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Drinking and Driving? Charge the Cab to Attorney Berg

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Alameda, CAOver the last 30 years, Attorney William Berg has sat at the plaintiff's table next to hundreds of people whose lives have been changed forever by the thoughtlessness of drivers who thought it was okay to get behind the wheel despite whether being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. About 80 percent of the work done by counsel at Berg Injury Lawyers is related to auto accidents.

"The number of those cases that involve alcohol remains pretty constant," says Berg. "We are filing drunk accident lawsuits all the time."

A few years ago, Berg and a group of other lawyers were brainstorming ideas that would benefit their local communities. "I was looking for something that made sense," he says, "and that was tied into the work I do."

Berg has seen some tragic examples of what a drunk driver accident can do,—so a plan to keep intoxicated people off the road was a natural for Berg Injury Lawyers. In 2004, the firm started its "Safe and Sober" program.

The Ride is on William Berg

Four times a year, Berg Injury Lawyers pays for free cab rides home for people who have been out having a few drinks or more on New Year's Ever, Halloween, St. Patrick's day or Cinco De Mayo. Just call a cab and charge it to Berg Injury Lawyers. "The idea is to protect not only those who are celebrating but everyone else on the road as well," says Berg. "I encourage everyone to drink responsibly, but if you need a safe way home, remember, the ride is on me."

Berg's Safe and Sober Program doesn't come cheap but he's more than happy to literally put his money where his mouth is. It costs the firm every time they do as the word gets around. "I think St. Patrick's Day the bill was pushing $20,000," Berg says.

How to Protect Yourself Against Drunk Drivers

Drunk driving accidents frequently involve death and catastrophic injuries and the consequences for innocent victims can be personally and financially devastating. "Insurance companies are pretty cooperative in drunk driving cases because they are afraid of what it is going to look like in front of a jury," says Berg. "So if the defendant is drunk and he or she has insurance it is not difficult to get compensation for victims."

However, there isn't much that Berg can do to help innocent people involved in drunk driving accidents when the intoxicated driver is uninsured or under insured. "We urge people to buy as much uninsured motorist coverage as they can afford – but still a lot of folks don't," says Berg.

"I had someone who was hit in a crosswalk by a drunk driver and she didn't drive so she had no insurance; I wish there was something we could do in those cases but there isn't."

William Berg graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1974 with a B.A. in Criminology. In 1979, Berg graduated from the University of San Francisco Law School with a J.D. and opened his own practice in 1981. The firm has 50 lawyers and anchor offices throughout California. The firm is devoted to representing the rights of those who have been injured due to the neglect of others.



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