Archives for : Personal Injury

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

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.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Halloween is a time where children are excited to dress up as their favorite characters and parents are excited to take their little ones out to show off their costumes. However, Halloween can also be very scary, for children and parents alike, when you have people playing tricks rather than giving treats, or giving treats that are really tricks. Therefore, there are specific tips that can help you and your loved ones enjoy your Halloween night. However, if you or a loved one find yourself in a less than perfect circumstance that results in injury, contact Teal Law Group to help fight for your rights.

Halloween Safety Tips

When you and your loved ones are out on Halloween night Trick-or-Treating remember these safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Choose costumes without masks or that minimally interfere with your vision
  • Children should wear costumes that are visible at night or have reflectors on them
  • Before going out, it is best to give your littles a light snack so that they are not tempted to eat candy from their bag before reaching home
  • Children should be accompanied by an adult and older children should travel in groups
  • Carry a flashlight for lighting
  • Do not have your children enter the home or car of a stranger
  • Only Trick-or-Treat at houses that have their porch lights on
  • Avoid costumes that contain replica firearms
  • Do not run
  • Cross the street at the corners and not diagonally across intersections or in between cars
  • Closely inspect all candy before allowing children to eat it
  • Lastly, remove all candy that could cause a small child to choke

Need Legal Advice?

Though Halloween is an exciting time for many, it can also be scary if certain precautions are not met. Do not become a victim due to your own actions. However, if you or a loved one finds yourself the victim of some cruel trick that leads to personal injury please contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Teal Law Group to figure out the best strategy for your case. We are here to help. Happy Trick-or-Treating!