Ask Your Attorney

Ask the Lawyer – Injury Law

Please let me know what you think about the “Ask The Injury Lawyer” questions we write each week. It usually runs in the Trib on Monday after the Steeler game in the back of the sports section. Below are questions that ran in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. For those of you that don’t get the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review you can view the questions and answers here on our website.

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08.19.13

Q: Attorney Tully, why are many attorneys reluctant to take a medical malpractice case? Don’t they result in some of the highest jury trial verdicts?

A: Yes, but it is not that easy. First, medical malpractice cases are expensive and very time consuming. Most attorneys do malpractice cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Therefore, the attorney can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours on a case without any recovery. Second, juries naturally like doctors and surgeons. Third, the attorney has to find and retain a doctor who will confirm there is malpractice involved. This can be problematic. Fourth, most jury malpractice cases rule in the doctor’s favor. Despite all of the above, medical malpractice occurs every day. We are willing to talk to anyone about their case. No recovery/no fee. Call me.

08.12.13

Q: Attorney Tully, I have two questions. Do you think juries take nursing home malpractice claims seriously? Second, what type of injury cases do you concentrate your practice in?

A: I believe juries take nursing home abuse and injury cases extremely seriously. Why? Maybe because on a jury of 12 persons, at least one juror often has a parent or loved one in a nursing home facility. They might be thinking, hey that could be my loved one who was treated that way. Let’s send a message with our jury verdict. Second, we concentrate our law practice to areas involving nursing home cases, children’s injury cases, auto accidents, defective product cases, slip & falls and medical malpractice cases. We offer a free call or meeting to discuss each claim.

08.05.13

Q: Attorney Tully, in a case against a bar for serving an intoxicated person, who then causes an auto fatality, what is involved?

A: Good question. First, the lawyer needs to immediately locate the people who were in the bar when the driver was there. This may be the best evidence of the bar’s fault. Why? Because they will be able to testify about how the intoxicated driver appeared at the bar. Was he there for a long time, was he showing signs of intoxication, was he yelling or arguing with other customers, was he slumped over in his chair, did he have glassy eyes or slurred speech? Everyone knows those are telltale signs of intoxication. And if the bartender kept serving the driver when he was in that condition, you have the makings of a solid case.

07.29.13

Q: Attorney Tully, my child was severely injured in an auto accident. How do I know if the insurance company’s offer is really their top offer? Can I get more money by holding out until just before we pick a jury?

A: I have been doing children’s injury cases for over 25 years. You just asked the question that still keeps me up at night. Why? Because no one really knows if the offer the insurance company makes is really their final top offer or not. What I can do is give you my best opinion about the offer, based upon my experience dealing with the particular insurance company involved. Each situation is different. Call me for a free meeting regarding your child’s injuries. No recovery, no fee.

07.22.13

Q: Attorney Tully, Injury Attorneys seem to be money grabbers who causes insurance rates and premiums to go up by filing stupid lawsuits. What value are injury attorneys to society?

A: Wow! Someone didn’t have their morning coffee. Some of what you say is true. But consider another side of this: injury lawyers help protect the public like you and your family by forcing wrongdoers to change their harmful procedures. For example, recently a child almost drowned in the swimming pool at the YMCA. The YMCA then took immediate steps to change their procedures to guarantee this didn’t happen again. Their fear of being sued likely helped make them change their dangerous practice. The children are now safer because of it. I do injury cases. No recovery, no fee.

07.15.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can you file a complaint against a doctor and hospital for their failure to order enough medical testing to prevent a medical catastrophe?

A: Yes, a jury recently awarded a $1.7 million verdict to the family of a three-month-old girl who died from a brain injury because their doctor failed to diagnose a bacterial meningitis infection. The hospital where the deceased child was misdiagnosed was also held responsible. The doctor tragically diagnosed the child with a middle-ear infection and discharged her with a prescription for amoxicillin. What the doctor and hospital failed to do was to order a blood count and urinalysis to rule out meningitis. We do misdiagnosis and failed diagnosis cases against doctors and hospitals. No recovery/no fee. Call me. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result.

07.08.13

Q: Attorney Tully, you have been doing these question & answer articles about injury cases in the Trib-Review for years now. Do injured people call you based upon your articles?

A: They sure do. Usually what happens is a reader who has a similar injury or situation like the Q and A they are reading about will call us after seeing the article. Then I meet with the caller at my office, their house, or wherever is convenient for them. Sometimes the injured party just wants to go over their options with us before deciding to retain us. That is fine with us. We never pressure anyone to sign on with us. The whole meeting process is usually an enjoyable one for everyone. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

07.01.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can I file a lawsuit against a nursing facility based upon their constant under-staffing? What they did to my father was just terrible.

A: Yes. In fact a recent Pennsylvania case addressed that very issue. The estate of a deceased woman sued the nursing home where their mom had stayed. The Court decided that chronic continuous under-staffing at a nursing home results in an inability to properly care for patients at the home. Also, under-staffing can lead to a punitive damage award. In that case, the jury awarded the estate about $500,000 mostly because of the under-staffing. When it is properly presented to a jury, the jury takes these matters very seriously. We do cases against under- staffed nursing facilities. Remember also not all nursing homes are like that. Call me for a free consultation.

06.24.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can you collect money in addition to your Workers Compensation if you are severely injured at work?

A: Yes, under certain limited circumstances. Generally, you cannot go after your employer for any injuries sustained at work. That is covered by your Workers Compensation. But if you are injured at work because of the fault of someone else due to a defective product, for example, you can recover. A case in Philadelphia recently settled for almost $3 million when a delivery truck driver was severely injured due to a defective warehouse door. The employer was not sued but the manufacturer of the door was. The door was defectively made and this caused the injuries. We do Workers Compensation/Defective Product cases. No recovery/No fee. Free consultation.

06.17.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can an HMO be held responsible for carelessly hiring an incompetent doctor who causes damages (injury) to patients in the HMO network?

A: Yes. A jury in Las Vegas, Nevada recently awarded $524 million (yes, that’s right $524 million dollars) to two patients who contracted hepatitis C from a Las Vegas colonoscopy center. The HMO was hit with the huge award against them for negligently credentializing the doctor behind a deadly hepatitis outbreak. Even worse, the HMO kept the incompetent doctor in their network after the discovery. Incredibly, the HMO continued to refer unsuspecting patients to the doctor who was responsible for the outbreak. We handle medical malpractice cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me for a free appointment.

06.10.13

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rearended in an auto collision and had to have back surgery. I received an offer from the insurance company. How do you work your attorney fees if you are retained after the client has received an initial offer from the insurance company?

A: Very good question. I try to be fair about it. I recognize you received an offer on your own without my help. So I usually agree that my attorney fees are calculated after the offer you received. For example, if you have a $10,000 offer, my attorney fees will start after that $10,000 amount. That way you get the benefit of your efforts before I get involved in your case. We do surgery cases. No recovery/no fee.

06.03.13

Q: Attorney Tully, should I get the Full Tort or Limited Tort option on my auto insurance policy? The Limited Tort option is cheaper and I can save some money that way.

A: Absolutely not. Why? First, the difference you save is not that much anyway. Second, if you choose the Limited Tort option and you are injured in an auto collision, you may not be able to recover for your pain and suffering even if it’s 100% the other person’s fault. There are some exceptions to this, like if the other person is charged with DUI, but generally when you choose the Limited Tort option you must prove your injuries are “serious” to get money for your injuries. That is very difficult in most soft tissue cases. We do auto accident cases. No recovery/no fee.

05.27.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can an insurance company deny paying a claim under its homeowners policy for injuries to the victim of domestic violence if both the victim and abuser are insured under the same policy?

A: Yes, but a recent Pennsylvania Court ruling just made it much more difficult for an insurance company to do so. This case is a big victory for injury victims of domestic abuse. The insurance company in that case tried to weasel out of paying the injury victim on several very technical grounds. The next time you see one of those “cute” insurance company television ads, consider how insurance companies really treat people who pay them money for homeowners insurance. Call me. We do homeowner claim cases. No recovery. No fee. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR FREE LEGAL TIPS.

05.20.13

Q: Attorney Tully, how does the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the United States (OSHA)compare with other countries?

A: Actually pretty darn well. I was recently in Assisi, Italy, which is a beautiful city. Right in the middle of a street leading to the Plaza there was a crane about a building high. Two of the wheels of the crane were off the ground. People had to walk under the crane (which was in operation and moving) in order to get to the Plaza. This was an absolute disaster waiting to happen. I doubt you would see that in Pittsburgh, where OSHA laws protect the public. We do construction law injury cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR FREE LEGAL TIPS.

05.13.13

Q: Attorney Tully, I saw online that the decedent’s family can get money for the “pecuniary” losses they suffered in a Wrongful Death case. What does that mean?

A: Good question. Pecuniary losses include the value of services the deceased would have given to the family if she had lived. Services include the loss of “comfort and society” of the deceased. This means the psychological and emotional loss suffered by the family of the deceased. When someone is wrongfully killed, the law tries to make the family whole by compensating the family for the guidance, solace and protection the deceased would have provided had she lived. Our office does Wrongful Death cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR FREE LEGAL TIPS.

05.06.13

Q: Attorney Tully, if a person is seriously injured or killed on another’s property, isn’t the owner of the property automatically responsible?

A: It’s not that easy. The law only requires the property owner to take reasonable steps to protect people on their property. Remember the three former Duquesne University basketball players who were shot in 2008 after a school sponsored dance? A Federal Judge recently threw out the case against Duquesne University because the school provided security for the dance and that’s all it was required to do. The key here is reasonableness. If Duquesne had warnings of the threats before the dance and did nothing about them, that would have led to a different outcome. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result.

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04.29.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death case against someone for killing another person, as a result of a tragic accident? I mean does the death have to be intentional to bring a Wrongful Death claim?

A: No, intent is not required. Recently a California jury awarded $6.5 million to the estate of a man accidentally, but wrongfully, killed by a police officer. The officer had responded to a call of a man waiving a gun. The officer saw the victim with something in his hand and without any warning, shot the man 12 times. In fact, what the deceased man had in his hand was a water hose. Call me for a free consultation. No recovery/no fee. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR FREE LEGAL TIPS.

04.22.13

Q: Attorney Tully, if a person is killed due to the fault of another who brings the claim, what can be recovered from the claim?

A: The Wrongful Death Act allows the spouse, children or parents of the deceased person to sue another for a negligent act that caused the death of the loved one. The spouse, children or parents can collect money for the reasonable hospital, nursing, medical and funeral expenses of the deceased person. In addition, the family can collect the expenses caused to the family because of the decedent’s death. Lastly, the family can collect for the emotional and psychological losses they suffered by the tragedy of the decedent’s death. We handle Wrongful Death cases. Call me for a free consultation. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR FREE LEGAL TIPS.

04.15.13

Q: Attorney Tully, if a person dies due to the fault of someone else, what is the legal name of the claim that is brought in the deceased’s name?

A: Great question. It is usually referred to as a Wrongful Death claim. The purpose of a Wrongful Death case is to compensate the deceased’s survivors for the losses they suffered due to the person’s death. An estate is first opened for the decedent which is a very easy thing to do. Then someone is named as the Administrator or Executor of the estate. Finally, the lawsuit is brought by the Administrator/Executor on behalf of the estate. Yes, we do Wrongful Death cases. Call us for a free copy of our monthly Newsletter. No recovery/no fee. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR FREE LEGAL TIPS.

04.08.13

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear ended in an auto accident and had neck surgery. At my trial is my surgeon going to appear in person and testify live?

A: It’s possible but it is pretty unlikely for two reasons. First, if the surgeon testifies in Court, she is going to have to cancel either her patient appointments or surgeries for that day. Second, the cost for having a surgeon appear in Court “live” is often very high – around $10,000 for a half day appearance. The more common practice is for the attorneys to go to the surgeon’s office, videotape her deposition and then play the video to the jury. That is a lot less expensive and accomplishes the same goal. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR FREE LEGAL TIPS.

04.01.13

Q: Attorney Tully, how do I know if I should take the money offer from the insurance company to settle my injury case or go to trial?

A: The answer is not always clear. Assume two people are injured in an auto accident and require knee surgery from the collision. They both miss two months of work due to the surgery. The first victim goes to trial and a jury awards her $300,000. The second victim goes to trial in the same county and she gets an award of $40,000. How can that be if the injuries are exactly the same? Please call me for a free consult about your case. No recovery/no fee. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result.

03.25.13

Q: Attorney Tully, do you handle cases involving tire blowouts and tire rim failure accidents? Are we able to go after the garage that put the tires on defectively?

A: Yes we do and yes we can. If we can prove the tires were put on improperly, then the focus becomes what your injuries were. For example, recently a jury awarded $18 million against Wal Mart for putting new tires on a van with an eroded tire rim. This resulted in the death of several passengers in the van with the defective tire rim. Garages must check for corrosion around the rim when mounting a new tire. No recovery/no fee. Call me. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result.

03.18.13

Q: Attorney Tully, my mother died of dehydration and malnutrition at a nursing home. The local home is owned by a corporate chain. Can we go after the corporation for my mom’s death?

A: Probably. We need to show a connection between your mother’s care and the corporation. We must show the corporation owed your mom a duty of care and they breached that duty of care. We also want to find out about the chain of command between the local home and the big corporation. You can see why it is so important to get an attorney involved immediately to start digging for this information. Call me. No recovery/no fee. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result.

03.11.13

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear ended in a car accident. I had knee surgery. Since we filed a lawsuit does my case have to go to trial?

A: No. Sometimes (but not always) after your deposition is taken and all of your records are obtained, the insurance company will increase the offer they made to you prior to the lawsuit being filed. We will talk to you about any offers and advise you whether the offer is a fair one or not. You can then decide whether to accept their offer or not. With us, you control the process. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

03.04.13

Q: Attorney Tully, my Dad died in a nursing home due to the neglect of their staff. The nursing home says I must submit my claim to arbitration instead of having a jury trial. Is that correct?

A: When your Dad went into the home he signed a residential agreement (that is, a contract). If the agreement covers only the financial arrangements of the resident and their family and not the issue of any injuries he may receive at the home, the case can be heard by a jury. Jury trials are usually much better for you than nursing home arbitrations. I can review the agreement for you for free. No recovery/no fee.

02.25.13

Q: Attorney Tully, do all Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death cases have to go to trial?

A: No. Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death cases are more difficult to settle than say car accident cases (which we also do) where liability is clear. Also, the doctors involved in the case need to approve any settlement that will affect their malpractice insurance. That can be a big stumbling block. On the positive side though, UPMC in particular has begun a mediation program to attempt to resolve some Medical Malpractice cases instead of proceeding to trial. In the right situation, mediation can be a great cost effective way to resolve malpractice cases. Call me. No recovery/no fee. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee of a similar result.

02.18.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death claim against PennDOT based on its failure to put up (erect) median barriers which would prevent crossover fatalities?

A: No, because of sovereign immunity. PennDOT enjoys sovereign immunity which means they can only be sued if the facts fall within certain exceptions to the sovereign immunity law. Median barriers are not one of those exceptions. Claims against PennDOT are very technical. That’s why we need to meet and go over the facts of each case with you before deciding how we can help you. Our meetings with clients to discuss their cases are always free and we don’t use pressure tactics to get your case. No recovery/no fee. Call me. *each case is different and this is not a guarantee in this situation.

02.11.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can a doctor who is suing another doctor or hospital for malpractice testify as his own expert that the standard of care he received fell below an acceptable level?

A: Yes, but we highly discourage it. Why? Because the jury will obviously assume he is just saying that it was malpractice in order to win his case. It goes to the doctor’s interest in the outcome of the case. It’s much better to have an independent doctor review your entire record and then reach his own conclusions. We pay the doctor’s fee up front for you and only get reimbursed that cost if we win your case! No recovery/no fee.

01.28.13

Q: Attorney Tully, is a hospital responsible for what happens to a patient after surgery?

A: It can be. The vast majority of surgeries at hospitals are done correctly. But, tragically, people sometimes die in hospitals after their surgery is over, when they are in the recovery room. That could be the time many patients are most at risk for injury because they are unconscious. For example, in 2012 a teenager died after a routine tonsillectomy when she suffered respiratory distress in the recovery room. Her monitor was either not properly set or was muted so the nurse could not hear warnings of the patient’s labored breathing. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

*each case is different and this is not a guarantee in this situation.

01.21.13

Q: Attorney Tully, if a worker is injured at a construction site are his damages just limited to his wages and medical expenses?

A: No. Your employer is responsible for your wages and medical bills. At a construction site a general contractor, a subcontractor or the maker of the machine that hurt you could be liable for your injuries. Construction injuries are usually serious ones. Recently a construction worker fell about 30 feet off a landing at a construction site. He broke his back, several ribs and injured his leg. His case settled in Philadelphia for over $2 million. Each case is different and that is no guarantee in your situation, but it’s certainly worth a call. No recovery/no fee.

01.14.13

Q: Attorney Tully, can you sue your family doctor for medical malpractice based on the doctor having sexual relations (an affair) with the patient?

