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Many Child Car Seats Are Incorrectly Installed

Although this may be an older article, it is incredibly worthwhile to read!  Several years ago, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on a safety initiative run by the state police to assess child safety seats. A voluntary inspection occurred at sites throughout the state for a two-week period.  Over 75% of the 319 seats checked were not installed correctly.  Of course, this is a huge cause for concern!  The state police listed the most common problems as a failure to position the seat in the right direction and not properly adjusting the safety harnesses or harnessing the seat in the right manner.  If you are concerned that your child's car seat is not installed correctly, you can call your local police department to see if they'd be able to do a safety check for you. 


When traveling with small children, it is extremely important to make sure that they are as safe as possible in your car.  This includes following suggested federal guidelines for installing safety seats, keeping children in safety seats until they reach a certain age or weight, and making sure every person in the car is wearing their seatbelt.  Although you may feel that you are safe on the road, you never know when a motor vehicle accident will occur. If you and your family members are not following safety guidelines, you put yourselves at a higher risk for severe injuries or even death.  If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident, please contact our law office to set up a free initial consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.   

Take Care With Spinal Cord Injuries

If you've ever been in an accident, such as a car or bicycle accident, you know how painful and persistent those injuries can be.  However, if you also happened to have injured your spine, the lasting damages can be even more severe. What are some of the expenses that occur after you've injured your spine? Take a look below.  

Medical treatment alone following a spinal injury can be exceptionally expensive, and requires a good deal of extended care.  You may require rehabilitation, mental health counseling, medication, and potentially permanent changes in your lifestyle and mobility. If you are permanently paralyzed, your medical expenses may total over $1,000,000 in your first year post-injury alone.  Some of your treatment costs may not be covered by insurance.  Additionally, you may find yourself paying large sums for lots of little add-on costs, such as gas to and from visits, meals while you're out, and wear and tear on your cars.  Of course, spinal injuries often also lead to a loss of income or a change in the ability to perform your job. 

If you've been in an accident, such as a motor vehicle or bike accident, and have suffered a spinal injury as a result, it may be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer who is skilled in handling these types of legal claims.  Call his office today at 814-946-4100 for a free initial consultation at his Altoona, PA firm. 

Car Accidents And Your Kids

Are you safe when you are traveling with your kids in the car? Recent data suggests that hundreds of children die in car accidents every year, and hundreds of thousands more are injured.  With these statistics, it's no wonder that parents are asking how to keep their children safe as they travel.  The good news is there are several things you can do to keep your littlest passengers safe on our state's roads.  


First of all, it's really important that all babies and toddlers are riding in appropriate and properly installed car seats.  Older children should also use a booster seat.  Obviously, make sure that all children (and all passengers in general) are wearing their seat belts. It's also important to keep younger children away from airbags, which could do more harm than good in a crash.  You as a driver also need to do your part to drive safely and defensively.  Children should know that when you're driving, you will not be able to turn around to help them, check on them, give them food, etc.  Your focus needs to beon the road to keep your car, and other vehicles, on the road safe! 

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.

Construction Season Safety Tips

Well, Pennsylvanians, "construction season" is unofficially here.  Need some tips as to how to keep your sanity and keep yourself/others safe on the road? Check out these tips below, courtesy of DrivingAmbitionInc.com.

  • The article from Driving Ambition notes that you should be aware that traffic delays in work zones aren't always confined to certain hours, and can occur late at night and early in the morning.  Be aware at all times. Also, be patient with construction workers.
  • Although obvious, always remember to slow down in work zones.  This will protect you, the other cars, and the construction workers!
  • Also, don't tailgate! Leave breathing room for other cars in case unexpected stopping/slowing down occurs.  
  • As always, DON'T text and drive.  You will need your attention focused on the road when going through work zones even more so than when driving regularly down the road.  Don't make a foolish mistake like texting and potentially cause long-lasting consequences for yourself and others. 
  • As noted in the article, "Expect delays and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination on time.  A great resource is the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse (http://www.workzonesafety.org/).  This website contains information on work zone delays throughout the country."

