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National Bike Month: Illinois Bike Laws

May is National Bike Month! This month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and is celebrated all over the United States. Biking has many benefits such as being a great way to get exercise, a way to eliminate your carbon copy, and a way to allow you to save money on your daily commute. With that said, bicyclists are subjected to many dangers while on the road. Often times, other drivers fail to see them, thus not leaving them ample space to manoeuver. Fortunately, the State of Illinois has many laws in place to protect cyclists and keep them safe on roadways. Listed below are some of the laws in place in Illinois that are designed to keep cyclists safe.

Safe Passing Laws

  • Illinois requires that motor vehicle drivers that decide to pass a bicycle going the same direction must leave a safe distance, not less than three feet, between the vehicle and the bicyclist. They must maintain the distance until they have safely passed the bicycle.

Treatment as a Vehicle

  • In our state, bicycles are not vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles. However, an individual riding a bicycle is subjected to all the rights and duties that a motor vehicle driver has. That means that bicyclists must follow the same rules that drivers do, and drivers must treat bicyclists the same way they would treat drivers of other motor vehicles.

Dooring Law

  • Under Illinois Law, no individual is able to open the door of a vehicle unless it is safe to do so, or when it can be done without interfering with a cyclist. Also, you cannot leave a door open that is in the way of moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary.

Helmet Law

  • Our state currently has no helmet law. It is legal for all individuals of any age to operate a bike without a helmet. With that said, it is a good idea to wear a helmet, particularly if you have little experience riding a bike, as it will help avoid injuries to the head if a crash occurs.

The following laws are all in place to minimize the risk that comes with riding a bike and also to reduce conflicts between bikes and vehicles. Whether you are driving a car or riding a bike, it is imperative to follow the laws in our state in order to keep yourself and others safe. Failure to do so can result in a ticket, injuries, or fatalities.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury as the result of a bicycle accident, you don’t have to suffer alone.  The compassionate bicycle accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. understand the pain and suffering you are going through and will fight on your behalf against individuals who endanger our roads. Contact us at (217) 443-4343 to speak about your unique situation today.


Future Problem Solvers unveil road safety sign in Danville

Danville High School’s Future Problem Solvers unveiled their own road safety signs in Danville on Monday. The signs are in conjunction with their project, “Project Ignition: Be the Key to Road Safety”, and their goal is to improve safety on roadways in Danville. The double-sided sign, which is located at the intersection of North Vermilion and Liberty Lane, has one side dedicated to safety in regards to passing school buses and emergency vehicles, and the other side dedicated to pedestrian safety.

Originally, the campaign was focused around “the fatal four” which includes, not wearing a seatbelt, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and speeding. However, the group decided to expand the scope of the campaign to focus on more aspects of drivers safety, giving them the opportunity to educate the community on a wider variety of safety issues.

Senator Scott Bennett attended the dedication, and he was extremely impressed with the group’s dedication to improving safety on their roadways. He stated that he was pleased to see a group of kids putting in the time and effort to make a positive change in their community.

Speaking of time and effort, placing road safety signs around the community was not an easy task for the group. It took over 18 months of planning and fundraising to make their goal a reality, making Monday’s sign dedication extremely exciting for the group. With that said, the Future Problem Solvers are not stopping there. The group will be placing signs at five different locations around Danville with the help of some local sponsors. Spiros Law is proud to be one of those sponsors.

This is not the first time the group is getting attention for their safety efforts. In 2018, the DHS Future Problem Solvers were named State Champions for Project Ignition in the community problem-solving category. In this category, groups of up to 15 students per school follow a six-step problem-solving process to help solve real community challenges. The inspiration for Project Ignition came from the death of a Danville High School student, D’Nija Parker, who was killed in a car accident in October 2016. Since then, the group has implemented many different strategies to get the attention of drivers in Danville, and they hope their new road signs will not only catch the attention of drivers but prompt them to change their behavior behind the wheel.

Spiros Law is a proud sponsor of Project Ignition. To find out more about Project Ignition and the work they have done throughout Danville, check out their Facebook page, here.


National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) has named the month of April National Distracted Driving Awareness month, focusing on distracted driving awareness. As we know, distracted driving is a big issue today as individuals are using technology now more than ever. In fact, in 2016, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In order to bring awareness to the topic, the NSC has started the #JustDrive campaign, demanding that drivers put down all of their distractions, and just drive.

The State of Illinois is putting a focus on a particular law this month called “Scott’s Law”. The law mandates that when approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, drivers are to proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way by making a lane change. If a lane change is impossible, drivers must reduce the speed of the vehicle significantly and maintain a safe speed.

Unfortunately, because the amount of distracted drivers on the road has increased, many drivers are too distracted to notice emergency vehicles on the side of the road. As a result, 19 state troopers throughout the United States have been hit during traffic stops already this year. This number includes four troopers in Illinois, all of which were killed as a result of being struck.

Illinois State Police Officers are not taking these violations lightly, as nearly 1,000 tickets have been given to drivers not following Scott’s Law from the middle of March to the beginning of April. In comparison, during this time last year, only 55 tickets were given out during the same time period. Fines are not being taken lightly either, as violating Scott’s Law can currently result in a fine of up to $10,000, and that fine may be even more expensive in the near future. A second House Bill, sponsored by Rep. John Cabello would make jail time a possibility for first-time violators, even if no one was harmed. Drivers who cause death would have their license revoked permanently.

If you are driving on the interstate and see a vehicle on the shoulder of the road, slow down, signal, and move over. It is also important to note that you should make room for other drivers to move over if possible. Scott’s Law is not an option, it is mandatory. When driving on the interstate, rid yourself of distractions, pay attention, and make space for vehicles that are pulled over on the side of the road. If you fail to do so, you could be subjected to hefty fines, or even worse, be responsible for taking an individuals life.

If you or a loved one has been struck by a vehicle driven by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation to assist you with your physical injuries, property damage, and emotional suffering. The experienced attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. have extensive knowledge and drive and will work diligently to get you the highest compensation possible for your case. Contact the pedestrian accident attorneys of Spiros Law at (217) 328-2828 to discuss your situation today.


Fatal Chain Reaction Crash

On Wednesday, February 13th, two semis, and three other vehicles were involved in a fiery crash on Interstate 65 in Indiana. Police reported that a semi-truck was traveling southbound on I-65 and had slowed for slowed traffic that was backing up in the left lane. As a result of the backup, a pick-up truck driven by a resident of Philo, Illinois and an RV driven by a resident of Minocqua, Wisconsin both also slowed. As the traffic slowed, a second tractor-trailer approached and failed to slow for the stopped traffic causing it to strike the RV from behind. This caused a chain reaction involving the original semi, the RV, and the pick-up truck that had all slowed. The crash caused both semis to become fully engulfed in flames and claimed the lives of three people including the Philo man driving the pick-up truck and both the driver and passenger in the RV.

The crash occurred in the morning and resulted in all lanes of I-65 southbound near the 54-mile marker in Jackson County to be closed down for 11 hours. State police reported that toxicology results are pending as the investigation of this unfortunate crash continues.

It is unfortunate when these types of incidences occur and even more so when they could have been avoided. When you or a loved one are involved in a crash resulting in severe injuries and even death, that were caused at no fault of your own, it is devastating. At Spiros Law P.C., we are committed to working to help get justice for people who have been the victims in these types of accidents. If you or a loved one is a victim of an accident involving a large truck, the truck accident attorneys of Spiros Law are ready to fight to get you the compensation you deserve. To speak with one of our attorneys, contact our offices at (217) 443-4343.


Leading Lawyers Selection Process

Recently, five Spiros Law, P.C. lawyers were selected as Leading Lawyers. The lawyers selected were; James D. Spiros, Sandra K. Loeb, Miranda L. Soucie, Patricia L. Gifford, and Andrew J. Purcell. The category is extremely selective, as each individual has to be recommended by peers who regard them to be among the top lawyers in the state. Less than 5% of licensed lawyers in Illinois are selected as leading lawyers.

Law Bulletin Media compiles lists of lawyers for their online search engine, allowing people to easily find highly recommended lawyers. In order to compile the list of lawyers, they use a very extensive process. They pride themselves on the fact that no lawyer can buy their way onto the list. Instead, Law Bulletin Media mails surveys to lawyers in that state, asking them which of their peers they would recommend to a family or friend if they could not personally take a case. It is also important to note that lawyers cannot nominate themselves, nor anyone working at their firm.