A: This is a tough one. As you know, our office represents personal injury victims who have been physically injured due to the carelessness of someone else. Another aspect of personal injury claims involves psychological injuries which are very real and can lead to a money settlement in many cases. However, Pennsylvania Courts have not yet expanded malpractice claims to family doctors based on an absolute prohibition against consensual sexual relations with a patient. Affairs by “specialists” are a different matter. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

01.07.13

Q: Attorney Tully, I have another question about going after a bar for serving an intoxicated driver who then kills someone. Do these cases usually go all the way to trial?

A: No, many Dram Shop/Wrongful Death cases against bars/taverns are settled (sometimes even without filing a lawsuit). That is no guarantee in your situation because each case is different and results vary. However, bar insurance companies understand they are at risk in these cases. For example, a Dram Shop case in Philadelphia recently settled a case for $1 million when an intoxicated driver slammed into a taxi and killed the taxi driver. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

12.31.12

Q: Attorney Tully, why does Pennsylvania only require a driver to carry $15,000 in auto insurance coverage?

A: Because the auto insurance industry is so powerful. Tragically, I have represented people killed in auto accidents by a driver who only carried the state minimum policy of $15,000. That means the insurance company can simply pay the $15,000 amount and close its file for its client killing another person. Injury lawyers have been trying to get the minimum increased to at least $30,000 but the auto insurance industry is fighting it. Why? Could it be the higher profit margin on a $15,000 policy as opposed to a $30,000 minimum? No recovery/no fee.

12.24.12

Q: Attorney Tully, legally what is involved in going after a bar that serves a driver too much alcohol and then someone is killed by the drunk driver?

A: A dram shop case usually involves a bartender continuing to serve a person alcohol when the person is “visibly intoxicated”. If the person is falling down drunk, it’s a no brainer. But what about when the person is only showing some signs of intoxication, like slurred speech? Is that enough? We look at issues like how long he was at the bar, what kind of alcohol he was served and how he was acting while in the bar. Please call me. No recovery/no fee.

12.17.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I was severely injured on a cruise ship. I slipped and fell on the ship’s deck. I had knee surgery and a rod put in my leg. How do I sue the cruise line?

A: Carefully. You usually have to bring a lawsuit in the venue (jurisdiction) designated on your cruise ticket. That usually means in the state of Florida. Second, the statute of limitations is shortened in cruise ship cases. Instead of the normal 2-year statute of limitation in most injury cases, cruise ship cases can be less (usually 1 year). Time really is a factor in these cases. Your call to me is free. No recovery/no fee.

12.03.12

Q: Attorney Tully, do you do Legionnaires Disease cases? I read in the paper about another reported case in the Pittsburgh area.

A: Yes we do. In fact, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in Pittsburgh recently confirmed the fifth case of Legionnaires Disease here. In the VA cases, the disease was apparently spread through the water system at its University Drive Hospital in Oakland. Legionnaires Disease involves a pneumonia-like infection that can travel through the body and cause death to the victim. People should not have to suffer this type of tragedy, especially since a water-disinfecting method is available to prevent the disease. Your call to me is free. No recovery/no fee.

11.26.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I was involved in an auto accident. I suffered severe injuries to my back and neck. If we file a lawsuit, what information do I have to give the other side?

A: This is a great question I am commonly asked by accident victims. Discovery is part of a lawsuit, and involves written questions that both sides can ask about issues in the case. For example, if you know a witness to the accident, the other side would ask for the person’s name and address. We can ask the same information from their side. Discovery is important because it helps to narrow the issues in a case. It also makes settlement of the case much more likely since both sides will know what the other side has in terms of evidence. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

11.19.12

Q: Attorney Tully, do medical malpractice incidents usually happen only at smaller local hospitals without state of the art medical technology and testing procedures?

A: Sadly, medical malpractice occurs at every hospital. For example, a jury recently returned a $12.6 million verdict against the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. That hospital is considered very high tech. Yet a jury found a child suffered severe brain and organ damage after delivery there due to the negligence of its staff. Everyone makes mistakes. But when a hospital or pediatrician makes a serious mistake, the patient can suffer a lifelong or fatal injury. Call us for a free meeting regarding your case. No recovery, no fee.

11.12.12

Q: Attorney Tully, my child was a passenger in a car accident and severely injured his back and neck during the collision. Do we have to come to your office for a meeting?

A: No. If you want I can come to your home. Some people want to meet at a restaurant near their home and that’s fine with me too. I do not use high pressure tactics to sign your case up. I am down to earth and easy to talk to. Hopefully, you will see at our no-obligation meeting that I really do want to help you and your child. The call and meeting are free. No recovery/no fee.

11.05.12

Q: Attorney Tully, my relative died in a motorcycle accident involving a tractor trailer truck. I am not sure who was at fault. What does our family do now?

A: You need to get a copy of the police (accident) report. Next, any witnesses to the collision should be contacted. The trucking company’s investigators and insurance people are probably already collecting information about the accident. Legally, an Estate needs to be opened in your relative’s behalf in order to pursue a claim. You can see why it’s important to get an attorney involved early on in any motorcycle accident injury or fatality. Call me. The meeting is free. No recovery/no fee.

10.29.12

Q: Attorney Tully, you represent children and adults seriously injured or killed in accident cases. Does your practice also include representing Boy Scout victims ofsexual abuse?

A: Yes. The so called Boy Scout “Perversion Files” claim that over 40 victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse by leaders occurred in our area. That number is probably much larger. Some Boy Scout leaders and people in a position of trust abused young Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for over 50 years. Those poor victims deserved better of people they trusted. Trust matters! I was a Boy Scout so it’s particularly important to me. Call me for a free consult. No recovery/no fee.

10.22.12

Q: Attorney Tully, my 16 year old son was seriously injured in a car accident. The other driver’s insurance company wants to take a recorded statement from him. Should he give it?

A: No. Has your son reviewed the police report yet? He will be asked questions about speed, distances and road conditions at the time of the collision. Any of those answers can be used against him to deny his claim. That means regardless of your son’s injuries, the insurance company will not pay him any money. Their insurance company is not on your side. Call me today. The call is free with no obligations. No recovery/ no fee paid.

10.15.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I understand you handle motorcycle accident injury cases. How often do motorcycle accidents occur in our area?
A: Tragically, motorcycle injuries and motorcycle fatalities happen every day. Even if the motorcyclist lives, their injuries often involve severe fractures, surgeries and large permanent scarring.
Cycle riders do not have the support and protection that a car provides. Also, since car drivers are not looking for motorcycle riders on the roadway, they often miss cyclists changing lanes. If it’s clearly the other driver’s fault, the big issue becomes what is the value of the injuries. Call me to discuss your case for free. No recovery/no fee.

10.08.12

Q: Attorney Tully, do you handle children’s injury claims and what makes their cases unique?
A: Yes, I do child injury cases. I have represented children in accidents involving soft tissue injuries, broken bones and injuries requiring surgery. I also represent the estates of children who were killed either in auto tragedies or other fatalities. Children’s cases are somewhat different than other injury cases because their claims are brought by the parents or natural guardians on behalf of the injured children. Another difference is the statute of limitations does not begin to run in a minor’s case until the child turns 18. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

10.01.12

Q: Attorney Tully, my son played high school football and had several concussions. He is now in college and is having severe memory problems. Can I pursue a claim?

A: It is certainly worth investigating. Concussions are common to any high school or college contact sport. Concussions occur in football, baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, gymnastics or even cheerleading. Everyone knows the pattern. A player gets hit or knocked out during the game. He/she sits out a few plays and then goes back in the game and maybe takes more hits. Our office handles sports concussion/memory loss cases. Call my office for a free consultation. No recovery/no fee.

09.24.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I ride my bicycle on the streets where cars often travel. If I am injured riding my bike, can I sue the car driver who hit me?

A: Yes. Legally, the rules of the road are the same for everyone. If a car hits a bicycle rider due to negligence, the bicycle rider can recover damages ($) for any injuries he sustains. Unfortunately, bicycle rider injuries are often serious and sometimes fatal. The same is true of motorcycle injuries. Neither a bike nor a motorcycle protect the rider very well. Call me for a free consultation for any bicycle or motorcycle injury. No recovery/no fee.

09.10.12

Q: Attorney Tully, what do you think of pre-litigation funding companies where injured persons can borrow money until their injury case settles?

A: You should avoid them like the plague! Why? Because of the outrageous interest ($) you have to repay them when your case settles. Many of these companies charge you compound interest per month (not per year) on your loan. This creates pressure to settle your case early at less than its full value (to stop the compound interest from continuing). A $2,500 loan can quickly balloon into a $7,500 bill. Unless your electricity is being shut off, avoid these companies!! No recovery/no fee.

09.03.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I have a Medical Malpractice case against the hospital and the surgeon who did my surgery, but I have mixed feelings about filing a lawsuit. What do you think?

