For those of us who celebrate Christmas, the holiday season provides some of the fondest memories of the year. From shopping to wrapping gifts and decorating the tree, to getting up early on Christmas morning, the holiday season offers many opportunities to spend a fun and meaningful time with friends and family.
However, certain aspects of the traditional Christmas preparations and celebrations can present injury risks as well. When dealing with accident-related injuries during the holidays, it is important not to let your desire to enjoy the season interfere with your efforts to protect your health and your legal rights. Taking care of yourself is the right thing to do, and it is what your loved ones would want you to do.
10 Common Christmas-Related Accidents and Injuries
Many different types of accidents can lead to serious traumatic injuries, and certain types of accidents tend to be more prevalent during the holiday season. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in any of the following types of accidents, you should speak with an injury lawyer about your legal rights:
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls While Shopping
Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents are common causes of injuries during the holiday season. When shopping for Christmas, not only can winter weather lead to slippery floors, but spills and overcrowding can increase your risk of being injured in a fall as well. In both Oregon and Washington, store owners have an obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for their customers and guests, and they have (or should have) insurance to cover any slip, trip, and fall accident claims.
2. Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lots can be dangerous places during the Christmas shopping season. With more people out than usual, and with many people in a rush to get where they need to go, parking lots can become especially hectic as December 25th nears. While snow and ice can add to the dangers, many parking lot accidents occur on clear and sunny days as well. Collisions between vehicles, collisions between vehicles and shoppers, and slip and trip accidents are all common.
From stoves to heaters, and from lights to candles, burn risks tend to be higher during the holiday season as well. While all of these products should be safe for their intended use, accidents happen and items that see heavy use during the holidays may be more prone to malfunctioning and causing burns.
4. Electric Shocks
Similar to burns, electric shocks can result from various causes before, during, and after Christmas. Malfunctioning lights, extension cords, heaters, appliances, and other products all have the potential to cause electric shocks, and adults and children are equally at risk for suffering potentially-serious injuries.
Choking is another risk that exists throughout the year but tends to result in a higher number of injuries during the holiday season. From restaurant meals to hard candies, various foods can lead to choking accidents under various circumstances. Products with small parts can present choking risks for small children as well, and manufacturers that fail to place adequate warnings on their product packaging can be held liable when these types of choking accidents occur.
6. Falls from Ladders While Decorating
Whether decorating the house or decorating the tree in the living room, ladders are an essential tool for many people during their Christmas preparations. Unfortunately, like all products, ladders have the potential to be defective; when a ladder fails, the consequences will often be severe. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), bone fractures, and back injuries are all common, and they are all injuries that can require prompt medical attention and long-term recovery.
7. Gift Malfunctions and Defects
Sadly, each year, many children suffer injuries as a result of gift malfunctions and defects. When a toy or electronic device does not work as intended, when a piece of clothing or jewelry proves to be dangerous, or when a piece of furniture tips over, the risks to children can be substantial. Of course, adults can suffer injuries due to product defects as well, and many emergency room visits on and after Christmas are the result of severe injuries caused by dangerous and defective products.
8. Pedestrian Accidents
Whether walking across the street to grandma’s house or walking in a downtown parking garage, pedestrian accidents present very real risks for adults and children of all ages. When children are outside playing with their new toys after Christmas, careless and distracted drivers can present serious injury risks to those children. Just like collisions between vehicles, auto insurance covers pedestrian accidents, and drivers who make reckless choices that put others in harm’s way can – and should – be held accountable.
9. Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a major risk during the holiday season. While simply being preoccupied with thoughts about shopping or Christmas dinner can be enough to take a driver’s mind off of the task at hand, many other types of distractions are common during the holiday season as well. Looking at a GPS screen, texting with family members, looking at Christmas lights, and other types of distractions are to blame for numerous auto accidents on and around Christmas each year.
10. Drunk Driving Accidents
Unfortunately, the data shows that drunk driving accidents spike during the holiday season. When dealing with the aftermath of an accident caused by a drunk driver, it is important to have a clear understanding of your family’s legal rights. While the driver’s insurance company may be liable, your family could potentially have claims against various third parties as well, and you will need to work with an experienced attorney to make sure your family receives the full financial compensation it deserves.
Do You Need to Speak with a Lawyer? Schedule a Free Consultation at D’Amore Law Group
If you need help recovering from an accident during the holiday season, we encourage you to get in touch. We provide free initial consultations, and we do not charge any fees or costs unless we win. To speak with an experienced Oregon or Washington injury lawyer at D’Amore Law Group in confidence, call (503) 974-3562 or get in touch online now.