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The Difference Between Mediation And Mandatory Arbitration

In many California personal injury cases, it is in the interest of both parties to avoid litigation. Litigation can be expensive, it can be time-consuming and it can be an all around draining process. Ideally, the parties may be able to come to a fair settlement without going through the hassle of litigation. It is not always possible, but it can certainly be desirable in the many situations. Two common forms of alternative dispute resolution are mediation and mandatory arbitration. If you are in a situation where you are considering either of those two possibilities for your case, do not proceed without the professional assistance of an experienced Santa Rosa personal injury attorney.


Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution which aims to solve the issue through mutual agreement. If you reach a settlement in the mediation process, it means that both sides have come to a voluntary agreement. Usually, both parties in the mediation will hire a registered neutral third party to act as the mediator. The mediator’s goal is to try to facilitate a fair, mutually agreeable, settlement between the two sides of the dispute. The important thing to keep in mind is that settlement is completely voluntary and that compromise is prioritized.

Mandatory Arbitration

On the other hand, mandatory arbitration does not allow for a voluntary mutual agreement. Again the parties will hire a neutral third party, but this time, that third party is empowered as an arbitrator. The neutral arbitrator will hear both sides of the case and will then come to a binding decision. Essentially, mandatory arbitration is like a private, mini, speedy trial.

Which Form of Alternative Dispute Resolution is Right for My Case?

Alternative dispute resolution often makes sense, but currently, the majority of California personal injury cases are settled without litigation. But, it is also possible that a trial might necessary in your case. The bottom line is that you deserve a full and fair compensation for you injuries. Sometimes the best way to make that happen is to take your case to trial. Determining which legal path to take is best done by an experienced attorney who has had the time to fully review your case. The are benefits and drawbacks to every option and you need a personal injury attorney with experience handling California injury cases who can analyze your situation and figure out the best way to get you full and fair compensation.

Contact An Experienced Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney

The experienced legal team at the Teal Law Group can comprehensively evaluate your case and determine if alternative dispute resolution is right for you, or if a trial is in your best interest. Contact our office today to schedule a free legal consultation. 

Santa Rosa Office: 707-525-1212 Sacramento Office: 916-448-1010

Types Of Burn Injuries And California Burn Injury Liability

Burns are one of the most common types of serious injuries in the United States. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that several million Americans suffer serious burn injuries annually. Burns are notoriously painful and any degree of burn injury can cause extreme suffering. Often, recovering from a burn necessitates a significant amount of time for rehabilitation. Additionally, healing from a burn can become expensive. Surgeries and other medical treatment may be needed. In California, burn injuries caused by the legal negligence of another party are owed full and fair compensation. If you have sustained a serious burn injury, contact an experienced Sacramento burn injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options.

Common Types of Burns

Burns can be caused in several different ways. The most common type of burn injury is a burn caused by a fire or an open flame. Flames cause almost 50 percent of serious US burn injuries. The next most frequent cause of burns is scalding. Scalding burns occur when hot liquid or steam contacts the skin. About 33 percent of burns are caused by scalding. Other less common, but still not unusual, causes of burns include: thermal burns (meaning contact with a very hot object) chemical burns, burns related to inhaling smoke, and burns caused by electricity. Any type of burn can be caused by the negligence of another person, if you have been injured by another party’s negligence then you should seek the professional assistance of personal injury lawyer.

Liability for Burn Injuries in California

Successfully recovering fair compensation for an injury is generally done by proving the negligence of another party. Burn injury negligence has four basic elements:

  •   Duty- You must prove that another party had a legal obligation to provide you with a reasonably prudent standard of care.
  •   Breach- You must prove that the other party breached their obligation to provide the prudent standard of care.
  •   Causation- You must establish a link between the breach and your injury.
  •   Damages– You must show the full extent of the damage you sustained.

The legal terminology can sound confusing, so consider an example of a hot cup of coffee. Consumers expect their coffee to be hot when they purchase it, if you spill your coffee and slightly burn yourself, it does not mean that anyone has done anything wrong. But, imagine that you purchase a cup of coffee that is so hot that spilling it causes you serious third-degree burns. These burns put you in the hospital for a week and cause permanent disfigurement. That is exactly what happened in a famous 1994 case involving Mcdonald’s. McDonald’s was warned several times that they were serving coffee that was much too hot, and their coffee presented an unreasonable risk to consumers. No one expects spilled coffee to cause permanent disfigurement or to require skin grafting. That was an unreasonably dangerous action by Mcdonald’s, and that is negligence on their part.