Car accidents are frightening, expensive, and time-consuming.  These accidents become more complicated and potentially lethal when they occur in a work zone.  Car accidents may also result in injuries that are extensive, painful, and long-lasting.  If you suffered an injury due to a car accident caused by another, it might be time to consult with an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more information on his Altoona, PA law firm, please visit his website athttp://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his office at814-946-4100.

Please find the original article here:

http://www.drivingambitioninc.com/blog/bid/56989/Top-10-Work-Zone-Safety-Tips-for-CDL-Drivers

Sharing the Road Safely: Semi Truck Drivers May Be A Risk

Cell phone use while driving is irresponsible, reckless, and a threat to the safety of the driver, their passengers, and other vehicles on the road.  Most drivers recognize these facts, however, many still choose to ignore safety laws and continue to text and talk on their cell phone while on the road.  Drivers of cars are not the only people who are guilty of not obeying the safety laws; semi-truck drivers have also been caught using their cell phones while driving.  As startling as this phenomenon seems, it is not uncommon on the highways.  As a result of this and in response to a semi-truck accident that was supposedly caused by a truck driver on his cell phone, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended banning the use of cell phones for truckers nationwide (except for emergency purposes).   The accident, cited by the NTSB as a possible reason for cell phone bans for truckers, involved a truck driver who was talking on his phone while driving and caused an accident that killed 11 people.  Directly before the accident, the driver made a call and crossed a median on an interstate, crashing into a van carrying twelve people that were coming home from a wedding.


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving the western and central Pennsylvania area.  One of his major areas of practice is injury or death due to motor vehicle accidents.  He has noticed a trend of accidents involving cell phone usage, either talking or texting, and urges you not to use your phone while driving and be wary of other drivers on the road who may be using their phones.  For more information on his law firm, please click here.

Stop, Slow Down, and Winterize! Tips and Tricks For Safe Winter Driving

Unfortunately, it's that time of year again when we should start thinking about winterizing our vehicles.  Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr would like to offer a few tips that will help with this process.   
  • Check your TIRES - You should always check to make sure your tires are fully inflated to manufacturer's specifications.  Usually this information is on the inside the driver's side door. 
  • Check your BRAKES - A mechanic should be able to do an evaluation of the brake pads and braking system to ensure that they are working properly.
  • Check your FLUID LEVELS - You should always check your oil, windshield washer fluid, and transmission fluid.  However, you should also be aware of your coolant levels.
  • Check your BATTERY - A battery that is not working properly may result in you being stranded this winter.
  • Check your WINDSHIELD WIPERS - If your windshield wipers are not properly clearing the windshield you may have an obstructed view of what's ahead.
  • Put together an EMERGENCY KIT containing a cell phone, a heavy blanket, gloves, salt/sand, a flashlight, water and non-perishable food.
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 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 at our Altoona, PA law firm. 

Don't Let Deer Ruin Your Day!

 Several years ago, State Farm has released its annual deer-related collision report, and Pennsylvania was again listed as the fifth most likely state for a deer collision.  Pennsylvania drivers have a roughly 1 in 77 chance of hitting a deer this year.  Even though the odds seem good, State Farm has reported that the odds of colliding with a deer are actually down by 4.3 percent.  The reason for the decline is simple.  There are more registered drivers on the road. 
State Farm compiled these numbers by look at the total number of deer collisions between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, and found that 1.22 million deer-related collisions occurred during that period, which they say is down by 3.5 percent compared to the previous year.  State Farm also reports that November is the most likely month for an incident to occur, followed by October and December. 
State Farm has reported that the "Top 5 Most Likely States for Deer Collisions" are as follows:  1) West Virginia; 2) Montana; 3) Iowa; 4) South Dakota; and 5) Pennsylvania.  

State Farm has also provided tips for deer safety:


1.       Be aware of posted deer crossing signs, which are placed in active deer crossing areas.
2.       Deer are most active from 6-9 p.m.
3.       Use high beams headlamps as much as possible to watch for deer at night.
4.       Do not be a distracted driver.  Using cell phones and eating while driving may cause a driver to miss seeing a deer until it is too late.
5.       Deer typically travel in groups, so if you see one it's likely there are more

At the law firm of Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr we are highly experienced in handling vehicle accidents.  If you, or a member of your family have been injured in a vehicle accident please contact Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr to evaluate your claim.  

