July – August 2016

Because you readers are so good to me with your kind referrals of injury cases, you deserve a break today! The Law Firm of Bernard M. Tully hopes you enjoy your Pittsburgh Steelers, PSU and Pitt Football magnet. Thanks for reading! We really appreciate it!

We have gotten a lot of good feedback on our Legal Tip idea. So here are 7 more Legal Tips to consider!

Legal Tip #1 – Judge or Jury For Your Case? In a criminal case you are usually better off with a jury. The reason for that is Judges have been around for awhile and they have heard all the stories. They may be somewhat jaded concerning explanations as to why something occurred. There are a lot of exceptions to this but as a general rule I believe a jury is the way to go.

The reverse may be true in a Civil Auto Accident case. In my experience you are better off having your case heard by a Judge instead of a jury. Why? Because a jury in this climate, in our society, comes in with their arms folded and are skeptical of a person’s injury claims. This is especially so in soft tissue injuries where no bodily parts are broken or where surgery is not required. On the other hand, Judges see the injustices that often occur by jury verdicts against victims. They are more inclined to give the victim the benefit of the doubt regarding their injuries.

Legal Tip #2Surgery Check List: If you must have surgery and your choice of who is going to do your surgery is between 2 surgeons, ask them a simple question: Do you follow a checklist during your surgeries to be sure each item is checked off?

Pick the one who says they use a checklist. Studies have shown that a large number of medical malpractice cases occur because the surgeon, who is usually the High School Class Valedictorian and has been doing that type of surgery for a long time, doesn’t feel the need to follow a checklist. And they don’t need it in 99% of the time. But are you willing to take the chance that yours is that 1%? Something to think about.

Legal Tip #3Hungry Lawyers: If your attorney tells you to go out and keep getting doctor treatments even after you tell him that you are well, what should you do? You should run from that attorney like the plague. Any attorney that would tell you that is not trustworthy. It should be a huge warning sign to you that he or she will continue to do unethical things, probably against you in the end. In my opinion go with an attorney you think is trustworthy and ethical. Follow your gut in that regard and you won’t go wrong.

Legal Tip #4 – Injury Victims: Keep a diary of how you are doing after your accident occurs. Suppose you are seriously hurt in a slip-and-fall accident. You go to the hospital with a concussion.
If you keep a diary of how you are feeling and what you are going through during those first few months, it may help you remember later on when you are testifying at a deposition, how you were
feeling during that time period. If you do not, and the case lasts longer than expected, it is easy to forget the details of those crucial first couple of months after your injury.

Legal Tip #5 – Subrogation Waivers: If you are pursuing an under insurance claim be sure to get what is called a waiver of subrogation from your insurance company before you accept an offer from the wrongdoer. This is one of those technical things that can trap a person doing their case without an attorney. In an under insurance case, before you accept the offer from the wrongdoer’s insurance company, you must first get a waiver from your own insurance company. If you do not, then you may be prohibited from pursuing an under insurance claim as you prejudiced the rights of your insurance company.

Suppose you were seriously hurt in an auto accident and the wrongdoer has a $15,000 insurance policy. They offer it. Before you accept that $15,000 offer, you must first get the subrogation waiver from your own insurance company if you are going to make a claim against your own insurance company for the under insurance.

Legal Tip #6 – Jury Duty: If You Are Selected To Sit On A Jury Trial, Know That Just Because The X-rays Or MRI Show Nothing Is Broken Or Torn, That Does Not Mean The Injured Victim Is Pain Free. Often times a juror who had similar injuries to their body can understand when a victim says they are still having pain, although the doctor says they are fine. Medically they might be fine, but that does not mean that they are PAIN FREE.

Legal Tip #7 – FREE Criminal Advice: If you are stopped for a DUI, do take the breathalyzer test. Why? Because if you do not, on top of the DUI charge, you will lose your license for at least a year for the refusal. If you refuse to take the test, there is a presumption against you that if you had taken it, you would have failed it. No matter what the results are, just taking the test may save you from losing your license for an additional year on top of the DUI penalty.

Hey Bernie the Attorney, Q: What is one of the most satisfying parts of your job? A: It is when clients tell me they trust me. It just validates everything we are trying to stand for as a Law Firm. From our excellent secretary Mary, to our two ace paralegals Denise and Jennifer, our investigators and myself, we really work hard to gain your trust in your injury case. I have personally found that if a client does not trust his or her attorney, the relationship is likely going to end up badly. But when clients feel that you have their back, then any tensions go away.

PFA Blues – Question: If Someone Files A PFA Against You, and you are convicted of that, will the PFA stay on your record for the rest of your life? Answer: It does not have to. Even after a Judge places a PFA against you, you have a right to petition to have the PFA expunged after completion of the PFA. So if the PFA was in effect for one year, and after the one year expired, you went into Court to have that cleared up, it CAN be wiped off your record (with some exceptions).

And the winner of last month’s $50.00 gift card drawing is Jean H. Congratulations Jean and enjoy the card!

JULY/AUGUST QUESTION: Now for an opportunity to win a $50 check: How many days are in the month of August?

Your attorney, friend: Readers, we honestly do like you!

Check out Bernie’s Blog and Videos at www.telltully.net

Bernard M. Tully