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PA Ranks #4 In The Country For Dog Bite Claims

Dog bites and dog attacks are a big problem, especially in Pennsylvania.  According to nationally compiled data, Pennsylvania sits at the #4 spot for the number of dog bite claims each year by state.  Last year, that meant that almost 1,000 dog bites resulted in some type of legal action.

So, how can you help prevent a dog attack while you're out this summer? Follow a few simple tips:

  • Don't approach or pet a dog that you don't know
  • Don't let your children touch or pet a dog without asking or receiving permission first
  • If you have a dog, know that whatever that dog does is your responsibility. Even in the comfort of your own home, you are liable for a dog bite/attack against another person. 
  • If you bring your dog in public, be prepared that others may try to pet it without permission. Even if they don't ask permission, you still remain responsible for your dog's actions.  Your dog should be friendly, approachable, and not pose an immediate danger to others in a public place. 

It is 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.  

Line Painter Killed on I-81

Recently, a construction worker was killed while painting lines on I-81 in Franklin County.  According to PennDOT, the driver who struck the worker was trying to get around a vehicle whose job was keeping traffic away from the working crew members.  It is unfortunate for all parties that this occurred.  It is the duty of drivers on the road to be aware of construction workers and give the time, space, and patience they need to do their job safely.  


Working on construction sites is potentially hazardous for employees for many reasons.  Besides the reason highlighted above, sometimes employers fail to follow all established safety procedures and protocol.  It 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  for more information or to set up a free consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.

Electricity Linked To Many Pool Accidents

Many people know about the common pool dangers like drowning and slipping on wet surfaces, but what about electricity? People being harmed from electricity in pools is becoming a big concern.  Unprotected wires from pool lights, filtration systems, and similar set-ups can become extremely dangerous when they come in contact with your pool water.  Today.com highlighted this issue in one of their recent features.  According to their sources, there are many measures you can take to make your home pool a safer environment.  Some of their tips include:


  • Using a device called "Shock Alert", which you put in the water before you swim. The product senses stray voltage in the water and will alert you by flashing green if the water is safe, or red if there's electricity in the water. 
  • You can also get your pool inspected by an electrician before you open your pool up for the year. 
  • Make sure all of your pool lighting is low voltage
  • Use plastic pool ladders, not metal. 

As highlighted in earlier blog posts, it is critical to realize that a pool owner is responsible for whatever happens in and around their pool.  It is the owner's job to keep the environment safe and think ahead to prevent accidents.  A pool owner's homeowner's insurance policy should provide adequate coverage that will protect against pool-related liability lawsuits.

  
If you or a loved one are injured in another's pool due to unsafe conditions, you have a legal right to hold the pool owner liable.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a pool accident due to unsafe conditions and/or inadequate safety measures, it may be time to seek legal action.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania area lawyer who is skilled in handling these claims. Please contact his Altoona, PA area firm for more information and to set up your free initial consultation 814-946-4100.

Thanks to Today.com for some of this valuable information:

http://www.today.com/health/rossen-reports-how-protect-your-family-stray-voltage-pool-t112919

Boating Accident On Susquehanna River Leads To Legal Charges

Please be careful when you are out boating this summer.  If you are driving others in your boat, it is important that you know that you are responsible for what happens while others are on your vessel.  According to a Williamsport, PA area story, two people were recently charged in relation to a boating accident last summer.  Within the Sun-Gazette article, it was noted that a man died after jumping off a moving boat in the Susquehanna River last summer.  As a result, the operators of the boat were charged with a felony failure as operators involved in a boating accident, as well as reckless and negligent operation of a watercraft.  Within the official investigation, it was noted that the people on board the boat had been drinking, and some were very intoxicated. 


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.


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

http://www.sungazette.com/news/top-news/2017/02/2-connected-to-16-boating-death-charged/

Homeowners and Pool Safety

Summertime is here, and opening your pool can add to the excitement! However, it is important to understand your liability as a homeowner when you have others over to enjoy your pool. According to ConsumerAffairs.com, about 350 children under the age of five drown every year while in pools.  It falls behind car crashes as the second leading cause of death among young children.  Almost another 3,000 additional children are taken to hospital ERs as a result of pool accidents.  


Things to consider when using your pool and having others over include the following facts and tips:


  • Create barriers between the pool and surrounding area, including proper fences and gates, to make it more difficult for children to slip into the pool without adult knowledge
  • Consider using pool alarms and a power safety cover when the pool's not being used
  • If your pool leads straight from a door in the house, make sure the door has a secure lock
  • Make sure you have safety equipment nearby, including a phone to call 911 in case of emergency

 
Know that a pool owner IS responsible for what happens in their pool.  It is the owner's job to keep the environment safe and think ahead to prevent accidents.  A pool owner's homeowner's insurance policy should provide adequate coverage that will protect against pool-related liability lawsuits.   


On the flip side, if you are injured in another's pool due to unsafe conditions, you have a legal right to hold the pool owner liable.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a pool accident due to unsafe conditions and/or inadequate safety measures, it may be time to seek legal action.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania area lawyer who is skilled in handling these claims. Please contact his Altoona, PA area firm for more information and to set up your free initial consultation 814-946-4100.


