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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/

You Could Be Responsible For Your Parent's Unpaid Nursing Home Bills

Did you know that you could potentially be responsible for your parent's unpaid nursing home and assisted living bills? This may be a scary thought, but in many states with filial support laws, many families are faced with this problem. 

 According to a recent Forbes.com article, filial support laws were originally derived from 16th century New England's "poor laws" and, at one time, 90% of the states had such laws.  Now 29 states still have filial support laws on the books, including Pennsylvania.  Although throughout time many of these laws were not exercised, they are being enforced at a higher rate more recently.  Many people that this is due to the rising and extended cost of healthcare for the elderly. In one recent Pennsylvania case, a nursing home successfully received over $90,000 in payment from the son of a resident who was unable to pay for her care and fled the country.

One of the ways in which Pennsylvania assesses the ability to apply filial support laws is when the elderly parent has been abused or neglect by their care-providing institution, such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities. It also assesses whether the child of the non-paying parent has the financial resources and ability to pay the providing institution all or part of the bills.

In cases of elder abuse or neglect, it is very important to consult with a lawyer before making any decisions that may result in large legal and/or financial ramifications.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania who 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 or visit  his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.  Attorney Stoehr takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties. 

Want to know more? Check out the original Forbes.com story here.

Chronic Pain: America's Hidden Epidemic

Followers of this blog are familiar with the idea of chronic pain being much more common than you might initially think.  However, you might not realize just how many Americans suffer from chronic pain without taking a look at recent statistics and surveys.

According to a recent Gallup-Healthways poll:

  • about 1 in 2 Americans suffer from some type of chronic pain.
  • 31% of American adults report chronic back/neck pain
  • 26% report a leg/knee condition, and 18% have another type of chronic pain.
  • 47% report 1 or 2 types of the pain listed above 
  • 7% report experiencing all three types of the pain listed above.

When the numbers from the survey were broken down further, it was reported that one in five people between their 40s and 80s experienced recurring pain. Interestingly, reports of chronic pain increased between ages 18 and 59 (from 16% to 37%), but those chronic pain reports stopped increasing once people turned 60.  

These data suggest that the occurrence of chronic pain among the nation's adult population is much higher than most people realize.  Chronic pain is also often caused by a traumatic injury, such as ones that result from a car crash or slip-and-fall.  If you have pain that persists more than 6 months, it is often considered chronic and may require a lifetime of medical care and expenses.  In those situations, it may be prudent to consult with an attorney if you have chronic pain that has resulted from an injury due to the fault of another. 

For more information on Attorney Doug Stoehr and his central Pennsylvania personal injury practice, please visit his website or call him at 814-946-4100.

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