Once an individual has been nominated, Law Bulletin Media conducts discussions via phone, fax and e-mail, where they discuss the individual’s area of law and geographical regions. Once this is completed, lawyers are pre-selected for membership. Next, the ethical standing of each nominee is verified with the state’s lawyer registration disciplinary board to confirm that their law licenses are up to date and to check that the individuals have no legal or ethical violations on record.

Finally, the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board reviews all of the selected individuals. The Advisory Board consists of Leading Lawyers who received the highest number of votes in their area of law or geographic location. Once they have reviewed and approved the list of Leading Lawyers, the lawyers selected officially become Leading Lawyers, and their name, firm name, city, and recommended area of law is listed on the site.

As you can see, the nomination process is long and extensive, and only the most premier lawyers in the state are recognized which is why we are extremely honored to have five of our own lawyers on the list. Their drive, dedication, and experience do not go unnoticed and we commend them for their hard work and passion. The staff at Spiros Law, P.C. has been helping the people of Danville for many years and have the experience and knowledge to assist you in your unique legal situation. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of someone, contact the Danville Spiros Law P.C. attorneys at (217) 443-4343 to speak about your situation today.


How Severe is Your Dog Bite?

According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), almost 4.7 million dog bite incidents occur in the United States each year. Of that number, 800,000 dog bites result in medical treatment of some sort. With that said, 81% of dog bites cause only minor injuries or no injury at all. As you can see, there is a large variation in the level of seriousness that results from a dog bite. Due to this, dog behavior specialists use a scale to identify the seriousness of each incident. This scale helps them diagnose aggression issues in order to provide owners with a proper prognosis.

Dr. Ian Dunbar created a 6-level scale that assesses how dangerous a dog really is. This allows us to put the situation into context, ultimately helping the dog, the dog’s owner, and the victim. This is currently the most commonly used dog bite scale.

The Categories:

Level 1 Bite: Under this category, the dog air bites and makes no contact with the person. This usually means that the dog was trying to scare another dog or human so that he or she will leave them alone. With that said, owners should get help before this air bite turns into an actual bite by learning the dogs signs of fear and anxiety.

Level 2 Bite: The dog’s teeth makes contact with skin, but there is no puncture. They are a little more serious about their aggression and will take it a step further to let you know he/she needs to be left alone.

Level 3 Bite: One to four tooth punctures occur from a single bite resulting in a puncture wound no deeper than half the length of the dog’s tooth. Although this bite may not seem severe, it presents a threat to people and other animals and is reportable.

Level 4 Bite: One to four punctures from a single bite occur with at least one deeper than half the length of the dog’s teeth. As a result, there may be deep bruising around the wounds from the dog shaking its head side to side. The dog needs to be kept away from people and other animals until professional help is sought out.

Level 5 Bite: At this level, there are multiple Level 4 bites and/or multiple attacks. This dog is not safe around people or other animals. Many behavior specialists and behaviorists recommend euthanasia because of the danger to others and the poor quality of life the dog would have in solitary confinement. At this level, the bite could kill a child.

Level 6 Bite: The victim is killed.

Almost all dog bites are categorized in Levels 1 or 2, and a very small majority get to Level 3 or higher. With that said, it is always important to get professional help as soon as you see any slight sign of aggression from your dog. This allows you to fix the issue while it is still small. If help is not sought out after smaller incidents, the dog’s aggression will build up resulting in the possibility of higher risk incidents occurring in the future.

A dog bite can cause immense terror, pain, and even death. After the incident occurs, a victim can be burdened with medical bills, emotional trauma, and lost time working. In these situations, the owner of the aggressive animal should be held responsible, as they have neglected to properly train their dog. The dog bite attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. understand that the victims of these attacks deserve financial compensation and will fight until the victim’s needs are taken care of. If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite, contact us at (217) 443-4343 to discuss the specifics of your case.


How Can We Improve Road Safety?