A: You have a valid concern. The problem is when doctors and hospitals make mistakes, they can be tragic ones. Consider the recent nurse/hospital that accidentally disposed of a kidney from a living donor in an Ohio hospital. It was unintentional but tragic nonetheless. The decision to proceed is entirely yours and we are available to discuss your options at no charge. Call me. No recovery/no fee. I promise no sales tactics!!

08.27.12

Q: Attorney Tully, what is the hardest part of a serious auto accident case?

A: Dealing with the insurance companies. Auto insurance companies often act like a wicked stepmother. They are smiling and nice in public and in their TV ads, but not when it comes to being fair to injured victims. Want an example? Last week an insurance company forced the estate of a daughter, who was killed by a drunk driver, to go to trial instead of paying their policy limits. It was only after the story went viral on the Internet that they paid the policy limits. Why do you think that was . ? Call me. No recovery/no fee.

08.20.12

Q: Attorney Tully, why do juries give some accident victims more money than others with similar injuries?

A: That’s the $64,000 question! Juries generally give money to victims who they like and don’t give money to people that whine and complain about their injuries. I tried a jury trial awhile ago where the jury gave my client less than what her injuries were worth. I then tried another case with similar injuries and the jury gave her a lot more than we imagined it would. Why? I think it was because they liked my second client and didn’t like the first client. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

08.13.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I had a very serious auto accident and had back and knee surgery. What will I have to do if we file a lawsuit?

A: It’s likely the insurance company will take your deposition. A deposition is a question and answer session in which you will be asked about the auto accident and your injuries. I will give you specific suggestions for the best way to get through this procedure. I have probably attended over 500 depositions with clients over the years. A deposition is nothing to lose sleep over. We will be with you throughout the entire process!No recovery/no fee!

08.06.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I watch TV and see those funny, cute auto insurance commercials. They seem like reasonable people to deal with concerning my back surgery auto accident case. Am I being naive?

A: Yes. I often throw a shoe at my TV when I see those ads. In my opinion, auto insurance companies do not try to be fair to injured victims. Insurance companies try to pay you the least amount of money they can and close your file. Why should you call me about your injury case? Experience. I have represented injured folks like you for over 25 years. Both the call and any meetings are FREE.

07.30.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I notice your heading includes Wrongful Death cases. Do you only handle Wrongful Death cases?
A: No. Fortunately there aren’t a lot of Wrongful Death cases compared to other types of Personal Injury cases. I also do auto accident cases, slip & fall injury cases, construction/workplace injury cases and workers compensation cases where injured persons are seriously or permanently damaged. Each month I mail out a FREE monthly Newsletter to over 5,500 current and past clients. The free Newsletter updates you about changes in the law. Any reader can call me today to talk about their injury case. I promise no sales pitch.

07.23.12

Q: Attorney Tully, what legal impact do safety violations have in workplace accidents when serious injuries or death result from the violations?
A: The impact’s huge. In the construction/workplace setting, there are often monstrous machines and equipment being used. Safety violations can lead to death or catastrophic injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for industry and workplace safety. OSHA violations are powerful evidence that we use to help injured victims of construction or workplace accidents. We handle all injury cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Any reader can call me for a free consultation about their workplace injuries!

07.16.12

Q: Attorney Tully, what current trends do you see in personal injury jury trials?
A: Jury skepticism about a victim’s injuries is widespread. Recently I tried a jury trial in a personal injury case. During jury selection, attorneys can ask questions of people to see if they can fairly serve as jurors. I was absolutely shocked to learn that every single perspective juror believed that all injured victims exaggerate the extent of their injuries to get more money. Not some or many, but all victims. Think about that. We handle all injury cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me for a free consultation.

07.09.12

Q: Attorney Tully, If a husband dies while working on the job, can his wife pursue awrongful death claim against his employer?
A: If the death occurred while the husband was on the job, the workers compensation law generally prohibits you from bringing a claim against the employer. However, if the work related death occurred due to the negligent acts of third parties (not the employer), you usually can pursue a wrongful death claimagainst them. Each case is different. Call me for a FREE consultation. We are easy to talk to. We also handle all Wrongful Death cases on a No Recovery/No Fee basis.

07.02.12

Q: Attorney Tully, assume a family member was rear ended by a tractor trailer on the Interstate. Assume he was life flighted and suffered permanent back and leg injuries. Do we even need an attorney in this situation?
A: You can try and settle it yourself, but consider this: According to a 2004 Insurance Research Council study, people represented by a lawyer receive, on average, 3-1/2 times more money than those who try to do it themselves. That’s not a guarantee because each case is different and results vary. But doesn’t it make sense to at least call me first? No recovery/no fee.

06.25.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Wrongful Death/Auto Accident collision where there are no surviving witnesses, how do you, as the attorney, prove who was at fault?
A: Great question! The point of impact (POI) of the cars can help prove if one of the cars crossed over the center line. Also, today almost 85% of all cars carry a black box (called an Event Data Recorder). Imagine how powerful it would be to show the insurance company that their client was speeding at the time of the auto collision! We handle Wrongful Death fatalities on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me.

06.18.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in an auto accident Wrongful Death or Medical Malpracticecase, how do you stay current on issues in cases?
A: I am a member of the Pennsylvania Associates of Justice. One benefit of my membership is the Auto List Service. The Auto List Service allows members to bounce questions off every single attorney in the state of Pennsylvania who is a member of the group. A member, from say Philadelphia, may have encountered a similar situation to our case and can offer us fresh ideas. It’s an invaluable service. We handle Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death cases. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

06.11.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death case, what do I have to prove to recover money for the injuries sustained?
A: You need to show there was a duty owed by the doctor (surgeon)/hospital to the patient and a breach of that duty by the doctor or hospital. You need to prove that the mistake was the cause of the injuries suffered and the damages suffered were due to the screw-up. Doctors make mistakes like everyone else. The problem is their mistakes can be permanent or even deadly. We can help you with your case. No recovery/no fee.

06.04.12

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death claim against a company for an auto accident fatality caused by an employee of the firm? The employee/driver only has a minimal auto insurance policy.

A: Yes. For example, a few years ago a law firm was sued for an auto accident death caused by its employee. The employee was driving and talking on his cell phone to a client, late at night, when he hit and killed a pedestrian. The company encouraged its employees to use cell phones for business matters. We handle all Wrongful Death claims on a no recovery/no fee basis. We can help you.

05.28.12

Q: Attorney Tully, the college my daughter is attending says its campus is completely safe. If something goes wrong, can I sue the college for this false claim?

A: Tragically, that’s what happened at a nationally known college in California. Two students were killed there in an apparent car jacking on campus. The parents have brought a Wrongful Death claim against the University because the college falsely advertised that all areas of the University are patrolled 24 hours a day/7 days a week. We do all Wrongful Death and Premises Liability cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. The call is free.

05.21.12

Q: Attorney Tully, what happens in a Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death case when the deceased is a stay-at-home mom? If mom never worked outside the home, can a claim be made for her lost income in the Wrongful Death/Survivorcase?

A: Yes. It’s called Lost Household Services. We often use a forensic economist who can project pretty accurately what mom’s lost household services amounts to per year. Then the economist multiplies that number by the years of projected lost services, to arrive at a final figure. That final figure can be quite substantial. Call us. No recovery/no fee. We can help you.

05.14.12

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death claim against a bar when the death occurs at the bar?

A: Yes. For example, recently a bar was held liable for over $6 million for a student’s death due to a fall on very narrow steps at the bar. The bar violated a consumer protection statute by not getting a building permit for the steps. Further, the bar avoided complying with the building code laws for over 20 years and the stairs were a safety hazard. We handle all Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice cases. Call me. No Recovery/No Fee.

05.07.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Wrongful Death/Medical Malpractice case, what do you the attorney look to in picking a malpractice expert doctor to testify on our behalf at trial?

A: Excellent question. Fancy medical words mean nothing to a jury. The biggest factor we use in selecting a malpractice expert is how well the doctor can “teach” the jury. How well can the expert explain in everyday language what happened to the client? Also, we consider how well the expert can explain his conclusions in a way that an average juror can understand. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

04.30.12

Q: Attorney Tully, what if a person with sleep apnea dies in the hospital after being over medicated with drugs. Who is responsible in a Wrongful Death/Medical Malpractice case – the doctor or the hospital?

A: Each case is different. Does this example help? A Pennsylvania jury awarded over $800,000 to the estate of a man who had obstructive sleep apnea and was given too much Dilaudid while in the hospital. The over-medication caused cardiac arrest and death. The jury found the hospital 65% at fault and the doctor 35% at fault. No recovery/no fee. Call me.

04.23.12

Q: Attorney Tully, how do I know whether there is medical malpractice in a case where my Dad died during heart surgery at a hospital? Is that a basis for a Wrongful Death action?

