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ANOTHER Nursing Home Investigation Opens in PA

In keeping with this week's earlier blog post, the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's office has certainly been busy recently!  They just investigated an Erie area nursing home last week, using agents to look into the facility via a search warrant.  Although the specifics of the investigation are still unknown to the public, agents were seen leaving the facility with boxes of files and computer hard drives.  The facility in question, Saint Mary's Home East, is a combination of a residential home, nursing home, and adult care services.   In an article published by ErieTVNews.com, area residents were interviewed and expressed concern, since many of their loved ones currently reside in the facility.  The Attorney General's office did say that this current investigation of Saint Mary's is not connected to the 25 open cases they are investigating against Golden Living  we wrote about earlier this week. 
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.  
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.

Throwback Thursday: How Does Chronic Pain Work In The Office?

In our latest edition of Throwback Thursday here at our blog, we'll be taking a look at how chronic pain can affect your work life.  What do you think? Can you compartmentalize pain while you're at work?

Distracted WALKING? What you need to know!

So, we know about car safety, bike safety, ATV safety, and motorcycle safety, but what about WALKING safety?  Many of us take walking for granted as a safe, healthy, and cost-effective way to get from place to place.  Unfortunately, many of us also practice some very unsafe habits that could lead us to getting seriously injured.  The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has taken pedestrian safety under their wing, since distracted drivers AND distracted pedestrians account for many person/vehicle collision, which no one wants to happen! 

Strange, But True! Surgical Instruments Often Found Where?

Scary, but true! Did you know that, once in a while, surgical tools can get left inside of people?  A few years ago, Attorney Stoehr settled a case where a surgical sponge was left inside a woman's body. After a long period of unexplained pain, the woman discovered that a sponge was left inside her head and had become infected! Another doctor found it during an exploratory surgery, hoping to find a way to relieve her pain, and immediately removed it.  She missed a great deal of work and was very sick. 

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

The Most Dangerous Time Of Year To Drive May Surprise You!

If you had to guess, when do you think is the most dangerous time of the year to drive? Most people would probably guess the winter season in general or the Thanksgiving weekend. However, the statistically most dangerous time of the year to drive is the month of August, especially on Saturdays.  We are not that far out of August, which means that we are still potentially in peak time to be vulnerable to a serious accident!  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are statistically the safest times to drive, especially during the day.   Does that make sense with your own experiences? 
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, time of day is also a critical factor for accidents.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, about half of fatal accidents occur at night, and have a 2-3 times higher fatality rate per mile traveled than during the daytime. There is also a much higher rate of both alcohol-related crashes and people not wearing their seatbelts at night.  Interestingly enough, surveys show that 75% of drivers think that they are safer than other drivers on the road.  That is obviously not the case!
Have you or someone you know recently been involved in a car accident?  Did they feel that it wasn't their fault, but are still battling some significant pain or injury? For those who have recently been in a car crash, it is important to closely monitor the 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 not your fault, 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 calling his firm at 814-946-4100.
Background information taken from Forbes.com

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.  

These Numbers Are NO Good! Fatal Accidents Are On The Rise

Do you think that PA's drivers are getting safer as the years progress? So many laws have been put in place to protect drivers, passengers, and bikers from injury on our roads and highways that we must be safer drivers.  However, that is NOT the case.  Pennsylvania has seen a 7% increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents as compared to this time last year.  Although this is not as bad as the nationwide trend of a 14% increase, it is still alarming!  Over 500 people were killed in PA car accidents from January-June of this year.  In general, over half of our states reported increases in fatal accidents this year. 
According to an article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, " Should the national trend continue at the same pace for the remainder of the year, total motor vehicle fatalities for 2015 could exceed 40,000 for the first time since 2007".  Additionally, " Motor vehicle injuries across the country for the first six months this year are estimated to be about 2.25 million, an increase of 30 percent from 2014".  These numbers are sobering and alarming, to say the least.  Some state officials are hypothesizing that this increase may be due in part to distracted driving.
If you were recently in a car accident due to the fault of another, it may be time to seek legal action.  This is especially true if your injuries cause you to miss extended periods of work or not be able to continue your line of work at all.  Other major expenses resulting from an accident may include medical bills.  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.  He also takes cases in the surrounding counties, including Bedford, Huntingdon, Clearfield,  Cambria, Mifflin, Jefferson, Somerset, and Fulton.  His law office can be reached by calling his firm at 814-946-4100. 

It's Throwback Thursday! How Does Chronic Pain Affect The Brain?

Once again, it's Throwback Thursday on our blog! We love to give you some of our most popular previous blog posts to review and learn some new information.  This week's post focuses on the important issues of chronic pain and mental fatigue.  Enjoy!
How does your brain work when you are suffering from chronic pain? As you may or may not know, chronic pain not only affects your physical body, it also has other secondary effects.  Most notably, sleep deprivation and psychological disorders (such as depression or anxiety) seem to be the most prevalent and debilitating side effects of chronic pain.  Many researchers are interested in this phenomenon, and took their studying a step further to examine how all of these relationships affect the brain.  
Specifically, scientists at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine studied these interactions and found that, in patients with chronic pain, the emotional center of the brain is in constant overdrive.  This, in turn, deactivates other parts of the brain and changes neural connections and wiring.  Constant overfiring of some neurons while little to no activation of other neurons could lead to permanent damage and changes in the brain.  For example, it may be harder for a patient with chronic pain to make rational decisions or make them more likely to suffer from mood disorders.  Implications of this study are to have physicians not only help chronic pain to manage their chronic pain, but also to help identify possible areas of cognitive dysfunction as a result of the pain and treat those areas as well.
 
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a lawyer located in Altoona, PA who has successfully negotiated claims for those who have chronic pain as the result of personal injury, such as a car accident, motorcycle accident, or slip-and-fall, just to name a few.  For more information on him and his firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100.

Are You STILL Participating in Distracted Driving? This Post May Change Your Mind

If you're still driving while using your phone, you may want to think again!  Pennsylvania law enforcement are noticing a significant increase in car accidents caused by incidences of distracted driving, such as texting and driving.  Policemen are aware of this trend and are on the lookout to catch people who are driving unsafely.  One such law enforcement officer that was interviewed in Erie, PA states that distracted driving is especially dangerous because it takes away from three separate aspects of driving--visual control, manual control, and mental focus.  To add to the problem, PA law states that you can dial a phone number and use it for voice communication while driving in our state, which is really unsafe as well! Nationally, over 1.6 million accidents were caused by distracted driving last year.  That number is simply outrageous and should not be a danger for traveling Americans on the road!

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The claims process begins with a free initial office consultation. We will take as much time as needed to learn about your accident, injuries, and damages. If Attorney Stoehr feels that he can help you, he will represent you on a contingent fee basis. This simply means that Attorney Stoehr is not paid anything until he obtains a successful recovery for you. To discuss your rights and legal options with a highly experienced personal injury lawyer, email or call us at 814-946-4100.

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