Archives for : June2014

Avoiding Injuries At The Pool

“Avoidance of injury at the pool” is certainly not what a German man had in mind in this video now having been viewed by millions on YouTube. The man stands outside in the freezing cold in his speedo, turns and faces the camera, gives a few expletives in broken English, then does a cannonball from his deck into his swimming pool… which is frozen solid. His friend with the camera, seeing the jumper obviously in pain and almost naked atop the frozen pool, has a hearty laugh (as did millions of others).


The truth is it doesn’t take an irrational stunt to cause serious spinal cord injuries. Recreational activities are a common cause of spinal cord injuries.  Some 15% of catastrophic spinal cord injuries are said to occur from things like full contact sports, horseback riding, and diving.


When it comes to avoiding spinal cord accidents at the pool, here are few things you should know. Most accidents of this type have been reported to have occurred at pools located at private residences.  Here are a few safety tips that could save you and your loved ones from the pain of dealing with a lifelong spinal injury.


  • Many accidents occur with first time divers. Help them get familiar with the pool before diving in.
  • Alcohol consumption is often linked to pool accidents. Take extra precautions if alcohol is a part of your pool party.
  • Communicate with guest the layout of the pool, noting pool depths at different areas.
  • Upgrade lighting so that depths and pool boundaries can be clearly seen.
  • Don’t swim alone.


If someone else’s negligence was the cause of your Santa Rosa area pool accident our attorneys are here to help you pursue your goals. In the wake of a serious spinal cord injury, the financial challenges mount up quickly.  Part of the job of your attorney is to help you pursue appropriate damages. This could include the following:


  • Acknowledgement of pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical equipment
  • Adaptive devices
  • Lost wage replacement
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Compensation for transportation expenses



Teal & Montgomery has a storied history of serving accidental injury victims including those who have suffered catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Contact us online or call 707-525-1212 anytime to schedule your free initial consultation.

Requesting The Right Tests Could Save Your Life

“First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.”



Knowing a few medical terms and understanding which tests to ask for (and why) could save your life or the life of someone you love. When men and women go for checkups, conversations should begin with their physicians about prostate and breast cancer screenings. The cost of a misdiagnosis at the beginning may be losing your health or even your life in the end.


Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and Other Tests

At or after about age 40, every man should take the time to talk with his doctor about screenings to test for early signs of prostate cancer. Understanding the potential benefits of these tests in addition to risks of over-treatment and over-detection should be considered.


A blood test called the PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen test can help you and your doctor see if there are any concerning signs early.  Still, talk with your doctor about the risks involved in this type of screening and when would be the appropriate age to start.


In addition to the PSA, you may discuss a Digital Rectal Exam, another way to test for prostate cancer. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and neither or these tests were given, you should contact your attorney immediately.


Breast Cancer Tests

Ladies will want to talk with their doctor about the best time and way to test for breast cancer, whether you see any concerning preliminary signs or not. Should you get a mammogram and, if so, when?


If there is a history of breast cancer in your family and you feel you see early signs, when should you consider diagnostic testing? Monitoring tests, are next on the progressive scale. Once you’ve already started treatment, are adequate tests being given to monitor your progress?



Cancer Misdiagnosis Help

If somehow these tests were not administered or if they were administered but results were inexplicably ignored or not acted upon quickly enough along the way, you may have some ground to sue for medical malpractice.  If this is the case, you will want to connect with a medical malpractice attorney right away.


Contact Teal & Montgomery to Discuss Your Case

If you have lost a loved one because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose prostate cancer, or if your own diagnosis was delayed due to doctor error, talk to us today.


Contact us or call 916-448-1010 for your free initial consultation, scheduled for time that works best for you. Our fees won’t be charged unless we recover damages for your injuries.

Most Common Medical Malpractice Cases

What did you say?  Did you say oops?!
I’ve said ‘oops’ before & I know what I did when I said ‘oops’.
What did you do?
– From Bill Cosby’s I Started Out As A Child (1964)

Within the last year, Irish researchers published the results of a study they conducted looking into over seven thousand medical malpractice claims.  The study was called “The Epidemiology of Malpractice Claims in Primary Care: A Systematic Review.”

Missed Diagnosis

What researchers found was “missed diagnosis” was the most common malpractice claim. Sadly, death was said to have been the most common result of these misdiagnoses malpractices.

Here are some of the most common missed diagnoses:

  • Various Forms Of Cancer
  • Meningitis-Related
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Appendicitis
  • Bone Fractures

Drug Errors

This second most common malpractice claim falls into the category of “drug errors”. The majority of these cases happened with patients who were over 60.

