Archives for : June2015

Why are personal injury cases in Santa Rosa handled mostly outside of the courtroom?

Statistics indicate that only about four to five percent of personal injury claims filed in the United States make it to the inside of a courtroom for a trial in front of a jury. This means, of course, that that parties are able to come to an agreeable settlement outside of the courtroom in the other 95 to 96 percent of cases. That the majority of personal injury cases settle out of court is also true in Santa Rosa courts.

Why do so few cases go to trial?

Cases can be handled out of court in a number of ways. First, prior to even filing a legal claim, an experienced personal injury attorney can negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company to see if they will offer you enough adequately cover all of your injury-related losses. If the insurance company refuses to cooperate and a legal claim is necessary, there are many different alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods available to try to reach a favorable agreement. ADR can include:

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Settlement negotiations

Settlement negotiations may continue throughout the entire pretrial process and parties may go back and forth several times before they reach an agreement. In many cases, they may even settle in the last minute before trial.

Is settling out of court good for you?

Coming to an agreement before trial begins can be beneficial for many reasons. For example, trial can require a substantial amount of time, energy, and money, and coming to a pretrial agreement allows you to avoid that. Furthermore, nothing is certain when you go into trial. No matter how strong you believe your evidence may be, there is always a chance that the jury will award find in favor of the other party and award you nothing—or perhaps much less than you had hoped. When you reach a settlement agreement, you will know exactly how much compensation you will receive.

How a Santa Rosa personal injury lawyer can help

Though most cases are handled out of court, sometimes trial is the best option in your case if the other party refuses to agree to a sufficient settlement. At the Teal Law Group in Santa Rosa, we will always evaluate your case and advise you on whether trial or settlement is right for you. Please contact us for a free consultation call 707-525-1212 or contact us online today.

What happens if they did not make sure I was out before starting surgery?

Undergoing a surgical procedure can be worrisome as many different complications may arise and recovery may be difficult. The situation becomes exponentially more terrifying if the anesthesia administered to you was not enough to render you properly unconscious. An estimated 40 million or more patients receive anesthesia each year in order to avoid the trauma, distress, and pain that may occur if you are awake during an operation.

Being awake during a procedure is often referred to as “anesthesia awareness.” Anesthesia awareness can mean being conscious when they begin the procedure or regaining consciousness at some point during the surgery. Being aware at any time in the surgical process can lead to extreme anxiety and stress and can even result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD and related mental conditions can have a significant effect on your life and can require extensive treatment.

If the anesthesiologist does not adequately check to make sure you are completely unconscious during a procedure, the law allows you to hold the responsible parties liable for their actions and recover for your losses including mental distress and physical pain and suffering.

Other types of anesthesiologist errors

Anesthesiologists face a large amount of medical malpractice claims because of the high potential for errors that can cause serious physical and mental injury to patients. Some additional anesthesia errors can include the following:

  • Giving a patient too much of a certain anesthetic drug
  • Allowing a patient to remain too aware during a procedure
  • Waiting too long to administer the anesthesia
  • Not properly examining a patient’s medical history, allergic reactions, or prescription drugs to determine possible interactions or complications
  • Not educating a patient on proper behavior before and after receiving anesthesia
  • Failing to monitor a patient while under anesthesia and give them oxygen if necessary
  • Using unsanitary or incorrect equipment to administer the anesthesia

If you woke up during surgery, call a Sacramento anesthesiologist error attorney today

There is no excuse for allowing a patient to be awake during any part of a surgical procedure and experience the physical pain and emotional distress associated with such an experience. Anesthesiologists should be held liable when they make mistakes and injured victims deserve full compensation under the law. Anyone who has been a victim should contact the Teal Law Group for a free consultation today.

What are my rights if my doctor perforated my bowels during gallbladder surgery?

Gallbladder removal is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. Unfortunately, like any other surgery, it also comes with the risk that a doctor can make an error and you can suffer serious injuries and complications. One such complication is perforation of the bowels, which can cause intense pain and can cause the intestinal tract contents to leak out into your abdominal cavity. This is considered to be a surgical emergency and often requires additional surgeries to repair and significant rehabilitative treatment.

If your doctor acted negligently and perforated your bowels, you are likely entitled to substantial compensation and you should discuss your case with a Sacramento surgical error lawyer as soon as possible.

Negligence can lead to surgical errors

Doctors are not held responsible for every error they make during surgery, as some may be honest mistakes. However, if a doctor acts in a negligent manner, a surgical error will likely rise to the level of medical malpractice. The following are some ways that a doctor may be negligent and cause serious surgical errors:

  • Operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Operate while overly fatigued
  • Perform a procedure without proper knowledge or training
  • Not pay adequate attention to what they are doing during the surgery
  • Have unqualified or improperly trained surgical assistants
  • Failure to sterilize all equipment and staff members
  • Not providing necessary post-operative care and monitoring

These are only a few examples of ways a doctor may make serious mistakes and cause injury during surgery.

Individuals who are the victims of surgical errors often require extensive treatment that they otherwise would not have required. Fortunately, California law allows victims of medical malpractice to recover for their losses including unnecessary medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and more. The law sets out a strict statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, however, so you should not delay in contacting an attorney about your rights today.

Contact a surgical error attorney in Sacramento for a free consultation today

At the Teal Law Group, our team of experienced attorneys are committed to standing up for the legal rights of victims of surgical errors and other forms of medical malpractice. We offer free consultations and will help you through every stage of the legal process, so please contact our office for help today.

Can I recover if my doctor failed to catch a hairline fracture on my X-ray?

If you go into the emergency room or doctor’s office in pain and get x-rays, you should be able to expect that the doctor examining your x-rays would properly identify any injuries so that you can receive the necessary treatment. Without treatment, an injury and related pain can worsen and additional complications may arise. If you had a hairline fracture and a doctor failed to catch it on your x-ray, you will likely wonder about your legal rights. The answer is not always simple, as your rights depend on the specific details of your case, so you should always consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

When does failure to diagnose constitute medical malpractice?

Like anyone else, medical professionals can make mistakes and they are not held legally liable for every honest mistake they made when treating a patient in good faith. However, when a doctor acts in a manner that breaches their duty of care, they may be held responsible for any unnecessary injuries that result. Their duty of care is—simply put—to act as any other reasonable medical professional would act in that certain situation.

In some cases, failure to diagnose a hairline fracture can be medical malpractice and, in others, not. In early stages, hairline fractures can be very difficult or even impossible to detect on an x-ray. If another reasonable medical professional would not have recognized the fracture, your doctor can likely not be penalized for failing to do so, as well. On the other hand, more advanced hairline fractures can be obvious on an x-ray and failing to catch them could very well constitute medical malpractice if you suffered unnecessary injuries or complications due to the failure. Furthermore, a medical professional should also complete a thorough medical examination to diagnose a hairline fracture even if it does not show up on an x-ray. As you can see, these cases heavily depend on your individual circumstances.

An experienced Sacramento medical malpractice attorney can help you

If you believe you have suffered injury because a medical professional failed to properly diagnose your condition or misdiagnosed you, your first call should be to a skilled medical malpractice lawyer at the Teal Law Group. We understand the complex issues that are involved in medical malpractice cases and can advise you whether you have a viable claim. Contact our office for a free consultation today.