top causes of motorcycle accidents is a car driver’s failure to notice a motorcycle in time, often leading to severe injuries or even death. Passenger vehicle drivers often experience inattentional blindness; when the brain doesn’t always register what it is seeing. A motorcycle is an unexpected sight, often causing the brain to disregard or fail to notice it. Train yourself to look specifically for motorcycles as you drive, making it a habit to counteract inattentional blindness.

Double-check your blind spots every time before changing lanes. Motorcycles are easy to miss in a quick glance toward your blind spots, so make a conscious effort to check twice. Use your signal light to change lanes to alert a motorcyclist who may be driving at a faster pace.

2. Stay Back and Avoid Tailgating

When a motorcycle is ahead of you, allow for plenty of space between you and avoid getting too close. Just like a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle may have to slow or stop suddenly due to emergencies or change lanes to avoid an accident.

Motorcyclists may not always use their brakes right away but instead slow down by downshifting or relaxing the throttle, so always gauge your speed and distance. To be safe, stay two car lengths away from a motorcycle at all times.

This distance also helps if a motorcyclist’s turn signal does not self-cancel out. Many motorcycles do not have turn signals that shut off after a certain amount of time. Keeping your distance allows you plenty of time to react if a motorcyclist does decide to make a turn.

3. Be Extra Cautious in Bad Weather and at Night

Rain, sleet, and snow make the roads extra treacherous and slippery for two-wheeled riders. Windy conditions may cause motorcyclists to lose stability in their lanes, pushing them too close to other cars and barriers.

Both weather conditions and nighttime driving reduce visibility, requiring extra caution on your part to ensure you don’t miss a motorcycle near your car. Slow down in poor weather and at night, and increase your following distance. Turn off your high beams when a motorcycle approaches you, and refrain from passing if possible.

4. Use Extreme Caution at Intersections

Busy or blind intersections are dangerous for cars and trucks, but they can be deadly for motorcycles. Slow down, turn down your radio, and come to a complete stop at every intersection. Look both ways twice before proceeding, and pay attention to the flow of traffic. Proceed slowly through the intersection. Many drivers find it helpful to crack their window open and listen for the sound of a motorcycle approaching at an intersection.

5. Stay in Your Lane

No matter how small a motorcycle may be, they are entitled to the same amount of space in a lane as a car or truck. Treat a motorcycle exactly like another passenger or commercial vehicle and follow the same rules of the road. Do not try to share a lane with a motorcycle, and remain slow and steady while passing.

Contact Your California Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

All motorists are responsible for driving safely, looking out for others, sharing the roadways, and obeying traffic laws. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to severe injury if involved in a collision with a car or truck. It only takes one small move or action to cause an accident, so stay safe by following these tips every time you venture out on the roadways.

If you, a loved one, or someone else you know is involved in a motorcycle accident, seek legal advice from our experienced California motorcycle accident lawyers today. We’ll review your case, negotiate with the insurance companies, and advise you on how to proceed.

How to Tell if a Lawyer Is Legitimate?

by Staff | May 10th, 2021

While you might assume that a lawyer with a website and fancy office is legitimate and legally allowed to practice the law, there have been numerous cases where people have posed as lawyers for decades. These fraudulent lawyers have taken clients’ hard-earned money, lost important cases, or made critical mistakes in essential paperwork.

Before meeting a lawyer and agreeing to work with them, it’s essential you do some due diligence to ensure they have all the credentials they claim to. Whether you received a serious injury in a car accident or lost a loved one in an accident and need to file a Wrongful Death lawsuit, it’s essential that you work with a legitimate, experienced lawyer like those at Berg Injury Lawyers.

Why Should You Check a Lawyer’s Credentials?

To become a lawyer, you must attend law school, graduate, and pass the state bar where you plan to practice. Completing law school and proving your knowledge by passing the bar are essential since it demonstrates that a lawyer has a complete understanding of their state’s laws.

