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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.


Future Problem Solvers Provide a Safe Alternative for Trick-or-Treaters in Danville

The Future Problem Solvers is an international competition program that students at Danville High School compete in each year. The group of students identify a topic of concern within their community and develops a plan of action to improve the situation. Their most recent project, called Project Ignition, is focused on promoting safe driving within the community. With Halloween around the corner, they are extending their focus to include promoting a safe evening of trick-or-treating for the children in their community. Trick-or-treating is always a fun activity for kids to partake in on Halloween, but it is not always the safest. Children walking around after dark puts them at a higher risk to be hit by a vehicle. In fact, children are four to five times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident on Halloween night than any other night of the year. Project Ignition recognizes that the busy roads in Danville and the high amounts of crime in the area do not provide a safe location for children to trick-or-treat.

To create a safe space for trick-or-treating for the children of Danville, the group is partaking in two events to help promote a safe and happy Halloween. On Saturday, October 27th, from 9am until 2pm they will have a booth at the Kenneth D. Bailey Academy Fall Festival in Danville, giving the public different tips to ensure them of a safe Halloween night. Then, on Halloween from 4pm to 6pm, in partnership with Project Success, they are helping to throw an event called, “Light Up the Night- Don’t be a Ghost, Look and Be Seen on Halloween” at Laura Lee Fellowship House. The message they are sending is, “a happy Halloween is a safe Halloween”.  At the event, children will be allowed to walk around to different stations in their costumes and collect candy in a safe environment. On top of trick-or-treating, there will be different games and activities for the children to partake in. The group will also be handing out clip-on light reflectors to take home, to be worn not only on Halloween night, but any night that children are walking around outside. These reflectors will allow children to be seen in the dark, helping to avoid any possible accidents from occurring.

In order for this event to be a hit, they are asking for help from the community. The group is in need of candy donations and volunteers at the event to help pass out the candy. If you, or a group you are involved in, is interested in helping at the event, please contact Lori Woods at: woodsl@danville118.org or at 217-444-1573.

Before you take your children out trick-or-treating, make sure you pay attention to the possible dangers of the holiday activity. Always make sure you know the area, are highly visible, and always walk on the sidewalk, never on the road.

To find out more about Project Ignition and the work they have done, check out their Facebook page, linked here.


National Teen Driver Safety Week

October 21-27 is the 11th annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTSDW). This week is dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions to prevent teen injuries and deaths on the road. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (15 to 18 years) in the US, and in 2015, 1,972 teen drivers were involved in fatal traffic crashes. National Teen Driver Safety Week is a week that parents are encouraged to have conversations with their teens about safety tips when behind the wheel, helping them to avoid becoming another statistic. Teens look at receiving their license as a step toward freedom, but it is important that you provide rules and regulations for them, because teen drivers are not ready to have the same level of responsibility behind the wheel as adults. Some of the most important issues to address are alcohol use, inconsistent or no seatbelt use, distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, etc.

One local group, The Future Problem Solvers Club at Danville High School, is doing a great job promoting messages to keep teens safe behind the wheel. Future Problem Solvers is an international competition program that teaches students how to use a problem-solving method that allows them to identify a local topic of concern, and then work to develop a plan of action to improve the situation. Their most recent project was called “Project Ignition”, which is focused on safe driving in the community. They are working hard researching different ways to improve road safety.

Project Ignition wants to bring attention to weather and road conditions, issues beyond the driver’s control, which are a major cause of road accidents. They recognize that issues such as texting, alcohol, and not wearing a seatbelt are huge factors in causing road accidents, but wanted to bring light to the issues that are often overlooked. To do this, the team launched their own driving safety campaign, providing tips and awareness for teen drivers all over the area.

An issue they came across during their research was Interstate 74 between the Champaign and Vermillion county lines. This stretch of interstate is surrounded by open fields, causing wind speeds to increase significantly, leading to more accidents. When drivers make contact with these high winds, they can easily lose control of their vehicles, leading to accidents. In fact, they found that this part of the interstate has more accidents and fatalities than any other part. The team is now working with city and road officials to put warning signs along this part of the interstate, in the hopes of warning drivers along this stretch of I-74. The team runs under the motto, “We are ALL the KEY to road safety”, and that is an important motto for us drivers to be reminded of. To find out more about Project Ignition, check out their Facebook page. 

Your role in keeping your teens informed about the rules of the road is vital. The following tips will allow you to help your teen avoid any accidents on the road.

  • Invest in a safe driving course.
  • Talk to them about ALL the risks that come with driving.
  • Set realistic boundaries, and stick to them.
  • Rid of any common distractions in the teen’s vehicle.
  • Most importantly, practice what you preach.

Remember to stay informed, and keep your teen drivers informed to avoid any future tragedies on the road.


Spiros Law Partners with Adopt-A-Highway

At Spiros Law, we care about the communities we live in, and we always try to do what we can to improve them. As part of our efforts, we have partnered up with Adopt-A-Highway! The Illinois Adopt-A-Highway program is a part of IDOT and helps find groups who are willing to volunteer their time to pick up litter and trash on the side of the highway.  Adopt-A-Highway has more than 10,000 volunteers throughout Illinois and we are proud to be one of the many affiliates.  As a volunteer group, we have adopted Illinois Route 136, also known as Vermillion Road, from Boiling Springs Road to West Winter Avenue in Danville. This is a busy stretch of road consisting of both residential properties and many businesses including the Spiros Law office. As part of our annual volunteer commitment, our team is responsible for walking the route to pick up the trash and litter to help keep it clean and clear. Through our efforts, we hope to offer the people of Danville safer roadways and a cleaner community.

While it may not seem like it, littering can cause serious issues. Here are some common examples of how an act as simple as littering can negatively affect our environment:

Automobile Accidents:

Littering on a highway can cause a chain reaction and leading to an automobile accident.  When litter is thrown out of a moving car it could land on a windshield and block a driver’s vision, it could land on the roadway and cause a driver to swerve, or it could cause a flat tire. All of which are serious hazards.

Environmental Problems:

It is common knowledge that litter is damaging to our environment. Non-biodegradable products are some of the most common items found along the side of the road and unfortunately, they stay there indefinitely. Litter slows the growth of plants, pollutes the air, and degrades natural areas.

Lowers home values.

When communities have high amounts of litter, home and property values can be negatively affected.

Spoils water quality.

When litter is left on the ground for long periods of time, waste seeps into the soil leading to pollution of the water underneath.

There are some simple steps you can take to avoid and combat this issue. In order to avoid littering while driving, it is recommended that drivers keep a litter bag in their vehicle, to avoid the temptation of discarding the trash out of their car window. Beyond this, if you are wondering how you can get involved in combatting this issue, please consider adding your group of friends, neighbors, or coworkers to the list of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers. According to the IDOT website, almost anyone can take part in the program, such as:

  • Civic Groups
  • Clubs
  • Organizations
  • Sororities and fraternities
  • Churches
  • Coworkers
  • Neighbors
  • Friends and Families

The team at Spiros Law is extremely excited to be representing this program, allowing us to make a positive impact in the Danville community.

If you want to make a difference in your own community and want to register a group for the program, visit the IDOT website to fill out an Adopt-A-Highway request form.