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National Burn Awareness Week

Developed by the American Burn Association, National Burn Awareness Week is being observed throughout the week of February 2-8, 2020. Annually held during the first week of February, this week is an opportunity for burn survivor support groups, burn care organizations, public safety, and injury prevention professionals to spread burn awareness and prevention methods. This year’s theme for the week is ‘Contact Burns — Hot Surfaces Damage Skin!’ to alert the public that common burn injuries result in touching hot surfaces, such as pavement, stove burners, irons or hair irons, fireplace doors and embers from campfires.

Burn injuries remain one of the leading causes of accidental death or injury in America, with almost one-third of injured people being children under the age of 15. Each year, approximately 400,000 people seek out medical care for the treatment of burn injuries. The primary cause of burn injuries includes fire-flame, scalds, contact with hot objects, electrical and chemicals. In fact, most burn-related injuries occur within the home. While 96.8% of people that suffer injuries end up surviving, many will sustain serious scarring, life-long physical disabilities and adjustment difficulties. 

National Burn Awareness Week’s initiative is to make the public aware of the frequency, devastation, and causes of burn injuries, as well as preventative measures. This safety education and prevention efforts will hopefully reduce the number of people that suffer burn injuries. To avoid contact burns, remember to have hot pads available when cooking, unplug hot tools when they are not in use, wear shoes when walking on hot surfaces, and turn off heating pads and blankets before falling asleep.

As we are facing the middle of the winter season, it is important to be prepared for cold weather and protect yourself against frostbite and hypothermia. Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body temperature cools to life-threatening levels. It is often accompanied by frostbite, which is the freezing of exposed body parts, such as fingers, toes, noses, and earlobes. To avoid frostbite and hypothermia, pay attention to weather forecasts, dress appropriately for the weather and limit outdoor activities when the temperature is below 5 degrees.

If you have suffered a burn-related injury, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention immediately. After receiving medical care to treat the burns, consider exploring your legal options if the burn was caused by another party. The attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. can help investigate who is responsible for the injuries you suffered and resolve your burn injury claim. Our attorneys handle burn injury claims and are experienced in representing burn injury victims. We have represented clients that have suffered an injury from many types of burns, including chemical, electrical and contact burns. Contact one of our attorneys today to discuss your specific situation and how we can help.

Multi-Vehicle Crash on Interstate 74

Illinois State Police are still looking for one of the drivers involved in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 74. At about 1:30 p.m. on Monday, January 20, three vehicles collided in the westbound lane near the I-57 interchange, causing traffic to be reduced to one lane. The lane was reportedly reopened a couple of hours later, but police continue to investigate the collision.

According to Trooper Joseph Rush, one driver braked suddenly to turn around in the median crossover, causing two trailing vehicles to quickly brake. The driver that was turning around fled the scene and has yet to be found. One driver, a 16-year-old girl from Danville, was taken to the hospital, but her injuries were not life-threatening. The 16-year-old struck the back of another vehicle that was involved in the crash.

If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle crash caused by another driver, legal action may be necessary to receive the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. can alleviate some of your stress by dealing with the insurance companies and medical bills while you focus on the recovery process. Contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your legal options and figure out your next step.

Safety Protocol for Decorating Around the Holidays

Holidays involve family gatherings, traveling, and making sure your home is ready for hosting. Now that Thanksgiving is over, many people take the break between holidays to decorate for the holidays. Decorating is seen as one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit, but emergency rooms see thousands of injuries involving decorating each season. Additionally, holiday preparations can often create a fire safety hazard in homes. It is important to remember a few tips while decorating this season:

  • If you are using an artificial tree, check to make sure that it is labeled “fire-resistant.”
  • If you are using a real tree, be sure to cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption.
  • Place your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and radiators.
  • Only use indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside.
  • Be sure to choose a sturdy latter when hanging lights.
  • Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
  • Turn off all the lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Keep potentially poisonous plants away from children, such as mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis.
  • Avoid placing breakable or small ornaments with detachable parts on lower tree branches where children can reach them.