Car accidents occur every day throughout the United States. Unfortunately, these accidents claim hundreds of Americans lives each year. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in the state of Illinois there were 964 fatal accidents and 1,050 fatalities throughout 2018. The good news, however, is that this number decreased by 39 from 2017, and this is the first time the number has decreased since 2014. Vermilion County specifically had 10 fatalities, which was 6 fewer than the previous year. We have definitely made progress but we still have a ways to go.

As we start a new year, we must make it a goal to make the roadways a safer place for drivers and passengers across the United States. As drivers, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe on the roads. The following are some of the most important things to remember while driving.

  • Keep your attention on driving the entire time you are behind the wheel. No distractions.
  • Drive defensively; Be aware of what other drivers next to you are doing, and expect the unexpected.
  • ALWAYS wear your seatbelt and drive sober and drug-free.
  • Follow the rules and regulations of the road by obaying the speed limit and putting your phone away while driving.

In order to ensure that the roadways in Illinois will be safer this year, the state is implementing new transportation-related laws that will take place in 2019. The following laws will be put in place throughout 2019.

  • Tougher texting and driving penalties: Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous things that a driver can do, yet many drivers continue to do it. In order to combat this, drivers that are caught texting will be issued a moving violation that will go on their record. If a driver has three moving violations in a 12-month period, their license will be suspended. This law begins on July 1, 2019.
  • Children under two must ride rear-facing: Parents will now be required to follow this rule, or else they will be fined anywhere from $75 to $200 dollars. Children more than 40 pounds are exempt.
  • “Dutch Reach” method is now part of the curriculum: “The Dutch Reach” method will be added to Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual. This method requires drivers to open their doors with their hand farthest from the door when parallel parking. It is believed that this method reminds drivers to look for cyclists before opening their door, helping them avoid a “dooring” crash.

Too many fatal accidents occur due to avoidable instances. In order to make our roadways safe, all drivers on the road must stay focused, cautious, and informed. Making sure you are paying attention to your own driving while also paying attention to the actions of other drivers around you is key in avoiding accidents. With that said, we can only control our own actions, and at times, accidents are completely unavoidable. Innocent victims should not have to suffer because of the irresponsible behaviors of others. If you or a loved one have been a victim in a car accident, the Danville auto accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your case today.


Head-on Collision on Illinois 1 near Bismarck

A head-on collision occurred on Illinois 1, south of Vermilion County Road 2820 N, which is about a mile northwest of Bismark, at 7:45 a.m. on Friday morning. One person was killed, and a second was injured. A 47-year-old man was headed south when his car veered into the northbound lane, hitting another car head-on. His car then flipped and caught on fire. The driver of this vehicle died at the scene. The Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden, who performed an autopsy Saturday, identified the driver as James D. Callahan, 47, of Hoopeston. 

The northbound vehicle that was struck came to a stop in the middle of the road. The driver of the vehicle, a 29-year-old woman, was taken to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. She was wearing a seatbelt. There has been no more information released about the driver of this vehicle. 

The accident caused Route 1 to be closed for several hours on Friday. The Illinois State Police and the Vermillion County Coroner’s office are investigating the accident. 

When car accidents like this one occur, it can be extremely devastating for all parties involved. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident as a result of someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to compensation in order to help you deal with your injuries, property damages, emotional and/or physical suffering. The dedicated team of attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. will fight hard on your behalf in order to get you the compensation you deserve while providing you peace-of-mind during your difficult time. 

Contact the car accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. at (217) 443-4343 to speak about your unique situation today. 


Causes of Truck Accidents

Our roadways are filled with large semi-trucks. These large vehicles propose great dangers to smaller vehicles on the roads and are the cause of many accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, over 433,000 large trucks were reported to be involved in accidents in 2015. We must use caution to keep ourselves, our passengers, and other drivers safe. Unfortunately, no matter how much caution we use, other factors can cause an accident to occur such as; weather and road conditions, negligent behavior from the truck driver, mechanical errors, or careless truck companies. The following is a list of the common types of truck accidents that occur on our roads today.

