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What Documentation Do I Need For My Personal Injury Claim?

What kind of documentation do I need for a personal injury case?  This is a question that many of my clients ask.  Although documentation can vary based on your individual case, here are some good guidelines to consider (courtesy of PersonalInjury.com):


  • Document the actual accident, including writing down any details and keeping any photographs you have. Don't just rely on your memory!  Taking pictures at the scene of your accident is especially important.  
  • Keep a detailed record of your injuries, including pictures. 
  • Try and gather the contact information of the other party involved in your accident.  
  • Obtain a copy of the police report from your accident. This is your legal right, so don't be shy about asking for it!


Car accidents are a very real danger when driving, no matter on the highway or on a secluded country road.  These dangers are compounded when you are confronted by a drunk or distracted driver.  The physical and psychological damage caused by car accidents can be extensive and result in years of medical and professional care.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash that was the fault of another, Attorney Doug Stoehr would be willing to set up a free consultation to discuss a possible legal claim involving your accident.  Attorney Stoehr has experience litigating personal injury claims relating to car crashes, and if you would like to meet with him, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.


Original article may be found here

Independent Medical Exams and Your Legal Claim

When our law office sues on behalf of our clients for workers' compensation claims, these clients are sometimes asked to complete an independent medical exam on behalf of the insurance companies or employers. Unfortunately, these independent medical exams often appear unreliable and paint an incomplete and/or inaccurate picture of a client's true medical difficulties. 


This difficulty with independent exams is occurring across the country.  In Wisconsin, reporters have investigated this phenomenon (link at bottom of blog post).  According to their investigative report, many judges are becoming frustrated with the low quality of these exams as well.  Across cases, these medical experts tend to give the same opinion, noting that the injuries were not work related and "all in the patient's head".   One judge was reported as saying "A few of the experts' opinions were so predictable that it's almost a waste of time to read the report because you know what it's going to say."  


These independent examiners (IMEs) are hired by employers or insurance companies who wish to dispute various workers' compensation claims.  IMEs are sometimes hired long-term by insurance companies and travel across the country completing very short exams (in some cases, 3-5 minutes), and then write up the corresponding medical reports for their employers.  However, some states are beginning to investigate these dubious reports more frequently and are sometimes barring certain IMEs from testifying in court.  Overall, many IME reports tend to be biased, not comprehensive, and are sometimes grossly inaccurate.  Unfortunately, these IME reports can have a significant impact on a valid workers' compensation claim and lead to a delayed outcome and frustration on behalf of the injured worker. 

If you have a workers' compensation claim and are being treated unfairly in the process, it may be time to seek legal representation. Our law office is skilled in handling these types of claims.  For more information on our firm or to set up your free initial consultation, please call our Altoona, PA area office at 814-946-4100.


Please find the link to the original article here. 

Insurance Bad Faith Claims

Insurance "bad faith" legal claims may be more common than you think!  In our office, we unfortunately see many instances where insurance companies do not act "in good faith".  What this simply means is that insurance companies can't try and find ways to get out of paying or investigating a claim for you.  If they do this, they are acting "in bad faith".  There are many ways in which an insurance company can be acting in bad faith, but some of the more common ways include:

  • Denying you coverage
  • Not investigating your claim
  • Offering much less money than the claim is actually worth
  • Not communicating important information to you
  • Failing to pay a claim without investigating it first

Our law office is skilled in handling these types of bad faith claims. In fact, Attorney Doug Stoehr used to work for insurance companies before he became an attorney.  As such, he has a set of skills and knowledge of the insurance world that is well suited to handling these types of claims.  For more information or to set up your free initial consultation, please call his Altoona, PA law office at 814-946-4100.

National Large Truck/Bus Facts

Did you ever wonder if and how data on trucking accidents is tracked from year to year? Well, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps data every year on statistics surrounding large truck and bus crashes.  Their most recent report is from the year 2015, and some of their statistics are startling! Take a look below:

  • From 2014-2015, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 8 percent
  • In that time time span, the number of buses involved in fatal crashes increased by 11 percent
  • Large trucks increased their miles traveled by 0.3 percent, and buses increased by 1.4 percent
  • Of the over 400,000 police-reported crashes that had large truck involvement, 1% were fatal crashes and 20% involved documented injuries 
  • Of those fatal crashes, 20% were single-vehicle, while 64% involved two or more vehicles
  • About 60% of those fatal crashes with large trucks were on more rural roads, while 25% were on interstate highways

Tour bus and commercial truck drivers are a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents onAmerica's roads and highways. Often, these commercial drivers are fatigued and are driving above the mandated allotment of hours. Additionally, many of them are driving large vehicles that are not up to federal and state safety standards. As a result, other vehicles and motorcycle riders often bear the brunt of their illegal activity and are often seriously injured or die from a collision with the tour bus or commercial truck. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, please contact our law office for a consultation at no cost to you at the Law Offices of Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.

