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Champaign man hospitalized after three-car wreck on I-57

A Champaign man was hospitalized following a three-vehicle wreck on Monday evening near Rantoul. The man, a 31-year-old Champaign resident was driving his 2003 Ford Edge when authorities believe he fell asleep at the wheel. His car then veered off the road, struck a guardrail, and came to rest in the left lane of the interstate. Two vehicles subsequently struck the vehicle.

The other two vehicles in the accident, a black SUV driven by an Urbana woman and a semi-trailer driven by a man from Lemont, were damaged, but the drivers were unharmed. Authorities say that all involved were wearing their seatbelts.

The accident is still being investigated, so read more here on our blog or follow the story on the News-Gazette. We will keep you posted as more details are released, and our team is always available if you need assistance following an accident here in Champaign or the surrounding areas. Contact us at (217) 328-2828 today.

Spiros Law’s Miranda Soucie featured in the News-Gazette’s Clergy Corner

Spiros Law’s own Miranda Soucie was featured in a news story on the News-Gazette’s features section titled “Clergy Corner”.  The article discussed the efforts of Miranda and other clergy members of Champaign’s Copper Creek Church in their yearly mission trip to the Republic of Malawi.

A dozen members of the church, including Miranda, spent a part of their summer in Malawi with the Lisanjala CCAP Church, building a new house of worship. In addition, the team helped fund clean water wells and gave twenty-five scholarships to students in the area.

The article quotes Miranda on her experience in Malawi: “We were learning what it truly means to be a stranger and to love a stranger. As I have grown older, I have increasingly seen our definition of stranger be defined by a fear of the unknown. My observation in Malawi, is that a stranger is something to be celebrated. Someone to be welcomed. Someone to be loved.”

The entire team at Spiros Law is proud of the efforts that Attorney Soucie has made on behalf of her community and outside of the Champaign community. To read the entire article, visit the News-Gazette site here.

Illinois Leads the Nation in Nursing Home Abuse Victims

New and terrible information has come to light following the Health and Human Services’ 2017 study of nursing homes across 33 states. According to the analysis, there were 134 cases of neglect or sexual or physical abuse resulting in a hospital emergency room visit in 2015 and 2016. The state with the highest number of these visits was Illinois with 17. About one in four of these injured residents went unreported to the police, a grand total of 38 of the victims. About four out of five of these victims were hospitalized due to rape or sexual abuse.

According to a statute that went into effect over five years ago, nursing home employees should’ve reported such federal crimes as physical and sexual assault to the police within two to 24 hours, depending on the injuries of the victim; the 96 reported cases from the study were unclear about whether the reports were timely. Unfortunately, Medicaid—the service for which the statute exists—has failed to protect these victims due to faulty or weak procedures. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are being faulted for their failure to enforce their statue—they face fines of up to $300,000. The agency has no formal report to give in response to these accusations, pending the official completion of the audit.

Unfortunately, the problem goes even further than reporting abuse to police but includes the careless destruction of evidence. In one reported case, an elderly woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a fellow resident, and the nursing home staff washed the woman and changed her clothes, preventing an accurate test for rape. What’s more, is they failed to make a call within two hours and waited until the next day to contact the woman’s family, who called the police themselves. In the end, despite being cited for failing to notify a doctor, the family, and local law enforcement, state officials classified the incident as minimally harmful or potentially harmful.

These problems are growing more and more troublesome as time passes and more elderly people begin to seek out nursing home care for their final days. Will nearly 1.4 million people residing in these assisted living situations across the country, such numbers are appalling and infuriating. The attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are available to help you or your loved ones if they are facing the negligent actions of a nursing home, resulting in injury. Contact them at (217) 328-2828 for more information.

Spiros Law Attorney Miranda Soucie to Discuss Discovery and Depositions

In a talk hosted by the American Association for Justice, Spiros Law’s own Miranda Soucie will be joining Ken Levinson, Mike Neff, and Dan Chamberlain to co-host Slip & Fall Webinar Series Part III: Discovery & Deposition Tactics. They will all be joined by the Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway, and Premises Liability Section. The talk begins at 2:00 Eastern Time on August 22, so join Soucie and her fellow speakers as they discuss planning a discovery, preparing for 30(b)(6) depositions, and talking with your client about depositions. If you can’t make it to the original discussion, recordings will be available later.

Elderly Woman Found Dead at Champaign County Nursing Home

The Champaign County Nursing Home experienced the loss of 78-year-old Sonya Kington on June 17. She was found outside in the courtyard in the afternoon and the home is under surveillance and investigation by the Illinois State Police. County Administrator Rick Snider expressed condolences to the family and friends of the resident.

The appointed coroner, Duane Northrup, said that there was no immediate sign of trauma or injuries on the elderly woman, but the full autopsy could take anywhere from two to three months.

The attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. wish to express their sorrow at the loss of a Champaign County resident. Their thoughts are with the family and friends of Kington.

