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July Brings New Changes to Distracted Driving Penalty

July 1st marks the inauguration of new distracted driving enforcements. Illinois state representatives and law enforcement officials are tightening the reigns on the citations given when a driver is in violation of distracted driving laws. Using a cellphone while driving is prohibited in the state of Illinois however, just a warning will no longer be issued on the first offense. A moving violation will be given along with a fine of $75. For every offense following the fine will increase as follows, 2nd offense $100, 3rd offense $125, and $150 for all future offenses. This law is not only limited to cellphones but will apply to all electronic communication devices. These new rules are being put into place to help us prevent fatal automobile collisions by eliminating distractions and focusing on the road at all times.

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving. With about 1,000 reported accidents, 9 people die each day from distracted drivers.

What are the types of distracted driving?

There are three main types. Visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual, includes anything that could cause you to take your eyes off of the road. Manual, meaning anything that would cause you to take your hands off the steering wheel. Cognitive, anything that would cause your mind to drift. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. When you send or read a text message you are taking your eyes off the road for about five seconds. This is the same amount of time it takes to cover the length of a football field if you are traveling at 55 MPH. It is important to assume responsibility for our actions and implement preventative measures into our daily routines that can help protect ourselves and others. Installing hands-free devices or placing your cellphone out of arms reach will both reduce distractions and make the roads safer for everyone.

Who is the most at risk?

Teenage drivers under the age of twenty are the most at risk. This age group has the highest percentage of distraction-related fatal collisions.  In a study, 42% of high school drivers, who had reported driving in the past 30 days, reported sending a text or email while driving. Those who have reported texting while driving are more likely to drive without wearing a seatbelt, more likely to ride with a driver who has been drinking, and more likely to drink and drive. These are the types of situations these new laws aim to abolish. In the past year, Illinois law enforcement officials issued 15,150 distracted driving violations.

Distracted driving is a dangerous activity and should not be taken light-heartedly. We must hold ourselves accountable but unfortunately, we cannot always be responsible for the actions of others. If you or a loved one have fallen victim to an accident due to distracted driving you may be eligible for compensation from the responsible party to help with your injuries, property damages, and emotional and physical suffering. Call a Spiros Law attorney in our Danville office at (217) 443-4343 to explore your options.

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.

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.

Personal injury complaints spark recall on thousands of Ford vehicles

After receiving notification of accidents that resulted in personal injuries, American automaker Ford Motor Co. issued a recall covering over 680,000 vehicles in the U.S. and other countries, a December 2 article of USA Today reported.

According to reports, some models of Lincoln MKZ, Mondeo, and Fusion may have poorly made seat belts that might not properly restrain vehicle occupants in emergency situations. In the report, the manufacturer said two personal injuries resulted from accidents involving the recalled vehicles. Apparently, the seat belts could fail as a result of overheating that deteriorates the pretensioner cables. The majority of the recalled vehicles were in the U.S. and some were sold in Mexico, Canada, and in other countries. Ford dealers will notify owners of the recalled vehicles for the strengthening of the seat belt cable pretensioners.

The lawyers at the Spiros Law, P.C. understand many people in Danville seriously suffer as a result of driving hazardous vehicles. If you were injured as a result of your vehicle, we can offer you legal assistance to help you pursue damage claims against negligent parties. Call us today at (217) 443-4343 to find out how we can help you recover your loss.

Injuries reported in Chicago vehicular crash

Several people in the southern part of Chicago, including one child, recently sustained injuries after a vehicle struck a porch, a September 13 report of Chicago 5 stated.

According to reports, a 12-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy, and two adults sustained injuries after an SUV struck a porch near the intersection of South Vincennes Avenue and West 80th Street. The Chicago Fire Department believed the girl’s condition was “very critical” as she was pinned between the vehicle and the porch. Reports revealed the vehicle initially struck two other vehicles before it ended up hitting the porch. The driver of the SUV, whose name was withheld, was also treated after he was booked by authorities.

Car accident injuries often leave innocent victims struggling with a great financial loss due to expensive treatments needed for recovery. However, a lawyer may be able to help you obtain compensations if negligent drivers are involved. Speak with a lawyer at Spiros Law, P.C. in Danville today by calling (217) 443-4343 to begin taking your legal action against negligent parties.

12 students hurt in Boone County school bus overturn

An accident between a school bus and a vehicle on September 7 in Boone County resulted in 12 students suffering from injuries, an article of Chicago Patch reported.