If someone claims to be a lawyer but has not gone through this process, it’s unlikely they have the expertise necessary to navigate the court system successfully. They could make significant mistakes, causing you to lose your case while also taking your money.

Another reason to check your lawyer’s background is that many people who lie about being lawyers also lie about other aspects of their lives or participate in identity theft or fraud.

When you work with a lawyer on a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney-client relationship is essential and must be based on trust. If you later learn that your lawyer is fake and has stolen money from you or used your information to take out a line of credit, you may need to enter into another lawsuit or partake in criminal proceedings to protect your finances.

How to Tell if Your Lawyer Is Legitimate?

While checking your lawyer’s legitimacy adds an additional step during an already stressful time in your life, it’s relatively straightforward.

Each state, including California, has a registry of all lawyers who have passed the bar and can legally practice law. When you speak with your lawyer, ask them for their full name, and, if it’s a common name, ask for their state bar number. You can then input their name into the State Bar of California’s Attorney Search engine and confirm that the name your attorney gave you matches the bar number. The search engine gives you their office address, contact information, where they went to law school, and their license status.

If the status of the license states Active, and all the information from the website matches the information your attorney gave you, then your lawyer is likely legitimate. You can also see when the lawyer joined the California bar. If the website states they joined over 20 years ago, but the lawyer appears to be around 35, that could be a sign they are not who they say they are.

Choosing the Right Lawyer

If you need a San Francisco personal injury lawyer, you should do some research to ensure you choose the best lawyer for your needs. First, ensure that the lawyer you choose has experience with similar cases to yours. For example, if you suffered a slip and fall injury at a hotel, ask your lawyer about their experience with those types of cases.

Once you’ve confirmed their experience and legitimacy, schedule a free consultation where you can get to know them. If you’re happy with what you read, schedule a free consultation where you can get to know them. During your meeting, be sure to ask questions. Depending on the case, you could need to work with your lawyer for several years, so you want to make sure you feel comfortable discussing personal matters with them.

Another thing to confirm at your consultation is how you can contact your lawyer with questions or concerns about your case. A legitimate lawyer always makes themselves available to their clients and addresses concerns in a timely manner. 

Work With a Legitimate, Experienced Personal Injury Firm

If you’re in Northern California and require legal advice about an injury you’ve sustained because of someone else’s negligence, contact Berg Injury Lawyers today. With over 35 years of experience, our team can help you navigate the complicated legal process of filing a personal injury claim and get you the compensation you deserve.

We’re happy to provide any information you would like to prove our legitimacy and encourage you to learn more about our qualifications. If you’d like to learn more about us or determine if your situation allows you to file a lawsuit, call us today to arrange a free consultation.

Can a Driver Be Impaired by OTC Drugs?

by Staff | May 3rd, 2021

If you were injured in a car crash, you might want to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, to receive compensation, you must show that the other driver’s negligence was at least a partial cause of the accident.

While there are many ways for a driver to be negligent, a commonly overlooked reason is driving after taking certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Can a Driver Be Impaired by OTC Drugs?

While not all OTC drugs affect driving, there are several that can significantly impair the ability to drive. However, many people don’t look at the side of the bottle or read about the side effects. Instead, they may try to drive with disastrous consequences.

If another driver hits your car while taking any of these OTC drugs, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and cover lost wages.

The FDA warns that these drugs can affect your driving abilities:

  • OTC drugs with codeine
  • Certain allergy medications, like Benadryl
  • Medicines that treat motion sickness
  • OTC sleeping medications
  • Some diet pills
  • Medication containing stimulants, including pseudoephedrine, caffeine, and ephedrine
  • Medicine for diarrhea
  • Any medication for relaxing muscles
  • Some cold medicines, particularly “nighttime” versions
  • Some cough medicines

Additionally, CBD consumption or smoking or eating marijuana before driving can also lead to accidents.

How OTC Drugs Can Impair a Driver

Many of the OTC drugs listed by the FDA cause tiredness, which could become deadly behind the wheel of a car. In 2017, 91,000 crashes occurred because of driver tiredness, with over 700 of them causing at least one fatality.

