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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/

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

Be Careful Who You Serve: Premises Liability

When throwing a party or inviting friends over, most people are concerned with cleaning their homes, preparing the food, and making sure that there's enough to drink.  Although these things are important, it is also important to remember that, as hosts, you are responsible for what your guests ingest at your party.  Many hosts believe that, if their guests are 21 or older, they should be able to consume as much alcohol as they want without hosts having to monitor them.  This is a common misconception.  If a party attendee leaves the party drunk and causes injury or accident to themselves or another person, the hosts are partially responsible for the injuries.  This is true not only at a home-based party, but also at such public gatherings as graduation parties, wedding receptions, and other celebrations.


As a host, it is important to monitor your attendee's level of drinking and make sure that they are not over-imbibing.  If they do become intoxicated, it is your responsibility to find them a designated driver or call them a taxi. If you choose not to do this, you could face very serious legal ramifications later on if accident, injury, or police involvement occurs.  If an intoxicated person is seriously injured on your property while hosting a party, you may be held liable in a court of law. Be smart when both hosting and attending a party.


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

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.

Banks Are Training Employees To Spot Elder Abuse

Banks across the country are training their employees on red flags in bank account activity that would suggest exploitation of an elderly person's finances.  Some of the red flags include a change in the method of bank activity and a new signature on cards and deposit slips. Sometimes, this training is implemented as a part of Elder Abuse Awareness Month.  We hope that all banks in our state will follow suit and provide training for its employees to protect against financial elder abuse!


Elder abuse can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Other, equally as damaging forms, of elder abuse can occur in settings such as nursing homes or hospitals.  Mental and psychological abuse, as well as financial and sexual abuse occur all too often to the elderly population.  If you feel that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Attorney Doug Stoehr at his Altoona, PA law firm to set up a free consultation.  Attorney Stoehr has experience and knowledge pertaining to elder abuse legal claims, and will work hard to fight for the rights of your family or friend. To contact his office, please call 814-946-4100. 

Collisions Increase In The Summer Months

You may not know this, but the warmer weather also brings about a rise in traffic accidents and tickets.  An article written by Insurance Hotline reported that almost 27% of tickets and 27% of car accidents occur during July, August, and September.  Many people believe this rise in ticketing is due to summer travel and tourism, which is coupled with increased road construction in the summer.  It is also likely that people are less cautious when driving in the summer, because the roads are generally clear and dry. No matter the cause, these statistics are reason enough to be extra cautious when you are driving around with your family this spring and summer. 


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.

Spinal Cord Injuries--Statistics and Causes

Spinal cord, brain, and other serious injuries are frightening, life changing, and complicated to live with and treat.  A recent press release by the Shriners Hospital for Children offered up a few surprising and eye-opening statistics related to the prevalence and common causes of spinal cord injuries.  Their list included the following statistics:

 

  • At least 30, if not more, American citizens every day are victims of a spinal cord injury that results in some form of paralysis
  • There are over 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury every year in the US
  • About half of all spinal cord injuries occur higher up the spinal column (around the neck area), which affects the ability to breathe, as well as motor control and sensation in all four limbs
  • Specifically for children, between 1,500 and 2,000 new spinal cord injuries are reported every year in the US
  • Among the most commonly reported causes of spinal cord injuries, especially for children and teenagers, are motor vehicle accidents, diving accidents, trampolines, and falls.


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. 

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