Not only are there dangers with the set-up and placing of decorations, the National Fire Protection Association reports that approximately one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles. Using candles and fireplaces in rooms with an increased amount of decorations often creates more of a risk for a fire starting. To lower the risk of a fire, follow some of these safety tips:

  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  • Don’t burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in fireplaces.
  • Always use a screen on the fireplace while the fire is burning.
  • Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over, as well as out of children’s reach.
  • Never leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended or when you are sleeping.
  • Check and clean your chimney and fireplace area at least once a year.
  • Be sure you use flameless candles near flammable objects rather than lighted ones.

Another fire safety hazard is the use of turkey fryers around the holidays, causing around 154 turkey-fryer related fires, burns and other injuries since 2004. The National Safety Council discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges individuals to seek out a professional establishment for fried turkey. As we head into the middle of the holiday season, it is important to exercise caution when setting up Christmas decorations and preparing food for get-togethers. The holidays are supposed to be about family and celebration, so remember these safety tips to avoid any type of injury. Unfortunately, accident-related injuries can occur even when remembering safety tips. If you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of another party, whether it be associated with decorating, or from a fire, the attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are available to consult with. Contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your legal options.

Safety Precautions to Remember During Hunting Season

Colder weather is here, the holidays are approaching, and deer hunting season has started in Illinois. Hunting seasons designate specific dates where it is legal to hunt a specific kind of animal for recreation. The archery deer hunting season takes place from October 1st until January 19th, muzzleloader is December 5th through the 8th and then again from December 13th through 15th, firearms season is November 22nd through the 24th and again from December 5th through 8th, and the youth firearms hunt is from October 12th through 14th. Separately, the Illinois wild turkey seasons are October 19th through 27th for all firearms and October 1st through January 19th for fall archery. Unfortunately, the excitement of hunting seasons often masks the potential dangers that are associated with it.

Most reported accidents are found to be related to tree stands and misfires but they can also include injuries incurred through the use of all-terrain vehicles, commonly referred to as ATVs. One-third of ATV related injuries and deaths involve children either riding with an adult or driving an adult-sized ATV, but injuries also occur when the vehicle is being used for hunting purposes. The many advantages of utilizing an ATV during hunting seasons have increased their use dramatically over the last decade. ATVs create easier access to secluded areas, and it can make it easier to retrieve game. These vehicles are convenient for hunting purposes, yet also present additional hazards to hunters using them. A few safety tips for use of ATVs include:

  • Make sure the ATV is at its top performance before using it.
  • Take time to familiarize yourself with the ATV before taking it on a hunting trip.
  • Do not overload rack boxes and consider what you’re hauling on the ATV and how much extra weight it will add.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Single-rider ATVs should never carry passengers.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Never fire your weapon from an ATV.
  • Do not ride with loaded firearms on an ATV.
  • Stick to existing trails as much as possible.
  • Slow down or stop when approaching others on trails.
  • Read the owner’s manual to the ATV.

ATVs are enjoyable vehicles to ride and can be beneficial during the hunting season, but it is important to take extra precautions when using them and to remember the safety tips associated with their use. Only experienced drivers should drive ATVs, for these vehicles require a unique set of skills to operate them. Though, even when taking extra safety precautions, it is still possible to be injured through the use of an ATV. The vehicle could be faulty or have an unknown recall, placing the driver or passenger of the ATV in danger. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury while riding an ATV and it was due to the negligence of the manufacturing company of the vehicle or another party, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys are Spiros Law, P.C. understand how traumatic being injured while riding these vehicles may be and are skilled in handling legal cases of negligence. Contact one of our attorneys today to receive a free consultation.

Local Nursing Homes Fined

In recent news, it has been revealed that three nursing homes in central Illinois areas have been fined by the State of Illinois for violating their license agreements. The nursing home facilities that were fined include Gardenview Manor in Danville, University Rehab in Urbana, and Accolade Paxton Senior Living in Paxton. The violations were made aware after the Illinois Department of Public Health conducted routine inspections. University Rehab was charged with two Type B violations, while Accolade Paxton Senior Living was reprimanded with one Type B violation.

