Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law
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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, 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.

Road Construction Is A Danger All Year Round

So, September is finally here and most of the construction work in Pennsylvania is finished for the year, right? Well, guess again.  Roadside construction and associated hazards are common throughout the entire year.  Construction workers are particularly susceptible to danger in the summer months, with a combination of summer vacationers, long days, and hot weather leading to a rise in accidents.  However, construction workers face danger all year round while working outside to keep our roads in good condition.  

Construction workers are vulnerable to being hit by passing cars, of course, but also to several other dangers.  They also suffer from a high number of falls, such as from scaffolding or in precarious places, like bridges.  They also are frequently caught between or inside objects.  Sometimes, they can be caught between cars on the road, or the road and and a lane divider.  As morose as this all sounds, it's really important to recognize the inherent dangers that construction workers face every day while they are out working for us.  By respecting them and giving them the space they need to work safely, you can save lives and avoid a significant accident. 

Working on construction sites is potentially hazardous for employees, especially when employers fail to follow all established safety procedures and protocol. When these construction workers are working on the roads, they are also at a significant risk to be hit by drivers who are not obeying the safety rules for work zones.   A construction zone 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 at 814-946-4100 for more information or to set up a free consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr.