Will Legal Cannabis Use Cause An Increase In Car Accidents in Illinois?

car accidentsCannabis use in Illinois became legal in January 2020. This means that anyone who lives in the state can legally possess and use the drug for recreational and medicinal purposes. Since the drug has hallucinogenic effects, the number of drivers driving under the influence has increased.

Just as drunk driving can inhibit a driver’s ability to remain focused on the road, so can marijuana. If you were involved in a car accident in which you or the other driver were found to be under the influence, you should contact a car accident attorney in Grayslake.

Statistics on Increase in Car Accidents Post Legalization of Cannabis

According to statistics released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, there has been a significant increase in traffic accidents in states that have legalized cannabis use. Some of the significant findings in the report are as follows:

  • There has been a 6 percent increase in accidents involving motor vehicles and a 4 percent increase in ones that resulted in fatalities.
  • Drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol and marijuana are 500 percent more likely to sustain serious injuries in an accident, resulting in hospitalization. The spike in accidents is significant if we consider that drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol have a 300 percent chance of getting into a serious accident.

Why It Is Illegal to Drive under the Influence in Illinois

Whether you have a license to use marijuana or not, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any drug in Illinois. This is understandable as drivers who are under the effect of the drug can:

  • Hallucinate
  • React to hazardous road conditions too late
  • Take longer to brake
  • Take more time than lucid drivers to respond to hazardous road conditions
  • Have difficulty staying in their lanes

These are just some of the reasons why anyone who is found driving under the influence of marijuana can face DUI charges. The consequences of debilitated driving are usually deadly. Can you afford the medical bills that you will get after you get out of the hospital? Plus, you may take weeks, if not months, to heal depending on your injuries.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Grayslake

If you were involved in a car accident in Grayslake, you have rights, whether you were under the influence or not. At the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., we can assign an experienced lawyer to you who can protect your rights and ensure get the maximum compensation you deserve.

Why shouldn’t a team of legal professionals protect your rights? You deserve the best representation and so much more for the pain and suffering you have gone through.

Our Illinois personal injury law firm has been fighting for car accident victims such as you for more than two decades. We have closed more personal injury cases successfully in Illinois than most firms. Please take your time to make an informed decision by going over our website and our services. Once you have made up your mind, contact us for a free consultation.

How to Protect Your Claim When You Are Involved in a Car Accident in Illinois

Personal Injury AttorneyWhen it comes to car accident cases, each state has specific laws that determine the fault of the guilty party and compensation for the victims. By familiarizing yourself with these laws and with an experienced auto accident attorney by your side, you can ensure the at-fault party pays for their negligence.

Who Is At Fault?

In Illinois, car accident cases are based on a fault system, which means victims have to prove the other driver was at fault and file for damages with their insurance company. Additionally, drivers who run through stop signs without stopping, drive while drunk, drive over the speed limit and commit other traffic violations can also be held liable for potential accidents.

In other words, if you are behind the wheel, you can be held liable for a car accident if you are a negligent driver. Therefore, each driver has to have insurance to cover liabilities. If you are involved in an accident and can prove the other driver was at fault, you can claim damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rental cars
  • Car repairs and/or replacement
  • Loss of companionship

If the accident claims your life, your family can file a wrongful death claim against the driver. The funds can cover funeral and burial expenses and replace future wages you may have earned if you were alive.

The damages mentioned above are divided into economic and non-economic categories. Naturally, the former involves the replacement of wages and funds for vehicle repairs and replacement. The latter cover psychological damage due to injuries, pain, or disabilities sustained from the accident.

Robert T. Edens Fights for Car Accident Victims

If you have been involved in a car accident in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock, or Antioch and deserve compensation for damages, you don’t need to look further than Robert T. Edens. Our law firm has been fighting for the rights of victims just like you for more than two decades and we don’t intend to stop anytime soon. From the time you were involved in the crash, right to the court case, our team of professionals will ensure your claim is not reduced or denied. Call us today and get the money and ease of mind you deserve during this difficult time.

What You Should Do After a Hit and Run Accident in Illinois

Auto Accident AttorneyWhen you are involved in a hit and run accident, it is likely you’ll feel anger and frustration. After all, someone just caused you damage and didn’t even hang around to offer help. In such situations, you may be confused as to how you can make a claim against the responsible driver and get compensation for your bodily injuries and vehicular damages. According to Illinois law, fleeing after an accident which results in personal injury or death is a Class 4 Felony, and is punishable by $20,000 in fines and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

If you are victim of a hit and run, it is best that you stay calm and do the following after the accident:

Resist the Temptation of Chasing the Other Driver

It is understandable that you are tempted to chase the at-fault driver and force them to pull over so that you can get square with them. However, this can make your situation considerably worse than it already is. You do not know whether the other driver was driving irresponsibly due to an emergency or just having a bad day. They might be drunk and armed, and they may become violent.

In addition, with emotions running high, you may not realize the extent of damage to you or your car, which may put your life in danger. The best thing to do is safely pull over and park at the roadside. If possible, note their license plate number, as it is the single-most important piece of evidence that can help the police track down the culprit.

Check for Damages and Injuries

If you notice a headache, back or neck pain, dizziness, or bleeding, you should call emergency services right away and seek medical attention. If you feel fine, evaluate the damage to your car and note it down.

Report the Crime

Next, call the police and report the crime. Try to explain the entire incident to the law enforcement officer in as much detail as possible, and if there are any people nearby, talk to them to get additional information.

Gather Evidence

While you wait for the police to reach your location, you should document the accident scene and take pictures or make a video of your car and surroundings. Be sure to capture the scene from different angles. In addition, recall how things happened and jot down the description so that you are better able to provide a detailed statement to the police. If possible, try to remember the license plate. Do not try to tamper with the scene as it can lead to legal repercussions down the line.

Inform your Insurance Company

Unfortunately, a majority of hit and run accident victims have to make claims on their own insurance policies if the at-fault driver cannot be apprehended. Everything from medical records and police reports to visual evidence like pictures and videos will help you in filing a claim for your uninsured motorist coverage.

It can be nerve-wracking to get hit by a car and not receive any compensation for your damages. In such a situation, having an experienced auto accident attorney by your side can help you with your personal injury case. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.

Determining Liability in Teen Car Accidents

One of the most exciting things for teenagers across the United States, when they turn 16, is getting a driver’s license. Being able to legally drive a car gives teens a sense of freedom, but we can all agree to the fact that they are not the most accident-averse or careful drivers on the road. If you look at the statistics, the leading cause of death of teenagers in America is car accidents.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2,270 teenagers, belonging to the age group 16-19, were killed in auto accidents and more than 221,300 were treated in emergency departments across the United States in 2014. This indicates that on average, 6 teens died in motor vehicle accidents every day during that year. Moreover, the rate of fatal accidents in teenage boys was found to be double than female teenage drivers.

Now the question is: Does the law treat teen drivers differently as compared to adult drivers, when they are responsible for an accident? Let’s find out.

The Same Standards Apply to Teen Drivers as All Other Motorists

Whether you are an adult in your 40s or a teenager who just turned 16 and got your driver’s license, the same legal standards apply to you, regardless of your age. Any licensed driver who drives a vehicle must know that they have a duty of care for all those sharing the road with them, whether they are pedestrians, motorcyclists, truck and car drivers, or bicyclists. If someone gets injured because of your reckless or careless driving, you will be liable to pay for lost income, medical expenses, and other losses incurred due their negligence.

However, not all liability falls on the teen driver; parents and guardians are also held liable for their negligence.

Understanding Vicarious Liability

It is a legal set of guidelines that applies on parents/guardians, and holds them financially responsible for their children’s negligence. In other words, parents are responsible for the actions of their children, and based on this notion, they are held liable for accidents caused by their children.

There are some conditions when vicarious liability is applied on parents. They are:

  • The license is issued to the teen driver after the parent or guardian signed an agreement stating that they will share liability for the damages if their child caused an accident.
  • They signed a similar agreement when the accident happened.
  • Both at the time of the accident and the time of licensing.

However, the rules and regulations pertaining to vicarious liability may differ from state to state.

How Parents and Guardians can Limit their Liability?

  • Get sufficient insurance to cover damages from an accident
  • Have your child purchase their own vehicle, under their own name
  • Not allow your child to get a driver’s license until they are 18 years old
  • Make sure that the teen driver understands their ‘duty of care’ on the road, as well as the possible consequences of driving a car.



Regardless of how careful we are in life, all of us make mistakes, and so does our children. If your teenage child has been in a car accident and you want legal counsel on how to settle the matter, you should contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule a consultation.