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Winter Is Coming!

t'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.

Got all of that? Now that you have properly winterized your vehicle, here's some advice to prevent an accident from occurring this winter.  


  • You should always decrease your speed and leave at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.  
  • Remember to brake gently to avoid skidding, and to use low gears to keep traction on hills.
  • Always keep on your lights and keep your windshield clean to increase visibility.  
  • Be particularly careful on bridges and overpasses, which will freeze first. 
  • NEVER pass snow plows because it's likely that the road in front of the trucks is much worse than the road behind them.  

Of course, the best tip is that if you don't have to travel in winter weather...DON'T! 
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 by calling our Altoona, PA law firm at 814-946-4100.

NPR Discusses Social Media and Class Action Lawsuits

Once again, the National Public Radio is weighing in on a relevant topic to today's blog topic.  Social media and its use for legal claims has been an area of hot debate in recent years.  Can private social media posts be used as courtroom evidence?  How do you control jurors and judges who may tweet or Facebook post about a current case? Interestingly, some lawyers are also attempting to use social media to reach large masses of people for class-action lawsuits.  Read about this new phenomenon by clicking the link to the original NPR article, which can be found here.

Social media can be potentially complicated for clients pursuing a personal injury claim.  Just like applying for a job or being an employee within a company, your social media activity is not as private or as protected as you may think.  Social media can become dangerous for a legal claim when certain pictures or comments are taken out of context and may be used against you.  For this reason, if you are hesitant about posting a picture or writing a comment that you feel may be used against your case, use discretion and do not post that item.  It may be even be better to not discuss your injury, and especially your legal claim, over Facebook at all.  The only way to keep your personal life as private as you want it to be is to not post anything you wouldn't want everyone to know about.

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.

State College Is Officially Bike Friendly!

Our fingers are crossed for State College and the surrounding areas! According to a report from the Daily Collegian, the area is up for renewal for an official state "bike-friendly designation".  Other officially designated bike-friendly communities in the state include Pittsburgh, Reading, and York. The State College area is hoping to obtain a silver-level designation, which would be an improvement from their current bronze level status.  Within the article, it is stated that the community is on board with this idea, and even started a mandatory driver's education course at the State College Area High School that has extensive study on bike safety.  Some businesses in the community have also reached bike-friendly status as well, and officially support this initiative.  

Throughout the warmer months and through the end of fall, many people gravitate outside to run, bike, walk, and spend time with their families. Although this can provide an excellent outlet for fun and recreation, it can also lead to potential bicycle and pedestrian accidents. When driving around, be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists on the road, especially small children that may not be easily seen. By being alert and considerate and sharing the road, you will avoid serious injuries and complications to those around you. If you plan to bike or run outside, wear bright colors and make sure that you give appropriate and clear turning signals with your arms so that drivers know when and where you intend to turn.

Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr works with clients who have been injured in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. If you would like a consultation regarding your personal injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100.

For more within the original Daily Collegian article, please click here:

Local ATV Accident Sends Two To Hospital

According to local news reports, our area saw two people who were injured after an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) crash last week.  Two adults were riding an ATV on a street in Houtzdale when they didn't stop at a blinking red light.  They were subsequently hit by a pickup trip, and were flown to our hometown hospital, UPMC Altoona, for care.  The driver of the ATV is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol while driving.  Both the STV driver and his passenger are said to have serious injuries. 

ATV use can be extremely dangerous in certain situations.  It goes without saying tat NO ONE should be driving any kind of vehicle after consuming alcohol.  Additionally, children appear to be the most susceptible to ATV-related accidents, and account for a large portion of ATV injuries and deaths.  Children under the age of 12 may be especially at risk for harm. Please exercise caution when riding your ATV, wear a helmet, and remain at a safe speed.  Also, do not ride your ATV when the weather or trail conditions suggest a heightened risk for injury.

ATVs, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles are a leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians, especially among our state's youth.   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 visit his website at or call his law firm at 814-946-4100.

Drowsy Driving Is A Big Problem

Are you alert and awake while you drive? Being drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel is a huge problem for American drivers. Needless to say, this causes significant safety and health risks for you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.  One website,, is completely devoted to raising awareness of driving while sleepy.  It is an off-shoot of the National Sleep Foundation.  