A: You raise an important point. Just because a person dies during a surgical procedure, does not mean the surgeon or the hospital is at fault. Most surgeries or deaths at hospitals do not result in Medical Malpractice lawsuits. However, if you are getting the run around about why your Dad died at the hospital, call us. We can help. No recovery/no fee.

04.16.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I still don’t get the difference between a Wrongful Death claim and a survival action in a Medical Malpractice case. Help!

A: A survival action is brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate to recover for things like pain and suffering, medical bills and loss of income of the deceased. A Wrongful Death claim asks for money for the family’s loss of comfort, society services and financial support of the deceased. Wrongful Death claims are brought on behalf of the parents, spouse or children of the deceased. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

04.02.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Tractor Trailer (Trucking)/Auto Fatality case, how do you prove liability against the trucking company?

A: You must prove that the truck driver did something careless and that carelessness caused the death of another person. For example, if the truck driver changed lanes without signaling or rear ended the auto or was speeding and not paying attention, you have a strong case. There are also several ways to calculate damages (money) in a Wrongful Death/Truck Fatality case. Each case is different. Please call me to discuss this. No recovery/no fee.

03.26.12

Q: Attorney Tully, can you go after the bar/tavern that served an intoxicated customer? If the drunk then gets into his car and kills someone, is the bar responsible?

A: Yes. Bars cannot legally serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons. The bar can be responsible if a drunk then proceeds to kill someone in an auto accident fatality. In 2010, a Pennsylvania jury awarded over $1 million in damages in a Wrongful Death/Survival Action under similar facts. We do tavern Wrongful Death cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me.

03.19.12

Q: Attorney Tully, how can big jury verdicts in Wrongful Death/Work Place Injurycases help society?

A: A Texas jury recently awarded $82.5 million in a gas plant explosion case. A worker there was killed when he tried to start a heater and it exploded. The worker died the next day. Safety standards were ignored and cost cutting was a priority. Huge verdicts force companies to protect employees for fear of similar verdicts against them in the future. We handle Wrongful Death/Work Place Fatality cases. No recovery/no fee. Call me.

03.12.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in a truck driving/auto accident fatality, before I hire a wrongful death attorney should I first wait to see what the insurance company offers us?

A: You can, but what if the offer is too low? Then six months later, you are starting the football game behind 28-0! Immediately after a tractor trailer/auto accident fatality occurs, the insurance company is often at the scene collecting evidence, measuring skid marks and getting witness statements about the collision. You need someone to do the same. Call me. No Recovery/No Fee. We can help.

03.05.12

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death/Medical Malpractice claimbased on what happens to the victim after the surgery?

A: Yes. Last year the estate of a woman who went in for a routine hysterectomy won a $7 million award against her surgeon and the hospital. The surgeon and hospital failed to care for the deceased patient after the surgery. The doctors missed obvious signs of infection after clear warning signs became apparent. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

02.27.12

Q: Attorney Tully, can you get punitive damages in a Wrongful Death case based on the driver using a cell phone when the fatality occurred?

A: Punitive damages involve punishing a Defendant financially for outrageous conduct. Punitive damages seek money beyond general damages for one’s actions. A Court recently ruled that using a cell phone while driving in itself is not enough to award punitive damages in addition to general damages. But if we can show the driver was using a cell phone and drinking, we can make a punitive damage claim. No recovery/no fee. Call me.

02.20.12

Q: Attorney Tully, do huge jury verdicts and settlements only occur in Wrongful Death/Medical Malpractice and Survivor cases?

A: No. Each case is different. But if we can prove objectively that you have suffered a permanent injury, the value of the case can be quite high. Liability is another issue to deal with. Other cases, where the victim was hurt but the injuries are soft tissue in nature, usually do not result in such a high offer or verdict. We handle all injury cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me.

02.13.12

Q: Attorney Tully, what are some of the common situations where a Wrongful Death case occurs?

A: One of the most common situations where a Wrongful Death occurs involves medical malpractice cases. If a loved one dies due to the carelessness of another, whether it is a doctor or a hospital, there is a potential Wrongful Death claim. Another common situation is a trucking accident fatality where a person dies because of the careless driving or conduct of the trucking company. We handle both cases on a No Recovery/No Fee basis. Call me.

02.06.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in your opinion, what drives big jury verdicts in Wrongful Death/Nursing Home Abuse cases?

A: Often it involves juries being upset with the way a company treated the deceased victim. A Florida jury recently awarded $200 million to the estate of a 92 year old woman in a Nursing Home/Wrongful Death case. The poor woman died after falling down a staircase while strapped in her wheelchair thru neglect and under-staffing at the nursing home. I will review your Wrongful Death case on a No Recovery/No Fee basis. Call me.

01.29.12

Q: Attorney Tully, can a person be convicted based upon a victim identifying the wrong person at trial?

A: Yes. We have a very good criminal justice system in America but not a perfect one. Scientific research over the last decade has shown that eyewitness identification is one of the least reliable forms of evidence at trial. The U.S. Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that unless there is some showing of police misconduct, that it is solely up to the jury to decide if the victim’s identification of the Defendant is correct or not. Call me.

01.16.12

Q: Attorney Tully, can the fiancee of a decedent bring a Wrongful Death actionagainst a nursing home?

A: It’s unlikely. A fiancee tried to recently and the case was dismissed. The Wrongful Death Statute (42PaCS§8301) spells out who may bring a claim on behalf of a deceased person. A suit may only be brought by the personal representative of the deceased. Only the decedent’s spouse, children or parents are recognized as beneficiaries in a Wrongful Death action. Any money recovered in the case would go to them. We can help.Call me. No recovery/no fee.

01.09.12

Q: Attorney Tully, in a tractor trailer/wrongful death lawsuit, can you get into the hiring and training practices of the negligent trucking company?

A: Yes. A jury recently awarded $7 million over a tractor trailer crash that killed a man. In that case, it was alleged the truck driver wasn’t properly trained to drive the rig, was overtired, unqualified and had two previous license revocations. Also, the truck driver who caused the auto fatality had already driven too many hours that day according to Federal guidelines. We can help. No recovery/no fee. Call me.

01.02.12

Q: Attorney Tully, I read in a Wrongful Death/Survivor case that the first jury awarded $0 in damages for the survivor action. Then the case was retried and a different jury awarded $10 million for the survivor claim. How can that be?

A: Juries vary. 12 jurors see the value of a Wrongful Death/Survivor claim at one number. 12 different jurors hear similar facts and arrive at a completely different number. Who is right? The answer is they both are. They just view the facts very differently. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

12.26.11

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Wrongful Death case what effect would prior violations of a similar condition have on the death claim?

A: It could have an enormous effect. Recently a woman died when she stepped on the elevator in a 25 story building. The elevator doors suddenly closed on her. The poor woman died when the elevator quickly shot upward while she was trapped in the doors! The building inspector had issued 56 prior violations to the building. Several involved the elevator doors. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

Merry Christmas to all our Readers!

12.19.11

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Wrongful Death case, if the son is unmarried with no children, can his parents make a Wrongful Death claim?

A: Yes. The Wrongful Death damages are not just limited to the “loss of services” the son would have provided his parents had he lived. The parents are also entitled to the money a jury awards based upon the psychological and emotional loss of the child to the parents. Wrongful Death money is small consolation in this case, but it’s all the law can give. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

12.12.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can you go after a car manufacturer for a Wrongful Death fatality?

A:Yes. A jury recently hit Ford with a $73 million verdict in a rollover crash fatality. The rollover killed or severely injured several victims. A recalled tire blew out causing the deaths. Ford apparently made limited efforts to help in the tire recall effort. We handle rollover fatality cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. You do not repay us anything (not even costs) if we do not get you money. Call me.

12.05.11

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Wrongful Death case can you bring a claim against the driver’s parents for letting their child drive their car, when it was the child who caused the auto accident death?

A: Yes. Legally it’s called Negligent Entrustment. Did the parents know their child was an incompetent driver and let him use the car anyway? If the parents knew the child had many prior accidents, used his cell phone to text while driving and had prior speeding tickets that would likely be enough. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

11.28.11

Q: Attorney Tully, do most medical malpractice/wrongful death trials result in money for the family of the deceased?

A: Most jury verdicts in medical malpractice cases are in favor of the doctor/surgeon and the hospital. This means the family recovers no money in the case. Some Courts have gone years without a single verdict against a doctor or hospital. When there is a medical malpractice verdict, it’s usually huge since the damages might involve the death of the patient or patient paralysis. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

11.21.11

Q: Attorney Tully, are the amounts of the biggest jury verdicts going up or down?