Contact An Experienced Sacramento Burn Injury Lawyer

Burn injuries can have devastating consequences and they deserve fair compensation. Negligent parties must be held responsible for their actions. The experienced California personal injury lawyers at the Teal Law Group fight hard for burn injury victims. Contact our office today to schedule a free case review.

Santa Rosa Office: 707-525-1212 Sacramento Office: 916-448-1010

Are There Limits To Pain And Suffering Damages In California?

Under California personal injury law, pain and suffering in relation to an injury is owed compensation.  You are eligible for pain and suffering damages for both physical and mental injuries. If you have been injured in California and you experienced pain and suffering as a result, an experienced Santa Rosa personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Understanding the Basics of Non-Economic Damages

Damages for pain and suffering are classified as a non-economic damages. This is in contrast to something like a hospital bill, which is classified as an economic damage. The difference is important because non-economic damages are inherently difficult to quantify. It is easy to look at a hospital bill, see that it cost four thousand dollars, and determine that those four thousand dollars need to be compensated. But, how do you determine the correct amount of money to compensate ‘pain’? Pain and suffering is very real and it definitely deserves full compensation, but the difficulty of quantifying the pain can make it difficult for injury victims to get what they fairly legally deserve. The subjective nature of non-economic damages makes an experienced personal injury attorney indispensable. You need an attorney who can make a strong case to get you every dollar you deserve.

California Medical Malpractice Pain and Suffering Limits

The California state legislature passed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) which limits compensation for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases to 250,000 dollars. There is no cap on economic damages. But, in a California medical malpractice case, the maximum amount a court can award an injured victim for pain and suffering is 250,000 dollars. This is even true if the actual pain and suffering should be worth more than that amount. That dollar figure probably seems like an arbitrary amount, because in fact, it is an arbitrary amount. There have been attempts in recent years to get the legislature to raise the cap, but they have been unsuccessful thus far.  In 2014, proposition 46, which would have raised the cap, lost at the ballot box. If you have any questions about pain and suffering damages in California, an experienced personal injury attorney can help answer them for you.

Contact An Experienced Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney

Getting full and fair compensation for your pain and suffering is deserved. Unfortunately, in certain types of California personal injury cases (medical malpractice) your pain and suffering damages may run up against a legislated limits for damages. An experienced Santa Rosa personal injury attorney at the Teal Law Group can analyze your case and help you recover every penny for pain and suffering that is possible. Your pain and suffering is still eligible for significant compensation regardless of any limits. Contact our offices today to learn more about your legal options.

Santa Rosa Office: 707-525-1212    Sacramento Office: 916-448-1010

Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

Finding out that you have cancer is a devastating, life-changing event. However, discovering that some events regarding your specific cancer could have been avoided had your healthcare provider ordered the necessary tests can be even more devastating. Contact an experienced Sacramento delayed diagnosis attorney if you or a loved one received a delayed diagnosis of cancer that could have prevented other problems had you been diagnosed sooner.

What Leads to Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer/Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Medical malpractice cases are often the result of negligence, such as failing to remove foreign objects in the body during surgery.  On the other hand, medical malpractice cases are also the result of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose debilitating or invasive diseases such as cancer. Healthcare providers’ failure to order the correct tests, failing to read and respond to test results, failing to refer a client to a specialist when needed, as well as failing to respond to patient’s inquiries and symptoms can lead to delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer. In some cases age plays a factor in healthcare providers’ failing to perform necessary tests or scans, even when there is a family history for a specific cancer.

The Dangers of Delayed or Undiagnosed Cancer

When a healthcare professional delays or fails to diagnose cancer, this can cause irreparable harm. If cancer is not diagnosed in time, the cancer can continue to spread and grow, and treatment that would have been effective within the first stages of cancer, may no longer be effective. After all, the longer a diagnosis is delayed or goes unnoticed, the more likely it is for the cancer to progress and reach a non-treatable stage. Due to these reasons, obtaining legal advice is of the utmost importance.

