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When Dogs Attack

Although we hope this never happens to you, it is important to know how to keep yourself safe in the event that you are attacked by a dog.  This is crucial, especially since dogs bite almost 5 million Americans a year, and almost a million of those people seek medical treatment.  In fact, almost 400,000 of those victims have such bad injuries that they require immediate attention in the emergency room.  


So, how can you avoid being attacked by a dog? Take a look at the following tips:

  • Don't pet or approach a strange dog without obtaining specific permission from its owner.  
  • Use your nonverbal body language to your advantage.  Don't look a dog directly in the eye, and don't run away from a dog.  This may engage their instinctual drives and make them want to chase you!  If you must get away, back away slowly.  
  • If a dog approaches you unexpectedly, stand still.  
  • Don't get between a dog that is eating, sleeping, or watching over its puppies.  
  • If a dog is being aggressive towards you, don't shout at them.  Use a strong, calm voice. You can also give a dog something else to focus on, such as a jacket, branch, or other object to bite.
  • If it does get to the point that you are attacked, roll into a ball, cover your head and face with your hands, and stay still.   


If the bite is serious enough, you may require medical attention.  You may also wish to get tested for rabies and other diseases that dogs may carry.  If the dog appears to be a tray, you should call the local animal control center and let them know about the situation. 


If you know the dog or the dog appears to be owned by someone, it is important for you to know that you have legal rights.  Dog owners have the responsibility to keep their dogs safe, contained, and not a risk to others.  If you are bitten by a dog and are seeking legal counsel, your claim for damages based on your injuries or disfigurement will be based on a theory of negligence, and will be very complex.  You need an attorney that has experience in handling the difficulties of these types of claims.   Our law firm will review the facts and analyze the law to provide you with a thorough evaluation of your claims. 


If you or a loved one suffered an injury or disfigurement from a dog bite, please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr.  Attorney Doug Stoehr has experience in handling dog bite cases, and will thoroughly evaluate your claim.   Call us today at (814) 946-4100 for a free initial consultation.  

Thanks to Live Science for the background information.

Gearing Up For Hunting Season!

As we reported earlier this year, this past year, 2015, was one of the safest hunting seasons on record for Pennsylvanians.  One article investigated why that might be so we can continue this trend!  Pennsylvanians are taking a great deal of care in how they are training our state's youth.  In fact, no 2015 hunting accidents involved a child who was participating in the state's Mentored Youth Hunting Program.  This program works with hunters under 12 years of age to hunt certain species if they are with a licensed adult.  Over 30,000 of these special youth permits were issued in the past year.  Other protective factors for our state's hunters included requiring hunters to wear orange in season, as well as continued hunter safety education efforts.  The article, the link to which can be found at the end of this article, also notes that hunting related accidents in PA have reduced by nearly 80% since hunter-trapper education training began in 1959.

So, how are you planning to be safe with this hunting season approaching this fall?  Attorney Doug Stoehr encourages all hunters to be safe, alert, and cautious while hunting in our state's woods.  Always wear the proper orange gear, use common sense gun safety, and do not operate firearms while drinking.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for personal injury, premises liability, elder abuse and neglect, and car, motorcycle, bus, ATV, snowmobile, bicycle, and truck accidents.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

To read the original article, please follow this link:

http://www.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman/2016/05/fewest_hunting_accidents_on_re.html

Tractor-Trailers Can Cause Big Problems on Highways

Recently, a terrible accident occurred on I-81 in Pennsylvania that involved a motorcycle driver and a tractor-trailer.  The motorcycle driver crashed when a blanket got stuck into his back wheel, then was hit when multiple tractor-trailers consequently ran over him. The driver was thrown from his cycle, where he was hit by the large oncoming trucks.  According to reports, none of the tractor-trailers drivers stopped to help or investigate the accident. State police are still looking for the drivers. 


Tour bus and commercial truck drivers are a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents onAmerica's roads and highways. 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, other vehicles and motorcycle riders often bear the brunt of their illegal activity and are often seriously injured or die from a collision with the tour bus or commercial truck. 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.


Original article can be found here:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/blanket-causes-deadly-motorcycle-accident-in-pennsylvania-police-say/

Common Summertime Hazards--Did You Expect These?

In continuing on prior blog posts, it is important to be aware of the unique dangers and hazards that the summer weather can bring.  Some of them might be familiar to you, such as drowning, heat strokes, and bike accidents.  However, did you expect to see fireworks, food poisoning, and playground injuries to be among the list of top summertime hazards? All of these accidents possess potentially painful, serious, and/or life-threatening injuries.  If they are caused at the fault of another person, it may be time to seek legal counsel. 


 Unfortunately, many accidents see an expected and marked increase in the spring and summer, including incidences highlighted above, and those involving car, bike, and boating accidents. Victims of  accidents injured due to the fault of another may have lasting and extensive 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 personal injury. If you would like to consult with him about your case, please contact our law office.

To read more information about the top 10 summertime hazards, please click this link to Webbins.com's original article (http://www.webbins.com/blog/top-10-summertime-accidents).  This article talks in depth about many of the top injuries and accidents that occur in the summertime and how you can keep yourself safe!

Bite Prevention: Keeping Your Dog From Harming Others

Often, we hear about the victims' sides in terms of dog bite cases.  However, what can owners do to prevent their dogs from biting other dogs or people?  Take a look at these tips below, courtesy of HumaneSociety.org:

  • Spay or neuter your dog to decrease their likeliness towards aggression
  • Socialize your dog, in a controlled way, with other dogs, people, and circumstances.
  • Train your dog, and strongly consider completing formal obedience classes. The Humane Society goes on to say that "Never send your dog away to be trained; only you can teach your dog how to behave in your home. Note that training classes are a great investment even for experienced dog caregivers."
  • Teach your dog how to behave.  Don't teach them to chase or attack other things or objects, even for fun. 
  • Be a responsible, active dog owner.  Make sure your dog is always up to date on their licenses and vaccinations. Don't chain them up outside all day or spend a great deal of time alone, because these conditions can often lead to increased aggressive behaviors.  
  • Keep your dog away from situations which they might find stressful, such as fireworks, busy parties, new and unpredictable places, etc.


Is it YOUR responsibility as a dog owner to make sure that your dog is a peaceful, well behaved, and safe member of the community.  Your dog should not pose a risk to you, other animals, or other people.  If needed, seek professional help from a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist to address and extinguish unpredictable, aggressive, and dangerous behaviors in your dog.  Furthermore, in Pennsylvania, liability for a dog attack may even fall to a landlord if they know that the dangerous animal resides on the property. This is important to note if you have renters on properties that you own. 


 On the other side of this discussion, if you are injured in a dog attack, your claim for damages based on your injuries or disfigurement will be based on a theory of negligence, and will be very complex.  You need an attorney that has experience in handling the difficulties of these types of claims. We will review the facts and analyze the law to provide you with a thorough evaluation of your claims.   If you or a loved one suffered an injury or disfigurement from a dog bite, please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr.  Attorney Doug Stoehr has experience in handling dog bite cases, and will thoroughly evaluate your claim.   Call us today at (814) 946-4100 for a free initial consultation.  

Avoid Accidents While Camping This Summer

Are you planning on camping and experiencing one of our state's great parks this summer? If so, there are a few apps that you can put on your phone or tablet to make camping easier, more enjoyable, and safer! Check out the list, provided by GoErie.com (http://www.goerie.com/article/20160616/LIFESTYLES21/306169914/apps-can-enhance-your-camping-experience).  These apps include camp cooking recipes, constellation spotting guides, and various tips for knot tie techniques.  One of the other most important apps is the first aid and safety app!  


Many accidents see an expected and marked increase in the spring and summer, including incidences involving camping, car, bike, and boating accidents. Some of these accidents are the result of faulty equipment, such as many tools used during camping activities.  Victims of accidents injured due to the fault of another may have lasting and extensive 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 personal injury. If you would like to consult with him about your case, please contact our law office.

PA Carseat Laws Are Changing!

Attention to Pennsylvanians with young children! According to various news reports, children under the age of two who have not yet grown out of manufacturer's weight limits will have to be buckled into the backseat of the car in a rear-facing child car seat.  These regulations are common sense to many parents, but now have officially been signed into law that will take effect THIS WEEK!  According to news sources, for the first year, officers enforcing it will hand out verbal warnings. After the first year, car seat violations will face a $75 fine plus other costs and fees to the total of $125.  


Children are a precious part of our family and community and it is our responsibility to keep them safe and healthy.  However, accidents do happen and can have lasting consequences.  If a child in your family has been injured due to accident caused by another, it may be time to seek legal action.  Attorney Stoehr is your local, central Pennsylvania lawyer who will fight hard for your family.  For more information his Altoona area practice, please call his law office at 814-946-4100. 

What To Do After A Bike Accident

So you've been in a bike crash. It's scary, disorienting, and you're not sure what to do next. What are some good steps to take post-crash? Take a look at these tips:


  • Make sure to get checked out by a doctor, even if you don't think you've been seriously injured. Sometimes, your brain can't process the pain right away and you may be more seriously hurt than you realize. It's better to be safe than sorry!
  • Also, make sure to let the driver know that they hit you. Don't be rude or combative, but make them aware that they hit you. Gather their contact information, including insurance, and give them yours.
  • Make sure that the police are aware of the accident. Call them at the scene. Also check and see if there are any witnesses nearby that may be able to provide information, too. Keep the crash scene intact so the police can survey the scene when they arrive. 
  • As the post-accident consequences unfold, make sure to document everything you can. This may include things like taking pictures of your bicycle, the scene, and injuries. It is also good to hold on to any paper documents, like the accident report, medical expenses, and other miscellaneous information.


It is also important to note that, if the situation becomes more complicated and/or you are severely injured, you should not be afraid to see legal consult. In our Altoona, PA area, Attorney Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer who is skilled in taking cases for victims of bicycle accidents. He takes cases in central Pennsylvania through Pittsburgh. For more information or to schedule your free consultation, pleas call his firm at 814-946-4100

Six PA State Parks Make List of Great Family Parks!

We all know that our state of Pennsylvania is beautiful and offers a huge range of outdoor adventure opportunities, especially in the summer! We have so many great natural parks in our state, which includes many lakes that allow for fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing.  Recently, six of our state's parks made the list of "Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Fish and Boat", including two in our area! Keystone State Park in Pittsburgh and Bald Eagle State Park near Bellefonte both made the list.  


 Unfortunately, outdoor activities, especially in the summer when children and their families are spending much more time outside, tend to increase accidents as well. Boating accidents cause a significant number of injuries every summer, as do four-wheeling (ATV) accidents.  The warm weather and longer days also lead to an increase in reckless and distracted driving, which can result in many more motor vehicle accidents.  Accidents such as those noted above are frightening, unexpected, and potentially life-changing.  Clearly, the consequences of such accidents can be both severely emotionally and physically damaging. If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a pedestrian or bicycle accident and would like a free consultation with Attorney Stoehr, please contact our law office. 


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a lawyer specializing in personal injury and services the western and central Pennsylvania area.  He takes cases involving boat, car, truck, and other accidents.  If you feel that you have been wrongfully hurt in a pedestrian accident and would like to consult with him about a possible personal injury claim, please contact our law office.


The original article can be found via PennLive.com at this link:
http://www.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman/2016/06/which_six_waters_in_pennsylvan.html#0

Prevent Boating Accidents With These Simple Tips

Are you being safe this boating season? GoErie.com wrote an article highlighting Pennsylvania's history of boating accidents and how we can prevent them! In 2015, there were 52 total boating accidents, 4 of which were fatal.  Alcohol was a major factor in three of the accidents.   Most of the boating accidents from last year involved collisions with other boating vehicles and/or fixed objects, flooding/swamping and grounding.  Many of the accidents were the result of operator inattention, inexperience, improper lookout, failure of boating machinery, and excessive speed.

So, how can you prevent boating accidents this summer?  According to these reports, the simplest responses are best!

  •  Be aware and focused when you're driving the boat
  • Make sure you know how the boat works and are confident that you can follow all marine rules
  • Don't drink and drive the boat
  • Drive within the speed limits/don't speed
  • Properly upkeep and maintain your boat

Boating accidents see an expected and marked increase in the summer, especially involving intoxication while driving a boat.  In this area, Glendale and Raystown lakes are arguably the most susceptible places in our local area for such occurrences.  Victims of boating accidents injured due to the fault of another may have lasting and extensive 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 personal injury. If you would like to consult with him about your case, please contact our law office.

http://www.goerie.com/article/20160528/NEWS02/305289921/agencies-remind-boaters-to-prepare-for-season-on-the-water

Malfunctioning Light Shocks Young Girl In Pool

Unfortunately, accidents do happen.  Sometimes, these accidents occur as a result of equipment that has malfunctioned.  Once such incident occurred recently in Mechanicsburg, PA.  A young girl was swimming in a pool earlier this summer when the pool lights turned on and malfunctioned, causing her to suffer electric shock.  Her family, who was quick to come to her aid, alerted first responders who came and had to resuscitate the child.  Other children who were swimming in the pool did not suffer as much of a shock, which police believe may be due to the fact that the injured girl may have been grounded by a metal ladder.  At the time of the news article, the child was in critical care in an area hospital and we send out best wishes out to her.  


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 product liability and defective products.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at www.stoehrlaw.com.


Original article can be found here: 
http://wkbn.com/2016/05/30/girl-8-in-critical-condition-after-electrical-shock-in-swimming-pool/

Fatal Bicycle Accident Back In News

Recently, newspapers reported that charges have been filed against a man who killed  Pittsburgh woman while she was out riding her bike six months earlier.  According to reports, the driver who caused the accident that killed the biker was speeding at the time and did not hit his brakes upon approaching a red light.  The car then rammed into another car that was stopped at the light, which consequently hit and killed the biker.  The police report notes that, as a result of the chain reaction of cars being bumped forward at the stoplight, the biker was pinned between two cars and subsequently passed away.  Investigators note that the driver who caused the collision was likely high on drugs at the time.

This is a tragic loss that could have been easily prevented with some care and caution.  As the summer weather improves, many people gravitate outside to run, bike, walk, and spend time with their families. Although this can provide an excellent outlet for fun and recreation, it can also lead to potential bicycle and pedestrian accidents. When driving this summer, be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists on the road, especially small children that may not be easily seen. By being alert and considerate and sharing the road, you will avoid serious injuries and complications to those around you. If you plan to bike or run this summer, wear bright colors and make sure that you give appropriate and clear turning signals with your arms so that drivers know when and where you intend to turn.

Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. If you would like a consultation regarding your personal injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.

To read the original news report, please follow this link:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/04/22/Pittsburgh-police-to-make-arrest-in-bicycle-crash-that-killed-Susan-Hicks-in-Oakland/stories/201604220199

Pedestrian Accidents Can Happen When You Least Expect Them

Unfortunately, The Post-Gazette recently ran a story about an area teen who was killed while he was walking home from his prom afterparty when he was killed by a driver. According to reports, the driver did not negotiate a curve properly and drove off the road, hitting and killing the young man who was walking home.  Alcohol may have played a factor in this accident.   The driver fled the scene and was later taken into custody.  

It is unbelievable that things like this continue to happen in our community.  It is your responsibility as a licensed driver in the state of Pennsylvania to not only drive your care with care and caution, but also be aware of other hazards on the road.  Drivers frequently share the road with bicyclists, motorcycle drivers, and pedestrians, especially in more residential areas.  

It is your duty as a member of your community to drive your car safely, responsibly, and with regard for the well-being and safety of others.  This is especially true to remember in cases where you've been drinking! Call a designated driver and save the life of not only yourself, but other innocent bystanders.  Also play it safe and do not engage in distracted driving, such as talking on your cell phone or texting.

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central PA area attorney who takes cases where people have been injured or passed away due to the fault of another person, such as through ca, /pedestrian, bike, motorcycle, and truck accidents. For more information regarding his practice or to set up an initial consultation, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

To read the original Post-Gazette article, please click here:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2016/05/14/Teen-killed-walking-home-from-prom-afterparty-in-Indiana-County/stories/201605140118

Just How Common Are Nursing Home Falls?

The possibility that a resident of a nursing home may fall is a very real, serious danger.  Every year approximately 1,800 senior citizens living in nursing homes die from fall-related injuries.  To illustrate this point a little further, the CDC has compiled numbers that are shocking, to say the least.  Only about 5% of adults 65 or older live in a nursing home, but nursing home residents account for about 20% of deaths from falls in this age group.  A resident in a nursing home typically falls more than once, with the average resident having about 2.6 falls per year. 

A fall in a nursing home can be caused by any number of reasons, but the most common include:

1)    muscle weakness and walking problems account for approximately 24% of falls;

2)    environmental hazards like wet floors and incorrect bed height cause 16% to 27% of falls; and

3)    poorly fitting shoes and improperly used walking aids round out the list. 

Falls can be prevented with a combination of treatment, rehabilitation and environmental changes.  Nursing homes are required by law to supervise their residents and provide assistive devices to prevent falls from occurring.  However, as the statistics make clear, falls continue to be a constant threat to nursing home residents, and sometimes those falls can be attributed to the nursing home's negligence.   

If you believe that you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect contact us.  These claims are complicated and challenging, and you need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer to evaluate your claim.  We have seen the pain caused by this form of nursing home neglect and are prepared to answer your questions.  So if you or a family member is suffering from a recent fall contact Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr  at (814) 946-4100, or go to our website at www.stoehrlaw.com. 

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