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

When Dogs Attack

Recently, pit bulls have been receiving a lot of negative attention due to the perceived danger of the breed.  Whether you agree or disagree with this danger, the truth of the matter is that any type of dog breed can be harmful under the wrong circumstances


If you or a loved one have been attacked or bitten by a dog, you as a victim have rights. Many people do not know their rights and therefore fail to go after the compensation they deserve.  Dog bite laws can be confusing and may vary from state to state. Here is what you need to know about dog bite laws in Pennsylvania:


1.) Legal liability must be proven in order to receive compensation from an attack.  This means that a victim must prove that the dog owner was being negligent in order for the owner to be held responsible for the attack.
2.) Landlords may be held liable for injuries by a dog their tenant owns/takes care of if he/she is aware that the dog is a danger and fails to take action to remove the pet from the premise.
3.) If a dog is deemed "dangerous" different laws and penalties may apply. A dangerous dog is one that has a previous record of attack or has attacked without provocation or both. 


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for victims of dog bites and other types of animal attacks. For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.

Dog Bites in PA

Recently, pit bulls have been receiving a lot of negative attention due to the perceived danger of the breed.  Whether you agree or disagree with this danger, the truth of the matter is that any type of dog breed can be harmful under the wrong circumstances. 

If you or a loved one have been attacked or bitten by a dog, you as a victim have rights. Many people do not know their rights and therefore fail to go after the compensation they deserve.  Dog bite laws can be confusing and may vary from state to state. Here is what you need to know about dog bite laws in Pennsylvania:

  • Legal liability must be proven in order to receive compensation from an attack.  This means that a victim must prove that the dog owner was being negligent in order for the owner to be held responsible for the attack.
  • Landlords may be held liable for injuries by a dog their tenant owns/takes care of if he/she is aware that the dog is a danger and fails to take action to remove the pet from the premise.
  • If a dog is deemed "dangerous" different laws and penalties may apply. A dangerous dog is one that has a previous record of attack or has attacked without provocation or both. 

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for victims of dog bites and other types of animal attacks. For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

When Dogs Attack

Although we hope this never happens to you, it is important to know how to keep yourself safe in the event that you are attacked by a dog.  This is crucial, especially since dogs bite almost 5 million Americans a year, and almost a million of those people seek medical treatment.  In fact, almost 400,000 of those victims have such bad injuries that they require immediate attention in the emergency room.  


So, how can you avoid being attacked by a dog? Take a look at the following tips:

  • Don't pet or approach a strange dog without obtaining specific permission from its owner.  
  • Use your nonverbal body language to your advantage.  Don't look a dog directly in the eye, and don't run away from a dog.  This may engage their instinctual drives and make them want to chase you!  If you must get away, back away slowly.  
  • If a dog approaches you unexpectedly, stand still.  
  • Don't get between a dog that is eating, sleeping, or watching over its puppies.  
  • If a dog is being aggressive towards you, don't shout at them.  Use a strong, calm voice. You can also give a dog something else to focus on, such as a jacket, branch, or other object to bite.
  • If it does get to the point that you are attacked, roll into a ball, cover your head and face with your hands, and stay still.   


If the bite is serious enough, you may require medical attention.  You may also wish to get tested for rabies and other diseases that dogs may carry.  If the dog appears to be a tray, you should call the local animal control center and let them know about the situation. 


If you know the dog or the dog appears to be owned by someone, it is important for you to know that you have legal rights.  Dog owners have the responsibility to keep their dogs safe, contained, and not a risk to others.  If you are bitten by a dog and are seeking legal counsel, 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.   Our law firm 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.  

Thanks to Live Science for the background information.

Common Summertime Hazards--Did You Expect These?

In continuing on prior blog posts, it is important to be aware of the unique dangers and hazards that the summer weather can bring.  Some of them might be familiar to you, such as drowning, heat strokes, and bike accidents.  However, did you expect to see fireworks, food poisoning, and playground injuries to be among the list of top summertime hazards? All of these accidents possess potentially painful, serious, and/or life-threatening injuries.  If they are caused at the fault of another person, it may be time to seek legal counsel. 


 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 more information about the top 10 summertime hazards, please click this link to Webbins.com's original article (http://www.webbins.com/blog/top-10-summertime-accidents).  This article talks in depth about many of the top injuries and accidents that occur in the summertime and how you can keep yourself safe!

Bite Prevention: Keeping Your Dog From Harming Others

Often, we hear about the victims' sides in terms of dog bite cases.  However, what can owners do to prevent their dogs from biting other dogs or people?  Take a look at these tips below, courtesy of HumaneSociety.org:

  • Spay or neuter your dog to decrease their likeliness towards aggression
  • Socialize your dog, in a controlled way, with other dogs, people, and circumstances.
  • Train your dog, and strongly consider completing formal obedience classes. The Humane Society goes on to say that "Never send your dog away to be trained; only you can teach your dog how to behave in your home. Note that training classes are a great investment even for experienced dog caregivers."
  • Teach your dog how to behave.  Don't teach them to chase or attack other things or objects, even for fun. 
  • Be a responsible, active dog owner.  Make sure your dog is always up to date on their licenses and vaccinations. Don't chain them up outside all day or spend a great deal of time alone, because these conditions can often lead to increased aggressive behaviors.  
  • Keep your dog away from situations which they might find stressful, such as fireworks, busy parties, new and unpredictable places, etc.


Is it 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.  