Contact an Attorney with Experience in Medical Malpractice         

Being told that you have cancer is devastating, but learning that your cancer diagnosis was delayed or overlooked is even more troubling. If you believe a healthcare professional missed or ignored warning signs of cancer, you should contact an attorney immediately. Here, at Teal Law Group, we will fight for your rights. Contact our office for an initial consultation, in Santa Rosa at 707-525-1212 or in Sacramento at 916-448-1010 or contact us online, and let us do the rest.


Negligence and Shoulder Dystocia

Expecting a child is one of the most exciting moments for most parents, and the day of delivery can be pure excitement. However, new parents may find that they are fearful and overwhelmed when they learn that the delivery will not go as easily as planned. You expect for your healthcare provider to provide excellent service at this point.  Unfortunately, some fall below the proper standard of care. If you or a loved one have experienced injuries to your child during the course of birth and delivery, it is important to contact an experienced Sacramento birth injuries attorney to determine whether you have a case.

What Causes Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder Dystocia occurs during labor, when after the delivery of the head, the shoulders of the infant cannot pass and requires significant manipulation to pass through the mother’s pelvic region. Shoulder dystocia usually affects larger babies or mothers who have a small pelvic region. In some cases, fetal demise can occur if not handled properly. For this procedure doctors use either forceps or a “vacuum” to extract the baby. However, if the doctor uses excessive force when the baby’s shoulders are stuck, the infant can develop shoulder dystocia which could result in Erb’s Palsy. Erb’s Palsy is a condition that can cause paralysis and often requires rehabilitative therapy and surgery to correct.

Healthcare providers who are negligent, whose carelessness or recklessness fall below the requisite standard of care, are liable for birth injuries resulting from those actions. You may seek compensation for all expenses related to birth injuries of your child. That is why it is important to seek legal advice.

Need Legal Advice about Birth Injuries? Call Teal Law Group

Realizing that your newborn child has birth injuries due to the negligence of a medical provider is devastating. However, you do not have to go through the frustration alone. Contact Teal Law Group to determine the best strategies for your case so that you can receive the best outcome possible for you and your family. We are here to fight on your behalf. Contact our office today for an initial consultation. Call 707-525-1212 in Santa Rosa or 916-448-1010 in Sacramento.

You Have a Right to Your Medical Records

When choosing a new medical healthcare provider, one of the first questions on the new patient form pertains to information in your medical records from the previous doctor. You will need to complete a consent form to release your medical records from your previous doctor to your new healthcare provider. However, medical professionals are not the only ones who should have a copy of your medical records; you should have a copy as well. Having a copy of your medical records can not only save your life, but they may also be used in bringing a medical malpractice suit against a healthcare professional.

Your Medical Records and HIPPA

Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) gives patients the right to obtain a copy of medical records from any of your medical providers as well as the right to review and inspect them if you so choose. When seeking your medical records, no provider is to deny you a copy of your records except in limited circumstances, such as: if the records are psychotherapy notes; information the provider believes could reasonably endanger your life or someone else’s; or if the information is being gathered in anticipation of a lawsuit. By law, medical providers are release copies of your medical records within 30 days of your request. Furthermore, you cannot be denied a copy of your records because you owe money to the medical provider. A provider can, however, charge a reasonable cost for copying and mailing your medical records.

Medical records are created by your physician and they contain information about your healthcare professional’s observations of you, surgical information, as well as treatment plan information that your provider has deemed necessary. Your medical record can help a malpractice case by showing that there was a delay in treatment or to prove that the treatment was carried out improperly. Lastly, it is beneficial for you to have a copy of your medical records in case there is an emergency, a healthcare provider will already know what to expect or not to expect based on your records.

Need Help Getting Your Medical Records? Contact a Santa Rosa Medical Malpractice Attorney

You have a right to your medical records. Whether your medical records will be used to further investigate a malpractice suit or to help provide information in the case of an emergency. If you or a loved one has had issues receiving medical records it is imperative for you to contact an experienced Santa Rosa medical records attorney at Teal Law Group to help you fight for your rights. Receiving your medical records can help your case, and there are laws that will help you receive what is yours. Contact our office today for an initial consultation or call us at 707-525-1212 in Santa Rosa or 916-448-1010 in Sacramento.