While it’s clear that OTC drugs marketed toward people living with insomnia cause tiredness, there are several others with sleepiness as a side-effect, including some cough medicines, motion sickness drugs, anything containing codeine, and some allergy medications.

Other side-effects caused by these medications that could impair your ability to drive include:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Altered perception
  • Decreased reaction time
  • Impaired coordination

If a driver suffers any of these side-effects while on the road, they could cause a serious accident. Driving requires strict focus and attention, and a driver closing their eyes for a few seconds or fumbling with the brake can mean the difference between avoiding an accident and causing a multi-car pile-up.

Can You Sue a Driver Who Took OTC Drugs?

Car accidents can cause significant injuries, from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) to broken bones to paralysis. In California, if you were in a car accident and received serious injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced lawyer.

The earlier you consult with a lawyer, the sooner you can receive your compensation. You should also consult with a lawyer before speaking with the insurance company since they may offer a low settlement or try to get you to admit fault.

Whether you were a passenger in the car or were in another vehicle, you can sue the driver. However, you must also prove that the driver was negligent. To prove negligence in California, you’ll need to prove that:

  • The driver breached their duty to drive safely
  • The driver’s breach caused your accident and injuries
  • The driver could have foreseen the consequences of their actions
  • You suffered demonstrable damages, either physical or financial

How a Lawyer Can Help

It’s essential that you work with a lawyer since proving negligence is challenging. Additionally, your lawyer might look for evidence that the driver had the OTC drug in their system. If you were a passenger in the car, you may have seen the driver take the drug earlier in the day. For passengers in other vehicles, your lawyer might speak with the driver’s family and friends to learn if they habitually take certain OTC drugs.

Ultimately, the driver’s actions behind the wheel can be enough to establish fault, even if proving that they took an OTC medication isn’t possible. Your lawyer will be able to determine the right path to get you the compensation you deserve.

Start Your Journey Toward Compensation

If you received serious physical injuries from a recent car crash, contact the California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers today. At your free consultation, we can review your case to determine your legal options. Our experienced team can look for evidence to show the other driver was impaired by OTC drugs or any other proof of negligence. Call us today to learn more.

How to Drive Safely in Work Zones

by Staff | April 19th, 2021

Thousands of work zone crashes occur each year in California, and more than 700 Americans are killed in these crashes annually. In most cases, those deaths are motorists. But approximately 15% of those deaths are work zone workers.

Work zones are a common fixture on California’s roads, so it’s important we take caution when driving through them, both for our safety and that of workers. Here are a few crucial safety tips for the next time you drive through a work zone.

Plan Your Route Wisely

If you know that your route includes a work zone, you can either leave earlier than usual or find an alternate route. Often, navigational apps or devices can show you whether there are significant delays on your route so you can plan accordingly.

Take Speed Limits Seriously

Speeding contributes to roughly 29% of work zone accidents. Speed limits are typically lower in work zones, and fines can be greater than in non-work zones. Whenever you see a speed limit posted in a work zone, do not exceed it, even if you don’t immediately see workers around your car.

Leave Adequate Space Between Yourself and Others

Drivers typically have less room in work zones than in normal traffic, so it’s important to leave adequate space between your vehicle and those in front of you. Approximately one-quarter of all fatal work zone crashes involve rear-end collisions, so be prepared for sudden stops.

If Possible, Change Lanes to Create Distance from Workers

If you notice workers near your lane, shift lanes whenever possible. If you’re on a single-lane road or you can’t shift lanes, slow down and keep as great a distance from workers as possible without veering outside your lane.

Be Especially Careful Around Buses and Large Trucks

Buses and large trucks are even more difficult to maneuver in work zones than passenger vehicles. Avoid making any sudden lane shifts in front of these large vehicles.

Follow Signs Posted by Road Crews

Most road crews post warning signs or place barrels and cones that tell drivers where they should drive. Obey these signs and make sure to drive only in designated areas.

