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Summer Means Trauma Season for Central/Eastern PA Hospitals

Pittsburgh-area hospitals are on a higher alert when the summer months begin to hit.  As noted in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, summer is also known as "trauma season" in the medical world.  During these months, hospitals see an influx of patients who have suffered bicycle, swimming, lawn mower, and other injuries.  This is especially true for children, whose injury numbers tend to double in the summer months.  Many adults also suffer injuries, such as those from falls from ladders due to house painting or gutter cleaning.  Some of the most common injuries that emergency rooms tend to treat more in the summer are:

  • Bicycle injuries
  • Lawn mower accidents
  • Swimming injuries
  • ATV/dirt bike/motorcycle accidents
  • Trampoline trauma
  • Burns, such as from a grill or fireworks
  • Joint injuries, such as golfer's elbow
  • Dog bites
  • Injuries from amusement park rides
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Foot injuries, often due to bare feet
  • Falls

Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents in addition to the other above areas, such as dog bites, lawn mower injuries, injuries from falls, trampoline trauma, and ATV/ motorcycle/dirt bike accidents. If you feel that you have been wrongly hurt in an accident, please contact our office for a free consultation. Safe driving, walking, and biking and here's to the start of long-overdue warm weather and a great summer!

Recalled Parts In Used Cars--Is Your "New" Car Safe?

Some countries are stepping up to the plate to when it comes to keeping their citizens safe while driving!  In a recent article, the United Kingdom's new system to protect used car buyers was discussed.  The program, which is a collaboration between multiple organizations, consists of a Vehicle Safety Recall tool that allows car buyers to see if a particular model has been recalled before they purchase a car that is potentially unsafe.  Currently, this Safety Recall tool doesn't cover all car brands, only those brands who have agreed to participate in the service.  

The tool works by searching a car by make, model, and VIN number to see if any outstanding recalls exist for that car.  The tool can also tell you where the nearest car dealer is in hopes that, if you want to purchase the car, you can get the recalled parts fixed.   We in America hope that a similar program develops soon and can keep our consumers safer and more informed when purchasing a car!

Car accidents are frightening, expensive, and time-consuming.  These 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 a defective part , 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 at or call his office at814-946-4100.

Victims' Rights in Dog Bite Attacks

Recently, pit bull terriers 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

Dog Bite Claims Are Becoming More Expensive

According to an online insurance website, dog bites accounted for over 33% of all homeowners insurance liability claims last year.  The costs exceeded $530M nationwide, as noted in data from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm insurance. Although the total number of dog bite claims decreased by about 5% from the previous year, the cost per claim rose by 15%.  From the years of 2003 to 2014, the cost per dog bite claim rose over 67% nationwide.  Last year, Pennsylvania had 861 reported dog bite claims, with each claim averaging about $26,000 for a total cost of over $22M for all reported PA claims. 

To avoid dog bite claims, it is best to choose a breed of dog that is not traditionally aggressive. Active socialization to people and other animals, obedience training, and keeping dogs restrained, whether in a fenced-in yard or by using a leash, are all effective ways of avoiding a potentially expensive dog bite claim. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite and would like to consult with Attorney Stoehr at the Law Offices of Attorney Doug Stoehr, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.

Prevent Dog Bites This Summer With A Few Simple Tips!

US News & World Report's Health section recently offered up a few tips to prevent dog bites, which become increasingly common as summer approaches.  Some of their practical, easily accessible tips include:

Talk to your vet about the best breed choice for your family when thinking about adding a dog to your household.  Make sure to train, socialize, neuter, and vaccine your new pet!

  • Never leave a baby or small children alone with a dog, even a family pet.
  • Teach children how to respect and be safe around pets.  Such concepts may include not disturbing a sleeping dog and not playing with their food.
  • Always ask an owner's permission before approaching or petting their dogs.  Teach your children to do the same. Allow the dog to sniff you first, and avoid touching common "sensitive" spots such as a dog's face and tail.
  • Don't run past an unfamiliar dog.
  • If a dog looks threatened or ready to attack, remain calm! Do not make eye contact, and either stand still or back away slowly. If you are knocked over, curl into a ball and covered your face with your arms and hands.  
  • If you do end up bitten, call your doctor or go to the local emergency room.  you may require a tetanus shot if yours is not currently up to date. 

