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Halloween and Premises Liability

 If you are expecting to welcome trick or treaters onto your property this Halloween, there are a couple things that you should be aware of.   First, if you are a homeowner, you have a responsibility to keep your property safe for anyone entering your property.  These people are owed a duty to be protected from certain dangerous conditions that you either caused or created, know about, or should have known about.  These types of cases are known as premises liability cases, or more commonly, "slip and fall" cases.  Second, you could be responsible for injuries if it happens on your property, and you breached the duty owed to the people entering your property.  At the law firm of Douglas V. Stoehr, we have experience in handling premises liability or "slip and fall" cases, but we would prefer that no one gets injured this Halloween.  We can provide a few tips for you to keep in mind while decorating, and getting ready to hand out candy:  
  • Make sure that your walkway, sidewalk and/or steps are well-lit and visible from the street to your front door.
  • Make sure that any dangerous conditions on walkways, sidewalks and steps are repaired or marked clearly to let people know of the dangerous conditions
  • Remove anything that may cause an individual to trip or fall while on your property, i.e., decorations and extension cords. 
If you or a family member is a victim of a premises liability or "slip and fall" case, please call Attorney Doug Stoehr's Altoona, PA area firm at 814-946-4100 to discuss your potential claim.   As always, remember to have fun and be safe out there this Halloween.  

Car Seat Picture Goes Viral

In case you ever needed another reason to make sure that your children are properly secure in their carseats, look no further than this article.  A PA mother posted a picture on social media that showed the wreckage of her car after an accident next to a picture of her children's intact car seats.  To take a look at the picture and read more about the article, please click here

It is very important to remember that all babies and toddlers should be strapped into appropriate and properly installed car seats.  Older children should also use a booster seat.  Obviously, make sure that all children (and all passengers in general) are wearing their seat belts. It's also important to keep younger children away from airbags, which could do more harm than good in a crash.  You as a driver also need to do your part to drive safely and defensively.  Children should know that when you're driving, you will not be able to turn around to help them, check on them, give them food, etc.  Your focus needs to be on the road to keep your car, and other vehicles, on the road safe! 

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.

Another Pedestrian Accident Occurs in PA

Last month, a person was injured in a serious pedestrian accident in Allegheny County.  A person was walking across the road when they were struck by a car.  At the time of the news report, there was no information about the driver of the vehicle who struck the walker. When the article was released, the victim was originally thought to be dead,  but the report was later corrected and reflected that the victim was alive, but suffered injuries. 


It is extremely unfortunate 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 article, please click here:
http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/07/27/bethel-park-fatal-pedestrian-accident/

Large Settlement for York, PA Man's Premises Liability Injury

Premises liability cases are more common than what many people may think. This one particular case, however, resulted in a very large claim for a York, PA man. According to news reports, an 80-year-old man was at a shopping center in York Township when he tripped over an unmarked step, and his head and face went into the edge of a chair of a neighboring tattoo parlor. The corresponding fall did extensive damage, including the loss of vision in one eye. This injury left him functionally blind. After the man took legal action, he was recently awarded four million dollars for injuries. For more on the news report, please click here.

Slip and fall injuries may result from improper care or maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities, like floors, sidewalks, driveways, and/or steps. Owners may not promptly shovel their sidewalks, pour rock salt on their steps, or fail to perform other types of common and expected interior and exterior maintenance measures. If an injury occurs due to the improper maintenance of such areas, the owners of the property may be liable for the injury. Failure to identify potential hazards (such as steps) is also the responsibility of the building/land owner.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury from a slip and fall or premises liability accident, it might be time to consult with an attorney. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA who serves the western and central Pennsylvania area. For more information on his legal practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100. 

Bicycle Accidents Increasing in Recent Years

Bicycling is becoming a popular form of exercise for adults and children alike. However, it does pose some significant risks as well. According to a CNN news report, biking injuries among adults are up in recent years, especially in bicyclists over 45 years old. Most often, arms and legs were the areas of bodily injury, but head injuries have also increased a significant amount. Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents are not reported to the police, so it is often hard to gather accurate statistical crash data, especially for more minor accidents. It is important to keep informed about these trends and give bicyclists on the road the space they need to stay safe.


Along with the increase in bicyclists on the road, the number of accidents also increases, especially in spring, summer, and early fall. Victims of bicycle accidents who have been injured due to the fault of another may have lasting and extensive injuries. These injuries may 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 at 814-946-4100. 

New Drug May Help TBI Patients

Sufferers of traumatic brain injury (TBI) may soon be getting more relief.  According to the published results of recent scientific research, a drug that is used to treat both dementia and Alzheimer's disease may also be useful for TBI patients as well. The drug, called memantine, is reported to help their recovery process, as measured through the Glasgow Coma Scale and neuronal damage markers in the blood. This may really help patients who have recently had a traumatic injury to their head which has resulted in significant neurological damage.  

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. 

To read more about the original study, please click here.

Scooter Injury Leads to Defective Product Lawsuit

Be careful what you buy! A young child is recently in the center of a lawsuit involving a defective product in eastern PA.  According to PennRecord.com, a young child's parents are alleging that their daughter was hurt after a scooter she was riding broke. This caused her to fall and hit her head and face on the ground.  In looking at the scooter, it appeared that the assembly of the scooter was faulty near the point where the front wheel joins to the axle.  The parents are suing several corporations, including KMart and Sears, for negligence in manufacturing and design.  Fortunately, the child was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. 

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 people who have been injured due to defective products.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

Drug and Alcohol Use High Among Commercial Truck Drivers

Summer is a prime time for families to hit the road and enjoy the American tradition of a summer road trip vacation. Often, we share the roads with large tractor-trailers.  Unfortunately, sometimes drivers of these trucks are not following best safety practices. These drivers are sometimes engaged in dangerous habits, such as distracted driving and operating their truck while fatigued.  Equally as alarming is a recent study that was highlighted by Reuters.  According their article, truck drivers across countries sometimes also take illegal drugs and then drive their vehicles.  This information, compiled via drivers self-reports and through results of drug testings, found that " about half [of truck drivers] admitted to drinking and driving and 30 percent admitted to using amphetamines, on average. The numbers varied greatly from country to country." However, the article also noted that "One U.S. study had the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests worldwide, at 12.5 percent."


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.

Summer TBI Prevention

Summer presents a great opportunity to enjoy time outside with family and friends.  Sometimes, these outside activities can also pose risks.  This is especially true for activities where you are more exposed to the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  When you and your loved ones are outside, it is important to remember the following tips to avoid summer injury:

 

  • Wear a helmet when doing outdoor activities like biking, skateboarding, and riding your four-wheeler
  • Remember to replace your helmet after a serious fall. Many helmets are only built to withstand one hard impact
  • If you're doing an activity for the first time, pay attention to the safety instructors and make sure you're using all of the safety equipment. Know when something is too challenging or risky for you, and don't be afraid to back down if you need to.
  • Make sure you know the area before you go out! It is important to know the basic layout of the terrain when hiking, biking, or being out on the water.  There may be hidden challenges or dangers that could have serious consequences for your family if you are unprepared.
  • When swimming in an unknown depth of water, always go feet first. This will help to prevent serious head, back, and neck injuries.
  • Always check the weather before going out on your outdoor adventure!

If you have recently been in a summer accident, 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 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 an 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 visiting his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or calling his firm at 814-946-4100.

Thank you to Brainline.org for the background information!

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