These malpractice claims could include:

  • Wrong prescription
  • Dosage Mistakes
  • Administration Errors

Failure To Acknowledge Or Act On Test Results

Another inexplicably common malpractice claim has to do with test results. In many of the cases, doctors are said to have ordered tests but then never followed up on the results with treatment that claimants say would have moved the patient closer to recovery.

Other Common Malpractice Claims

Some of the other medical malpractice claims include “wrong surgery”, “wrong patient” and “anesthesia mistakes”.  Medical professionals, risk management consultants and educators are leveraging this information to help protect patients and doctors alike, while cutting down on the number of malpractice suits across the world.

If you have lost the life of a loved one or if you have been seriously injured due to what may be medical malpractice, don’t wait any longer to speak with an attorney.  However, you want to make sure you enlist the advocacy of the right firm. Not just any attorney is equipped to handle the nuances and complexities of medical malpractice claims.

Santa Rosa Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Few firms can claim to have the depth of medical knowledge and practical law application as the Teal Law Group. Teal’s unique position comes from having a medical doctor on staff, who also happens to be an accomplished attorney. With keen insight into the carelessness of some medical professionals, hospitals, and doctors and the skill to do something about it, Teal Law Firm is ready to go to work for you and your family in the wake of medical malpractice.

Connect with us online or call anytime. For Santa Rosa call 707-525-1212. For Sacramento: 916-448-1010

Understanding Your Rights For Hip Replacement

Right here in Santa Rosa and across California many have experienced difficulties due to defective hip implant. Victims who have suffered pain, discomfort, and other complications after receiving a DePuy ASR hip implant may have the right to compensation. The issue has to do with the premature hip failure of the all-metal devices that have been implanted.


In fact, due to the abundance of cases involving faulty devices, several hip implant manufacturers are being held accountable. Since companies failed to adequately warn the public about the risks involved in their produces, thousands of lawsuits have been filed by people who experience problems after receiving the ASR implant as a part of their replacement.


Rights To Compensation Could Include

If you are a good candidate for a defective hip replacement lawsuit, your rights would include pursuit of compensation that could cover:

  • Corrective Surgery
  • Physical Injuries
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Potential to take part in a class action suit


Signs Of A Faulty Device

There are some commonalities between cases where a faulty device has been implanted in a hip replacement surgery. Here are some signs you may have a faulty device as well as complications that have arisen from the all-metal device:

  • Severe pain in the hip, groin, or thigh areas
  • Loosening of the device
  • Failure of Hip Joint
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Infections
  • Noticeable decrease in mobility
  • Nausea


If you have questions as to whether you may have a case or to discuss your rights for replacement, the attorneys at Teal & Montgomery can help walk you through the process. Our team is ready to leverage our experience and skilled understanding of personal injury law to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation available.


Let’s Start The Conversation

If you’re in need of having someone come to you, we would be happy to visit you at your home or in the hospital, if necessary. Connect with our team online or call anytime to schedule your free initial consultation.

Not Looking Your Age May Keep You Safe From Discrimination

Ageism is a problem. All across the US, companies are finding more creative ways to hire younger employees while discrimination against older employees continues to take place. When such behavior affects you and your loved ones, taking legal action is the appropriate measure. Some people on the older end of the age spectrum have taken preventative action.


Recent reports have shown there has been an increase in the number of plastic surgeries for men and women who are either attempting to get a job or are trying to keep from being replaced by a younger colleague. Both those seeking employment and those fighting to keep employment seem to be fighting stereotypes held by leadership and hiring managers.


Age discrimination about baby boomers is thought to come from stereotypes such as these:


–       Baby boomers are thought to be set in their ways

–       Imprudent investment – will not stay with the company

–       Deficient understanding of basic current technologies

–       Demand more salary than younger


This may be why many older people in the workplace have turned to discrimination prevention methods such as simply trying not to “look their age” (whether through plastic surgery or through style of dress).  If you or someone you know has been mistreated, discriminated against, or received ill treatment due to their age, you should take a few minutes to speak with an experienced and dedicated Sacramento area employment law attorney.


Talk to a Teal Law discrimination attorney today about how to pursue compensation, including legal fee coverage, from an employer who has practiced illegal age discrimination and ageism.  Of course, you can call anytime or e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation with a Santa Rosa (707-525-1212) or Sacramento (916-448-1010) employment law attorney.