A: The top ten jury verdicts in the United States are on the rise. The average size of those monster jury awards in 2010 was about $15 million. These included verdicts in cases ranging from medical malpractice claims, drunk driving fatalities, trucking collisions, breast cancer and pharmacy errors, workers compensation and insurance bad faith, van rollovers, tobacco deaths and gas explosion verdicts. Please understand that most jury awards are very conservative (low). Call me. No recovery/no fee.

11.14.11

Q: Attorney Tully, who is responsible when a coal train derails resulting in someone’s death?

A: Usually it’s the railroad company. Recently a coal train derailment caused the death of a 15 year old boy. A Wrongful Death claim followed which resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement. The railroad company used an unqualified engineer to descend a mountain curve. The train derailed on the curve resulting in the child’s death. The engineer was not certified to operate the coal train resulting in the fatality. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

11.07.11

Q: Attorney Tully, legally, what is the likely outcome of the recent deadly outburst of contaminated cantaloupes?

A: According to the Centers for Disease Control there are at least 25 deaths and over 120 serious illnesses from Jensen Farms contaminated cantaloupes. The 25 deaths will probably result in separate Wrongful Death claims or possibly even a Class Action lawsuit. If any family is the victim of this tragic situation, they should contact an attorney. No one should die from deadly bacteria in today’s society. We handle cases on a No Recovery/No Fee basis.

10.31.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death claim against a trucking company based on the company’s negligence that is unrelated to driving on the highway?

A: Yes. A jury recently awarded over $3.4 million to the family of a deceased air brake repairman for a non-driving related death. The repairman was killed because a trucking company employee moved the truck forward while the repairman was under the truck testing the brakes. The repairman died from the employee’s negligence, so the company was responsible. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

10.24.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death claim against a hospital and its doctors for their failure to properly monitor a child’s breathing while at the hospital?

A: Yes. In fact, a jury returned a $5.3 million verdict in a similar case. That jury decided the hospital staff was negligent in failing to properly manage a 12 year old girl’s airway at the hospital. The child died in the hospital. The family filed a Wrongful Death case against the hospital and its doctors. No recovery/no fee. Call me about this.

10.17.11

Q: Attorney Tully, if a truck driver is using a cell phone and the driver’s inattention leads to a fatality, what legal options are available to the family of the deceased?

A: You may consider filing a Wrongful Death and Survival action against the truck driver’s company. Unfortunately, this tragedy is all too common. Truckers use cell phones frequently. For example, last year a truck accident fatality that killed 11 people was likely caused by the truck driver using his cell phone while driving. 11 Deaths! Call me. No recovery/no fee.

10.10.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can you bring a Wrongful Death claim based on the hospital emergency room doctors releasing a patient too early from the hospital?

A: Yes. The length of time from when the deceased left the E.R. and when she died is crucial in Wrongful Death claims. Recently a jury awarded over $4 million to the family of a deceased woman under similar facts. The jury thought a more thorough emergency room exam would have shown warning signs of a pending fatal heart attack! No recovery/no fee! Call me.

10.03.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can Wrongful Death lawsuits be filed to achieve social good?

A: Yes. Sometimes Wrongful Death cases are filed mainly to hold companies publicly responsible for their negligence in causing someone’s death. For example, a Wrongful Death lawsuit was recently settled on behalf of a passenger on the 9/11 plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. The settlement of the Wrongful Death claim required the airline to file a detailed public report outlining the company’s lax security in allowing five terrorists to board the flight at the airport. No Recovery/ No Fee.

09.26.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can a Wrongful Death claim be brought against a hospital emergency room and its doctors for substandard care to the deceased victim?

A: Yes. A Pennsylvania jury recently awarded $3 million to the estate of a student who died at a hospital emergency room due to a rare heart defect. The hospital doctors breached the standard of care required under the law for patient care. Wrongful Death cases like these require a thorough investigation into what caused the death. No recovery/no fee. We can help. Call me!

09.19.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can one bring a Wrongful Death claim against the hospital and doctors based upon a family member getting fatal sepsis at the hospital and dying?

A: Yes. The key is often convincing the jury that the actions of the hospital or doctors increased the risk of harm to the patient. Sepsis is an illness in which the bloodstream is overwhelmed by bacteria. “Septic Shock” can result in death. You need to find out what the hospital or doctors did to fight the deadly sepsis. Call me. No recovery/no fee.

09.12.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can I bring a Wrongful Death claim against a drug rehabilitation center where my daughter died while getting treatment?

A: Yes. In fact a mother recently filed a Wrongful Death claim against a drug rehabilitation center under similar circumstances. That lawsuit alleged that overcrowding and under staffing at the drug rehabilitation center led to her daughter’s death. The Wrongful Death claim also alleged the staff’s failure to quickly and properly administer an antibiotic contributed to the daughter’s death. Call me for a free evaluation. No recovery/no fee.

09.05.11

Q: Attorney Tully, how is a wrongful death claim different than other types of personal injury cases? I want to sue a business where my brother died and I need some advice asap.

A: The wrongful death lawsuit would claim that the victim (your brother) was killed because of the carelessness or negligence of another person or entity (here the business). The claim would be brought on behalf of your brother’s estate. This is different from other types of lawsuits where the actual person injured files the lawsuit. No recovery/no fee.

08.29.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I want to file a wrongful death claim against the hospital my sister was in before she died. She died from the hospital’s negligence. Do all wrongful death cases go to trial?

A: No. Many wrongful death claims settle if the hospital or doctor’s malpractice is clear. Insurance companies want to settle those death claims quickly. However, many other wrongful death cases become hotly contested by the insurance companies. I am available to talk to you about what caused your sister’s death. The call is free!

08.22.11

Q: Attorney Tully, what is the Statute of Limitations on bringing a wrongful death medical malpractice claim on behalf of a deceased child?

A: The Statute of Limitations places a time limit on when you can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a child. Recently a Pennsylvania Court ruled that a lawsuit filed within 2 years after the death of the child is timely. That medical malpractice claim involved a doctor’s failure to properly administer a drug to the deceased child’s mother years earlier. Please call me about this!

08.15.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can I sue the Housing Authority for the wrongful death of my mother? She fell from the roof there. They left the door to the roof unlocked.

A: No. A Pennsylvania Court recently ruled the Authority wasn’t responsible for a fatality just by letting a door to the roof unlocked. Not all wrongful deaths result in damages. Many wrongful deaths do, but you need to prove negligence or carelessness to recover money. You need to show something else that they did to recover. Call me.

08.08.11

Q: Attorney Tully, my mother died in a nursing home because of neglect. She had huge bed sores on her body when she died. Can I bring a wrongful death claim on her behalf?

A: Yes. Unfortunately nursing home abuse is on the rise in the United States. Chronic under-staffing at nursing homes is one reason for this. Recently a Court allowed an elder abuse lawsuit to proceed based upon allegations of under-staffing at the nursing home, inadequate care to the residents and violations of state and federal laws. Call me.

08.01.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear ended in a car accident. It was a violent collision. I believe my fibromyalgia is from the auto accident. How can I prove it?

A: Fibromyalgia involves long term body wide pain in your joints and muscles including the back and neck. Your doctors are the key here. Having your doctor take your medical history, conduct a physical and neurological exam of you and testify regarding literature that links trauma and fibromyalgia, can help to make the legal connection needed! Call me!

07.25.11

Q: Attorney Tully, Why don’t I hear about the medical malpractice crisis anymore?

A: The PA Supreme Court did a remarkable job of dealing with the alleged medical malpractice “crisis” years ago. They initiated a requirement that before a medical malpractice lawsuit could be filed, an expert needed to write a report saying there is a basis for bringing a medical malpractice claim. This greatly reduced the number of baseless lawsuits being filed against doctors. Medical malpractice still occurs daily, but at least doctors are protected against frivolous claims.

07.18.11

Q: Attorney Tully, my brother was killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. The other side admitted they are at fault. Can we get into evidence how much the guy drank that night?

A: Yes. But to do so, you better allege punitive (or punishment) damages and general damages in your pleadings. A recent Pennsylvania Superior Court decision limits evidence of alcohol consumption prior to the fatality when the other side admits he caused the accident (liability). Punitive damages involve outrageous conduct by another. Call me to discuss this.

07.11.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear ended in a trucking accident and needed low back surgery. The insurance company for the truck driver wants to get my pre-accident mental health records. Are they allowed to?

A: A Court has ruled that the answer depends on whether your complaint alleges “anxiety” as opposed to ordinary claims of shock, mental anguish, and humiliation. Since anxiety is a recognized mental health disorder, they would be entitled to get your records, but if you allege shock and humiliation they wouldn’t. Interesting, huh? Call me.

07.04.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I read about the heart doctors who unnecessarily implanted coronary stents in patients at the Westmoreland Hospital. I am shocked. If I get a letter about this, what should I do?