For the official report, please click here

National Group to Study Trucking Habits

Earlier this month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced they they are planning to survey tractor-trailer drivers to see how long their commute is to their trucking jobs, especially if their commute is greater than 2.5 hours.  This survey is part of a larger study that is examining commuting time as it relates to driver fatigue and safety.  FMCSA plans to get feedback not only on commuting time, but also work history, schedules, annual miles they drive, and their break and rest periods.  


Unfortunately, commercial truck drivers are a common cause of motor vehicle accidents on our roads and highways. Many times, these commercial drivers are fatigued and are driving above the mandated allotment of hours. Sometimes, they are also driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Additionally, many of them are driving large vehicles that are not up to federal and state safety standards. As a result, other vehicles and motorcycle riders often bear the brunt of their illegal activity and are often seriously injured or die from a collision with the tour bus or commercial truck. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, please contact our law office for a consultation at no cost to you at the Law Offices of Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.

Original article can be found here:
https://www.ccjdigital.com/fmcsa-to-study-truck-drivers-commuting-habits-safety-impacts/undefined

Tractor-Trailer Goes Off Highway Near Pittsburgh

In the Pittsburgh area this week, a section of I-70 was closed due to a large tractor-trailer accident.  According to accident reports, the truck went off the road and got stuck between the guard rail and the highway.  The driver was trapped inside the car and received treatment at an area hospital for his injuries. At the time of the article, there was no mention of other cars being involved in the accident. 

Commercial truck drivers are a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents . Often, these commercial drivers are fatigued and are driving above the mandated allotment of hours. Additionally, many of them are driving large vehicles that are not up to federal and state safety standards. As a result, passengers and other vehicles often bear the brunt of their illegal activity and are often seriously injured or die from a resulting collision. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, please contact our law office for a consultation at no cost to you at the Law Offices of Attorney Doug Stoehr at 814-946-4100.

Ice and Snow May Mean "Slow!"

Are you up-to-date on winter safety practices? During this season, people have to take extra precautions due to the weather.  This is especially true when you are out walking.  According to our own regional UPMC website, there are many preventative measures you can take to prevent winter accidents.  Some of their suggestions include:

  • Make sure that you're consistently wearing boots or other slip-resistant shoes
  • Take extra precautions when entering and exiting your car
  • Watch for slippery floors at entrance points of homes and other buildings
  • Try to avoid carrying items, or walking with your hands in your pockets. This allows you to keep your hands and arms free for balance. 
  • As always, be careful of black ice.
  • Tap your feet on the ground to test for slippery areas, and walk flat footed if that area is icy.

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.

To read more from the UPMC article, please click here

Man Sues After Breaking Leg In Apartment Parking Lot

An eastern PA area man is suing his apartment complex in a recent case highlighted through PennRecord.com.  According to the report, the resident broke his leg after falling on the parking lot in February 2016.  The man alleges that there was a significant amount of ice and snow on the parking lot that had not been properly removed by the building's management services.   The resident is suing the apartment complex for failing to maintain the apartment complex exterior in safe condition, given the winter weather. 

Slip and fall injuries may result from improper care or maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities, like floors, sidewalks, driveways, and/or steps. Owners may not promptly shovel their sidewalks, pour rock salt on their steps, or fail to perform other types of common and expected interior and exterior maintenance measures. If an injury occurs due to the improper maintenance of such areas, the owners of the property may be liable for the injury. Failure to identify potential hazards (such as steps) is also the responsibility of the building/land owner.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury from a slip and fall or premises liability accident, it might be time to consult with an attorney. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA who serves the western and central Pennsylvania area. For more information on his legal practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100. 

Woman Injured at Kohls Seeks Lawsuit

Recently, a PA woman sued Kohl's department store after she was knocked over by a restocking cart.  According to records, the woman went to a Kohl's store in November 2015 to do some Christmas shopping.  She was approaching a price scanning kiosk to check an item's price when she was knocked over by a Kohl's employee who was pushing a restocking cart full of upright vacuum cleaners.  The woman sustained significant damage to her body, especially her right side.  Over the past two years since the incident, the woman reports that she has nerve damage in her right leg, which significantly weakens her right leg and ankle.  She also stated that her injuries negatively impact her ability to care for her 96-year-old mother, for whom she is the primary caretaker.  

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.

For more from the original article, please click here

Be Aware This Thanksgiving!

As you may be aware, Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous days of the year to be on the road.  As the holiday is fast approaching, it is a good time to remind others to take care as they plan their Thanksgiving holiday travel. According to USA Today,  "During each Thanksgiving week from 2005-2010, the average number of traffic fatalities nationwide was 798; for all other weeks, the average was 748, according to a new University of Alabama analysis of federal data on road deaths." Additionally, car crashes, in general, tend to rise to about 25% above the average on Thanksgiving as compared to other days during the year. 

Car accidents are a very real danger when driving, no matter on the highway or on a secluded country road.  The physical and psychological damage caused by car accidents can be extensive and result in years of medical and professional care.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash that was the fault of another, Attorney Doug Stoehr would be willing to set up a free consultation to discuss a possible legal claim involving your accident.  Attorney Stoehr has experience litigating personal injury claims relating to car crashes, and if you would like to meet with him, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.

To read the original article, please click here

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