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Frequency of Vehicle Crashes Reaches Peak During AugustWinter seems like the most dangerous time of the year to drive because of the potential for hazardous weather. However, more traffic crashes occur during the summer. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that August has on average the most traffic crashes and fatalities of any month. There is a combination of factors that may account for the high number of crashes in August:

  1. More Drivers on the Road: Summer is the most popular season for people to travel because of the weather and summer break for children. With people traveling more often and higher congestion on the roads, the number of traffic crashes will naturally increase as well. Winter conditions may be more dangerous, but people are likely to avoid driving during a snowstorm unless it is necessary.
  2. More Pedestrians and Small Vehicles: People take advantage of the warm weather for more than driving. People are more likely to walk or bicycle to places as a mode of travel. There are also more children playing outside and possibly near streets. A driver may not see pedestrians and small vehicles, resulting in the driver either striking the person or swerving to avoid a collision.
  3. Less Cautious Drivers: Though winter weather makes roads hazardous, it also makes drivers more alert. On a clear summer day, drivers may be less cautious because they are not worried about the weather affecting the driving conditions. This can cause drivers to make careless mistakes or become distracted. People are also more likely to drink alcohol and drive during the summer because of the numerous recreational events.
  4. New Drivers: Summer is a common time for teenagers to take their driver’s education class. By August, some of them may have already received their driver’s license and are enjoying their new freedom. However, becoming a skilled driver takes years of experience. Teenage drivers are more likely to make mistakes, especially when in situations that require quick responses.
  5. Back to School: The beginning of a new school year is a readjustment for local drivers. There are groups of children walking to and from school and school buses congesting the roads. Drivers may initially be out of the habit of watching for these obstacles, which may cause an accident.

Recovering from Injuries

Whether as a pedestrian or driver, being involved in a traffic crash can potentially result in serious injuries. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive injury compensation from the party at fault in your accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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How Marijuana Possession Can Be Both Legal and IllegalIn many states, the difference between state and federal marijuana laws creates a bizarre contradiction. Possessing marijuana can at the same time be legal and illegal, depending on which level of government you are dealing with. The federal government is strict in its ban of buying, selling and possessing marijuana. Many states are more liberal with their marijuana laws and allow possession for medicinal and recreational purposes. However, state laws will not protect you against federal charges for marijuana possession.

Drug Schedules

The federal government’s classification of drugs is based on the Controlled Substances Act, which groups drugs into five schedules:

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Divorce Does Not Change Life Insurance BeneficiariesIllinois law is inconsistent when it comes to divorce and your beneficiaries upon your death. Once your divorce is final, your former spouse will automatically lose his or her status as your primary beneficiary in your will or trust, as well as any control over your estate. If you fail to update your estate plan before your death, a probate court will likely assume that you did not intend for your former spouse to remain your primary beneficiary. However, Illinois has no law that automatically removes your former spouse as the primary beneficiary in your life insurance policy. You must decide and act on any changes to your life insurance beneficiaries.

Choosing a Beneficiary

Unlike with an estate plan, Illinois courts have ruled that failing to update a life insurance policy after a divorce shows that the policyholder intended for his or her former spouse to remain the primary beneficiary. Some people choose to keep their life insurance beneficiaries the same because:

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What Should You Expect During an Independent Medical Examination?When you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer or its insurance company can require you to attend an Independent Medical Examination with a third-party doctor. Refusing the IME could result in your claim being terminated and the loss of your benefits. Though it is an independent examination, many claimants fear that the doctor will be biased in his or her findings in order to benefit the employer or insurance company. While many doctors try to be honest and impartial during an IME, some doctors seem dubious in reaching a diagnosis that clearly hurts a workers’ compensation claim.

Possible Conflicts

Insurance companies use an IME to get an unbiased medical opinion about your physical condition, instead of relying on the opinion of your own doctor. The doctor conducting an IME is independent in that he or she is a licensed physician who is not on the staff of your employer or its insurance company. However, the IME physician does have an incentive to give a report that favors the insurance company:

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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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