  • Severe Weather
    • Extreme weather conditions make it extremely hard for truck drivers to drive safely. The driver can easily lose control in these conditions leading to multi-car pileups.
  • Poor Road Conditions or Construction
    • Roads that are covered in potholes present a lot of issues for truck drivers. Also, drivers attempting to maneuver around construction zones make driving even more hazardous.
  • Overloaded Cargo
    • Cargo can cause a lot of danger in many different ways. A large load of cargo can cause tire blowouts, jackknife accidents, or rollovers due to too much weight on the vehicle. If the cargo is not loaded properly, it can produce flying debris, causing even more dangers.
  • Mechanical Malfunction/Poor Maintenence
    • It is important that trucking companies maintain large trucks. If a truck driver is driving on worn tires or with faulty breaks, this can amplify their chance of getting into an accident.
  • Driver Fatigue
    • Many truck drivers are driving for long hours, leading to sleep deprivation and driver fatigue. If a driver is falling asleep behind the wheel, they are imposing a huge danger onto other drivers.
  • Speeding and Reckless Driving
    • When a truck driver is speeding or failing to follow traffic laws, they are putting other drivers at a huge risk. If you see a truck that is driving recklessly, keep your distance and call the company’s number usually located on the back of the truck.
  • Inadequate Training
    • Driving a semi is a huge responsibility. If a truck driver has not had the proper training, they will not have the skills to drive defensively, imposing a hazard to other drivers.
  • Blind Spot
    • You should never follow a semi-truck closely, as they require more room to maneuver and have large blind spots. Driving in a truck’s blind spot causes many accidents, and you should always make sure that you can see the mirrors of the truck to avoid an accident.

As you can see, semi-truck accidents occur due to a variety of reasons, and avoiding an accident is not always possible. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, you need the guidance of an experienced attorney to provide you with appropriate legal guidance. The trucking accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. are dedicated to fighting for the rights of innocent victims and will get you the compensation that you deserve. Our team handles a variety of trucking accident cases, such as:

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a semi-truck, contact the Danville attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. at (217) 443-4343 to schedule an initial consultation.


How to Handle a Car Accident

The United States is one of the busiest countries in terms of road traffic, which makes the possibility of being involved in a car accident a greater risk. Typically, we assume that urban areas with high amounts of traffic are the places where accidents occur. Yes, traffic accidents happen more frequently in these urban areas, but they also occur frequently in rural areas. In fact, according to Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics, in 2016 Vermillion County had 1,576 traffic accidents, with 8 resulting in fatalities, and 403 resulting in injuries. Car accidents are prominent in all areas, and no matter how cautious you are while driving, sometimes they are unavoidable. Car accidents are very troubling to all involved, and you may have a hard time thinking rationally, as many thoughts are running through your head. This is why it is extremely important to be informed on what steps to take prior to the accident occurring. The following tips will allow you to take the appropriate steps after being involved in an accident.

Always Carry Your Information

First, it is important that you always carry insurance information, warranty information, drivers license, and an emergency kit in your car to be prepared if and when an accident occurs.

Pull Your Vehicle to a Safe Spot

After the accident occurs, do not leave the scene, even if it is just a minor situation. If your vehicle is still in a dangerous area, move to a safer location, or if you are incapable of doing so, turn your hazard lights on to ensure other drivers can see you.

Call the Police

Even if there are no serious injuries, it is imperative that you call the police so that the proper evidence can be documented on the scene. Once they arrive, make sure you walk them through exactly what happened and do not speculate any of the facts.

Don’t Give an Insurance Company a Recorded Interview

After you have left the scene of the accident, remember that you should never give an insurance company a recorded interview. This is because most insurance companies are concerned with meeting their bottom line, and not your best interest.

Contact an Attorney at Spiros Law, P.C.

Instead of initially contacting an insurance company, contact a car accident attorney at Spiros Law P.C. as soon as possible. An attorney will help you deal with your injuries, property damages, and emotional and physical suffering, allowing you to get the compensation that you deserve. Our experienced car accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. are equipped to assist you in a variety of situations, including:

  • Drunk driving accident victims
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Wrongful death
  • Mechanical or highway defects
  • Insurance claims

Committed to serving our clients, our attorneys take pride in protecting and preserving the rights to all who seek their assistance. At Spiros Law P.C., we are devoted to building strong relationships with each one of our clients by holding face-to-face meetings and encouraging all forms of electronic communication between appointments. We are dedicated to helping accident victims pursue justice from those responsible, regardless of the situation.

To speak about your situation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys today, contact our Danville office at (217) 443-4343.