A: Call our office as soon as possible. A heart stent is a small wire mesh device that keeps clogged arteries in the heart open. If you received an unnecessary stent, you can be at serious risk of a heart attack, blood clots or other serious medical problems. You really need legal help NOW!

06.27.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I had a prior attorney for my slip and fall back surgery case. Is what we talked about confidential?

A: You are in luck! The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in the Gillard case that the attorney-client privilege is a two way street. This means that confidential client to attorney and attorney to client communications made for the purpose of getting or receiving professional legal advice is privileged. The other side cannot find out confidential advice your prior attorney told you or vice versa. You are covered. Call me.

06.20.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I had leg surgery from an intersection auto accident. The insurance company is having me examined by their doctor. They call it an“independent medical exam”. Is their exam really “independent”?

A: Are you kidding? Some orthopedic surgeons are paid several hundred thousand ($)dollars a year by the insurance companies just to examine persons hurt in auto accidents. Their “examination” usually lasts less than ten minutes. How do you think the vast majority of their reports are going to turn out? For you or against you?

06.13.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear ended in a car accident and needed a hip replacement due to the collision. Do I even need an attorney for a rear end auto accident?

A: Ask the person who recently got a defense ($0) verdict under similar circumstances. How? Because the jury must find not only that the other guy was at fault, but that your hip replacement was due to the auto accident. Unless you prove both elements, you cannot get money for your injuries! Call me to talk about your claim!

06.06.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I am a salesman who was injured on the job. I hurt my back and neck. I am still disabled. I then got convicted of a crime and my employer fired me. Can I still collect Workers Compensation?

A: Yes. A recent Pennsylvania Court case decided that as long as a doctor says you cannot work because of your injury, you can still collect Workers Compensation until you recover from your injuries. Your conviction has no legal effect on your Workers Compensation status.

05.30.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear-ended in an auto accident during a snowfall. I hurt my back and neck. The other driver is claiming a “sudden emergency” caused the accident, not her driving. What is that?

A: The “Sudden Emergency” Rule applies when a person “suddenly and unexpectedly” finds herself in a hazardous situation which permits a driver little or no chance to react. If a jury finds a real sudden emergency existed, you can’t get any money for your injuries. There are many ways to fight this defense. Call me!

05.23.11

Q: Attorney Tully, can you tell the jury how much money we want for my shoulder surgery injury?

A: No. We also can’t tell the jury how much the insurance company has offered to settle your claim. In fact, we can’t even tell the jury that the wrongdoer has insurance! The law relies on the jury’s common sense to award a fair number. Unfortunately, many jurors fear that by giving an injured person money, their insurance rates are going to go up. This is simply not true. Call me!

05.16.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear-ended by another driver. I fractured my pelvis and later needed wrist surgery from the collision. What is this “Assured Clear Distance” rule I keep hearing about?

A: It’s a safe driving law. The “Assured Clear Distance” rule requires a driver to control the speed of his car so that he can safely stop before hitting the car in front of him. By violating this rule, the other driver becomes the legal cause of your auto accident.

05.09.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear-ended by a drunk driver. I needed elbow and heel surgery due to the accident. What effect will the DUI conviction have on my case?

A: It will help immensely. Here’s why. The burden of proof is higher in a criminal case than in a civil one (pain and suffering). A criminal conviction bars him from denying his criminal actions (drunk driving) in your civil (pain and suffering) case. It is unlikely a drunk driver will get much sympathy from a civil jury! Call me.

05.02.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I am a denture wearer. Why am I hearing my denture cream, Fixodent®, is unsafe?

A: A recent study has found that long term use of denture adhesives containing zinc can cause neurological injuries. Between 1996 and 2010, zinc was used in the manufacture of Fixodent® and Poligrip®. Symptoms include numbness and tingling of the feet and legs and/or difficulty in walking. Because these claims are subject to time limitations, it is important to call an attorney as soon as possible about your claim.

04.25.11

Q: Attorney Tully, what damages are recoverable under the Wrongful Death Act? My dad died due to medical malpractice.

A: Hospital, nursing, medical and funeral expenses, and administration expenses, incurred by reason of the injuries causing death, are recoverable damages in a Wrongful Death action. We feel it’s important to call an attorney immediately in Wrongful Death cases. Why? Because there are strict time limitations on bringing a claim. We handle Wrongful Death cases on a no recovery/no fee basis. Call me.

04.18.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I selected Limited Tort on my auto insurance and was rear-ended in an auto accident. I had wrist surgery. Can I recover money for my pain and suffering?

A: Probably. When you pick Limited Tort on your insurance and do not meet one of the exceptions (like being hit by a drunk driver), you can only get money for pain and suffering if you can prove that your injuries are “serious” as defined by the law. I represent surgery victims in accidents. Call me.

04.11.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear-ended in an auto accident in 2008. I had to have back and neck surgery from it. Can I still pursue this claim?

A: Probably not. The general rule in Pennsylvania concerning personal injury cases is you only have 2 years from the date of the accident to file an action.There is a very limited exception to this rule called the “Discovery Rule”. Unfortunately, your case confirms why it is crucial to immediately call an attorney when you are injured in an accident.

04.04.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was hurt at work and needed hip surgery. Now I can’t do my job as a construction worker. Can I get a commutation of my case?

A: Possibly. A commutation involves getting all your workers compensation money immediately, rather than receiving weekly workers compensation payment checks. Commutations work best if you have another job or another line of work available to you. Sometimes we can have your medicals left open for future medical treatments. This involves negotiating with the insurance company. Call me.

03.28.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was a pedestrian crossing the street when I got hit by a car. I had hip surgery, a concussion and elbow surgery from the accident. Should I give a statement to their insurance company?

A: No. We advise against it. Why? Because the insurance company is going to use what you say in the statement against you if the case goes to trial. They will often say you weren’t paying attention or were distracted and that is why you got hit. Call me.

03.21.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I had hand and foot surgery from my auto accident. What is to prevent the insurance company from delaying the case and then making me a low offer to settle the case?

A: Delay Damages. Delay damages act as an incentive to get insurance companies to make reasonable offers in injury cases. If the jury verdict is 125% higher than the top offer, you get the jury award plus extra money (delay damages) from the insurance company for not making a reasonable offer to you. Call me.

03.14.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I read about the heart doctors who unnecessarily implanted coronary stents in patients at the Westmoreland Hospital. I am shocked. If I get a letter about this, what should I do?

A: Call our office as soon as possible. A heart stent is a small wire mesh device that keeps clogged arteries in the heart open. If you received an unnecessary stent, you can be at serious risk of a heart attack, blood clots or other serious medical problems. You really need legal help NOW!

03.07.11

Q: Attorney Tully, what is your view on medical malpractice reforms like putting a cap on all pain and suffering at $250,000?

A: Suppose you were the victim of medical malpractice and were paralyzed for life, because of your surgeon or hospital’s error. How would you feel about being given $250,000 and told that’s all you can ever recover for their mistakes? How much is a lifetime of nursing care going to cost you? What about future surgeries and your loss of income? Medical Malpractice caps are a mistake.

02.28.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I have a medical malpractice claim based on a botched back operation. Now I can’t walk right. The surgeon didn’t tell me about some of the risks of the surgery. Do I need an expert to prove my case?

A: Yes. To prove lack of informed consent, expert testimony is needed to show the risks of the surgery and the likelihood of those risks. The surgeon must tell the patient all risks that a reasonable person would consider important in deciding whether to undergo the surgery. Call me.

02.21.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I was rear-ended in an auto accident. I had knee surgery from the accident. The insurance adjuster says I don’t need a lawyer. Do I?

A: Not if you want ripped off. The insurance adjuster wants to pay you the least amount possible. He is not on your side. Ask yourself why the insurance company doesn’t want you to get a lawyer? The answer is obvious. Is it a good deal for you to get all of a small number or possibly a large part of a much bigger number?

02.14.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I tripped at a gas station, near the pumps, because of the uneven surface there. I needed wrist surgery and ankle surgery due to the fall. My hospital bills are over $50,000. The insurance company says the defect I tripped on was so small I can’t get a recovery. Are they right?

A: I don’t think so. The Pennsylvania Superior Court in a 2009 Memorandum Opinion ruled that even a one inch high walkway defect may create liability when the defect spans multiple feet. Call me.

02.07.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I had a slip and fall on ice and had to have ankle surgery. My medical bills are over $60,000. The insurance company wants mediation. Should I agree?

A: Definitely. Mediation involves both sides meeting together and trying to settle the case without a trial. Mediation attempts to get both sides to agree to a settlement of the claim. On significant cases, we have been presenting a “Day In The Life” video of our injured clients to show how the injuries have affected their lives. Mediation works!

