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We're Within The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

According to a USA Today news report, the time after school lets out for the summer is considered one of the "100 deadliest days" of the summer. Taking data compiled by USAA, the article stated that about 1,000 people die in crashes with teenage drivers on the 100 day stretch from Memorial Day onward.  This time results in raising the average number of car accident deaths up by 16% compared to other times during the calendar year.  Distracted driving accounted for almost 60% of the crashes.  

It is incredibly important to remain safe and alert while driving, especially during periods of increased motor activity, such as the summer.  It is also important to remind your teen drivers of the dangers involved in driving a vehicle, and the responsibility they have to keep themselves, their passengers, and other cars on the road safe.  Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents. If you feel that you have been wrongly hurt in an accident, please contact our office for a free consultation. Safe driving!


For more on the original USA Today report, please click here:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/06/01/summer-deadly-for-car-crashes/85237308/

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.

Distracted Driving Is Still A Problem in PA

According to reports via the Allentown Morning Call, Pennsylvania still has a lot of difficulty with distracted driving.  According to their article, despite legislation five years ago that banned texting while driving, there has been over a 50% increase in the number of people being pulled over for distracted driving in the last three years.  It is a hard position for law enforcement to be in, since drivers are still allowed to use their phones to make calls or to use apps like GPS. Commercial drivers, like truck drivers, can't use their phones at all unless they're placing an emergency call to police.  


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 firm at 814-946-4100 for more information. 

Hotel Ceiling Collapses on Guest, Lawsuit Results

Talk about a memorable hotel stay, and not for the right reasons! In the Philly area, a man is suing a local hotel for damages he sustained while staying on premises.  According to the PennRecord.com article, the injured party is suing Neshaminy Inn in Bucks County after a bathroom ceiling collapsed on his head and neck while he was staying there.  The accident resulted in in serious injuries across his body. The plantiff is suing the inn and other related parties in excess of $50,000.   

Although this is a more unusual case, personal injuries can happen when you least expect them.  This includes situations in which you are injured on the property of another, such as through improperly maintained parking lots, sidewalks, and entryways, as well as when potentially dangerous areas are not clearly marked.  If you've suffered a personal injury due to the fault of another, it may be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is skilled in handling personal injury cases across the central and western Pennsylvania area.  If you are interested in talking more about your potential legal claim, please call his Altoona, PA firm at 814-946-4100.

PA Drivers Can "Ride On Red"!

Heads up, everyone! A new state law went into effect this past week. Called the "Ride on Red" law, it allows PA drivers to go through some red lights.  The law states that if a stop light isn't responsive and if no one else is coming around you, you can legally drive through the intersection on the red light.  It's consider a common sense law to alleviate some problems in vehicles that can't be detected by the existing red light system, such as motorcycles. Use common sense and caution when taking advantage of this law!

Although this new law is now in effect, 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.

However, if you have been the victim of another's negligent driving, Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central PA area attorney who takes cases for automobile accident victims.  These cases may occur in situations where people have been injured or passed away due to the fault of another person, such as through car/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. 

Truck Drivers Guilty of Distracted Driving

When you see tractor-trailers moving along our country's highways, you expect their drivers to be safe, alert, and vigilant. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  A local New York City news source posted an article a few years ago about the increased occurrence of truck drivers who text and drive.  According to the news report, through local ABC news station 13WHAM,  "A hidden camera investigation has uncovered a dangerous trend on highways. WABC-TV in New York City set up camera on several of highly travel roadways, catching truckers texting and talking on their phones and one driver even talking on two cell phones at once. The New York State Department of Transportation said nearly 16,000 truckers were ticketed for distracted driving in 2013, but only four of them were suspended and taken out of service." 4 out of 16,000 drivers who were caught texting while driving seems like a tiny percentage!  

 
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 firm at 814-946-4100 for more information. 

Ways to Lighten the Financial Load For Elderly Relatives

A recent article by Caring.com spoke about ways to keep loved ones out of nursing homes. Many families who would like to receive help for their relatives are financially strained and cannot afford a nursing home.  For these families, the care of a loved one can cause undue stress and tension.  Caring.com addressed this issue by offering many tips on creative financial ways to help take care of elderly relatives or friends. According to the article, some of the tips include:

  • Moving in with someone else who can take care of your relative
  • Split caregiving between family and a paid neighbor
  • Moving to an area with a cheaper cost-of-living to be able to hire a caregiver
  • Consider utilizing adult daycare or companion care
  • Use community resources that provide in-home care, such as responsible students or church groups
  • Look into potential programs that your relative might be eligible for, such as various Veteran's Affairs benefits
  • Research assisted living facilities as well
  • Look into Medicaid or PACE benefits


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for older Pennsylvanians who have been abused or neglected.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100.  Attorney Stoehr takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties.

