Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law
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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.

Social Media is Fair Game in Legal Cases

In recent years, legal guidelines have not been updated to reflect the changes made in technology, such as social media sites.  Social media sites include popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Google+.  Social media sites, in addition to being a way to keep in contact with friends and family, are also a way for lawyers to gather information about personal injury claims.
For those people who are pursuing a personal injury claim, it is becoming increasingly common for the defense to request the plaintiff's social media usernames and passwords.  Even if the plaintiff refuses, a court order might force them to turn over their log-in information.  With this knowledge, the defense can access your pictures, posts, friend activity, etc. to compile information about you that might be used in court.  This may range from social habits, physical activity, and any travel the plaintiff might have done.  Although this might not seem relevant, the information gathered may be used to argue that a person is more physically able than they let on (such as in the case of a personal injury claim) or that they might not be reliable (such as evidence of heavy drinking habits or illegal drug use).  For this reason, along with many others, it is important to monitor your Facebook profile and really think before you post anything.   Although you might have your privacy settings activated, they are not as effective as you might think and does not give you license to post anything you wish.  Additionally, if you are not really injured or not as extensively injured as you let on, you should not be pursuing a personal injury claim in that line.  A good rule of thumb is to remember that everything you post online could potentially be public information, so monitor your internet usage accordingly.
Information from Facebook and other social media sites is becoming increasingly popular to use in the "discovery" aspect of personal injury litigation.  In recent years, several cases involving personal injury claims and social media have set the precedent for the admittance of social media into the courtroom for years to come.  One of these cases involved an employee of Weis Supermarkets suing the company because he claimed to have suffered an injury to his knee while working.  Although he did require surgery to correct his knee, he claimed that he could not participate in physical activity and never wore shorts because he was embarrassed by his surgical scar.  Discovery material provided from Facebook resulted in pictures of the employee engaging in intense physical activity, as well as wearing shorts that plainly showed his surgical scar.  Because the bulk of his case rested upon his inability to take part in the physical activities he had previously enjoyed, his case did not have much merit once the Facebook pictures were admitted as evidence.
This is just one of may cases in which social media had a negative impact on a client's personal injury claim.  If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you should be careful about what you choose to post on social media sites.  Even if you are significantly injured, defense attorneys might try to twist what you write or update to compile a case against you. One picture, taken out of context, may cost you a significant amount of money in a personal injury case. 
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more information on his firm or to schedule a free initial consultation, please call his firm at 814-946-4100.

Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse

Sufferers of chronic pain often find relief through an individualized regimen of prescription medication and physical therapy/regular exercise.  Unfortunately, many of these same patients also often develop drug addictions to their painkillers, since many of these medications include a form of methadone or other narcotics.  In an effort to understand more about developing drug addictions in chronic pain patients and to reduce the occurrence of this phenomenon, a recent study took a closer look.
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota took a look at chronic pain patients who were also addicted or at-risk for addiction for prescription drugs.  The Mayo Clinic instituted a substance abuse education portion to the chronic pain section of their clinic and recorded the results.  According to the press release, "The study addressed substance use in chronic pain patients, and the researchers aimed to determine the efficacy of a 3-week interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation treatment for patients with chronic pain who have an increased risk of substance abuse. With 50 percent of their patients clearly candidates for an addiction treatment program, the Center began to incorporate substance use education into their interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program. Not only could patients improve their functioning and mood as it related to their pain, but they could also begin to explore and increase their awareness of their substance abuse risk.".  Hopefully, other chronic pain clinics and pain specialists will follow suit and continue to incorporate substance abuse education into their treatment procedures.
Chronic pain is a serious and life-altering diagnosis.  If you have been having trouble sleeping and have also had consistent pain lasting over six months, it might be time to consult with a doctor.  If this pain was caused by an accident due to the fault of another, it may also be time to consult with an attorney.   If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100. 

Attorney Stoehr Nominated for "Best Attorneys In America"

Congratulations to Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr, who has been awarded a spot as a Lifetime Member of the Rue Ratings' Best Attorneys in America.  He will represent one out of only 100 lawyers in Pennsylvania who were chosen for this honor.  Attorney Stoehr was nominated based on his "extraordinary level of legal expertise, competency, professional reputation, and ethical standards".  His nomination should be considered reflective of his exceptional achievements as an attorney.

 

The honor of a Rue Ratings membership is awarded to fewer than 1% of attorneys across the country.  Rue Ratings' membership is very carefully screened, extremely selective, and limited to only the most accomplished and qualified lawyers in the country.  In order to be nominated for Rue Ratings, a lawyer must be endorsed by an existing member, nominated by a member of the state bar association, or the public.  They can also be chosen from an independent research team.  The nominee then goes through a rigorous peer review process before he or she is selected for membership.

 

In addition to the Rue Ratings' Best Attorneys in America, Attorney Stoehr is a member of several other elite groups of legal professionals. He is a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.  This forum is an elite group of American trial lawyers who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements for their clients.  Similar to Rue Ratings' membership, membership to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum consists of fewer than 1% of lawyers in the United States.  Attorney Stoehr also has a 10/10 rating on Avvo.com, which is considered "superb".  Avvo is a public rating site for legal services where current and former clients may write reviews about the quality of legal assistance that they have received.  Attorney Stoehr has also been selected to SuperLawyers. Less than 5% of lawyers across the country are members. He is a PA SuperLawyer for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. 

 

Congratulations again to Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr! 

Be Careful When Buying Toys This Holiday Season

According to a slew of media sources, a recent national study published research by the Clinical Pediatrics medical journal that suggests that children are treated for toy-related injuries about every three minutes in the United States.  Those statistics account for over 3 million children within the past 13+ years.  The vast majority of these cases were the result of foot-powered toy scooters and other self-propelled toys. 

 

Alarmingly, most of these injuries occurred in children five years old and younger. Another large chunk of injuries was accounted for by children under three who have choked on small toys or parts of toys.  During the study, about 14 cases of children swallowing/inhaling foreign objects occurred per day over a period of about 11 years.  However, between the ages of 5 and 17, riding toys accounted for over 40% of the injuries.   These injuries were three times more likely to result in broken bones or dislocated joints.  Additionally, foot-powered scooters alone resulted in over 580,000 injuries in a period of 11 years.  Overall, falls and collision were the most common injury types across all toy accidents. 

 

Parents and caregivers can follow several common and practical tips to help prevent injuries for their children this holiday season.  Of course, all children should be wearing proper protective gear when using self-motored toys, including a helmet and elbow/knee pads.  They should also avoid riding these toys on uneven and/or icy grounds.  Young children should also be supervised at all times.   It is also important for parents and caregivers to frequently check online with various safety commissions to see if commonly used toys have been recalled due to safety hazards.

 

 

For more information on the Clinical Pediatric study, please click this link through MyFoxNY.

 

 

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer.  He takes cases for clients who are experiencing pain due to an accident or injury caused by the fault of another.  For more information on Attorney Doug Stoehr's Altoona, PA area practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or continue to browse his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.  Attorney Stoehr and his law firm wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. 

Can I Be Sued For A Dog 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.

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