According to their website, "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses."  Unfortunately, there is no test to determine sleepiness, nor is there much formal police training involved in identifying fatigue while driving.  Fatigue and/or sleep related crashes are most common in young people, particularly men, people with young children, and shift workers.

We cannot stress to you enough how important it is to remain safe and alert while driving, especially during periods of increased motor activity 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!

Don't Let Halloween Hazards Spook You!

Are you prepared and safe when it comes to Halloween festivities? According to many sources, Halloween is one of the deadliest nights of the year for pedestrian accidents, with children being the most at-risk group.  How can you keep yourself and your children safe while trick-or-treating? Take a look at these tips:

  • Cross at designated crosswalks, don't cross the street between parked cars or in the middle of a block.
  • Wear reflective tape on your costume, or put it on kids' candy bags
  • Add glow sticks! Kids can wear them as bracelets or necklaces, and it makes them more visible. 
  • Make sure your child's costume leaves them able to see through any potential masks, hoods, or face paint. They need good visibility in order to be safe and aware of their surroundings!
  • In the same vein, make sure your child's costume allows them to be mobile. They should be able to easily move their arms and legs without feeling constrained, or have their costume not be so big that they trip over it.  
  • If you are decorating your home for Halloween, make sure it's well lit and any strings, light cords, and/or cables are clearly marked so others don't trip over them. 
  • If your kids are trick-or-treating without you, make sure they have designated times and/or places where they check in with you throughout the night!

In talking about holidays and premises liability, there is a lot to think about, too!  When throwing a party or inviting friends over, most people are concerned with cleaning their homes, preparing the food, and making sure that there's enough to drink.  Although these things are important, it is also important to remember that, as hosts, you are responsible for the state of your property and injuries that occur as the result of your unkept and/or unsafe house and yard conditions.  This includes things like uneven sidewalks, poorly lit exterior spaces, hidden/dangling electrical cords that others could trip over, and other miscellaneous safety hazards.  

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  He takes premises liability cases for those who have been injured on another person's property.  For more information on his firm or to talk about your potential legal claim, please call his office at 814-946-4100.  

Thanks to SafeWise for many of the tips above!

Helpful Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is just around the corner, take a look at how to keep your children safe with this infographic from!


Nursing Home Residents Have Trouble In Hospitals

It is not uncommon for elderly nursing home residents to be in poor health or in need of medical assistance. In some of these situations, an emergency room visit may be essential for that patient.  However, an emergency room visit may also lead to infection in the nursing home later on.

An article published by University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine recently explored this phenomenon.  According to the article, an ER visit may lead to 3x risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections for nursing home residents.  Within the nursing home setting, the rate acute respiratory or GI infections was at 5% within a week of an emergency department visit as opposed to 2% when not the resident did not leave the long-term care facility.  After accounting for other variables, residents at such homes were actually 3.9x more likely to acquire an infection following a trip to the emergency department.  One researcher is also quoted as saying, "If they acquire an infection while in the emergency department, these residents may be the source of an outbreak upon return to their facility".

All in all, hospital visits from a nursing home lead to high-risk periods for all of the nursing home residents once the sick person returns.  New nursing home residents transferred from hospitals may pose an even higher risk for an outbreak of illness within the facility. 

Applying this knowledge, if someone you know has been recently admitted into a nursing home from a hospital, has recently been to the hospital, or has friends in the nursing home that have just returned from the hospital, it will be crucial to monitor those people for any changing conditions or health issues.  If you feel that your loved one needs more care than they are currently being given by the nursing home staff, you may need to discuss changes with the nursing home employees.  

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence.  For more information on his practice and to consult him about your potential medical claim, pleaes call his office at 814-946-4100. 

UPMC Sued For Transplant Deaths

Over the past year, UPMC was under fire for conditions in the transplant program in their hospital.  A recent lawsuit was pursued by the family of a transplant patient from Ohio who died during a mold outbreak.  The patient, who had received a heart transplant, was one of at least three patients who died soon after receiving the new organ.  The CDC weighed in on the occurrences and reported that a specially ventilated room in the hospital's cardiothoracic intensive care may have caused the mold issues.  

Medical malpractice is hard to prove in the legal world, but negligent doctors and hospitals should be held accountable when failing to properly diagnose or implement improper treatments that lead to severe injuries. Pain, suffering, medical bills (both past and future) and a lost earnings are just a portion of the hardships that patients have to endure as a result of medical malpractice. If you feel that you or a loved one has been a victim of hospital negligence that led to severe injury, please contact our law office at 814-946-4100 for a consultation with Attorney Doug Stoehr.

