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Pedestrians Often Share Fault When Injured While Walking on HighwaysA group of marchers shut down a section of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago on July 7 to protest the violence occurring in the city. While the protest gained national media coverage, it also drew the attention of state officials, who warned of the dangers of pedestrians walking on major highways. The Illinois State Police threatened to arrest anyone who walked onto the expressway as a matter of public safety. This policy was consistent with state laws, which largely prohibit pedestrians from walking on highways. Because of the law, a pedestrian who is injured while walking on a highway often shares liability when filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Pedestrian Laws

Laws that prohibit pedestrians on highways are meant to protect all parties on the road. Because of the high speed at which vehicles are driving, pedestrians are more likely to be killed or severely injured when hit by a vehicle. Drivers may also suffer injuries or vehicle damage as a result of colliding with a pedestrian or swerving out of the way of a pedestrian. Illinois allows pedestrians to walk on or along highways in limited situations:

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Traffic Violation Points System Adds Up During License SuspensionMost convictions for traffic violations result in a fine and not the immediate loss of driving privileges. Contesting your traffic ticket may not seem worth the time or cost if the fine amount is inconsequential to you. However, being convicted for three traffic violations within a year's time will result in your driver’s license being suspended or revoked. Illinois has a points system for traffic offenses that determines the duration of the suspension.

Keeping Score

Serious offenses, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, require an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. For lesser offenses, a certain number of points is added to your driving record for each conviction. Illinois has a list of more than 100 traffic offenses, with point values ranging from 5 to 55. Highlights include:

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How Cars Factor in Division of PropertyVehicles are among the most valuable properties in a marriage and an important part of the division of property during a divorce. They qualify as marital properties as long as:

  • They were purchased during the marriage;
  • Marital money was used to pay off a vehicle loan; or
  • Marital money was used to pay for major repairs or modifications.

In your marriage, each of you likely has your own vehicle that you primarily use. However, dividing your vehicles in a divorce is not as simple as each of you picking a car. Vehicles are a factor in determining equitable value in a divorce agreement.

Establishing Ownership

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Scheduled Injury Determines Workers' Compensation by Body PartHow much compensation should you receive for a permanent injury to your hand, as opposed to your foot? Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act has an answer to this in the event that you suffer a workplace injury that causes Permanent Partial Disability to a body part. A scheduled injury is one method of compensating Illinois workers who have either lost or lost the use of a body part. The worker receives payments that are 60 percent of his or her average weekly wage, and the number of weeks that he or she receives the payments depends upon which part of the body was disabled and the severity of the disability. There are several categories and subcategories of body parts covered, each with a specific number of weeks assigned to it:

  1. Hand: The loss of use of your whole hand is worth 205 weeks. The digits each have their own value, including 76 weeks for the thumb, 43 weeks for the index finger, 38 weeks for the middle finger, 27 weeks for the ring finger, and 22 weeks for the pinky finger.
  2. Arm: Losing the use of an arm is worth 253 weeks, but the number of weeks increases if the arm must be amputated. You receive 270 weeks if the arm is amputated above the elbow and 323 weeks if the arm is amputated at the shoulder joint.
  3. Foot: The loss of use of a foot is worth 167 weeks. The loss of use of the big toe is 38 weeks, and the loss of use of any other toe is 13 weeks.
  4. Leg: As with the arm, the number of weeks increases if the leg is amputated instead of just disabled. Loss of use of a leg is 215 weeks, amputation above the knee is 242 weeks, and amputation at the hip joint is 296 weeks.
  5. Sight and Hearing: The loss of sight in one eye is worth 162 weeks, while the loss of an eye is 173 weeks. The loss of hearing in one ear is worth 54 weeks if it was caused by an accident and 100 weeks if it was due to an occupational disease. The loss of hearing in both ears is worth 215 weeks.
  6. Other Organs: An accident requiring the removal of a kidney, spleen or lung is worth 10 weeks for each organ. The loss of one testicle is worth 54 weeks, and the loss of both testicles is worth 162 weeks.

Other Factors

A court may decrease the number of weeks awarded in a scheduled injury based on the percentage of the body part that has been lost or disabled. Disfigurements to parts of the body that are normally visible can be worth as many as 162 weeks, depending on the severity. Amendments to the law have given Illinois courts other variables to consider when awarding workers’ compensation based on a scheduled injury, such as:

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Fireworks Negligence Can Cause Personal Injury CasesTechnically, there are no legal fireworks for sale in Illinois. Items such as sparklers and smoke devices are legal because the state does not consider them consumer fireworks. However, the law does not stop Illinois residents from purchasing fireworks in other states and having amateur Fourth of July fireworks shows outside their homes. Residents are required to have an explosives license to purchase and use fireworks because of how dangerous they are for everyone near them. Even the legal items can be harmful if used irresponsibly. You can file a personal injury lawsuit if you were injured in a fireworks accident due to someone’s negligence.

Injury Risk

Burns are the most common injury associated with fireworks because of their incendiary and explosive nature. Hands are particularly vulnerable because of the danger in lighting fireworks. The resulting injuries can require fingers to be amputated. Other common injuries include:

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