Avoid Distraction at All Costs

Drivers should always strive to be alert and focused solely on the task of driving, but it’s doubly important when driving in work zones. Keep conversations with passengers or on hands-free devices to a minimum. Make sure you keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road ahead throughout the entire time you’re driving through a work zone.

If You’re Injured by a Negligent Driver, You Have Options

Whether you’re working or driving in a work zone, you have legal rights to compensation when you’re injured by a negligent driver. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience standing up for the rights of injured Californians.

If you’re considering your legal options, contact our California car accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation with our team. Tell us about the details of your case, and we can help you explore ways in which you can get the compensation you deserve for the costs of the injuries you’ve suffered.

Warning Signs You’re Too Tired to Drive

by Staff | April 12th, 2021

Every driver knows that dreaded feeling: your eyes are heavy, you’re yawning uncontrollably, and you’re still many miles from your destination.

Drowsy driving results in approximately 90,000 crashes and hundreds of deaths each year in the U.S. And tragically, these crashes are entirely preventable. That’s why it’s so important for drivers to recognize the signs of fatigue, so they can take action to save themselves and others from harm in a crash.

Red Flags of Fatigued Driving

If you notice any of the following warning signs, you could be putting yourself or others at risk of a crash:

  • Difficulty keeping eyes open
  • Nodding off
  • Frequent yawning and blinking
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Missing your exit or turn
  • Missing road signs or signals
  • Failing to remember the last few miles you’ve driven

Prevention Is the Best Solution

Ideally, drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel if they’re at risk of falling asleep. Strategies for preventing drowsy driving include:

  • Getting enough sleep. For most people, that’s between seven to nine hours per night.
  • Avoiding driving for long periods without taking breaks or switching drivers. Plan to take a 15-minute break every two hours on a long trip, and to never driver for more than eight hours in a day. 
  • If possible, avoiding driving during periods of peak sleepiness, which is generally between midnight and 6 a.m. and in the late afternoon.
  • Avoiding taking medications that cause drowsiness if you know you may need to drive while it’s in effect.

These steps can help you prevent fatigue, but it’s also worth knowing what to do if you get tired behind the wheel.

What to Do If You’re Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

If you find yourself getting tired or nodding off behind the wheel, it’s time to act. That means taking the first available exit or entering the first safe place to park available, then taking a nap. Even a brief nap can help you stay awake long enough to arrive safely to your destination, as long as that destination isn’t too far away.

If you have someone else riding in your vehicle who is able to drive, ask them to drive while you take a nap. Though some strategies like listening to loud music, drinking caffeine, or blasting cold air might have marginal benefits to help you stay awake, nothing will truly rejuvenate you as well as sleep. These methods should only be used to get you to a safe place to pull over, not to get you all the way to your destination if you are already feel drowsy.

How to Spot Drowsy Drivers on the Road

We can each do everything in our power to avoid driving while tired, but we’re still at the mercy of our fellow drivers’ efforts to stay safe.

If you notice that a vehicle is drifting into another lane or off the road, then you might be near a drowsy driver. When a driver drifts into your lane or endangers you or other motorists, then you have every right to honk your horn. If possible, slow down or speed up to create a safe distance between you and the other vehicle.

When Injured by a Negligent Driver, You Have Legal Options

If you’re injured in a crash through no fault of your own, you have the right to pursue compensation for all the damages you’ve experienced, including medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering. Don’t hesitate to contact the California car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review with our team.

How Do You Spot a Distracted Driver?

by Staff | April 5th, 2021

An average of eight people die in distracted driving crashes every single day in the U.S. And every year, around 400,000 people are injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.

The number of distracted driving accidents has only increased as smartphones are now commonplace for most U.S. consumers. That’s despite countless warnings from safety advocates, legislators, and law enforcement officials that drivers should never use mobile devices behind the wheel.

The chances are good that on your next commute, you’ll be sharing the road with someone whose focus is not on driving. But how do you identify these drivers so you can avoid them?