What Classifies My Injury As Catastrophic?

Any serious injury can have a devastating consequences for the victim and the family of the victim. This is even more true with a class of injuries known as catastrophic injuries. These injuries an extremely debilitating and generally have a permanent impact on the life of the victim and their family. Catastrophic accidents can occur in a number of different ways, from car accidents to workplace accidents. Whenever these serious accidents occur due to the negligence of another person, the victim must be fairly and fully compensation. At Teal Law Group we a committed to fighting for the rights of injured victims. If your loved one has suffered through a heartbreaking catastrophic injury, contact a compassionate Santa Rosa catastrophic injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney will explain to you the full extent of your legal options, and protect the legal rights of your tragically injured loved one.

What is A Catastrophic Injury?

The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research considers an injury catastrophic if it fits into one of three outcome based categories:

  • Injuries that result in death;
  • Injuries that cause permanent functional disability; and
  • An injury that causes severe head or neck trauma, even if it does not result in disability.

Some examples of common catastrophic injuries include: amputation, paralysis, severe burn or a traumatic brain injury.

Can I Collect Compensation For My Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury has an enormous effect on the life of the victim and their family. These injuries must be fully and fairly compensated. Several types of compensation are potentially available for victims of catastrophic injuries caused by another party’s negligence.

  • Current and future medical expenses;
  • Current and future lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental trauma;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life; and
  • Any needed rehabilitation services.

An experienced Santa Rosa personal injury attorney will comprehensively review your case and determine if any parties can be held legally responsible.

Contact An Experienced Santa Rosa Catastrophic Injury Attorney

While nothing can truly make a truly make a debilitating catastrophic injury completely better, it is important that serious injuries caused by negligence are fully and fairly compensated. The legal rights of you, and your family, must be protected. The Teal Law Group has a team of experienced personal injury attorneys dedicated to protecting injury victims. In the unfortunate event that you, or a loved one, has suffered a catastrophic injury, contact an experienced Santa Rosa attorney today.

I Was Awake During Part Of My Surgery, Now I Have Severe Mental Trauma

When major surgery is performed, anesthesia is usually administered. Properly used anesthesia is incredibly valuable to patients. It can make a major operation somewhat bearable. If you are going under the knife, you are placing place enormous faith in medical professionals. You expect that they will treat you will prudent care and take every reasonable precaution necessary to keep you safe. You are extremely vulnerable during this time. Imagine the horror of unexpectedly waking up during a surgery, but not being able to tell anyone about it because of the anesthetic. It is a horrifying thought and it actually happens more than you might think. Most victims who are find themselves unexpectedly awake during surgery report severe mental trauma. If you, or a loved one, was awake during surgery when you should not have been you may be a victim of medical malpractice. If you experienced mental trauma as a result, you should seek the services of an experienced Sacramento medical malpractice attorney.

Can I Collect Compensation For Mental Anguish?

Yes, you are potentially eligible for significant compensation for mental trauma caused by medical malpractice. Mental anguish can be very serious, and it is a recoverable non-economic damage in some situations. Specific types of mental anguish include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Grief
  • Trauma

Under California law, there is a statutory cap on noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damage can be difficult to quantify and are often fiercely contested by opposing insurance companies. If you have suffered mental pain from surgery or any other medical operation, you need to speak to an experienced California medical Malpractice attorney. The fact is anaesthesiology errors can be prevented. Medical professionals have a legal responsibility to make sure that things have been administered property and to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken. When medical professionals fail to live up to their end of the bargain, it can have serious, life changing, consequences for the victims.

Contact An Experienced Sacramento Medical Malpractice Attorney

At the Teal Law Group in Sacramento, our attorneys are completely committed to helping victims of medical malpractice. Finding yourself unexpectedly awake during surgery can be an incredibly traumatic experience. If you, or your family member, has suffered at the hands of an anesthesiologist’s error, you deserve to be compensated for your mental pain. Contact our experienced California medical malpractice attorneys today for a free consultation.

