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Woman Suing Pittsburgh Theater Group

A Pittsburgh theater is coming under fire as a result of a new lawsuit this month.  According to reports, a woman is suing Phoenix Theatres Entertainment LLC, for failing to keep their sidewalks in adequate shape.  The woman pursuing the lawsuit was leaving a theater in March when she tripped on the uneven sidewalk and sustained injuries.  As a property owner, it is your responsibility to make sure all access areas, including driveways, sidewalks, ramps, etc. are properly maintained and safe for all people who may be using them.  

If you have slipped or tripped, and fell on the property of another, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and potential pain and suffering.  This may include cases where sidewalks were improperly maintained due to the winter weather, such as failure to remove snow and ice.   Attorney Doug Stoehr takes cases for clients who have sustained slip-and-fall injuries due to the fault or negligence of another.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his firm at 814-946-4100.

For more information on the Pittsburgh area case, please click here:

http://pennrecord.com/stories/511006837-woman-blames-theater-for-fall-injuries

Horrific Nursing Home Report In Our State

A Pennsylvania nursing home is under increased scrutiny after receiving complaints cockroaches, filthy conditions, and verbal abuse.  According to a news report published by ABC27, a Columbia, PA nursing home called  Susquehanna Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is providing substandard living conditions for its residents.  Former employees complained to supervisors about masses of cockroaches in the kitchens, among other problems.  After one employee was fired for speaking out, she posted a video on Facebook to show the conditions and warn the community about the problems. Former employees stated that they felt like the nursing home residents were not safe and were not being treated as human beings.  At that same time, the nursing home was found out of compliance eight times in the period of one year, including allegations of maggots and dirty wheelchairs.    


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.  


Douglas V. Stoehr practices personal injury law in Duncansville and Altoona, Pennsylvania. He serves clients throughout western and central Pennsylvania, including Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Altoona, Huntingdon, State College, Johnstown, Clearfield, Tyrone, Ebensburg, Northern Cambria, Portage, Windber, Carrolltown, Gallitzin, Saxton, Bellefonte, Centre Hall, Pine Grove Mills, Warriors Mark, Spruce Creek, Roaring Spring, Bellwood, Claysburg, Blue Knob, Lewistown, Mount Union, Belleville, McConnellsburg, Breezewood, Williamsburg, Windber, Punxsutawney Martinsburg, Somerset, Philipsburg, Everett, Williamsport, Cumberland, Oakland, Indiana, St. Mary's, Blair County, Cambria County, Huntingdon County, Clearfield County, Mifflin County, Jefferson County, Huntington County, Centre County, Bedford County, Somerset County and Fulton County.


To read more from the original article, please click here:

http://abc27.com/2016/09/14/abc27-confronts-nursing-home-about-complaints-of-cockroaches-filth-verbal-abuse/

Auditors Reveal Nursing Home Complaints in PA

Sometimes, audits bring up things you would never believe.  According to TribLive.com, an auditor for the Pennsylvania Department of Health discovered that the department refused to accept anonymous complaints against nursing homes for almost three years.  Halting these complaints violates federal policy, and also potentially puts many elderly residents into harm's way.   There was no rationale discovered for halting these reports. According to the TribLive article, "Complaints increased 63 percent after the agency rescinded the policy of not accepting anonymous complaints, the audit said."  Many other interesting facts were discovered in the audit, including not enforcing certain laws requiring a set number of direct nursing services for residents each day. 


Elder abuse complaints can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Other, equally as damaging forms, of elder abuse can occur in settings such as nursing homes or hospitals.  Mental and psychological abuse, as well as financial and sexual abuse occur all too often to the elderly population.  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.  

Douglas V. Stoehr practices personal injury law in Duncansville and Altoona, Pennsylvania. He serves clients throughout western and central Pennsylvania, including Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Altoona, Huntingdon, State College, Johnstown, Clearfield, Tyrone, Ebensburg, Northern Cambria, Portage, Windber, Carrolltown, Gallitzin, Saxton, Bellefonte, Centre Hall, Pine Grove Mills, Warriors Mark, Spruce Creek, Roaring Spring, Bellwood, Claysburg, Blue Knob, Lewistown, Mount Union, Belleville, McConnellsburg, Breezewood, Williamsburg, Windber, Punxsutawney Martinsburg, Somerset, Philipsburg, Everett, Williamsport, Cumberland, Oakland, Indiana, St. Mary's, Blair County, Cambria County, Huntingdon County, Clearfield County, Mifflin County, Jefferson County, Huntington County, Centre County, Bedford County, Somerset County and Fulton County.

To read the original article and to learn more about the audit in its entirety, please click here:
http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/10850267-74/depasquale-complaints-agency

New Red Traffic Light Laws Don't Mean You Get A Free Pass!

Did you hear about the new driving law in Pennsylvania?  New legislation that was signed into law recently allows Pennsylvania drivers to go through red lights under some circumstances.  The spirit of the law states that this is to address potentially malfunctioning red lights, especially if you are a motorcycle driver.  Sometimes, motorcyclists don't register under red light in-ground sensors and can be stuck at red lights for an extended period of time. 


However, this rule does not mean that you are given free rein to go through red lights any time you want!  Red lights are NOT stop signs, and treating them that way can potentially cause an accident that could ruin your life and the lives of others.  Careless and distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents in our country, and these incidences are 100% preventable.  Don't be foolish and try to save a few seconds by running a red light, and run the greater risk of causing a serious accident.


For your information, if you are involved in a car accident, Pennsylvania has at least one section on the incident report to address to distracted driving violations. Fines and charges may increase if you are cited with one of these violations. In addition to fines and charges for distracted driving, you also are putting yourself and others in serious danger. Think twice before texting, chatting, and eating while you drive! 


Attorney Stoehr represents those injured through no fault of their own, including automobile and pedestrian accidents. Call today for your free case evaluation 814-946-4100.

Be On The Lookout For Deer!

Autumn is upon is, and there are a few seasonal things you need to keep in mind as you travel around our state this time of year.  One of the most important things is keeping an eye out for deer, since the fall (especially October), is the most likely time you'll be involved in a deer-car collision. This makes sense, considering this type of the year is prime for deer mating and migration season.  


Our neighboring state of New York has a significant deer-car crash rate as well.  According to their Buffalo News website, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for handling the rise in deer on the roads this fall.  Here are some tips that may help you be more aware when sharing the road with deer this fall:

  • Statistically, remember that deer are most active and near the road between the hours of 6-9PM. 
  • Don't be afraid to use your high beams when you are not in danger of blinding other cars.  This is especially true to help increase your visibility on remote, country roads.  
  • Remember that deer are herd animals.  Where there's one, there's likely more. 
  • Don't swerve if at possible.  
  • If you do a hit a deer, don't attempt to remove it yourself.


Although Attorney Stoehr does not take cases related to insurance claims for deer-related collisions, he does urge you to drive safely and with heightened awareness during the incoming "danger zone" time of the year for deer crashes.  He does take cases for victims of car, semi-truck, and motorcycle crashes who have been injured or killed due to the fault of another.   Some of his most common cases include accidents caused by distracted driving and fatigue.  If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash and is dealing with significant injuries, it is time to take legal action.  Call Attorney Stoehr's firm to handle your case in the central and western Pennsylvania area at 814-946-4100.  


Thanks to Buffalo News for the tips! Read more from their article here:
http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/autumn-is-most-dangerous-season-for-vehicle-deer-crashes-collisions-20151013

Road Construction Is A Danger All Year Round

So, September is finally here and most of the construction work in Pennsylvania is finished for the year, right? Well, guess again.  Roadside construction and associated hazards are common throughout the entire year.  Construction workers are particularly susceptible to danger in the summer months, with a combination of summer vacationers, long days, and hot weather leading to a rise in accidents.  However, construction workers face danger all year round while working outside to keep our roads in good condition.  


Construction workers are vulnerable to being hit by passing cars, of course, but also to several other dangers.  They also suffer from a high number of falls, such as from scaffolding or in precarious places, like bridges.  They also are frequently caught between or inside objects.  Sometimes, they can be caught between cars on the road, or the road and and a lane divider.  As morose as this all sounds, it's really important to recognize the inherent dangers that construction workers face every day while they are out working for us.  By respecting them and giving them the space they need to work safely, you can save lives and avoid a significant accident. 


Working on construction sites is potentially hazardous for employees, especially when employers fail to follow all established safety procedures and protocol. When these construction workers are working on the roads, they are also at a significant risk to be hit by drivers who are not obeying the safety rules for work zones.   A construction zone is also a potentially dangerous place for bystanders. These construction claims often involve potential 3rd party claims against other liable defendants, in addition to your workers compensation claim.  


In a related matter, Attorney Stoehr settled a claim in 2010 for over a million dollars for a man seriously injured near a hole that had been recently excavated.  If you have been injured working on a construction site or as a bystander near a construction site, please contact our office at 814-946-4100 for more information or to set up a free consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr.

Road Debris Causes Major Accidents

Many of us are aware of the dangers on the road from construction zones, poor weather conditions, and distracted/impaired drivers, but what about road debris?  According to a study from AAA, over 200,000 crashes happened in a three year period due to debris on the road. These types of accidents have increased over 40% in the last 15 years.  Most often, these accidents occur from tire blowouts and objects flying off/out of cars.  These accidents can cause serious injury and, in extreme cases, death. 


These types of road accidents are also extremely preventable.  What can you do to keep yourself and others safe from road debris  accidents? One step is make sure that if you're hauling something, it's secure, either by a strong trailer hitch or from the correct ropes/belts.  Leave space on the road if other cars are hauling heavy, dangerous, and or/precariously packed objects.  If necessary, when hauling heavy and potentially dangerous loads, drive slowly and put on your hazard lights.  


Additionally, if you're injured due to someone else's negligence when items from their car fly out and hit you on the road, causing an accident, it may be time to seek legal action.  Attorney Douglas Stoehr is an Altoona, PA area lawyer who is skilled in handling car accident cases in central and western Pennsylvania.  Call his law firm at 814-946-4100 for more information regarding your potential legal claim. 


To read more about the AAA study, click here:
http://abc27.com/2016/08/14/200000-accidents-caused-by-road-debris-and-objects-flying-from-vehicles/

Bicyclist Safety Questionable in PA

Recently, PennLive.com posted a very relevant and interesting article about the state of bicycle safety in Pennsylvania. Recently, a man in Pittsburgh was killed while biking home from the South Side docks.  In the aftermath of his death, public commentary has begun about the state of bicyclist safety in our area and state.  Pennsylvania has seen some of the largest growth in bicycle traffic in the nation.  However, many of our bicycle rules and policies are arguably outdated and dangerous, according to some people.  


Many bicyclist advocates argue that Pennsylvania, especially in the cities, does not have enough bike lanes and/or doesn't provide enough room for biking traffic. This leads to dangers for bicyclists and everyone else who shares the road with them.   


According to the PennLive article, "the number of commuters using bicycles to get to work jumped by as much as 60 percent nationwide between 2004 and 2014. Pennsylvania's share of that increase was also among the highest of any state."   Additionally, a research study highlighted that "while 34 percent of Americans age three or older rode a bike at least once in 2014, 52 percent of U.S. adults worry about being hit by a car while riding." It should be noted that a  "safe passing" law was put into effect in 2012 that requires drivers to allow cyclists a four feet barrier while passing them. 


During the warmer months and into fall, 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 around, 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 outside, 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 more from the original PennLive article, please click here:
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/09/pittsburgh_cyclists_death_high.html

Local Fatal Accident Makes News Again

Recently, a May 2015 car accident was back in the news again.  This Logan Township accident grabbed the attention of many because it involved the death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child.  According to news reports, a car was driving along a road when it hit another car that had pulled off to the side of the road with its hazard lights on.  The driver of the parked car, the aforementioned pregnant woman, was struck by the oncoming car.  She and her baby died at the hospital soon after.  The driver of the vehicle that caused the wreck was coming home from a bar and had a BAC of 0.104 at the scene.  A crash reconstructionist involved in the case said that the driver had more than enough time to react and avoid the woman on the side of the road.  


Car accidents are a very real danger when driving, no matter on the highway or on a secluded country road.  These dangers are compounded when you are confronted by a drunk or distracted driver.  The physical and psychological damage caused by car accidents can be extensive and result in years of medical and professional care.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash that was the fault of another, Attorney Doug Stoehr would be willing to set up a free consultation to discuss a possible legal claim involving your accident.  Attorney Stoehr has experience litigating personal injury claims relating to car crashes, and if you would like to meet with him, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.


To read more about this specific case, please click here:
http://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/local-man-in-court-accused-of-homicide-by-vehicle

Elderly Becoming Victims of Social Media Misuse

Believe it or not, social media harassment is becoming a significant problem for elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. According to a local report from ProPublica (in partnership with NPR) there has been a significant amount of Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram photos and videos posted by nursing home employees in recent years.  These photos and videos highlight residents in compromising positions, such as being naked and/or abused, covered in excrement, or deceased.  As a result, federal health officials have stated that they plan to crack down on these employees.  One such measure they recommend is having a clear policy for all workers that prohibit staff from taking potentially demeaning pictures of their residents.  Additionally, they are urging state officials to quickly investigate claims, report offenders, and recommend disciplinary action.   


In this day and age, you have to be extremely careful what you post on the internet. If there is a question as to whether it is inappropriate, illegal, and/or could potentially harm another person (mentally, physically, or emotionally) it is in your best interest NOT to post.  In terms of these particular cases in which nursing home employees were taking advantage of their elderly clients, it is obvious that what they are doing is inappropriate, wrong, and demeaning towards the other people in their care.  There is also the question if what they are doing is illegal and could be considered a form of elder abuse.  


 If you believe that you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, please 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 nursing home neglect and abuse, 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. 

To read more about these incidents of inappropriate use of social media regarding nursing home/assisted living residents and employees, please click here:


https://www.propublica.org/article/health-officials-stop-social-media-abuse-of-nursing-home-residents

Avoiding Deck Collapse This Labor Day Weekend

Oh, Labor Day! A time for parties, fun with family and friends, and saying a last official "goodbye" to summer.  Many of these get-togethers include time spent outside, such as on porches, lawns, and decks.  Unfortunately, sometimes these parties lead to unforeseen accidents, such as collapsing decks and/or people falling off of elevated spaces.  These accidents can have severe and life-changing consequences, such as broken bones, organ damage, and death.  How can you keep family and friends safe on your deck while you celebrate outside? Take a look at some of these tips:

  • Decks need to be well maintained and inspected by a professional.  
  • Check your deck once a year (such as every spring once winter is finished) and promptly make any needed repairs.  
  • Make sure to look for signs of age and wear and tear, such as rotting boards and rusted hinges. Railing and stairs are especially important to keep an eye on!
  • You may want to consider getting an official deck inspection.  


In talking about holiday parties and premises liability, there is a lot to think about!  When throwing a party or inviting friends over, most people are concerned with cleaning their homes, preparing the food, and making sure that there's enough to drink.  Although these things are important, it is also important to remember that, as hosts, it is also your duty as a homeowner to make sure your house is a safe and stable structure.  Unsafe decks that cause an accident for your party guests may lead to a lawsuit for you.


You are also responsible for what your guests ingest at your party.  Many hosts believe that, if their guests are 21 or older, they should be able to consume as much alcohol as they want without hosts having to monitor them.  This is a common misconception.  If a party attendee leaves the party drunk and causes injury or accident to themselves or another person, the hosts are partially responsible for the injuries.  This is true not only at a home-based party, but also at such public gatherings as graduation parties, wedding receptions, and other celebrations.


As a host, it is important to monitor your attendee's level of drinking and make sure that they are not over-imbibing.  If they do become intoxicated, it is your responsibility to find them a designated driver or call them a taxi. If you choose not to do this, you could face very serious legal ramifications later on if accident, injury, or police involvement occurs.  Be smart when both hosting and attending a party.


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  For more information on his firm or to talk about your potential legal claim, please call his office at 814-946-4100.  

Staying Safe This Labor Day Weekend

Are you prepared for the road this Labor Day weekend?  An article in a recent edition of USA Today may give you a lot to think about.  According to their reports, car crash deaths are on the rise, even though cars are considered safer.  This Labor Day weekend may end up being the deadliest one since 2008, according to the National Safety Council.  They predict that fatal accidents on the road may result in over 400 deaths this coming weekend.   Across the country, around 20,000 people have been killed in road accidents since 2016 began.  Millions more people were injured.  

However, some sources say that these increases may be due to the fact that people are driving more in general in the past years, which will lead to a proportional increase in accidents.  Distracted driving is also becoming more of an issue than in past years.  

Either way, how can you reduce your chances of being in an accident this coming weekend?

  • Don't drive impaired, and don't get into a car with an impaired driver.  
  • Always wear your seatbelt, even for short drives.  
  • Avoid driving late at night
  • Pay extra care to other drivers and any swerving, sudden stops, or unusual movements.

Car accidents are frightening, expensive, and time-consuming. Car accidents may also result in injuries that are extensive, painful, and long-lasting.  If you suffered an injury due to a car accident caused by another, it might be time to consult with an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more information on his Altoona, PA law firm, please visit his website athttp://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his office at814-946-4100.

Thanks to USA Today for the background information. 

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