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Bicycle Accidents Increasing in Recent Years

Bicycling is becoming a popular form of exercise for adults and children alike. However, it does pose some significant risks as well. According to a CNN news report, biking injuries among adults are up in recent years, especially in bicyclists over 45 years old. Most often, arms and legs were the areas of bodily injury, but head injuries have also increased a significant amount. Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents are not reported to the police, so it is often hard to gather accurate statistical crash data, especially for more minor accidents. It is important to keep informed about these trends and give bicyclists on the road the space they need to stay safe.


Along with the increase in bicyclists on the road, the number of accidents also increases, especially in spring, summer, and early fall. Victims of bicycle accidents who have been injured due to the fault of another may have lasting and extensive injuries. These injuries may result in compounded medical bills and significant changes in mobility and ability. Attorney Doug Stoehr is an attorney serving western and central Pennsylvania that handles cases involving personal injury. If you would like to consult with him about your case, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100. 

New Drug May Help TBI Patients

Sufferers of traumatic brain injury (TBI) may soon be getting more relief.  According to the published results of recent scientific research, a drug that is used to treat both dementia and Alzheimer's disease may also be useful for TBI patients as well. The drug, called memantine, is reported to help their recovery process, as measured through the Glasgow Coma Scale and neuronal damage markers in the blood. This may really help patients who have recently had a traumatic injury to their head which has resulted in significant neurological damage.  

Attorney Doug Stoehr knows how difficult it can be when you or a family member has suffered a debilitating spinal cord or brain injury.  His legal practice is focused solely on personal injury, including cases where severe spinal cord, brain, and other serious injuries have occurred.  He has successfully handled cases for clients involving motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, and falls; most recently, one of his cases involving severe brain injury settled for over $1.2 million dollars. For more information, please contact our office at 814-946-4100 to set up a free consultation. 

To read more about the original study, please click here.

Scooter Injury Leads to Defective Product Lawsuit

Be careful what you buy! A young child is recently in the center of a lawsuit involving a defective product in eastern PA.  According to PennRecord.com, a young child's parents are alleging that their daughter was hurt after a scooter she was riding broke. This caused her to fall and hit her head and face on the ground.  In looking at the scooter, it appeared that the assembly of the scooter was faulty near the point where the front wheel joins to the axle.  The parents are suing several corporations, including KMart and Sears, for negligence in manufacturing and design.  Fortunately, the child was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. 

As consumers, we must always be on alert for defective products. Here are some tips to prevent you and your loved ones from falling victim to product liability:

  • Research products before you buy them
  • Beware of low-cost products - you get what you pay for
  • Purchase products from companies with an established reputation
  • Know your product's warranty and guarantees 
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for people who have been injured due to defective products.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

PA Doles Out Big Fines To Nursing Homes

In late 2016, The Pennsylvania Department of Health began changing the way they oversee nursing homes.  Since that time, records from around the state have reflected that the department has given out fines totaling almost $775,000 so far this year, to nursing homes that are not performing the way that they should be.  Many of these fines have resulted from situations which led to the actual harm and/or potential harm to residents. Some people say that fines are increasing due, in part, to fact that the department has resumed taking anonymous tips.  These tips have led to more frequent nursing home visits in which homes were found in violation of policies.    
Many allegations against nursing homes and assisted living facilities stem from reports of elder abuse and neglect. Elder abuse can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Many common instances of elder abuse include emotional, financial, psychological, and neglect.  If you feel that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Attorney Doug Stoehr to set up a free consultation.  Attorney Stoehr has experience and knowledge pertaining to elder abuse legal claims, and will work hard to fight for the rights of your family or friend. Call his office at 814-946-4100 to set up your consultation.  
Thanks to Lancaster Online for the background information for this article. 

Low Performing Nursing Homes Seldom Improve

Sometimes, nursing homes get reprimanded when their facilities are not up to standards and/or are endangering their patients. As a result, they can become put under "special focus status", which means they are strictly overseen and are placed under a high level of scrutiny.  Unfortunately, recent data suggests that after nursing home receive such violation notices, they do not often improve.   According to one news source, "While special focus status is one of the federal government's strictest forms of oversight, nursing homes that were forced to undergo such scrutiny often slide back into providing dangerous care, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal health inspection data."  Out of over 500 nursing homes that came out of special focus status before 2014 and are still in business, over half of them have since harmed patients or put them in serious danger. These violations have included giving patients incorrect medication, failing to intervene in cases of violence from other residents or staff members, and withholding information from families and physicians regarding injuries. These homes are found in almost all 50 states.  

Within the article, it is noted that "special focus facility status is reserved for the poorest-performing facilities out of more than 15,000 skilled nursing homes. The federal government assigns each state a set number of slots, roughly based on the number of nursing homes. Then state health regulators pick which nursing homes to include. More than 900 facilities have been placed on the watch list since 2005." 

Not all nursing homes are created equal.  This also means that not all nursing homes provide the same level and quality of care.  With this in mind, you will need to research possible nursing home options extensively to avoid the possibility of negligence or abuse of a loved one, as well as under/inefficient staffing.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please call his Altoona, PA firm at 814-946-4100.