However, Gardenview Manor in Danville received the highest fine among the three for a Type A violation, totaling $25,000. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Type A violations are considered to be the second-most-serious violation category, meaning that there was a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will occur or has already occurred at this facility. In the case regarding Gardenview Manor, the facility gave a resident medication that was ordered for another resident. This resulted in the resident who received the wrong medication to require hospital care for anti-coagulant poisoning and low blood pressure, which was included in the IDPH’s report.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue, and within this past week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made an announcement that was aimed to help consumers. Starting October 23rd, the agency added a new icon next to nursing homes with reported violations. This icon is designed to make it easier for consumers to identify nursing homes that have been reported for violations regarding neglect, abuse or exploitation.

The website already provides information on nursing home violations, but it has been too difficult for consumers to access in the past, which is why the new icon has been added to the CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website. Updated monthly, the icon will warn consumers about the harmful abuse citations of residents within the past year and potential harmful abuse that occurred during the past two years. The icon comes after the agency’s initiative in April to ensure nursing home quality and safety, which is a growing concern in the healthcare system. This concern is a result of rising costs, an aging population, and shortages of staff. The CMS is focused on increasing transparency between nursing homes and consumers, strengthening oversight, and increasing enforcement of nursing home facility quality of care rules.

Situations of nursing home abuse or neglect are treated with the utmost importance at Spiros Law, P.C. and our attorneys understand the pain and suffering families experience as a result. At Spiros Law, P.C., our attorneys are experienced in handling legal matters involving nursing home abuse and neglect. If your loved one has suffered abuse, neglect or harm while receiving care at a nursing home facility, contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your available legal routes for receiving the compensation you and your loved one deserve.

Be Safe and Be Seen on Halloween

As the autumn season hits full swing, so do fall celebrations, including Halloween. Children are always excited to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating on Halloween, which raises the need to exercise safety. Unfortunately, statistics reveal that children are more than twice as likely to be fatally hit by a car on Halloween, making parents especially concerned for their kid’s safety on Halloween. Luckily, as active members of the community, it is easy to protect your children and others using some safety precautions.

When your children are walking around neighborhoods for trick-or-treating, remind them to stay on paths or sidewalks and to only cross the street at corners after looking both ways and watching for cars turning or backing up before crossing. They should also be encouraged to stay observant and refrain from using electronic devices. These safety reminders are important to protect children since they can often be over-excited on Halloween and their behavior may be unpredictable when walking from house-to-house. Parents are advised to accompany kids under the age of 12 for trick-or-treating and if their older child is going out without an adult, parents should plan and review an acceptable route for them to trick-or-treat. Additionally, children should be reminded to only visit well-lit houses, to never accept a ride from a stranger, and to only enter a home with a trusted adult.

Regarding costumes for Halloween, it is important to make them as safe as possible to ensure your child’s well-being when trick-or-treating. Costumes and bags for candy should be decorated with reflective tape or stickers or chosen in light colors if possible. This helps drivers see kids walking in dim or dark lighting. It is also recommended that kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them and others see and be seen. Children should be advised to refrain from eating candy until a parent can examine the treats for choking hazards or tampering. Additionally, children should avoid eating homemade treats prepared by strangers. To make things even safer, if you are expecting a trick-or-treater, be sure that all walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles.

When driving in neighborhoods on Halloween, drivers should use caution, make sure the car’s headlights are turned on, drive slowly and be alert for pedestrians. Popular trick-or-treating hours are typically between 5:30-9:30 p.m., so it is important to be especially cautious of children walking during that time. Remembering these safety tips ensures that parents and children have a safe Halloween while trick-or-treating.

Even when using caution, there is still the possibility of being injured on this holiday, which can result in pain and suffering for those involved. If you or a loved one has suffered harm or injury due to the negligence of another party, contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your situation and receive a free consultation.

Teen Driver Safety Tips

In the United States, motor vehicle crashes remain the number one leading cause of death for teenagers. Due to this, the week of October 20-26, 2019 is being dedicated as National Teen Driver Safety Week to raise awareness about safe teen driving and to continue seeking solutions to prevent teen injuries and fatalities on the roadway. Getting involved with this week can include starting conversations about safe driving behaviors and sharing safety messages with others- the most optimal way of changing behavior is to encourage positive action.

Statistics reveal that many lives could be saved each year if every driver and passenger in motor vehicles wore a seatbelt, followed the speed limit, and never got behind the wheel impaired. Knowing the appropriate traffic laws can enable teens to practice safe driving methods, which is what this week aims to accomplish. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a contributing factor in 26 percent of all fatal crashes and has been involved in one-third of all vehicle crash fatalities for more than two decades. This reckless behavior increases the likelihood of injury or death, especially for new and inexperienced drivers, such as teens.