To read the original Consumer Affairs article, please click here:
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/pool_safety.html

Car Accidents Claims Can Be Tricky Under Certain Circumstances

When driving around this summer, are you aware of the legal risks on the road?  It is more clear when you are driving in a car that you own, but what about traveling in rental cars, hotel shuttles, and other means of transportation? USA Today spoke about some of these issues in a recent article.


There are many legal considerations to keep in mind when traveling, especially in the summer.  These sticky situations may occur when you are involved in an accident when one of the parties is hauling a boat or another type of trailer.  Often, people find out later that their automobile insurance doesn't cover their trailer, too.  Also, rental cars come with their own unique set of insurance circumstances.  It is important to clarify with your auto insurance company what is covered if you ever rent a car, too.


If you're involved in an accident with someone in a rental car or who doesn't have adequate coverage for their vehicle, your lawsuit could be more complicated.  You will need an attorney who is experienced with handling such claims.  Not only is Attorney Douglas Stoehr an experienced accident attorney, he also used to work for auto insurance companies and, as a result, has a large amount of knowledge relating to insurance claims from an insider's perspective.  For more information on his practice and to schedule your free initial consultation, please call his Altoona, PA area practice at 814-946-4100. 


To read more of the USA Today article, please click here:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/columnist/mcgee/2017/05/10/liability/101467946/

Brain Injuries Take A Long Time To Heal

Sometimes, people who are victims of a car crash often experience concussions or another form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Although the signs associated with this injury may not immediately be present, the symptoms may manifest themselves days or weeks later.  Many common symptoms related to TBIs include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, changes in sleep patterns, and gaps in or loss of portions of memory.  Other more immediate symptoms may include vomiting and/or loss of vision.

Post-TBI, many patients find that the road to recovery is long, hard, and takes a variety of different professionals to manage the healing process.  Major news source NBC took a hard look at instances of TBIs in America and what the recovery process looks like for those victims.  The article can be found by clicking this link

If you have recently been in a car crash, 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 car 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 a car 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 calling his firm at 814-946-4100.

We're Within The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

According to a USA Today news report, the time after school lets out for the summer is considered one of the "100 deadliest days" of the summer. Taking data compiled by USAA, the article stated that about 1,000 people die in crashes with teenage drivers on the 100 day stretch from Memorial Day onward.  This time results in raising the average number of car accident deaths up by 16% compared to other times during the calendar year.  Distracted driving accounted for almost 60% of the crashes.  

It is incredibly important to remain safe and alert while driving, especially during periods of increased motor activity, such as the summer.  It is also important to remind your teen drivers of the dangers involved in driving a vehicle, and the responsibility they have to keep themselves, their passengers, and other cars on the road safe.  Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents. If you feel that you have been wrongly hurt in an accident, please contact our office for a free consultation. Safe driving!


For more on the original USA Today report, please click here:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/06/01/summer-deadly-for-car-crashes/85237308/

How Much Do You Know About Whiplash?

How much do you really know about whiplash? Read more below to educate yourself on this very common type of accident injury.


According to LiveScience.com, whiplash is an injury suffered by over 2 million people every year! Although it often occurs in rear-impact car crashes, it can happen through other accident situations, too. Whiplash injuries affect the neck, including the tissue, muscles, discs, and nerves that go into and out of the neck.  The jerking motion association with whiplash causes the neck to move outside of its typical range of motion. Sometimes, whiplash also occurs in combination with a concussion. 


The symptoms of whiplash often show up in the first 24 hours post-accident, and include dizziness, limited range of motion in the neck, pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and/or arms, and fatigue.  Sometimes, tingling and numbness in the arms can occur as well. Whiplash can sometimes persist over six months, in which case it becomes termed as "chronic".  


Whiplash and corresponding chronic pain, is common 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 chronic pain.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA and serving the central and western Pennsylvania area.  For more information on him and his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.


Thank you to LiveScience for their reference article, which can be found here:
http://www.livescience.com/54566-whiplash.html

Low Speed Collisions Can Still Cause Significant Damage

Even if you are hit by a car traveling at a low speed, it can still mean big medical problems if you are involved in an accident.  You may think you're safer and at a lower risk for accidents when traveling in residential neighborhoods where the speed limit is lower, and in some ways it's true. However, in some situations, it may not be.  According to a Forbes article, "At low speeds, below about 15 miles per hour (m.p.h.), risks are low and increase relatively slowly with small increments in speed.  However, as speed increases above 15 m.p.h., small changes in speed yield relatively large increases in risk.  The death rate more than doubles for pedestrians when speed increases from 25 to 35 m.p.h." It is also interesting to note that about 40% of vehicle accidents are accounted for by people driving vans, SUVs, and trucks.  These bigger vehicles may reduce visibility and make it harder to see adults and small children who are walking nearby.


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.


To read the Forbes article, please go here:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyamohn/2011/09/30/low-driving-speed-can-cause-serious-pedestrian-injury-and-death-report-finds/#1565daa457ff

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