Drug and Alcohol Use High Among Commercial Truck Drivers

Summer is a prime time for families to hit the road and enjoy the American tradition of a summer road trip vacation. Often, we share the roads with large tractor-trailers.  Unfortunately, sometimes drivers of these trucks are not following best safety practices. These drivers are sometimes engaged in dangerous habits, such as distracted driving and operating their truck while fatigued.  Equally as alarming is a recent study that was highlighted by Reuters.  According their article, truck drivers across countries sometimes also take illegal drugs and then drive their vehicles.  This information, compiled via drivers self-reports and through results of drug testings, found that " about half [of truck drivers] admitted to drinking and driving and 30 percent admitted to using amphetamines, on average. The numbers varied greatly from country to country." However, the article also noted that "One U.S. study had the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests worldwide, at 12.5 percent."


Commercial truck drivers are a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents . Often, these commercial drivers are fatigued and are driving above the mandated allotment of hours. Additionally, many of them are driving large vehicles that are not up to federal and state safety standards. As a result, passengers and other vehicles often bear the brunt of their illegal activity and are often seriously injured or die from a resulting collision. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, please contact our law office for a consultation at no cost to you at the Law Offices of Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.

Summer TBI Prevention

Summer presents a great opportunity to enjoy time outside with family and friends.  Sometimes, these outside activities can also pose risks.  This is especially true for activities where you are more exposed to the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  When you and your loved ones are outside, it is important to remember the following tips to avoid summer injury:

 

  • Wear a helmet when doing outdoor activities like biking, skateboarding, and riding your four-wheeler
  • Remember to replace your helmet after a serious fall. Many helmets are only built to withstand one hard impact
  • If you're doing an activity for the first time, pay attention to the safety instructors and make sure you're using all of the safety equipment. Know when something is too challenging or risky for you, and don't be afraid to back down if you need to.
  • Make sure you know the area before you go out! It is important to know the basic layout of the terrain when hiking, biking, or being out on the water.  There may be hidden challenges or dangers that could have serious consequences for your family if you are unprepared.
  • When swimming in an unknown depth of water, always go feet first. This will help to prevent serious head, back, and neck injuries.
  • Always check the weather before going out on your outdoor adventure!

If you have recently been in a summer accident, it is important to closely monitor your body's response and recovery after the accident.  If you suspect a TBI, immediately seek help from a qualified physician who can diagnose you and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.  If your accident was due to the fault of another, it may also be time to seek legal action.  This is especially true if your injuries cause you to miss extended periods of work or not be able to continue your line of work at all.  Other major expenses resulting from an accident may include medical bills.  If you or a loved one has recently been in an accident due to the fault of another, please contact Altoona, PA area personal injury attorney Doug Stoehr to set up an initial, free consultation.  His law office can be reached by visiting his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or calling his firm at 814-946-4100.

Thank you to Brainline.org for the background information!

Accredited Nursing Homes Have Higher Safety Culture

This may be an older post from our website, but is definitely worth another look!  As you may know, not all nursing homes are all created equal.  In addition to having private or government-run facilities, nursing homes can either be accredited or not.  Sometimes the differences between the different types of facilities are not immediately clear, but you should research all possible options before making a decision.

A recent study from NYU suggests that accredited nursing homes report a stronger resident safety culture than nonaccredited facilities.  The study, looking at over 4,000 facilities across the country, cited Joint Commission accreditation as increasing awareness of patient safety issues like staff training, teambuilding, positive and open communication, and correction of mistakes without punitive measures. Few studies have examined the effect of accreditation on safety measures in nursing homes.  Additionally, studies by the same researchers also found that Joint Commission accredited long-term care facilities had fewer survey deficiency citations than nonaccredited facilities

As stated earlier, not all nursing homes are created equal.  This also means that not all nursing homes provide the same level and quality of care.  With this in mind, you will need to research possible nursing home options extensively to avoid the possibility of negligence or abuse of a loved one, as well as under/inefficient staffing.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice, please call his Altoona, PA firm at 814-946-4100.

Increased Accident Risk for Children During Summer Months

Accidents and injuries tend to increase during the summer, especially for children.  Do you know that many common injuries occur where you may least expect them?  According to one hospital's website, ER visits increase significantly during the summer.  Many of these injuries occur as a result of children getting into accidents, such as falling out of windows (whether they have screens or they don't).  Fire pits are also a common place for injuries, as are lawn mower accidents, swimming accidents, and pedestrian accidents.  The time around dusk can be particularly dangerous for children out playing, since it may be more difficult for others to see them walking, biking, and rollerskating on the streets.


As our families are outside more in the summer months, it is very important to pay attention to your surroundings while you are out driving, walking, and biking. If you hit another person or car, you could cause severe and lasting injury, as well as significant psychological and emotional distress to the victim and their families.  Victims of accidents injured due to the fault of another may injuries that result in compounded medical bills and significant changes in mobility and ability.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is an attorney serving western and central Pennsylvania that handles cases involving victims of personal injury. If you would like to consult with him about your case, please contact our law office.

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