Mifflin County Nursing Home Is Being Sued

In Mifflin County, a personal care home is currently the subject of a civil lawsuit.  According to the news report, the Meadowview Manor home failed to keep the facility up to safe living standards, as well engaging in some financially questionable practices. The home, which housed more than 30 residents, is under fire for failing to provide adequate heat for its residents in the cold, maintain a working sewer and electrical system,  keep smoke detectors running, and generally provide safe and sanitary conditions.  To learn more, please click the link at the bottom of this post.  

Douglas V. Stoehr practices personal injury law in Duncansville and Altoona, Pennsylvania. He serves clients throughout western and central Pennsylvania, including Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Altoona, Huntingdon, State College, Johnstown, Clearfield, Tyrone, Ebensburg, Northern Cambria, Portage, Windber, Carrolltown, Gallitzin, Saxton, Bellefonte, Centre Hall, Pine Grove Mills, Warriors Mark, Spruce Creek, Roaring Spring, Bellwood, Claysburg, Blue Knob, Lewistown, Mount Union, Belleville, McConnellsburg, Breezewood, Williamsburg, Windber, Punxsutawney Martinsburg, Somerset, Philipsburg, Everett, Williamsport, Cumberland, Oakland, Indiana, St. Mary's, Blair County, Cambria County, Huntingdon County, Clearfield County, Mifflin County, Jefferson County, Huntington County, Centre County, Bedford County, Somerset County and Fulton County.

Original article may be found here:

Many allegations against nursing homes and assisted living facilities stem from reports of elder abuse and neglect. Elder abuse can come in many forms, not just physical abuse.  Many common instances of elder abuse include emotional, financial, psychological, and neglect.  If you feel that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Attorney Doug Stoehr to set up a free consultation.  Attorney Stoehr has experience and knowledge pertaining to elder abuse legal claims, and will work hard to fight for the rights of your family or friend. Call his office at 814-946-4100 to set up your consultation.  

Unexpected Fall Driving Hazards!

Are you prepared for the unique hazards that fall driving holds? Unsure of what I'm even talking about? No worries, this article is here to help.  You may not realize it, but fall presents some interesting hazards to driving.  Of course, living in Pennsylvania we all know that deer are a factor during this time of year, but other scenarios can make fall driving extra challenging.

For example, students go back to school in the fall.  Working around new traffic patterns with buses and parent drop-offs at school, as well the increase in people walking near the road, require drivers to be extra alert.  Falling leaves also present situations in which your car can skid, especially when the leaves are wet.  Additionally, the increased rain and morning fog in fall can also make driving challenging and more dangerous.  

So, what can you do to stay safe this fall?


  • Give other cars extra room, especially during periods of increased sun glare or fog.
  • NEVER text or talk on your phone while driving.  
  • Be alert during the time when deer are most active, which is early in the morning and near dusk.
  • Give school buses and all vehicles near schools a little extra room, and be patient!

Unfortunately, if you do get into a car accident this fall,  it is important to closely monitor your body's response to injury.  This is especially true if you suspect that you have sustained a significant head injury.  If your car accident was due to the fault of another, it may also be time to seek legal action.   If you or a loved one has recently been in a car accident due to the fault of another, please contact Altoona, PA area personal injury attorney Doug Stoehr to set up an initial, free consultation.  His law office can be reached by visiting his website at or calling his firm at 814-946-4100.

Brush Up On Your ATV Safety For Fall!

Planning on riding on an all-terrain vehicle this fall? Are you sure that you're current on all the best practices for safety standards?  If you're unsure, it may be time to brush up on your facts! The website offers a variety of extremely helpful resources for you, your family, and friends.  They even have an online course so you can make sure you're fit and educated before you hit the road! You need to make sure you're safe and prepared before riding to avoid injuring yourself or others.   It should be noted that, within the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, all-terrain vehicles need to be registered with the Department of Transportation.  A license is not required for drivers of these vehicles. There are no clear laws pertaining to the registration of dirt bikes. 

ATVs, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles (such as snowmobiles) are also a leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians, especially among our state's youth. 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 Blair county area practice, please visit his website at or call his law firm at 814-946-4100.