Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law
Free Case Evaluation
814-946-4100
No Recovery / No Fee
Super Lawyers

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.

Top Causes of Teen Summer Driving Accidents

Many of us know that summer is a big season for teen driving accidents, since students are out of school and on the roads more frequently.  However, did you know what the major causes of teen driving accidents in the summer are? AAA has compiled some data to take a look at this phenomenon, what the causes of accidents are, and how we can help prevent them.  According to their study, the top causes for teen driving accidents in the summer are 1) talking or getting something for someone else in the vehicle, 2) using their cell phones to talk, text, and/or use an app, and 3) attending/looking for something else inside of the vehicle.  

How can we help teens become more responsible drivers?  There are many ways, including modeling good behavior when you are driving, using apps to help teens minimize their use of cell phones while driving (such as rewarding apps for not opening their cell phone while they drive, or apps that lock the phone while the car is in motion), and keeping open lines of communication with your teen about the dangers and risks of driving while distracted. 

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.

Tires Can Be Big Factor In Summer Accidents

Are you aware of the stress that is placed on your tires when driving in the summer? Although you should always be aware of your tire pressure and regularly check your tires, it's very important in the summer. Many tires blow out as a result of the summer heat, which can pose a danger to your car and other cars traveling on the road with you. Especially when your tires are under-inflated, the hot air can cause internal heat to build up inside the tire, which can lead to a tire blowout. 

Tire blowouts can lead your car to go out of control, endangering the lives of your passengers and other cars on the road.  It is your responsibility as a driver to keep your car in good, safe working order in an effort to minimize harm to everyone on the road.   Car accidents are a very real danger when driving, no matter on the highway or on a secluded country road.  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.

Many Child Car Seats Are Incorrectly Installed

Although this may be an older article, it is incredibly worthwhile to read!  Several years ago, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on a safety initiative run by the state police to assess child safety seats. A voluntary inspection occurred at sites throughout the state for a two-week period.  Over 75% of the 319 seats checked were not installed correctly.  Of course, this is a huge cause for concern!  The state police listed the most common problems as a failure to position the seat in the right direction and not properly adjusting the safety harnesses or harnessing the seat in the right manner.  If you are concerned that your child's car seat is not installed correctly, you can call your local police department to see if they'd be able to do a safety check for you. 


When traveling with small children, it is extremely important to make sure that they are as safe as possible in your car.  This includes following suggested federal guidelines for installing safety seats, keeping children in safety seats until they reach a certain age or weight, and making sure every person in the car is wearing their seatbelt.  Although you may feel that you are safe on the road, you never know when a motor vehicle accident will occur. If you and your family members are not following safety guidelines, you put yourselves at a higher risk for severe injuries or even death.  If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident, please contact our law office to set up a free initial consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.   

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.

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.

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

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.

BACK TO TOP