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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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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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Check Lease When Claiming Landlord Premises LiabilityThere are three factors that a personal injury claimant must prove in a case of premises liability:

  • The defendant owed a duty to maintain the safety of the property;
  • The defendant neglected its duty in the upkeep of the property; and
  • The negligence is responsible for the injury that the plaintiff suffered.

In a landlord-tenant relationship, the lease will often spell out each party’s responsibility for upkeep and safety. If a tenant is injured due to unsafe conditions on the rental property, he or she should examine the terms of the lease to understand whether the landlord can be held liable for the injury.

Duty Owed

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Illinois Motorcycle Fatalities Rising Despite Decrease in CrashesThe Illinois Department of Transportation is reporting an unusual trend in regards to motorcycle accidents. The number of crashes involving motorcycles has decreased by nearly 1,000 since 2004, but the number of motorcycle crashes that end in fatalities has slightly increased. IDOT estimates that there were 162 fatalities that resulted from motorcycles crashes in 2017, the highest single-year number on record. The 2017 increase in Illinois goes against an overall decrease across the U.S. A mix of factors may help explain why Illinois has not seen a decline in motorcycle fatalities.

Rider Protection

The decreased number of motorcycle crashes suggests that rider safety in Illinois is improving. This could be attributed to:

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Medicare Patients Must Pay Up in Personal Injury CasesSenior citizens and adults with certain disabilities rely on Medicare to pay for their medical expenses. This health insurance coverage is particularly helpful if you have suffered an accident that resulted in a personal injury. As with any accident victim, you have the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the party at fault. However, Medicare patients who are awarded damages from personal injury cases must repay Medicare for medical expenses related to the injuries. You risk financial or criminal punishment if you do not comply with Medicare’s requirements:

  1. Reporting Your Incident: You are expected to report any accident involving injury to the Medical Coordination of Benefits Contractor. If you do not report your injury, Medicare officials still have ways to monitor your medical expenses and will reach out to you if they see any doctor visits that suggest an injury. You must answer truthfully when Medicare officially asks you for details about your injury and its cause.
  2. Reporting Your Injury Compensation: Medicare also must know when you have received injury compensation as result of a settlement or verdict. Medicare has the right to retrieve compensation from your injury award before you collect on it.
  3. Reviewing the Medicare Lien: Medicare will give you notice of a lien it has placed on your injury compensation. You must compare the lien amount to the Medicare expenses related to your injury, looking for any listed expenses that may be unrelated. The lien may need to account for future medical expenses related to your injury.
  4. Paying or Appealing the Lien: After receiving the final lien, you may appeal the total if you believe it is inaccurate. Otherwise, you will likely have to repay the full amount. Federal law does not allow Medicare to negotiate a lower lien with a patient, except in rare circumstances. 

Cost Variables

It is possible for Medicare to claim the entire value of your injury compensation before you have a chance to collect it. The lien is dependent upon the cost to Medicare, not the amount you receive in your case. However, there are factors that can reduce or limit the amount that Medicare can claim:

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