Identifying Distracted Drivers

A driver can be distracted visually, manually, or cognitively, and it’s important to recognize patterns of distracted driving so you can avoid being injured by one.

There are several signs that a driver is distracted, including:

  • Hunching over in the driver seat
  • The glow of a screen illuminating their face
  • Visibly interacting with a passenger instead of facing forward
  • Swerving or drifting outside of their traffic lane
  • Failing to slow or come to a stop when a light is red or when cars are stopped ahead of them
  • Erratic braking
  • Traveling at inconsistent speeds
  • Failing to drive when a traffic light turns green
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking behind the wheel

What to Do if You Notice a Distracted Driver

If you spot a distracted driver on the road, do your best to keep a safe distance. That means leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and theirs, doing your best to speed up (or slow down) to get as far away as possible.

If a driver is stalled in front of you at a red light or veering into your lane, don’t hesitate to use your vehicle’s horn to get their attention, especially if you feel you’re in danger of a collision.

When You’re Injured by a Distracted Driver, You Have Legal Options

Whenever any negligent driver causes you harm, you have the right to hold that driver responsible for the costs you face because of their negligence. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be the one paying for the medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain, and suffering you’ve experienced.

Distracted driving is one of the most common forms of negligence, and there are many ways to prove that the other driver was responsible for your crash. Ultimately, an injured person’s attorney can look at police reports, talk to witnesses, and gather other forms of evidence to show that the driver’s recklessness led to the accident.

If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, make sure you fully understand how much the crash will cost you. An attorney will also be able to help you calculate your damages, so you can be sure you aren’t taken advantage of by an insurance company.

If You’ve Been Injured, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California car accident lawyers have years of experience holding at-fault drivers responsible for the damages they’ve caused our clients. If you’d like to speak to an attorney at no cost, contact our team today for a free, no-obligation case review.

Truck Driver Health Issues Can Lead to Deadly Accidents

by Staff | March 29th, 2021

Truckers have one of the hardest occupations in the U.S. Their job often includes driving for long periods, which can lead to a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.

The health conditions that affect truck drivers can sometimes put them at risk of losing their commercial driver’s licenses. Unfortunately, those health problems can also endanger everyone truck drivers share the road with.

Let’s look at some of the health conditions disproportionately affecting truck drivers and why it should matter to all of us.

Sleep Apnea Is a Serious Problem in the Commercial Trucking Industry

Research shows that 28% of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea, which is up to three times more than sleep apnea rates among the general population.

When truck drivers have sleep apnea, especially the more severe forms like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), they’re less likely to get restorative sleep and stay alert behind the wheel. OSA leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, and that makes truck drivers far more likely to be involved in crashes.

Sleep Apnea Is Just the Beginning of Health Problems Facing Truckers

A survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that long-haul truck drivers are more likely than other workers in the U.S. to:

  • Smoke
  • Be overweight
  • Be physically inactive

NIOSH also finds that truck drivers are twice as likely as other workers to be obese and to have diabetes. They’re also twice as likely to smoke. The survey also revealed that 75% of truck drivers said they did not get the recommended amount of physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week).

How the Health of Truck Drivers Affects You

All drivers share the road with large commercial vehicles. Because those vehicles are so much heavier, bigger, and harder to bring to a complete stop, it’s the drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles who are most likely to be injured in collisions involving large trucks and passenger vehicles.

In other words, the health of truck drivers impacts the safety of all road users, from passenger car drivers to bicyclists to pedestrians. When these vulnerable road users are involved in crashes with large trucks, they often face expensive medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain, suffering, and even death.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Large Truck Crash, You Could Be Owed Compensation

Truck accidents often result in serious injuries, which also means expensive medical bills for the injured person. Trucking and insurance companies know this, and they go out of their way after a crash to mitigate their liability and put it on the shoulders of the injured person. In fact, it’s not unheard of for trucking and insurance companies to send a representative to the scene of the crash to solicit signatures from injured people to reduce or deny their claims.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know the tactics used by insurers and trucking companies, and we fight to protect the rights of innocent drivers injured in large truck accidents. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, contact our California truck accident lawyers today.

