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Be Careful Who You Serve: Premises Liability

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, you are 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.  If an intoxicated person is seriously injured on your property while hosting a party, you may be held liable in a court of law. 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, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

Apps to Reduce Distracted Driving

Did you know that there are apps you can download to help you be a safer driver?  DMV.org listed some apps that you can put on your phone to keep you safer and less distracted when driving down our nation's roads.  Some of the apps block text messages while you're driving, while others send out notifications when you've left and arrived at your destination safely.  Others share your location and reward you for the numbers of safe miles that you've driven! Read more here to figure out which apps may be right for you and your family members.  


It is important to note that if you are involved in a car accident, most states, including Pennsylvania, have at least one section on the incident report dedicated to distracted driving violations.  Fines and charges may increase if you are cited with one of these violations.  Distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents on the highway.  If you have been injured as the result of a distracted driver, it might be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  Please call his office at 814-946-4100 for more information.

Banks Are Training Employees To Spot Elder Abuse

Banks across the country are training their employees on red flags in bank account activity that would suggest exploitation of an elderly person's finances.  Some of the red flags include a change in the method of bank activity and a new signature on cards and deposit slips. Sometimes, this training is implemented as a part of Elder Abuse Awareness Month.  We hope that all banks in our state will follow suit and provide training for its employees to protect against financial elder abuse!


Elder abuse 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 at his Altoona, PA law firm 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. To contact his office, please call 814-946-4100. 

Collisions Increase In The Summer Months

You may not know this, but the warmer weather also brings about a rise in traffic accidents and tickets.  An article written by Insurance Hotline reported that almost 27% of tickets and 27% of car accidents occur during July, August, and September.  Many people believe this rise in ticketing is due to summer travel and tourism, which is coupled with increased road construction in the summer.  It is also likely that people are less cautious when driving in the summer, because the roads are generally clear and dry. No matter the cause, these statistics are reason enough to be extra cautious when you are driving around with your family this spring and summer. 


However, 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, your family, and yourself for the conditions ahead. If you are injured in a vehicle accident, please allow Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr to review your claim by calling our Altoona, PA law firm at 814-946-4100.

Beware of "Frontover" Accidents!

Be aware of the front end of your car when driving and pulling out of spaces!  A local Pittsburgh news article highlighted the growing number of "frontover" accidents, in which a driver doesn't see a person (especially a child) in front of their car and pulls out, hitting the person.  These accidents are becoming increasingly common as people are now driving much larger vehicles than the typical sedans of the past. It is notable that, according to some reports, about 80% of these types of accidents involve larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks. The blind zones in front of these types of cars can be up to 8 feet long. 


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 the original article, please go here:
http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/05/08/increasing-number-of-children-killed-in-frontover-accidents/

Distracted Driving Is Still A Problem in PA

According to reports via the Allentown Morning Call, Pennsylvania still has a lot of difficulty with distracted driving.  According to their article, despite legislation five years ago that banned texting while driving, there has been over a 50% increase in the number of people being pulled over for distracted driving in the last three years.  It is a hard position for law enforcement to be in, since drivers are still allowed to use their phones to make calls or to use apps like GPS. Commercial drivers, like truck drivers, can't use their phones at all unless they're placing an emergency call to police.  


If you are involved in a car accident, most states, including Pennsylvania, have at least one section on the incident report dedicated to distracted driving violations.  Fines and charges may increase if you are cited with one of these violations.  Distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents on the highway.  If you have been injured as the result of a distracted driver, it might be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  Please call his firm at 814-946-4100 for more information. 

Be Aware When You Bike!

This information is good for both bicyclists and cars to know. Stay safe out there! Thank you to Cycling Savvy for the infographic.

bike-lane-issues-infographic-01.png

Spinal Cord Injuries--Statistics and Causes

Spinal cord, brain, and other serious injuries are frightening, life changing, and complicated to live with and treat.  A recent press release by the Shriners Hospital for Children offered up a few surprising and eye-opening statistics related to the prevalence and common causes of spinal cord injuries.  Their list included the following statistics:

 

  • At least 30, if not more, American citizens every day are victims of a spinal cord injury that results in some form of paralysis
  • There are over 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury every year in the US
  • About half of all spinal cord injuries occur higher up the spinal column (around the neck area), which affects the ability to breathe, as well as motor control and sensation in all four limbs
  • Specifically for children, between 1,500 and 2,000 new spinal cord injuries are reported every year in the US
  • Among the most commonly reported causes of spinal cord injuries, especially for children and teenagers, are motor vehicle accidents, diving accidents, trampolines, and falls.


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. 

May Is Motorcycle Safety Month

The month of May is designated as Motorcycle Safety Month, which means that it's the time of year when motorcycles tend to increase on our state's roads.  It is important for both motorcycle and car drivers to be aware of each other and follow a few basic safety tips to keep everyone alert and safe on the road! Wear your helmet, give other cars and riders plenty of room, and share the road.  Motorcycle riders can also take free refresher classes through the PA Motorcycle Safety Program.


Unfortunately, not only do cars frequently hit motorcycles, but tour bus and commercial truck drivers are a significant cause of accidents as well, especially on our state's 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. 


In addition, wearing a helmet is a common safety procedure that this law office feels should be followed at all times to protect yourself, whether you are on a bicycle or a motorcycle. However, we recognize that, at this time, mandatory helmet laws for those over 21 are not yet in effect in all areas of the country. We also strongly feel that motorcyclists, cars, and bicyclists should share the road in a responsible and respectful manner. If you are a motorcyclist who has been wrongfully injured in a motor vehicle accident and may suffer from a spinal cord, brain, or other serious injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100 for a consultation at no cost to you.

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