It is encouraged that parents assign their own speed management house rules for their newly licensed teens, which can include slowing down in heavy traffic, in inclement weather, in road construction, and in the event of other hazards. It is important to remind teens that state speeding laws are applicaple only in optimal driving conditions and that they should reduce their speed in certain situations, regardless of the speed limit. Teens must gradually learn the ability to manage their speed based on road conditions and other factors, which will be a useful skill throughout their lives.

Additionally, teens are at an increased risk of distracted driving and families are encouraged to help manage this dangerous risk. Distracted driving inhibits teens’ abilities to react in potential crashes since they are inexperienced. It is recommended for parents to model safe driving behaviors for their teens to adopt when they are on the roadways by themselves, which includes limiting the number of peer passengers, not talking or texting on a cell phone, not changing the dashboard controls, eating or engaging in other activities while driving. A major crash risk for teens stems from having peer passengers in the vehicle, which makes them less attentive and focused. This fact should prompt parents to limit the number of peer passengers allowed in the vehicle with their teen drivers.

Within the Danville community, Danville Highschool’s Future Problem Solvers have continued to promote road safety through their “Project Ignition: Be the Key to Road Safety.” Spiros Law, P.C. has sponsored their initiative of placing signs at different locations throughout Danville that remind drivers of important road safety behaviors. Spiros Law, P.C. is proud to be involved with the group’s efforts to promote safe driving. Unfortunately, however, car crashes continue to occur every day at high rates, resulting in devasting damages to individuals and families. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle crash due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are readily available to assist you in your legal matters and handle each case with the compassion and attention it deserves. Contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to receive a free consultation.

Crash Closes Illinois Route 1

Around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, four motor vehicles were involved in a crash near Georgetown, IL, which unfortunately resulted in the fatality of one of the drivers, and a few days later his passenger. A 29-year-old Danville man was identified by Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden as having passed away due to the crash. The passenger in the same car was a 9-year-old Danville boy who was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, unfortunately he passed away in the hospital a few days later due to his injuries.

The vehicle collision occurred at about 7:47 a.m. on Illinois Route 1 at Vermilion County Road 900 North, which is between Georgetown and Westville. The individuals of the crash included: The 29-year-old Danville man who was driving a red Ford Focus; a 40-year-old Oakwood male, driving a red Toyota Camry; a 59-year-old Covington male, driving a black GMC Sierra; and a 20-year-old Georgetown man, driving a silver Chevrolet Equinox. The preliminary crash investigation revealed that the Ford, Toyota and GMC were all traveling south on Illinois Route 1, while the Chevy was heading north. According to reports, the Ford hit the GMC from the rear, and then crossed over into the northbound lanes, striking the Chevy head-on.

All drivers and passengers were wearing seat belts, but the drivers of the Toyota and Chevy were then taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Route 1 was then closed to traffic for a few hours while police and emergency personnel attended to the victims, cleared the scene, and conducted an investigation, while motorists were requested to take alternative routes.

Unfortunate events such as this are reminders to the importance of safe and non-distracted driving. Taking extra precautions and obeying all traffic laws can help to ensure safety, but there is still a chance of being involved in a vehicle crash. Being involved in a car crash can often lead to a great amount of pain and suffering, whether physically or emotionally. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash and suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are ready to guide you through this difficult process and aid you in your legal dealings. Contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to receive a free consultation.

Tips for Child Passenger Safety Week

This year, the week of September 15-21 is being recognized as Child Passenger Safety Week to raise awareness and bring attention to the topic. Many child passenger injuries are a result of improper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. In 2017, one child under the age of 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash every 32 seconds, making the need for child passenger safety even more prevalent. To help alleviate this issue, the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Ad Council have launched a series of public service ads that advertise the urgency of protecting a child’s future at each stage of their life, including in vehicles. The primary goal of these ads is to inform parents and caregivers of the correct car seat for every child’s age, height and weight, as well as making sure they are using them correctly.

