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James Michael Bergener
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James Bergener’s Answers

138 total


  • I and my mom had a car accident a few days ago.

    Our car was hit by a speedy, non-stop big truck or SUV before an intersection. We were sent to a trauma center and hospitalized for a couple of days. How can we find a really good lawyer?

    James’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear about your accident. It sounds like you and your mom are still in a great deal of pain. From the circumstances you describe, consulting an experienced attorney is a good idea. I encourage you to search Avvo for someone reputable.

    The Avvo rating and past client reviews can help you get a picture of what the attorney is about. Pick several you like the look of and give them all a call. You may find after speaking to them that one stands out. No two law firms are exactly the same. Most personal injury attorneys in Orange County, including myself, offer free in-depth consultations over the phone. Many take calls after hours and can speak to you tonight.

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  • Bitten and injured by dogs - Spinal cord injuries

    I was bitten by dogs and have serious injuries including injury to my back and spine. The accident occurred in Southern California and I’ll need to have surgery. I'm looking for an aggressive and well respected personal injury attorney.

    James’s Answer

    With injuries as severe as yours, it's definitely a good decision to hire an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Most attorneys on this site, including myself, offer free consultations. The Avvo rating, client reviews, and peer endorsements can help you find the best person to handle your claim.

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  • Is the dog owner, homeowner or HOA liable for injuries caused from attempting to get away from dog?

    Dog owner who is a tenant not homeowner, allows dog to roam common areas, while not on leash held by capable person. Common areas owned by the HOA. CC&R say that HOA has duty to keep common areas safe. Is there liability only for an ac...

    James’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As other attorneys have mentioned, the liability usually falls on the dog owner but the homeowner and HOA could also potentially be held liable. It doesn't sound like an injury has occurred yet. I recommend contacting the HOA. Most associations have a process for sending notices and fining individuals that do not follow community rules. If you know the homeowners, it's also a good idea to alert them to the issue either yourself or via the HOA.

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  • Can I request payment for medical treatment from an insurance company, but have my car fixed first?

    Recently, I was in a car accident and the other party's insurance company has already accepted full responsibility for the accident because I was hit from behind. There's mostly rear end bumper damage, but since the accident I've been having some ...

    James’s Answer

    Absolutely. Your property damage claim and bodily injury claim are separate, and are handled by two different adjusters. The property damage portion is almost always settled long before the injury portion. Take your time evaluating, documenting, & treating your injuries. Once you accept a settlement for your medical bills and pain and suffering, there's no going back to the insurance company later if other injuries emerge. Whiplash symptoms can seem mild at first, but can linger or worsen without care.

    Even though the other insurance company has accepted full liability, since you have some pre-existing injuries there's a possibility they will deny or devalue your bodily injury claim. It may be a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney about your accident. You want to get back to your pre-accident health, without getting stuck with the bill.

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  • I was rear-ended on the left turning lane. I do not have insurance. I dont know what to do. My car has significant damage.

    I was at a four-way light. I was on the left turning lane. It was not an arrow turn lane. The light turned green. I had my blinker on and the driver behind me plowed straight into my car when the light turned green. We pulled over and he said it ...

    James’s Answer

    As the other attorneys have pointed out, you shouldn't suffer financially or physically for an accident that isn't your fault. If the driver responsible has insurance, his policy should reimburse you for your property damage and medical bills. If an insurance company is involved, I recommend speaking with a personal injury attorney about the details of the accident. Most attorneys offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose. Insurance adjusters have no obligation to pay your bills in full. A skilled lawyer will hold them accountable.

    If the other driver did not have insurance, your best option is to go to small claims court. Good luck!

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  • I was hit by a car while riding my bike,I received a bill for the treatment I received at the scene, is the driver liable 4bill?

    I was not at fault for the accident. The Sacramento Fire Dept sent me a bill for $240 for what they did at the scene (blood pressure check, etc.) Can I legally sue the driver to cover this bill since it was her fault, hitting me with her car whi...

    James’s Answer

    Absolutely. If you were not at fault for the accident, the driver responsible and his or her insurance company is on the hook for your medical bills.

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  • Rear ended, but I don't have a license.

    I was rear ended while driving my car. 100% other person's fault. I have insurance, but no driver's license. Can I make a claim to the other person's insurance company?

    James’s Answer

    Yes. Your property damage and medical bills should be covered by the other driver's insurance, whether or not you had a valid license at the time of the crash. There may be some limits on compensation for your pain and suffering but an experienced attorney will be able to establish liability quickly, and hold the insurance company accountable. They are likely to try to use your lack of license against you.

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  • How long does it take for statefarm to send a property damage payment?

    I sent the title to my bike via my lawyers about three weeks ago. Along with the tow truck driver picking up the bike about the same time. A agreement has been made and accepted for the amount. Yet it's now been three weeks. How long do I have to ...

    James’s Answer

    Three weeks is an excessive delay. A week or two would be reasonable. I suggest following up with your insurance adjuster for a status update. Good luck!

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  • Should a driver who hit someone and says they thought was an animal and did not stop be charged?

    A family friends 16 year old son was hit and killed by a driver in Redding, CA. The driver did not stop, and was later found at a motel where his vehicle he had significant damage. He told police he thought he hit an animal. It was just determined...

    James’s Answer

    I'm very sorry to hear about this tragic event. As some of the other attorneys here have mentioned, depending on what your friend's son was doing at the time, he may have been at fault for the accident in the eyes of the law. It is outrageous that the driver did not stop after the collision given the facts you describe. Your family friends should reach out to investigators specifically about the driver's fleeing the accident scene to find out whether that charge is still under investigation.

    Unfortunately, with motor vehicle accidents, justice is often found in pursuing a civil claim. That is where a personal injury attorney can help. Even if the boy is listed at fault on the police report, his family has good cause to pursue the driver's insurance company. Any highly rated personal injury lawyer on Avvo would be happy to answer any additional questions you or your friends may have about a wrongful death claim. Most offer free consultations in person or over the phone.

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  • My husband and I were in Beverly Hills on the sidewalk when we were run down by a speeding cab.

    We were on holiday from the uk. We were both quite badly injured with permanent scars and fractures. The cab driver ran a red light and was speeding around 50-60 mph. Obviously were in the uk and he is in the USA..how long would you estimate the c...

    James’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear about your accident, especially as you were on holiday. Honestly, it's very hard to assess how quickly a case can be resolved without more information. Have you completed medical treatment? Once your treatment is complete, and the negotiation process begins, the timing depends completely of the taxi company's insurance company.

    If they are cooperative, the process may move quickly. In the worst case scenario that they deny your claim, you and your attorney may decide that the best course of action is the file a claim through the courts. This can become a much lengthier process. Good luck!

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