JULY 2012


If a person has the right to remain silent and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, can the police ask a suspect his name and address? Suppose the police come to the scene of an accident and a person is standing outside his car. Can the police ask the person if he was driving the car? In both instances the answer is yes, the police can! Why? Because the law considers those examples to be mere encounters with citizens which do not trigger our constitutional protections. These examples are different situations than if one is taken into a police station and interrogated by the police about a crime! Yes, we handle criminal cases on a regular basis. We also publish a Q & A every Sunday in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on criminal law issues.


If a person is convicted of being a sexual offender for certain crimes, he is required to register with the state. But what if he is homeless, living on the streets and has no address? Must he still register with the state? The answer is yes. The Courts have ruled that even a homeless person still must register with the state as required by law if he is a sexual offender.


OK legal scholars, what’s your opinion? If you own an uninsured vehicle (meaning you do not have insurance on it) can you still get the wrongdoer’s insurance company to pay your medical bills following an accident? The answer is yes, you can force the insurance company to pay your medical bills. That might seem obvious, but it took a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling to expressly overrule lower Court rulings that said you couldn’t get your bills paid from the wrongdoer! The reason given was your own insurance company is supposed to pay your own medicals in an auto accident case and since you had no insurance ….


As you know from prior Newsletters, when someone falls on water or a liquid at a store, fast food restaurant, mall bathroom or other establishment, one important issue is how long was the liquid on the floor. The law says the store must have either actual or constructive notice of the liquid in order for the injured person to receive a recovery. But how long is enough? Recently a Court has decided that even a gap of 7minutes between the creation of the puddle and a person falling may be enough time to infer constructive notice to the company in a slip and fall case. This would be especially true for fast food or department stores where they are inviting the public into their store to buy things. Call us regarding any slip and fall case!


As many of you know first hand, insurance companies often use very technical language that is hard to understand to deny your claim. Ask any homeowner who makes a claim after a storm about that issue!
However, every once in awhile, the injured parties do a turn-about-is-fair-play. Here is an example. A person was seriously hurt in an auto accident with an underinsured driver. The insurance company tried to deny paying his claim, saying the insured rejected additional coverage. The waiver form that was signed did not have the exact language in it that Pennsylvania motor vehicle law requires. The form actually just added the additional word “motorist” to the contract. But that one word was enough to have a federal judge rule that the form was not in strict compliance with Pennsylvania law. Therefore, the injured party won on that very technical decision. One word changed everything!!


1: What’s the difference between a hunter and a fisherman? The hunter lies in wait, while the fisherman waits and lies.

2: You can always spot an employee who’s playing golf with his boss. He’s the fellow who gets a hole in one and says, “Oops!”

Question Of The Month

With gas prices still high, readers are showing a lot of interest in answering the monthly question for a chance to win a Free $50 gas card in our drawing! Congrats to John Nasky for answering last month’s question correctly!
O.K. Here Is This Month’s Question: Name one holiday during the summer (hint: we just celebrated it).
Thanks! A special thanks to Mike C., Larry U., Bill W., Mary E. and Matt W. for your kind case referrals this month. Thanks again. We really appreciate it!!


If you or someone you know has been hurt in any of the following situations, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation: Personal Injury cases, Injuries Involving Surgery of any kind, Children’s Injuries, Fractured Bones, Vehicle Accidents, Catastrophic Injuries, Medical Malpractice cases, Wrongful Death cases, Product Liability/Defective Product cases, Homeowners Liability cases, Workers Compensation cases and Criminal Defense.

Hello Summer:

We hope you are enjoying the Summer!