The holidays are a magical time of year...but you don’t want to endure an injury over the holidays. From ladder falls to parking lot pedestrian accidents, an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer knows all-too-well how life-altering these occurrences can be. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), do-it-yourself holiday decorating activities resulted in an average of about 240 injuries per day during a recent holiday season. While ideally, the holidays bring joy and levity, if you are injured during the holiday season, and someone’s negligence was at least partly to blame for what happened, you will want to consider talking to a New Jersey personal injury lawyer.
Statistics on Holiday Injuries
Many of the injuries reported by the CPSC due to DIY holiday decorating activities involved falls, often while hanging lights or other decorations from roofs or trees but also include strains, sprains, and lacerations. Further, the CPSC reported roughly 100 Christmas tree fires resulting in 10 deaths, 10 injuries, and $12 million in property loss. There are also 20 injuries caused by swallowing objects and dozens of burn injuries caused while cooking holiday meals.
Car accidents are of particulaur concern during the holiday period--whether its drunk driving, distracted driving or an unisured motorist thinking they can run a quick errand. On the road, injuries can result from drunk driving accidents caused by motorists over-imbibing at holiday parties. There are also pedestrian accidents at shopping centers, crosswalks, and other high foot traffic areas, often precipitated by distracted, rushed, or fatigued drivers.
Tips to Avoid Holiday Injuries
Given the widespread issue of holiday injuries, review some tips to avoid injury and stay safe this holiday season.
Protect Yourself from Ladder Falls
It is estimated that more than half a million Americans are injured in ladder fall accidents every year, with many of these happening during the holiday season. Before you use any ladder, be sure to thoroughly inspect it for possible loose rungs, hinges, or screws. If a ladder is damaged, do not use it! You can suffer serious injuries even if you are not climbing very high. Be sure to place your ladder on level ground, even if you have to move any debris to do it. Have a spotter with you – and do not overreach!
More than 84,000 people are treated annually for injuries related to luggage. Pack light if you can. Lift with your leg muscles, rather than with your back. Evenly distribute the weight of book bags and carry duffel bags on your dominant shoulder.
Don’t take walking for granted. Walk defensively by being aware of your surroundings, particularly after dark. If you need to text or make a phone call, make sure you do so once you are away from the threat of any motor vehicle traffic and away from the flow of pedestrian traffic. If you are walking with headphones, make sure you can still hear what is happening around you. Avoid jaywalking.
Christmas Tree Safety
If you are buying a live Christmas tree, make sure it is green, fresh, and well-watered, reducing the risk of fires. Artificial trees should have a “fire-resistant” label. This does not guarantee the tree will not catch fire, but it will be more resistant to heat. Make sure your smoke alarms are all in good working order. Place your tree away from heat sources, and if decorating it with small children, avoid handing them sharp/breakable decorations or those with small/removable parts on which they might choke.
Avoid drinking and driving.
This is a year-round given. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reveals 40 percent of traffic-related deaths between Christmas and New Year’s Day involve drunk drivers, which is 12 percent higher than for the rest of the month of December. It increases to 45 percent in the three days surrounding Christmas and 54 percent in the days surrounding the New Year’s holiday.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Holiday Accident
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve to understand your options and rights. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we have substantial experience fighting for compensation for accident victims. With our commitment to client care and passionate belief in you, we understand that you deserve compensation for your injury. Contact us today for a free consultation.