02.07.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I had a slip and fall on ice and had to have ankle surgery. My medical bills are over $60,000. The insurance company wants mediation. Should I agree?

A: Definitely. Mediation involves both sides meeting together and trying to settle the case without a trial. Mediation attempts to get both sides to agree to a settlement of the claim. On significant cases, we have been presenting a “Day In The Life” video of our injured clients to show how the injuries have affected their lives. Mediation works!

01.31.11

Q: Attorney Tully, a drunk driver, riding his motorcycle, collided with my car. I suffered a broken hip, a concussion and had knee surgery. I am furious. Can I sue the drunk for punitive damages, in addition to pain and suffering?

A: Yes. Recently a Common Pleas judge ruled that the combination of a defendant’s driving a motorcycle while intoxicated late at night is so outrageous as to allow a claim for not only pain and suffering, but also for additional punishment (punitive) damages!!

01.24.11

Q: Attorney Tully, I had back and leg surgery due to an auto accident. The insurance company offered $100,000.00 to settle my case. Should I go to trialsince the jury has to give me at least $100,000.00, right?

A: Wrong – The jury is never told what the insurance company has offered you. That is the risk involved in jury trials. You can go to trial and get more than the $100,000.00. However, the jury can also give you much less than that amount. You have to decide whether you want to take that chance. Good Luck!

01.17.11

Q: Attorney Tully, why are jury verdicts in auto accident cases much lower than they were in the past?

A: Who knows? Some jurors believe accident victims exaggerate their injuries.Others believe their auto insurance rates will go up by giving high awards to injury victims. A final reason could be the publics reaction to million dollar verdicts for spilled coffee (like the McDonald’s case). Picking the right attorney to represent you is really important. Call me for a free consultation.

01.10.11

Q: Attorney Tully, in a Wrongful Death case against Penn DOT, is there a duty to widen the highway shoulder, in case a car goes out of control and hits a guardrail?

A: Penn Dot has no duty to make the shoulder wider in anticipation of an out of control car. The condition of the highway shoulder is not a dangerous condition of the highway itself. That is an important legal point. It is challenging, but not impossible, to successfully sue Penn DOT.

01.03.11

Q: Attorney Tully, my son died as a result of a wrongful death shooting. His father had no real involvement in my son’s life. Is he entitled to part of the wrongful death money?

A: Maybe. The law considers whether the father had a “family relation” under the Wrongful Death Act. Courts also look to the parent’s contribution to the development of the child while he was living, in deciding whether a parent can recover damages under the Wrongful Death statute.

12.27.10

Q: Attorney Tully, you represent families in wrongful death cases. Why is it important to immediately retain a wrongful death lawyer in accident cases?

A: Because we can level the playing field. The other side’s insurance company is gathering evidence, talking to the police and witnesses, and taking pictures of the accident scene almost immediately after the accident. This is especially true in tractor trailer truck deaths. You need someone to do the same and protect your interests in wrongful death cases!!

12.20.10

Q: Attorney Tully, My minor son died in a wrongful death auto fatality. My husband (his father) and I are divorced. Will our divorce affect the settlement of the case?

A: It may not affect any settlement of the death claim but it will probably complicate how the settlement is distributed between you and your ex-husband.The Court may also have to decide the proper allocation between the wrongful death and the survival action. You need an attorney to protect your interests in this situation.

12.13.10

Q: Attorney Tully, I understand that Wrongful Death is a death that is caused by the wrongful act of another. But where can a wrongful death claim occur?

A: A wrongful death can occur anywhere, including from an auto accident fatality, a tractor trailer/auto death, medical malpractice, a motorcycle fatality, a work site construction death, a defective product fatality, a dram shop (bar owners) claim, a boating fatality or a slip & fall death at a business.

12.06.10

Q: Attorney Tully, in personal injury law, what is a wrongful death claim?

A: Wrongful death means a fatality or death that is caused by the wrongful act of another. When a loved one dies as a result of the negligence or carelessness of another person or company, the estate of the deceased may bring a wrongful death claim against the person or company who caused the death to occur.

Wrongful death claims are a special area of personal injury law.

11.29.10

Q: Attorney Tully, I had knee surgery from an auto accident. I don’t want to go to trial. What should I do?

A: You may be in luck. Mediation provides an opportunity for both parties to meet before trial and try to settle the case. Mediation is much cheaper than a trial and takes away the stress related to trial because you are in control of the process. No one cross- examines you or makes you feel uncomfortable.Mediation works!!

11.22.10

Q: Attorney Tully, where do your personal injury clients come from? I fell at work and had back surgery.

A: Mostly thru word of mouth. When a client is satisfied with an attorney they will often refer friends and family to their attorney. It is hard to satisfy everyone, but we have about 4800 (hopefully) satisfied clients that we keep in contact with via a free monthly Newsletter.

11.15.10

Q: Attorney Tully, my hand got stuck in a machine at work and I lost two fingers.Can I sue the maker of the machine?

A: Yes. You can collect your wages and medicals from your employer and still go after the manufacturer for damages. Legally it’s called a product liability case. Call me today for a free consultation about what to do next!

11.08.10

Q: Attorney Tully, what do you do when you aren’t practicing law?

A: If you knew how boring my life is, you would probably hire me as your lawyer out of sympathy. On weekends my wife and I usually read at Borders. Sometimes we go out to dinner or see a movie. We do like to travel. Church is big to us. Other than that, we like to stay at home and chill out!

11.01.10

Q: Attorney Tully, how can I increase my chances of getting a big jury award for my knee and back surgeries?

A: Be likeable. Pretty deep huh? Yet it’s true. If the jury feels you are not exaggerating your injuries and are for real, you will get more money than if they think you are trying to pull one over on them. Call me. No recovery/no fee!

10.25.10

Q: Attorney Tully, can we trust the lawyer for the guy who caused me to have neck surgery?

A: This will shock you but in my 30 years as an attorney I have never had an attorney knowingly lie to me or go back on his word. In the law, word and reputation are everything. They will do their best to minimize your injuries but yes in my opinion, we can trust opposing counsel.

10.17.10

Q: Attorney Tully, why is it so hard to sue Penn DOT, the City and other government units?

A: Because the government has immunity from lawsuits unless your case falls within certain narrow exceptions. You also must provide them notice within a certain period (usually 6 months) of your intent to pursue a claim. You can see why it is real important to immediately call a lawyer to discuss your situation. Good Luck!

10.11.10

Q: Attorney Tully, what does Placing My Case “At Issue” mean? I had shoulder surgery and neck surgery from my auto accident.

A: Placing your Case “At Issue” tells the Court you are ready to have your case heard by a jury. It’s a very important step in the legal process because your case could go to trial within 3 months of telling the Court you are ready to go to trial. Call me for a free consultation. No Recovery/No Fee. Good Luck!

9.27.10

Q: Attorney Tully, in plain English what is a Tortfeasor?

A: It is the person whose actions, that is negligence, caused your injuries. If you are rear-ended in an auto collision, the tortfeasor is the person who hit you from behind. In order to collect money for your injuries, we must show that it was the tortfeasors actions that caused your injuries. Call me for a free consultation.

9.20.10

Q: Attorney Tully, I had knee surgery from my slip and fall accident. Why is it hard to get an attorney to help me?

A: In a word “risk”. In a slip and fall case, the other side has a built-in defense that you were not watching where you were walking. If the jury believes this defense, you will lose your case and the attorney will likely receive no money for all the time invested in the case. Call me for a free consultation.

9.13.10

Q: Attorney Tully, what does your Contingency Fee mean in Injury Cases?

A: It means you do not pay me any money unless I get you money. My fee depends on getting you a recovery for your injuries. The term often used for most contingency cases is “no recovery/no fee”. My law office may not even charge you money for our costs if we do not get you money. If we get you money, we will receive a portion of your pain and suffering recovery only. Call me for a free consult. Good Luck!

9.03.10

Q: I was rear-ended in an auto accident and I had to have neck & ankle surgery. What is my case worth?

A: It depends. Did you miss work, did you undergo physical therapy, did you have prior neck & ankle problems, do you have outstanding medical bills or liens, who is the insurance company and did your injury happen during work time? An experienced attorney is usually able to give you a range of value that similar cases like yours settled for. Call me for a free consultation. You never pay me any money unless I get you money.

8.26.10

Q: Can my attorney tell the jury I want $75,000 for my pain and suffering in my injury case?

A: No, in Pennsylvania your attorney is absolutely forbidden from asking for a specific amount of money for your pain and suffering. Your attorney cannot even tell the jury if the person who caused your injuries has insurance. These are some of the reasons going to trial is a risky proposition. My law office regularly handles accident cases and we only are paid money if we get you money.