Ensuring Your OB-GYN Takes Proper Precautions to Prevent Birth Injury

Finding the right obstetrician, at times, can be a nuanced and lengthy process. You may ask your friends and family for recommendations, do a preliminary phone interview followed by an in-person visit, all before making your choice.  However, just because you’ve chosen someone who may be the right fit, doesn’t mean you should stop asking questions along the way.


Trust But Verify

Certainly the training it takes to become a doctor, the regulations physicians have to follow, and even the Hippocratic oath are good reasons for us to offer our trust.  However, one of the best things you can do to insure the safety of others is to “trust but verify”.


When it comes to your OB-GYN, “trust but verify” may mean talking about his or her overall approach, asking for specific screenings, and openly talking through your own medical history and current physical condition.  Since birth injuries are often unintended consequence of both unforeseeable causes and medical negligence, discussing as many facts as you can will help prevent unnecessary complications.


Risks To The Mother


When obstetricians don’t take preventative measures, birth injuries have been known to occur as a result of simple oversights and negligence, such as:

  • Miscalculating the size of the mother’s pelvis
  • Miscalculating the size of the baby
  • Misdiagnosis or oversight of maternal infections
  • Lack of attention to test results
  • Poor response to fetal distress
  • Waiting too late to initiate a needed C-section
  • Too much pressure and immoderate force throughout delivery
  • Misuse of instruments such as forceps during delivery
  • Failure to diagnose or treat jaundice



Risks To The Baby

Shoulder dystocia has been a focal point for many obstetricians of the last several years. When your OB-GYN is negligent and birth injury is the result, the complications of shoulder dystocia also could affect the newborn.  These could include:

  • Infection
  • Fractured Clavicle
  • Fractured humerus
  • Fetal asphyxia
  • Cerebral palsy
    • Seizures
    • Impaired motor function
    • Vision Loss
    • Pain
    • Speech Disorders
    • Erb’s palsy
      • Paralysis of the upper brachial plexus
      • Limited ability to reach of grasp
      • Potential disfigurement


If an OB-GYN is negligent, it likely happens in one of two categories when speaking of shoulder dystocia – before and/or during birth. To get to the bottom of your baby’s shoulder dystocia case, you may decide to ask a birth injury law firm such as Teal & Montgomery to conduct a detailed investigation.


Reach out to us online or call anytime – Santa Rosa Office: 707-525-1212 or Sacramento Office: 916-448-1010

Which Claims Are Covered By ERISA?

“Some (people) want credit for (stuff) they’re supposed to do…
(They) say some (stuff) like ‘I take care of my kids’…
What you want a cookie?!”
Chris Rock (Comedian)

Unfortunately not everyone does what they are supposed to do. This is true for those who are supposed to take care of our retirement assets as well. Fortunately, there is “Chris Rock” government agency created to make sure to call to task welfare (benefits and retirement) providers in the United States.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law that protects the retirement assets of US citizens. ERISA’s job is to identify and enforce rules that qualified retirement plans will have to follow. The intent is to make sure that individual retirement plan trustees steward the assets of their respective plans well.

What ERISA Does Not Cover
Before we discuss what kinds of plans ERISA covers, it may be helpful to know what plans are not covered:
• Group health plans set up and run by governmental entities
• Group plans for church employees
• Plans only used to comply with applicable workers compensation laws
• Plans only used to comply with applicable unemployment laws
• Plans only used to comply with applicable disability laws
• Plans outside the US set up for nonresident aliens
• Any unfunded excess benefit plans

What ERISA Does Cover
The good news is ERISA covers all sorts of benefit claims. In fact, since ERISA has such a generous definition of what a “plan” is, some say ERISA will cover most any type of benefit. When employers offer health insurance or retirement, those benefit plans would fall under ERISA.

Here are the plans that qualify for coverage from ERISA:

• Sick pay
• Vacation pay
• Holiday pay
• Severance pay
• Retirement plans
• Disability benefits
• Accident benefits
• Death benefits
• Unemployment benefits
• Medical care
• Surgery
• Hospital Care
• Day care
• Scholarship funds
• On-going Education and training programs

ERISA claims are complex and filled with legal pitfalls. In fact, for this very reason, many attorneys have a difficult understanding how ERISA works. Handling disability claims is one thing, but working with ERISA claims is an entirely different challenge.

The ERISA Claims attorneys at Teal & Montgomery not only have the skill you need from your disability lawyer, but we have the storied experience it takes to set you up with the best strategy for your ERISA claims.

Start the conversation via email or call anytime. For Santa Rosa call 707-525-1212. For Sacramento: 916-448-1010.