5 Most Common Holiday Personal Injuries

Posted in Personal Injury on November 14, 2018.

The holidays are a time for celebration, but many factors can make the holidays one of the most dangerous times of the year. It’s essential to know the most common holiday injuries and how to avoid them. It’s also important to know when another party bears responsibility for a holiday injury and your options for recovery.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

The holidays inevitably lead to people traveling to see loved ones. Regardless of whether they make road trips or fly and then rent vehicles at their destinations, traffic congestion increases pretty much everywhere around the holidays. Accidents are more likely to occur with more vehicles on the road, and accidents are also more likely when alcohol is a factor.

When another driver causes an accident due to negligence, aggressive driving, or a moving violation like running a red light or speeding, that driver is responsible for any resulting damages. Drivers can reduce their chances of experiencing accidents by planning routes in advance, driving defensively, and refraining from distracting behaviors.

Food Poisoning and Food-Related Illnesses

Holiday gatherings often mean lots of food for most Americans. It’s important to account for your loved ones’ food allergies and sensitivities and know a few best practices for ensuring a safe and healthy holiday meal.

Meat can cause serious illness if eaten undercooked, and other types of food poisoning could cause a holiday celebration to end with a trip to the hospital.

If a restaurant, caterer, or other service provides contaminated food and a customer becomes ill, the customer could have grounds for legal action against whatever party provided the contaminated food.

While it can sometimes be difficult to trace the origin of food poisoning, many holiday gatherings involve many people who will likely report similar symptoms if contaminated food was present.

Dangerous and Defective Toys and Gifts

Toys are more sophisticated than ever, and it’s vital for parents to purchase toys and gifts that are age-appropriate for their children. Take note of small pieces, detachable parts, and electronic elements of your children’s toys this holiday season.

Some electronic devices with lithium-ion batteries may cause burns or explosion injuries after damage or exposure to high heat. Always follow manufacturer instructions for use, charging, and storage of electronic toys and devices.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Many areas of the country see snow and ice accumulation during the winter months. Property owners including private home owners and business owners have a legal obligation to ensure no safety hazards exist on their properties that may lead to visitor injuries.

If a visitor, guest, or customer suffers an injury that the property owner could have foreseen, the property owner will likely absorb liability for the victim’s damages.

Alcohol-Related Injuries

Driving under the influence (DUI) is dangerous for anyone at any time of year, but the holidays generally lead to many more DUI-related accidents and arrests than the rest of the year. Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day usually see the most alcohol-related accidents and arrests.

Many holiday celebrations involve alcohol, and some people visiting their hometowns for the holidays may go out and celebrate with friends and relatives on the nights before family gatherings. It’s essential for adults of drinking age to use good judgment and refrain from drinking and driving.

Many rideshare services like Uber and Lyft can offer a safe ride home or groups celebrating can select a designated driver for the evening. If you do choose a rideshare service and the driver gets into an accident, however, they or the company can be liable for your injuries. If this is your case, contact an attorney.

These are just a few ways people might sustain serious injuries during the holiday season. While honest mistakes and freak accidents can happen, it’s vital to recognize when another party bears liability for an injury, illness, or property damage. Contact a Birmingham personal injury attorney if you believe you have grounds for legal action against a negligent party.