Your PA Driver's License Carries Weight In Other States, Too

Did you commit a driving/traffic violation in another state? If so, don't think you are safe because you carry a Pennsylvania license and don't reside in that state. In case you were unaware, Pennsylvania participates in something known as the Driver License Compact (DLC).  The DLC is an organization made up of 46 out of our 50 states who work together to create a single system for driving records, driver license (so you can only hold a license in one state), and report all traffic convictions/license suspensions/license revocations so other states are aware of a driver's license status.    

For example, if you commit a charge such as manslaughter or a DUI in another state, you could have your driving privileges suspended in Pennsylvania and in the state where the offense was committed. Part of the DLC's goal is to make sure of the "uniform and predictable treatment of drivers by treating offenses committed in other states as though the have been committed in the home state".   This is an effort to keep our roads safe from negligent, unlawful drivers who cross states in an effort to evade police action. 
We cannot stress to you enough how important it is to remain safe and alert while driving during periods of increased motor activity, especially holiday periods like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents can be easily prevented with a few simple, common-sense tips, such as not driving while fatigued or distracted, along with wearing your seatbelt. 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!

Hunting Season=Increased Accident Risk!

Hunting season is almost upon us! Unfortunately for Pennsylvanians, that also means that deer-related car crashes will most likely increase.  According to data generated by State Farm Insurance Agency, about 1 in 70 Pennsylvania drivers will hit a deer in the next 12 months.  This is the second highest deer-vehicle collision rate in the entire country, second only to West Virginia.    
How many people do you think hit deer with their cars last year in PA? Well, if you guessed over 100,000 people, you'd be in the ballpark!  The worst time of the year for these crashes is from October to December, when it is whitetail mating season and the hunters scatter the deer around.  Unfortunately, hitting a deer also comes with a hefty fee!  The average cost to your car after hitting a deer hovers around $4,000.  Ouch!
Although Attorney Stoehr does not take cases related to insurance claims for deer-related collisions, he does urge you to drive safely and with heightened awareness during the incoming "danger zone" time of the year for deer crashes.  He does take cases for victims of car, semi-truck, and motorcycle crashes who have been injured or killed due to the fault of another.   Some of his most common cases include accidents caused by distracted driving and fatigue.  If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash and is dealing with significant injuries, it is time to take legal action.  Call Attorney Stoehr's firm to handle your case in the central and western Pennsylvania area at 814-946-4100.  
Background data may be found here

One Father's Journey With Spinal Stenosis

If you've been following our blog for the past few weeks, you may have noticed that we're taking a closer look at spinal stenosis.  Spinal stenosis is a serious and painful medical condition that causes significant back pain.  Not only does it make it hard to do everyday tasks like lift groceries, drive a car, and sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, it may also make your work and recreational activities difficult, if not impossible, to enjoy.  We don't think anyone should have to suffer from this type of injury, especially when it was caused due to the fault of another person, such as being involved in a car accident.  

EverydayHealth.com recently ran a human interest story on a young father and patient educator who developed spinal stenosis.  Although his condition did not result from trauma after an accident, like a car crash or slip-and-fall, his story is a real-life example of the debilitating effect that spinal stenosis can have on every day life.  For him, his pain was so severe that he couldn't even turn a key or hold a pen! Read his story here to learn more about his journey and how he overcame his condition. 

If you think you're developing spinal stenosis and were recently injured, such as through a car, motorcycle, or bike accident or through a slip-and-fall, you should consider consulting with an attorney.  Not only may your injury worsen over time, you may also be facing situations like time off of work, limited mobility, and potentially permanent pain.  If you don't consult with an attorney and see what your options are, you may be missing out on some choices that may considerably help you and your family in the future.  If you're located in the central PA area, such as Altoona, Tyrone, Martinsburg, Bedford, and other surrounding areas, Attorney Stoehr is an expert attorney who is skilled in handling these types of cases.  Give him a call at 814-946-4100 to schedule a meeting and discuss your potential legal claim!

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