How Common Are Wrong Way Accidents?

by Staff | March 22nd, 2021

Every year in the U.S., 300 to 400 people die in wrong way accidents. One out of every 100 vehicle fatalities happens in these types of crashes.

Statewide, an average of 225 wrong way collisions happen every year just on freeways and expressways alone in California.

Wrong way accidents occur when a driver enters a one-way road traveling the wrong direction and causes a crash with a vehicle traveling the correct way. The most severe wrong way accidents typically occur when a driver enters an exit or entrance ramp traveling the wrong direction, but these crashes can also happen on one-way streets in urban and residential areas.

Negligence-Related Wrong Way Crashes

When a driver travels the wrong way on an entrance ramp, exit ramp, or one-way street, there could be several contributing factors, including:

  • Impairment (drugs or alcohol)
  • Distraction
  • Unfamiliarity with a location

It’s up to each driver to make sure they’re following the rules of the road. This means staying sober and focused behind the wheel, in addition to paying close attention to the traffic signs and signals placed around intersections.

In most cases, signs and signals are adequate enough to alert drivers that they’re turning the wrong way on roads. However, the visibility and placement of signage can also make wrong way accidents more likely.

How Infrastructure Contributes to Wrong Way Accidents

The way that intersections are built and signs are erected can also contribute to the occurrence of wrong way accidents. A few examples include:

  • Failure to clearly mark ramps
  • Failure to place signs clearly or in locations where signs are fully reflective at night
  • Missing signs
  • Improper ramp design
  • Low sign visibility due to obstruction by buildings, vegetation, or other objects

Though infrastructure can be a contributing factor to wrong way accidents in California, the state is taking steps to make our roads as safe as possible.

In July 2020, Caltrans and the UC Davis Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology Research Center released two reports detailing ways to prevent wrong way accidents.

The findings came after the completion of a three-year pilot study in which different methods of wrong way accident prevention were implemented on designated roads in California. The pilot study tried strategies including:

  • Two-way reflective pavement markers that show white or yellow to right way drivers, and red to wrong way drivers
  • “Wrong Way” signs at the off-ramp
  • “Do Not Enter” signs equipped with LED lights flashing 24 hours a day
  • Active monitoring systems that use radar to detect wrong way drivers and LED signs that activated when a wrong way driver entered the ramp.

The implementation of reflectors resulted in a 44% decrease in wrong way accidents on one stretch of road, leading Caltrans to install reflective markers on hundreds of miles of highways in the state.

As California takes steps to address infrastructure shortcomings that make wrong way accidents more likely, it’s up to drivers to do their part in keeping our roads safe.

If You Need Legal Help, Contact Us

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California car accident lawyers have years of experience holding negligent drivers responsible, including those who cause wrong way accidents. If you’d like to speak to our team, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case assessment.

What’s the Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Social Security Disability?

by Staff Blogger | March 17th, 2021

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.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits

 Workers’ compensation is a state-based, no-fault program that protects employees beginning on their first day on the job. It typically provides workers with two-thirds of their income and covers workplace injury- and illness-related medical expenses. It also shields employers from lawsuits filed by employees. Here are a few key facts to note about workers’ compensation benefits:
  • They’re paid to injured workers by their employer’s workers’ comp insurance policies.
  • They’re overseen by each state’s Workers’ Compensation Board.
  • They’re awarded for job-related injuries, illnesses, and disabilities.
  • They’re designed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
  • They’re based on your earnings in the past three months.
Let’s now turn our attention to SSD benefits and how they differ from workers’ compensation benefits.

Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits

Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, SSD is built to cover long-term, debilitating injuries. It can cover injuries and illnesses unrelated to work. It’s also a national program, unlike the state-based workers’ compensation. Here are some of the most important things to understand about SSD:
  • SSD is paid by the federal government, instead of the state, and is overseen by the Social Security Administration.
  • SSD benefits are awarded for non-work-related injuries, illnesses, and disabilities that prevent a person from working.
  • SSD is designed to cover the injured person’s living expenses.
  • SSD benefits are based on how much you’ve earned over your lifetime.
As you can see, there are big differences between these two programs. Deciding which one applies to your situation and getting approved to receive that particular benefit can be difficult, but our team can help you determine which path is right for you and assist with your application.

Can You Apply for Workers’ Comp AND SSD?

Yes, you can apply for both. It can take months to be approved for SSD, but workers typically start receiving workers’ compensation benefits soon after their injuries. This means you can receive workers’ compensation while your SSD application is being processed and reviewed. Things get more complicated when it comes to simultaneously receiving workers’ comp and SSD benefits, so it’s worth talking to an experienced attorney about your situation before you move forward with your applications.

We’ll Review All Your Options and Help You Make the Right Decision

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.

Trust Our Experience and Track Record of Success

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. This blog was originally published in February 2020. It was updated in March 2021.

What Are the Worst Traffic Times in San Francisco?

by Staff | March 15th, 2021

San Francisco sees some of the heaviest traffic in the U.S. In fact, the Bay Area has the 7th worst traffic in the nation, according to INRIX, a company that provides location-based data and analytics.

INRIX determined that San Francisco commuters spent an average of 97 hours sitting in traffic in 2019 (and other studies estimate that time is even greater). If you’re one of the many commuters in the city, then you might be wondering what’s the worst time to get on the road (and get stuck in the dreaded San Francisco traffic).

The good news is that it’s not unpredictable! We’ve managed to pin down some of the worst traffic times in San Francisco. The bad news is that you might not be able to completely avoid these congested times of the day.

What Research Says About the Worst Traffic Times in San Francisco

In general, traffic peaks in San Francisco on Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to the city’s own estimates. The Urban Mobility Report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute agreed to some extent, finding that the period between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday sees the most traffic congestion.

This makes sense, as these are common “rush hour” times. However, other studies have suggested that different times of the day also present heavy congestion on our roads. Zendrive found that 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. was the worst period of the day for traffic in San Francisco.

Where you’re located and where you’re headed can also impact your travel times in the Bay Area. For example, if you’re headed north on Interstate 680 over the Sunol Grade, rush hour can start as early as 2 p.m. and last until 8 p.m.

To some extent, the data tells us what we already know: traffic in San Francisco can be brutal. However, if you can avoid traveling during the afternoon rush hour and plan your route wisely, you might be able to shave off a few collective hours from the annual number of hours you spend behind the wheel.

Frustrated by traffic? Learn 6 simple tips for dealing with Bay Area traffic.

Challenges Posed by San Francisco’s Heavy Traffic

Congested roads take a toll on the Bay Area in more ways than just frustration. First, there’s the potential “congestion pricing program” the city is considering. If implemented, drivers entering downtown and South of Market could be charged a fee in an effort to reduce the number of cars in these areas.

Second, those hours lost in traffic delays have an economic impact. INRIX estimates that the total annual economic cost of sitting in traffic is $1,348 per driver in the U.S. That’s because sitting in traffic jams digs into office hours, not to mention it subtracts from available recreational hours spent with loved ones or finding time to relax.

And, of course, heavy traffic and the frazzled nerves that come with it can put drivers at greater risks of being involved in certain types of crashes, including rear-end collisions and distracted driving accidents.

If you’re enjoying this article, you might also be interested in: What Are the Worst Traffic Times in Sacramento?

If You Need a Car Accident Attorney in San Francisco, Get Berg!

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our San Francisco car accident lawyers know how bad traffic can get. Not only do we also travel congested roads on the way into our many offices in Northern California, we represent clients who get severely injured in Bay Area car accidents.

We know the law, and we know what it takes to fight for the compensation our clients deserve. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, contact our San Francisco personal injury lawyers anytime to get started.

To learn more about traffic in California, check out the following resources: