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US Senate Talks About Fraud and Scams Targeted at Seniors

Have you read the report by the US Senate's Special Commission on Aging? They identified the top 10 frauds that target our seniors across the country.  Here is the list that they compiled:


  • IRS Impersonation Scams
  • Sweepstakes Scams
  • Robocalls / Unwanted Phone Calls
  • Computer Tech Support Schemes
  • Identity Theft
  • Grandparent Scams
  • Elder Financial Abuse
  • Grant Scams
  • Romance Scams / Confidence Fraud
  • Home Improvement Scams

Have you or someone you know been a victim of one of these scams? When most people think of elder abuse, they think solely about physical abuse or neglect.  However, financial abuse is just as common as those other types, if not more so!  The financial effects from being a victim of a scam can be long-lasting, devastating, and emotionally debilitating. 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.

UPMC Lawsuit Includes Linen Company

A little while ago, our blog highlighted the recent lawsuit that hit UPMC involving mold and the impact it had on organ donation (our original blog post can be found by clicking this link).  According to updated news reports, the same families of the organ transplant patients are now also including UPMC's linen provider in the lawsuit.  The linen service was added to the lawsuit after the same type of mold that killed the transplant patients was also found at the linen plant. The families' position is that the mold from the hospital (and their linens) resulted in mold in the transplant patients' lungs, which ultimately caused their deaths.  The linen plant has issued a statement regarding their position on the matter as well.  


Medical malpractice is hard to prove in the legal world, but negligent doctors and hospitals should be held accountable when failing to properly diagnose or implement improper treatments that lead to severe injuries. Pain, suffering, medical bills (both past and future) and a lost earnings are just a portion of the hardships that patients have to endure as a result of medical malpractice. If you feel that you or a loved one has been a victim of hospital negligence that led to severe injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100 for a consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr.


To read the original article, please click here:
http://www.thecourierexpress.com/news/local/paris-healthcare-linen-services-targeted-in-lawsuit-against-upmc/article_7e727982-41d7-533a-b6a8-e51405c44a41.html

Two Tractor-Trailers Collide, Cause Accident on I-80

A few weeks ago, I-80 East was closed for part of a day due to two tractor-trailer trucks causing a large accident.  While on the highway, one truck hit the back of another truck, which resulted in an accident and stopped traffic for many hours.  According to accident reports, at least one person is dead as a result. Unfortunately, these types of truck accidents are not uncommon on PA highways, especially highways that tend to be congested with many large tractor-trailers.

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.

Phone Scammers Target Elderly

Recently, phone scammers have been targeting Pennsylvania seniors across the state.  An article by GoErie.com highlighted this phenomenon, which is important for all elderly citizens and their family and friends to know about!  According to the article, a representative from the PA Department of Aging reported that these scams are not uncommon among their 52 area agencies, which represent all 67 PA counties.  Many of these scammers pretend to be calling on behalf of friends or family members who are having emergencies and need money sent to them.  If an unknown person does call, it is important to never give any personal information, credit card information or your social security number to anyone you don't know over the phone.

Elder abuse complaints can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Other, equally as damaging forms, of elder abuse can also occur.  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://www.goerie.com/news/20170123/dont-fall-victim-to-phone-scams

Be Cautious When Driving This Winter

Unfortunately, there have been many recent reports in central and western Pennsylvania involving accidents due to winter road conditions. Ice, snow, sleet, and freezing rain can cause accidents for even the most careful of drivers.  There are some important things to consider when driving this winter, which, even though they may be second nature to most native Pennsylvanians, are worth checking out to see if there is anything you're missing!  

Areas you may wish to double-check in your car are: making sure your car's radio works properly, making sure your wiper blades don't streak, and having an emergency kit in your car.  Some things you should put in that emergency kit include a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, and a first aid kit.

Winter car accidents are frightening, expensive, and time-consuming.  These 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 call his office at 814-946-4100.

Social Media In The Office

Ever wonder how different employers regulate the use of social media? The Huffington Post released an interesting article that, although a few years old, covered some interesting trends that arose in social media use in the office.  Some of the more interesting points include the following:

  • Almost 100% of companies now use social media in some way for their businesses
  • There has been a 20% increase in the number of organizations that have formal social media policies from 2013-2014
  • Fewer than 20% of organizations have provisions that protect against social media misuse by ex-employees
  • To read more, please visit  the original article from the Huffington Post by clicking here


Social media use has many implications for clients pursuing a personal injury claim.  Similar to applying for a job or being an employee within a company, your social media activity is not as private or as protected as you may think.  For example, an innocent picture of you enjoying a short walk after your accident may be misconstrued as a full and complete recovery.  Additionally, posts/comments from friends suggesting that you're healthier than you really are may come across as you being insincere about your injury as well.  Social media may become dangerous for a case when certain pictures or comments are taken out of context and may be used against you.  For this reason, if you are hesitant about posting a picture or writing a comment that you feel may be used against your case, use discretion and do not post that item.  It may be even be better to not discuss your injury, and especially your legal claim, over Facebook at all.  The only way to keep your personal life as private as you want it to be is to not post anything you wouldn't want everyone to know about.


If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100.

Throwback Thursday: Snowmobile Safety and Accident Prevention

This blog post, originally highlighted on our website several years ago, bears repeating as we enjoy winter sports outside. Please take a minute and review this article, which can be found below, to make sure your snowmobiling practices are as safe as possible!

An online article, which can be accessed by clicking this link, talks about The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association's (ISMA) global campaign to raise awareness for snowmobile safety and training.  According to the publication, different countries' laws governing snowmobile operation are extremely variable, and there are generally fewer regulations for snowmobile operation than for other, similar vehicles like ATVs.


Most fatal snowmobile accidents occur when excessive speed and/or alcohol consumption play a role.  Not only does alcohol impair judgment and inhibit responses, it can also lead to hypothermia.  Night driving is also a particular hazard, and some reports estimate that most fatal accidents occur between the hours of 8PM and 3AM.  Interestingly, many snowmobile accidents also result in drowning.  When children are involved in fatal accidents, the majority of deaths tend to result head and spine injuries from impact against an object, such as a tree or wall.


The online article also offered several easy and practical snowmobile safety tips, several of which can be found below:

  • Wear warm, water repellant clothes with a windproof outer layer.  Don't forget gloves and goggles.
  • Tell others of your estimated time of arrival and let them know your route.
  • Always ride with someone else--don't travel alone.
  • Carry a first aid and safety kit.  A tool kit, flashlight, maps, and flares may be useful.
  • Be alert to potential avalanche concerns.  If you live in an avalanche-prone area, consider traveling with ice picks and poles to help you out in the case of an emergency.
  • If you go through the ice on your snowmobile, a special snowmobile suit may help you stay afloat for a short period of time.  Pull yourself onto the ice and roll away from the hole!  Keep your mittens/gloves on during this time, even though they are wet.
 
Off-road vehicles, such as snowmobiles and ATVs, are potentially dangerous vehicles for many of our state's youth.  Improper ATV use is leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians.   Attorney Doug Stoehr of Altoona, PA handles cases involving injury as a result of accidents involving off-road vehicles.  For more information about Attorney Doug Stoehr and his central Pennsylvania practice, please call his law firm at 814-946-4100. 

What Is Adhesion Pain?

Adhesion pain:  chances are that you have not heard of this medical term unless you or a loved one has had very extensive or invasive medical treatments; however, adhesion pain is a very real and painful medical disorder.  Adhesion pain can best be described as pain resulting from internal scar tissue that fuses together, most often in the abdominal region.  Adhesion scars can come not only from surgical procedures, but from injuries that do not require invasive surgery, such as getting hit in the stomach or being in a car accident.  Pain Pathways magazine has reported on this phenomenon in past issues.  Adhesion scars can result in myriad medical complications, including chronic abdominal pain, fusion of internal organs, obstruction of the bowels, and infertility.  Unfortunately, adhesion scars are more complicated to treat and diagnose since they do not appear on medical scans, such as CAT, PET, or x-rays.  Treatment normally involves attending to the symptoms, such as bowel obstruction, and not the actual adhesion scar.  Surgery is available to cut adhesion tissue in the abdominal cavity, but may in fact lead to more scar tissue, so it is not the normal course of action.  As a result of the recognition and diagnosis of adhesion scar pain, some foundations and support networks have been formed around the country for those suffering from adhesion scar pain.

The formation of adhesion scar tissue can occur after a wide variety of accidents and injuries, such as car accidents.  It is very important to monitor your pain and consult with a knowledgeable physician if you suspect that you may have a case of adhesion scar pain, especially if it leads to bowel obstruction or other painful disorders.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA and serves the central and western Pennsylvania area.  For more information on him and his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

Using the "Penguin Walk" To Reduce Slips On The Ice

It's dangerous to be outside this time of year in the cold, especially with the hidden danger of ice.  Want to know how to avoid a slip and fall accident this winter? Take a look below at how to keep yourself at a lower risk for accident when traveling outdoors this winter:

  • "Walk like a penguin", which means to keep your arms free, walk slowly and with short steps, and keep your feet about shoulder-width apart
  • wear boots or other sturdy shoes when outside and change into your dress shoes once you are indoors
  • test the conditions of the sidewalk or road lightly before walking or exiting your car
  • don't put your hands in your pocket when you are walking and don't carry many things in your arms. You may need to use your arms for balance if you hit an unexpected icy patch!

If you have slipped 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 call his firm at 814-946-4100.

Thanks to the original article for their tips:

http://www.decorahnewspapers.com/Content/News/Local-News/Article/Walk-like-a-penguin-to-avoid-wintertime-slips-and-falls/2/10/41794

Women Sues Cruise Line for Ankle Fracture

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, especially when you least expect it.  This is especially true when you are on vacation and your guard is down!  This is true for one woman who is currently pursuing a lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines.  According to the report, the vacationing woman fell down a wet stairway aboard one of the cruise ships and fractured her ankle.  The lawsuit states that the Carnival ship failed to put slip-resistant material on parts of the stairs, employees didn't remove the water on the stairs, nor did the ship warn passengers of potentially slippery conditions.   To read more, please click the original article here.


So what does this mean for the average person walking on floors, especially industrial ones?  Be safe and take your time. For employers who are responsible for keeping others safe, make sure you properly maintain your floors to avoid a potential premises liability claim!
If you have slipped 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 call his firm at 814-946-4100.

Get The Facts Straight About the McDonald's Coffee Case!

This case may be one of the most sensational and high profile tort cases in recent memory, and the media incorrectly reported nearly all of the facts.  This case was one that proponents of tort reform used as a rallying cry to attempt to limit jury verdicts in what they thought were frivolous cases.  Tort reformers will typically attach themselves to a case that garners national attention, and spin the facts to make the jury verdicts seem ridiculous and nonsensical. 

If there is one thing to take away from this case, it is that we shouldn't be so quick to jump to the conclusion that an injury claim is frivolous.  An individual suffered very serious injuries in this case, and was made the subject of jokes and is still being ridiculed today nearly 10 years after she passed away.  She did nothing to deserve the media attention that she received as a result of this lawsuit.  She simply opened a cup of coffee that was served to her at a dangerous temperature, and she suffered damages as a result. 

This video does an excellent job explaining the case, view it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9DXSCpcz9E

New Alert Keeps PA Drivers Informed During Road Closures

Unfortunately, it does seem like Pennsylvania has a high number of car accidents each year, which leaves other drivers stranded on the highways for a long period of time while waiting for crash sites to be cleared.  However, Pennsylvania officials have recognized how frustrating this can be and are trying to keep drivers more informed.

 
According to PennLive.com, a tool called 511PAConnect will soon be available to drivers to keep them updated in the event of a long-term road closure as the result of an accident on a state highway.  This system will be a location-based alert that uses the same technology that issues Amber Alerts for missing children.  People in areas impacted by the road closure will get a message on their cell phone, and will then have the option to register for either text message or phone call updates.  Features include updates every 15 minutes, as well as personalized messages that can be sent out to groups of people.  


Despite our best efforts, sometimes an accident is unavoidable.  If an accident does occur, it's important to know that Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state.  Comparative negligence simply means that if your negligence contributed to the accident, your damages will then be reduced by the amount of your negligence.  So please take every precaution to decrease the chances of contributing to an accident, and properly prepare your vehicle and yourself for the conditions ahead. 


Some preventative maintenance and exercising a little caution can go a long way in preventing an accident from occurring in the first place, and protecting you from liability.  However, if you are injured in a vehicle accident this winter please allow Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr to review your claim by calling our Altoona, PA law firm at 814-946-4100.

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