Pennsylvania law does not impose absolute liability on an owner for dog attacks, not even in respect to a dog having vicious tendencies of which the owner is aware.  Liability for a dog attack may even fall to a landlord.  A landlord may be held liable for injuries by animals owned and maintained by a tenant when the landlord has knowledge of the presence of the dangerous animal and where he or she has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the premises. 

If you or a loved one suffered an injury or disfigurement from a dog bite, please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr.  Attorney Doug Stoehr has experience in handling dog bite cases, and will thoroughly evaluate your claim.   Call us today at (814) 946-4100 for a free initial consultation.  

Governor Wolf Signs Executive Order For Seniors

There is a new executive order by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf that is attempting to improve the lives of both PA's seniors, disabled citizens, and those who work with them.  Within this order, Governor Wolf is allowing the workers who provide services to seniors and disabled persons to choose a representative to discuss workers' concerns and suggestions with state officials.  However, some of our state's citizens appear unhappy with this order. On what side does your opinion fall? Take a look at the opinion article in a recent edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and let us know what you think!

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer who takes nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the western and central Pennsylvania areas.  He practices law largely within Blair and the seven surrounding counties, and his practice is based in Altoona, PA.  For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at

Common Scams That Affect The Elderly

Seniors beware! Some areas of the country are reporting an increase of the number of scams, especially now that the warmer months are upon us.  Seniors are unfortunately one of the most susceptible groups for these scammers to target.  Most recently, there have been reports of funeral cons, exploiting grandchildren, and home improvement scams.  To read more about these issues, please click on this link to the article.

Scams against the elderly are a form of elder abuse that comes under the category of financial abuse/fraud.  Elder abuse is a serious problem and seniors deserve to be compensated for injuries sustained from abuse or neglect. To find out how to hold the responsible party accountable for your or a loved one's injuries, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  He takes nursing home and hospital claims for elderly victims of abuse and neglect.  For more information on his Altoona, PA practice, please visit his website at or call his office at 814-946-4100.

Pittsburgh-Area Boy Suffers Severe Brain Injury After ATV Accident

Recently, the Titusville Herald covered the story of a local boy who suffered a severe brain injury after a ATV accident.  The teen, who was riding an ATV on the side of a steep grade and tried to turn it around, was thrown from the vehicle.  Although his injuries were not immediately clear, physicians at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh soon diagnosed him with a severe, traumatic brain injury.  Doctors had to temporarily remove his frontal bone in order to account for the teen's significant brain swelling. Cognitively, the 13-year-old is now acting about the age of a typical five-year-old. He uses a wheelchair, and is participating in physical therapy three times a week in Pittsburgh.  Titusville is strongly supporting this young man's recovery, and is holding a benefit at the town fire department to raise money for him. 
Many Pennsylvanians enjoy using ATVs and dirtbikes during our warmer months of spring and summer.  However, these off-road vehicles are potentially dangerous vehicles for many of our state's youth.  Improper ATV use is leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians.   Attorney Doug Stoehr of Altoona, PA handles cases involving injury as a result of accidents involving off-road vehicles.  For more information about Attorney Doug Stoehr and his central Pennsylvania practice, please call his law firm at 814-946-4100.

Nursing Home Buyouts Becoming More Common

It appears that many Pennsylvania nursing homes have gone out of business or have been sold in the past few years.  Recently, a Montgomery County nursing home was sold for $41 million to a large, regional healthcare agency.  Prior to this purchase, the nursing home had recently been run by the county, which had been cited in recent years as being a significant financial drain.  Many counties in Pennsylvania used to run their own nursing homes, but the trend has shifted towards selling their facilities to outside organizations.  As a part of this particular buyout, the new health care group agreed to keep all current employees who wished to stay at their current salary and seniority levels.
If you or a loved one are in a nursing home that is in the middle of being purchased by another organization, you should take care to be aware of any changes in staffing or policies that might affect the care that your family member receives.  Improper care could also lead to elder abuse or neglect, which is a growing problem among Pennsylvania's aging population.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer who takes nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the western and central Pennsylvania areas.  He takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties, and his practice is based in Altoona, PA.  For more information on his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at       
Pennsylvania has set up a statewide elder abuse hotline, which can be accessed by calling this number: 1-800-490-8505.  The hotline is open 24 hours a day and can be used a tipline to report activity related to abuse, neglect, exploitation, identity theft, or abandonment of an elderly PA resident.  Pennsylvania also has local Area Agencies on Aging that can assist in these situations. 
To read more about the nursing home purchase, please click on the original article here.