Taking Care On Winter Sidewalks

In preparation for the winter season and in an effort to keep homeowners and business owners safe, OSHA recently posted an article about how to reduce your risk for premises liability, both home and workplace, this winter season.  Here are some of their tips:

  • Check for water leaks inside and outside your home and/or office building (if you are a business owner).  Water leads to ice, which can lead to increased slip-and-fall accidents.  
  • Buy "caution" signs to remind others to be alert when traveling on walkways and entrances/exits to your buildings.  Rugs and carpets that can catch outside debris will also likely reduce your changes of someone falling on your floors.    
  • Clean up promptly when people bring in ice and snow into your home or building.  Ice and snow melt, which causes pools of water that may lead people to slip as well.  
  • Obviously, remember to clean up all snow and ice outside of your building and home promptly and thoroughly.  

If you have slipped and fell on the property of another, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and potential pain and suffering.  This may include cases where sidewalks were improperly maintained due to the winter weather, such as failure to remove snow and ice.   Attorney Doug Stoehr takes cases for clients who have sustained slip-and-fall injuries due to the fault or negligence of another.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his firm at 814-946-4100.

Thanks to OSHA for the original news bulletin! Their article can be found here:

https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2016/12/05/Tips-for-Winter-Safety-and-Reducing-Liability.aspx?Page=2&p=1

Watch Your Step! Avoiding Slip & Fall Accidents

What do you know about slip and fall accidents? They are a relatively common personal injury claim, but most people don't realize that these common myths about slip and fall accidents may not be true.  According to EHSToday.com, here are a few common slip and fall accident myths.  Read up and protect yourself from potential injury!


  • Myth #1: Shiny floors are less slip resistant than duller floors.  In reality, a floor's shine often has little to do with how safe/unsafe it is. 
  • Myth #2:  In the same vein as above, buffing a floor increases likelihood of slipping.  In fact, the opposite is often true! A buffed floor is often less slippery than one that has properly buffed. 
  • Myth #3:  Higher slip resistance=safer.  In fact, if the slip resistance is TOO high or the floor is tacky, it will collect dirt and debris and lead to more accidents.
  • Myth #4:  Newly applied floors are less safe than ones that are older and aged.  Actually, the opposite is true--newer, properly applied floor finishes are generally much safer.

 
So what does this mean for the average person walking on floors, especially industrial ones?  Be safe and take your time. For employers who are responsible for keeping others safe, make sure you properly maintain your floors to avoid a potential premises liability claim!

If you have slipped and fell on the property of another, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and potential pain and suffering.  This may include cases where sidewalks were improperly maintained due to the winter weather, such as failure to remove snow and ice.   Attorney Doug Stoehr takes cases for clients who have sustained slip-and-fall injuries due to the fault or negligence of another.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his firm at 814-946-4100.


Thank you to the background information, found here:
http://ehstoday.com/safety/five-common-slip-and-fall-myths

Bicyclist Safety Questionable in PA

Recently, PennLive.com posted a very relevant and interesting article about the state of bicycle safety in Pennsylvania. Recently, a man in Pittsburgh was killed while biking home from the South Side docks.  In the aftermath of his death, public commentary has begun about the state of bicyclist safety in our area and state.  Pennsylvania has seen some of the largest growth in bicycle traffic in the nation.  However, many of our bicycle rules and policies are arguably outdated and dangerous, according to some people.  


Many bicyclist advocates argue that Pennsylvania, especially in the cities, does not have enough bike lanes and/or doesn't provide enough room for biking traffic. This leads to dangers for bicyclists and everyone else who shares the road with them.   


According to the PennLive article, "the number of commuters using bicycles to get to work jumped by as much as 60 percent nationwide between 2004 and 2014. Pennsylvania's share of that increase was also among the highest of any state."   Additionally, a research study highlighted that "while 34 percent of Americans age three or older rode a bike at least once in 2014, 52 percent of U.S. adults worry about being hit by a car while riding." It should be noted that a  "safe passing" law was put into effect in 2012 that requires drivers to allow cyclists a four feet barrier while passing them. 


During the warmer months and into fall, many people gravitate outside to run, bike, walk, and spend time with their families. Although this can provide an excellent outlet for fun and recreation, it can also lead to potential bicycle and pedestrian accidents. When driving around, be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists on the road, especially small children that may not be easily seen. By being alert and considerate and sharing the road, you will avoid serious injuries and complications to those around you. If you plan to bike or run outside, wear bright colors and make sure that you give appropriate and clear turning signals with your arms so that drivers know when and where you intend to turn.


Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. If you would like a consultation regarding your personal injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.


To read more from the original PennLive article, please click here:
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/09/pittsburgh_cyclists_death_high.html

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