Breaking News: Injuries reported, first-responders on scene of 1-57 crash in Champaign

Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette
Accident on I-57 south about 1/4 mile south of Mattis overpass on Thursday, June 8 , 2017.

Emergency crews are on the scene of an accident that occurred at 4:00 p.m. today on Interstate 57 in Champaign. EMS personnel, firefighters, and state troopers all responded to the accident that is diverting traffic at the Olympian drive exit.

While this story is still developing, authorities report that several people were injured in the crash and some were trapped in their vehicles immediately after the accident. Our thoughts are with the victims of the crash and their families.

To read more about this developing story follow it here at the News-Gazette site.

Spiros attorney Sandra Loeb wins temporary disability appeal on behalf of client in Champaign

This week, partner, Sandra Loeb of Spiros Law helped an injured worker in Champaign recover an additional $13,446.79 in temporary disability benefits in a successful appeal of a worker’s compensation claim. At Spiros Law, our experienced worker’s compensation attorneys believe in helping our clients recover the rightful compensation they deserve even if it means going to trial or filing appeals. We know just how difficult life can be following a workplace injury and we are committed to helping our clients recover from their injuries and move on with their lives.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident and your workers’ compensation claims have been wrongly denied or unfairly limited, contact Sandra and our team of experienced, compassionate attorneys at (217) 328-2828 today.

Mahomet-Seymour student killed in tragic wreck on U.S. 36

A multi-vehicle, chain-reaction accident injured two and killed a Mahomet-Seymour student on Wednesday afternoon. The accident occurred on U.S. 36 east of Tuscola at 4:57 p.m. The victim, junior Jacob Hamilton was the goalkeeper on the varsity soccer team, and was honored in an improptu vigil that night on the school’s soccer field.

Authorities say that a semi-trailer and other vehicles were involved in the chain-reaction crash, when two crashes that were blocking the roadway caused further issues for drivers heading eastbound. It is also believed that high winds may have blown a significant amount of dust into the air, reducing visibility for the drivers involved in the accident. The other two injured individuals were passengers in the vehicle driven by Jacob Hamiliton, and they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the collision. All of the individuals were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim and the other families of the individuals involved in the accident. Read the full story at The News-Gazette and the update here.

International Workers’ Day rally in Champaign

Today, workers participated in a march and rally in Champaign to celebrate International Workers’ Day (also known as Labour Day in some countries) to promote laborers and the working classes. At Spiros Law, we are supporters of all members of our Illinois communities and we appreciate the work and dedication that all workers bring to our state’s industries.  Photos of the event are below (photo credit: K Sutherland):

As farming remains a dangerous career, experts urge the use of ROPS and seatbelts on tractors

This week, The News Gazette released an investigative report on reducing deaths on farms by improving tractor safety. According to studies discussed in the story, farming has experienced significant increases in safety over the past 50 years, improving from 60 to 18 deaths per 100,000, but falls behind similarly dangerous jobs, where recent technology has allowed their mortality rates to reach even lower. In 2015, 11 Illinois residents died while working the land, and as the temperatures become warm, more people are expected to be farming–the time of the year where most of these deaths occur.

However, deadly accidents can be prevented with basic tractor safety, such as the installation of a rollover protection system (ROPS). The systems attained popularity between the ‘70s and ‘80s, and experts say that the system, when paired with a seatbelt, has a nearly 100% rate of effectiveness. On the other end of the spectrum, the likelihood of living through an accident without the protection of ROPS plummets to 20%.

The largest number of rollover accidents occur in farmers over the age of 55, who are often using outdated equipment. Farm safety instructors try to combat this trend by informing children at their schools. Amy Rademaker, a farm safety specialist working for the Carle Center for Rural Health and Farm Safety said, “We often think that kids and younger folks are a way to their parents.”

In teaching a fourth-grade class of more than 200 students, Rademaker found a large discrepancy in children who wear seatbelts in a car and those who wear seatbelts in a tractor. It’s a common belief that a tractor accident would be less dangerous, due to their slow speeds, but a critical point between a rollover accident and safety can happen before anyone would be able to react. Rademaker would like to see wearing a seatbelt in a tractor become as critical as wearing one in a car.

David Newcomb, a farm worker himself and the manager of the Illinois fire Institute’s Ag Rescue Program, teaches firefighters how to respond to farming injuries. He says that there are several reasons a farmer may get into a deadly accident, even with ROPS installed, one of those reasons being that the system can be folded to fit into small spaces and just never get unfolded. He urges farmers to take care of themselves this season.

The team at Spiros Law know all too well the dangers of farm equipment and the serious accidents that can occur when a tractor is involved in an accident. If you or a loved on has been hurt in a tractor accident, we know that speaking to a lawyer may be the last thing on your mind, but keep in mind we are here to help relieve you of the burdens that you may be facing. Contact a compassionate, experienced attorney at Spiros Law to let us fight for the compensation you deserve if you were hurt in an accident.