Chiropractors Need Medical Malpractice Insurance Too

Much like other medical professionals, the care given to patients by chiropractors must meet certain legal standards. When a chiropractor fails to provide a reasonable standard of care, they may be committed medical malpractice. If you have injured by a chiropractor in California you should speak to an attorney. You may have a valid chiropractor malpractice claim and you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Sacramento medical malpractice attorney to learn more about your legal options.

Chiropractors Can be Sued for Medical Malpractice

Despite the fact that chiropractors practice medicine in a somewhat unique way, they can still be held liable for injuries the cause through negligence. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education, a chiropractor receives at least four thousand hours of medical training. Chiropractors are medical professionals, and they are licensed by the state of California. When a patient consults a chiropractor, they reasonably expect that they will receive a proper medical diagnosis and they will be handled with prudent care. When chiropractors fail to live up to this reasonable standard of care they can seriously damage the lives of their patients. Negligent chiropractors can, and should, be held accountable.

Common Types of Chiropractic Medical Malpractice

  • Negligent damage to the patient’s body: If a chiropractor causes a new injury, or substantially aggravates a prior injury, their actions may be negligence. A chiropractor’s body adjustments can cause significant damage to the ribs, back and neck. They have a responsibility to act with prudent care when manipulating a patient’s body and performing adjustments.
  • Chiropractor induced stroke: If a chiropractor is not sufficiently prudent their negligence can even induce a stroke. A stroke can occur when a chiropractor ruptures or damages an artery in the neck.
  • Failure to diagnose a medical condition: Chiropractors are medical professionals, medical professionals have a duty to reasonably diagnose underlying medical condition. If a chiropractor fails to diagnose an urgent medical condition it may be medical malpractice.

Contact An Experienced Sacramento Medical Malpractice Attorney

Chiropractors need malpractice insurance because they can, and do, commit medical malpractice too. An injury caused by a negligent chiropractor can be very serious. If you, or your family member, has been injured by a chiropractor and you think the injury might have been the result of malpractice, speak to attorney immediately. At Teal Law Group, we will review your case and aggressively represent you. Our attorneys will make certain that you get the full compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced Sacramento malpractice attorney today.

My Dental Procedure Went Wrong

Dental malpractice is a major problem in California. When you go to the dentist, you reasonably expect that the dental professional will keep you as safe as possible during any oral procedure. A dentist, and dental assistants, are required to provide patients with appropriate care that meets legal standards. If your dentist fails to live up to this standard, the damage you face can be significant. Damage from a botched dental procedure can be physical, mental or financial. A physical injury caused by a negligent dentist can be very painful, to the point that the injury is completely debilitating. If your Sacramento dental procedure went awry, contact an experienced dental malpractice attorney, to learn about your legal options.

Do I Have A Valid Dental Malpractice Claim?

If you feel like your dental procedure went wrong you might have a valid medical malpractice claim. Victims of dental malpractice are often entitled to substantial compensation. A successful legal claim for dental malpractice has four different required elements:

  • Prove the existence of a dentist and patient relationship;
  • Demonstrate the appropriate standard of care the dentist owed the patient;
  • Show that the standard of care was breached; and
  • Connect the harm that was caused to the patient to the breach of the standard of care.

The majority of the time, the existence of the dentist and patient relationship is not contested. Establishing the appropriate standard of dental care can also be relatively routine in most dental malpractice cases. The key to successfully winning a dental malpractice lawsuit is establishing that a breach occurred and proving that the established breach was the cause of your damage. If for any reason you believe your dentist might have committed malpractice, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

What Compensation is Available for Dental Malpractice?

Once you have established negligence on the part of the dental professional. You must also show that you sustained real damage in order to collect compensation. There are several different types of compensation which may be available to you if you were the victim of dental malpractice, they include:

  • Any medical expenses;
  • Lost wages and future lost wages; and
  • Pain and suffering.

Contact An Experienced Sacramento Dental Malpractice Attorney

If you, or your loved one, has been injured by the malpractice of a dentist or dental assistant an experienced personal injury attorney can help. At Teal Law Group, our attorneys have deep understanding of California dental malpractice law and can comprehensively review your case and determine what steps you should take next. Contact the Teal Law Group today for a free consultation.