During Child Passenger Safety Week in September, various communities across the country will be hosting verified Child Passenger Safety Technicians to provide free instruction on the proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts for children of all ages. In addition, these technicians will be offering their services to educate parents and caregivers on how to choose the right car seat for their child, how to correctly install it and use it every time. Apart from that, they will also be discussing the importance of registering the car seat with the manufacturer and the steps one should take if their child’s car seat is recalled. The end of Child Passenger Safety Week will be concluding with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21.

Unfortunately, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between ages 1 and 13, which makes raising awareness about the proper uses of car seats important to all, especially parents and caregivers. Between 2013 and 2017, 3,313 children under the age of 13 were involved in a fatal vehicle crash. In 2017, over 35% of children under 13 that were killed in a passenger vehicle crash were not restrained in either a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. These statistics point to the importance of restraining your child in some sort of car seat if they are under the age of 13. Most parents have confidence in their installation of their child’s car seat, but in over 59% of these cases, the seat belt for the car seat was not correctly installed. It has been proven that car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a vehicle crash by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers. However, the mistake is often made of moving a child from a car seat to a booster seat when they are not yet at the correct age, height or weight.

It is recommended that parents carefully read and follow car seat installation instructions, for failure to do so can lead to exposing the child passenger to risk of injury or death should a crash occur. A few car seat recommendations for choosing the right option for your child include:

  • Rear-facing car seats should be used on children under the age of one.
  • Forward-facing car seats should be used once children have outgrown the rear-facing one.
  • A child should be moved to a booster seat once they have reached the maximum height or weight allowed for a car seat
  • A child should only be moved to using just a seat belt once they have outgrown the booster seat

Information about the correct type of passenger safety measures for your child and learning how to install and use it correctly can only help to reduce the number of child passenger vehicle injuries that families suffer each year. However, even when you are being cautious and taking the appropriate steps to secure your child in a vehicle, injuries as a result of a car crash can still occur. If your child has suffered an injury due to a vehicular crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Call one of our compassionate attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to receive a free consultation and to help you through this difficult matter.

Be the Key to Road Safety With National Stop on Red Week

The month of August not only brings warm weather and the beginning of the school year, but it also marks National Stop on Red Week. August 4th through the 10th aims to promote the importance of stopping at stop signs and traffic lights. It is imperative to educate yourself and those around you on these topics in order to keep the community of Danville as safe as possible. Failing to stop at stop signs and traffic lights will not only conclude in a traffic violation or fine but it could cause serious injuries or even death.

Traffic safety saves lives. That is why National Stop on Red Week is so important. It shows us that being a safe driver is no joke and should be taken very seriously.
Because safe driving can help save lives, Danville High School students were inspired to promote safe driving tips for their Future Problem Solvers competition project. Future Problem Solvers is an international competition program that challenges students to use a six-step problem-solving method to find topics of concerns in their community. They spend time doing extensive research on a cause then develop an action plan to improve the situation they chose. These students chose to research traffic safety in honor of their late class mate D’Nija Parker. They named this project “Be the Key to Road Safety”. They competed in an international competition against 75 other teams from around the world. The team’s project received an impressive award; 3rd place in the world.

Through the team’s research, they came across what they call the “Fatal Four”. These are the four things that statistically are most fatal when driving:

  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Speeding
  • Using electronic devices
  • Driving while impaired

Our team asks you to help us spread the word and educate those around you about road safety and the importance of stopping at traffic lights and stop signs. Help Spiros Law promote road safety by looking out for the road signs that have been placed in five different locations across Danville. The Future Problem Solvers team designed these signs in honor of their project and their beloved classmate D’Nija. The group hopes that these driver safety signs will impact driver decisions and create safer roads not only for Danville but all across the state of Illinois.

In their research, they found that 94% of all traffic accidents are due to driver decisions or human error. Meaning that it is nearly impossible to control the actions of other people on the road. If you or a loved one find yourself victim to a reckless driver or one who has failed to stop at a stop sign or traffic light, call a Spiros Law attorney at (217) 443-4343. Our team is dedicated to getting you the compensation you are entitled too for your injuries and suffering. Our team is able to step in and mediate with the insurance companies and can help make sure that your bills are taken care of. Let us take the weight off your back so you can focus on a full recovery.