Much Ado About "Aggressive Dog Breeds"

Recently, Pit Bulls have been receiving a lot of negative attention due to the perceived danger of the breed.  Whether you agree or disagree with this danger, the truth of the matter is that any type of dog breed can be harmful under the wrong circumstances.  Even your neighbor's toy poodle can cause serious damage under stress!

Howver, if you or a loved one have been attacked or bitten by a dog, you as a victim have rights. Many people do not know their rights and therefore fail to go after the compensation they deserve.  Dog bite laws can be confusing and may vary from state to state. Here is what you need to know about dog bite laws in Pennsylvania:


1.) Legal liability must be proven in order to receive compensation from an attack.  This means that a victim must prove that the dog owner was being negligent in order for the owner to be held responsible for the attack.
2.) Landlords may be held liable for injuries by a dog their tenant owns/takes care of if he/she is aware that the dog is a danger and fails to take action to remove the pet from the premise.
3.) If a dog is deemed "dangerous" different laws and penalties may apply. A dangerous dog is one that has a previous record of attack or has attacked without provocation or both. 


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for victims of dog bites and other types of animal attacks. For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.

Throwback Thursday: Your Rights and Dog Bites

Every year nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs, and close to half of those victims are children.  1 in 5 people that are victims of dog bites require medical attention, which equates to about 900,000 Americans that received medical attention for dog bites in the past year. 
In 2012, dog bites accounted for approximately one third of settlements of all homeowner's insurance liability claims.  Pennsylvania ranked fifth in states with the most dog bite insurance claims. 


Pennsylvania law does not impose absolute liability on an owner for dog attacks, not even in respect to a dog having vicious tendencies of which the owner is aware.  The plaintiff will need to prove negligence in order for the defendant to be found accountable for any injuries sustained because of a dog bite.  In order to prove a dog bite case, historically the claimant had to prove that the dog had bitten at least once in the past.  However, the law in Pennsylvania now is the following:  If a dog has any vicious propensities, regardless of whether it has bitten in the past, the dog's actual bite upon you can serve as the standard for determining whether the owner was negligent.

Liability for a dog attack may even fall to a landlord.  A landlord may be held liable for injuries by animals owned and maintained by a tenant when the landlord has knowledge of the presence of the dangerous animal and where he or she has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the premises. 

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. 

Run Away? Stand Your Ground? What To Do If A Dog Attacks!

Many of us own dogs that are happy, healthy, harmless, and well-adjusted.  They are members of our family, play with our children, and are a part of many important life moments.  However, not all dogs are as friendly as your trusty friend!  Ever year, hundreds of people are severely injured in dog attacks all over the country.  The local division of CBS in Pittsburgh offered up some tips and tricks to keep you safe in the event that you are confronted with a potentially serious and unsafe dog encounter. 

  • Don't make any sudden movements! Neither run away nor towards a dog that looks ready to attack. 
  • Be as calm as you can! The more stressed and scared you get, the more the dog will pick up on it. 
  • Don't look the dog in the eye or scream!
  • When approaching a dog with an owner, always ask before petting if it's okay.  If the owner says yes, allow the dog to smell the back of your hand first.  If they appear angry or on edge, don't put them further. 

In some cases, liability for a dog attack may fall to a landlord.  A landlord may be held liable for injuries by animals owned and maintained by a tenant when the landlord has knowledge of the presence of the dangerous animal, and where he or she has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the premises. 

If you are bitten by a dog and are seeking damages, 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.   Our law firm 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.  

Keeping Owners and Dogs Safe During the Holidays

With Halloween almost here and Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, the holidays can be a stressful time for both dogs and their owners.  Incidents of dog bites appear to increase this time of year, and is often due to dogs being surrounded by an increase of movement, unfamiliar environments, and people who may scare or anger them!  In order to keep both pets and owners safe this holiday season, our law firm has a few tips to offer:


  • Consider separating the dog in a quiet, familiar area when people are over.  Give them food, water, and some treats to occupy them and make them feel comfortable.
  • Put one family member in charge of checking in on the dog, making sure they are safe, and being aware of any signs of stress.
  • Don't allow your children to pet or hug unfamiliar dogs without the owner's permission.
  • Assign one adult to watch one child, not multiple children, for the duration of their visit.  

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.  

Summer Means Trauma Season for Central/Eastern PA Hospitals

Pittsburgh-area hospitals are on a higher alert when the summer months begin to hit.  As noted in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, summer is also known as "trauma season" in the medical world.  During these months, hospitals see an influx of patients who have suffered bicycle, swimming, lawn mower, and other injuries.  This is especially true for children, whose injury numbers tend to double in the summer months.  Many adults also suffer injuries, such as those from falls from ladders due to house painting or gutter cleaning.  Some of the most common injuries that emergency rooms tend to treat more in the summer are:

  • Bicycle injuries
  • Lawn mower accidents
  • Swimming injuries
  • ATV/dirt bike/motorcycle accidents
  • Trampoline trauma
  • Burns, such as from a grill or fireworks
  • Joint injuries, such as golfer's elbow
  • Dog bites
  • Injuries from amusement park rides
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Foot injuries, often due to bare feet
  • Falls

Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents in addition to the other above areas, such as dog bites, lawn mower injuries, injuries from falls, trampoline trauma, and ATV/ motorcycle/dirt bike accidents. If you feel that you have been wrongly hurt in an accident, please contact our office for a free consultation. Safe driving, walking, and biking and here's to the start of long-overdue warm weather and a great summer!

BACK TO TOP