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Insurance Could Help Keep Businesses Open

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have continued to suffer devastating financial losses. These mounting losses are as a result of businesses altering, limiting operations, or closing their doors entirely, either by governmental mandates or voluntary for the health of their communities. While the coronavirus has had an unprecedented impact on the daily lives of everyone, business owners are left worrying about what their future may hold.

If you are a business owner, you may be familiar with business interruption insurance, which promises to compensate the insured for income that was lost during the time period of an interruption that resulted from a disaster, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, business interruption insurance is intended to allow a business to return to its normal operations once the disaster has passed. To file a business interruption claim, the process is made much easier when you consult with an experienced attorney like the ones at Spiros Law, P.C.

When filing a business interruption claim, supporting documents are needed, such as business expense reports, business revenue reports, details regarding business history, number of employees, among others. There are several elements that must be inspected, along with an attorney, including utility costs, payroll taxes, and additional advertising. While this claim process may seem complicated, hiring the right attorney can help ensure that you can open the doors of your business again. 

When you hire an attorney to consult with filing a business interruption claim, they will be able to review your insurance policy, document decisions carefully, ensure that you are cautious with communications, document any losses, make a timely claim, and address the insurer’s response. Additionally, if your business interruption claim is denied, an attorney will help you consider whether to take legal action against the insurance company.

If you are a business owner who has had to cease operations due to impacts of the coronavirus, contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343. One of our attorneys will be available to consult with you about your business interruption claim and ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you in your financially vulnerable state. Though our offices are currently closed during the Illinois “shelter-in-place,” you can still contact our staff over the phone, through our online chat services, by scheduling a video meeting, and on email.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Farm Workers

The large, widespread industry of farming is a vital source of income for many American families and creates products that the country relies on. However, this dangerous industry results in serious injuries to workers each year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the fatal injury rate in the agricultural industry is 7.5 times higher than any other industry.

Farming, being the most dangerous industry in the U.S., results in injuries that can be devastating for an individual and their family. These injuries can accrue costly medical bills, loss of income, permanent physical impairment, and death, leaving families financially and emotionally drained. Regardless of how the farming accident occurred, the attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. have experience in fighting on behalf of injured farmworkers. 

A few farm injury claims we handle include traumatic brain injuries, torn ligaments, suffocation, amputation of limbs, and internal organ damage or organ bleeding. Although farming is an inherently hazardous industry, many accidents can be caused by the negligence on part of farm owners or operators, or machine defects and malfunctions. With this in mind, many farming injuries can be prevented with proper safety standards, maintenance, and product design.

Even if the farming injury was not caused by negligence, injured farmworkers still have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, the Illinois emergency rule permits frontline workers, including farmers, to file a workers’ compensation claim if they have contracted COVID-19 and have suffered from the illness.

Although there have been advances in technology and an increased focus on safety in the workplace, farming injuries continue to rise. It is important for farm workers and the owners and operators to follow established safety standards, practice routine maintenance and inspection of farm equipment, and make sure the machinery is in proper working condition.

Farmers deserve to be protected, especially during this pandemic when they are regarded as essential employees. If you are a farmer and have suffered an injury at the workplace, contact our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343. Our attorneys will be able to work with you on filing a workers’ compensation or farming injury claim. Though our offices are currently closed during the shelter-in-place, our staff is available to speak with you over the phone, during a scheduled video meeting, and on email.

Remote Legal Assistance

While Illinois is abiding by the “shelter-in-place” order, our physical offices will remain closed in order to comply with the guidelines. However, our entire staff will continue to work, remotely, and remain accessible to our clients. To ensure the well-being of our clients, community, and staff, we have been implementing some adjustments that strive to keep everyone as healthy as possible. While we may not be able to meet face-to-face, our level of commitment and dedication to our clients is our top priority.

To navigate through these changes, we have been putting systems in place that allow our staff to answer questions and provide consultations for potential clients. Our clients and their legal matters continue to our primary focus and we are doing everything we can to maintain accessibility between attorneys, staff, and clients. Whether it be through video chat, over the phone, or via email, our staff is available for communication and any assistance our clients may need. This includes fielding any questions or concerns, providing updates to our clients, scheduling video meetings, and facilitating initial consultations.

We understand the difficulty that the current circumstances have presented and we want to thank our clients for being patient. Although our staff will be working remotely, our attention and level of care to each legal matter has not, and will not change. Our team will continue to communicate with one another and their clients with the same determination that our law firm is well known for. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office number and someone from our staff will be able to assist you. If you need to get any documents to us, please take a picture, scan them to our email, or text them to us at (217) 443-4343.

Through technology, our staff is continuing to stay on top of our clients’ legal matters while we work remotely. Our team at Spiros Law, P.C. supports our clients and the entire community throughout this difficult time. We are committed to providing our clients with the same care that we have always maintained. Please do not hesitate to contact our office through your preferred method and someone from our team will be available to assist you.

Explosion in Georgetown

It has been reported that there has been a massive explosion at a home south of Georgetown the evening of Thursday, March 26, 2020. While the house has been destroyed, thankfully, there were no injuries were reported. When the blast occurred, at about 8pm, neighbors and other community members in as far away as Fairmount and Chrisman reported that they heard the blast. It has also been reported by neighbors that the house has been vacant. The explosion flung debris into nearby trees and also blew out windows at an adjacent house.

In addition to the Georgetown Firefighters, there were nearly half-dozen other departments that arrived to help at the scene.  The other departments included Catlin, Chrisman, Ridge Farm, Tilton, and Westville. Firefighters arrived quickly to a scene of flames debris.  The cause of the blast was not immediately known and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation.

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.