Reports said the accident happened at about 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of Beloit and Orth roads in Belvidere. The school bus containing 35 students of Belvidere Central Middle School flipped to its side after crashing into a vehicle. The vehicle was initially stopped at a yield sign, then proceeded into the path of the bus moments before the collision took place. Parents of the students rushed to the crash scene to check on their children. Reports confirmed that 12 of the students sustained minor injuries and were brought by ambulances to hospitals.

Many children are left permanently disabled after being involved in vehicular accidents such as this one. However, if your loved one is hurt in a personal injury accident, enlisting a skilled personal injury attorney is a viable option, especially if negligent parties are liable. Discuss your situation with a Danville attorney at Spiros Law, P.C. today by calling (217) 443-4343.

Thousands of Toyota vehicles recalled in the US

Automaker Toyota has issued a third recall on 337,000 vehicles after the first two recalls failed to address a suspension problem that could cause injuries to vehicle owners, a Los Angeles Times article reported on August 12.

Toyota discovered that the rear suspension assemblies of previous RAV4 and Lexus vehicle models may fail due to rust that could build up as a result of improperly tightened suspension arm threads. If the problem occurs, drivers of the recalled vehicles may lose control of their vehicles, which can lead to accidents. Toyota recalled the vehicles in 2012 due to the unstable rear suspension then recalled them again the following year due to improperly tightened nuts in the rear wheel alignment. Toyota will notify vehicle owners so they can receive the free repair of their suspension arm unit.

If a defective vehicle caused you injuries in an accident, working with a skilled auto defect attorney is important, especially if you are pursuing compensations necessary for treatment. Speak with an attorney at Spiros Law, P.C., in Danville today by calling (217) 443-4343.

“Marvel” inspired oven mitts that may cause burn injuries recalled

Approximately 360,000 units of “Marvel” inspired oven mitts are being recalled in the U.S., Mexico, and in Canada due to complaints that it can cause personal injuries, a cpsc.gov article stated on July 28.

According to the recall, thousands of oven mitts inspired by the “Marvel Thanos Infinity Gauntlet” sold by Los Angeles-based company Loot Crate were recalled after receiving 241 consumer complaints of suffering burn injuries from using the products. The gauntlet-like oven mitts used by Marvel fiction character “Thanos” reportedly did not have sufficient “thermal protection” to users. The possibly defective mitts that were made in China were supplied by a New Jersey company and were also made available in Canada and in Mexico. Consumers who might have the recalled oven mitts were told to destroy the mitts and notify Loot Crate to get their money back or get a product replacement.

Many people, unfortunately, have to deal with great financial loss after suffering burn injuries in accidents. However, if this happens to you, a personal injury attorney at Spiros Law, P.C., in Danville may work on your behalf if negligent parties are involved. Learn more about your legal options from us today by calling (217) 443-4343.

NHTSA: Don’t play “Pokemon Go” while driving

Using the hashtags #PokemonGo and #justdrive, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently warned drivers in a recent Tweeter post to refrain from playing the mobile-based game while driving, a July 11 article of Transport Topics reported.

On a July 9 Twitter post, the NHTSA told motorists to “Stay safe on the roads, don’t #PokemonGo and drive. #justdrive,” after several reports surfaced that the augmented reality game has been linked to several accidents including car accidents. Reports said the game application immediately became a blockbuster upon its launch on July 7 in the U.S. and in Australia. Though the game has a warning message for players to “remember to be alert,” some players exert great effort to catch the fictional characters. In another Twitter post, the NHTSA sternly advised vehicle drivers to make sure their vehicle is properly stopped before playing the game for them to get home safe.

The Danville attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C., understand that many people are at high risk of sustaining serious injuries in accidents caused by inattentive drivers. If you are in such situation, we may offer you legal assistance for you to possibly get compensations you need for recovery. Call our office today at (217) 443-4343 to learn more about your options.

Motorcyclist badly injured in Chicago accident

A motorcycle operator in Chicago was taken to the hospital and believed to be in critical condition after being involved in a recent accident, an article of ABC 7 reported on December 28. According to reports, at about 4:20 a.m. the Illinois State Police were notified of a single vehicle accident that took place in the vicinity of Montrose Avenue.

A motorcyclist, whose identity was withheld, reportedly crashed on the inbound of the Kennedy Expressway. Information coming from responding fire personnel confirmed that the injured motorcyclist was transported to Illinois Masonic in critical condition. Traffic flow on the affected lanes was restored at about 7:30 a.m. after authorities finished collecting evidence for their investigation.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident such as this one, or if your accident was caused by another driver, it will be important for you to work with a personal injury lawyer to determine who is at fault for your injuries. To speak to the legal team at Spiros Law, P.C., in Danville, call us today at (217) 443-4343.