Winter is a time for celebrating the holidays with family and friends. Whether it’s eating delicious meals or receiving generous gifts, the season is always associated with being merry and joyous. However, the period between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day also comes with a rise in serious and fatal injuries.
The first step to having an injury-free holiday season is knowing the potential dangers. But if you or a loved one suffered an injury during the cold winter months, our Sacramento personal injury attorney at Eliot Reiner, APLC can guide you through the legal process of obtaining financial compensation if a negligent party caused the harm.
The following are the most common winter holiday accidents:
- Auto accidents – Whether it’s driving to various gatherings to embarking on a road trip, millions of Americans spend a significant amount of time on the road throughout the season. Common causes include drunk drivers leaving festive events, distracted drivers frequently checking their phones or navigation systems, fatigued drivers taking long journeys, nighttime driver due to lack of visibility, congested traffic due to the long weekends and vacation time, and inclement weather which makes the roads hazardous. Every time you decide to get on the road, keep these things in mind to anticipate the potentially unexpected.
- Slips, trips, and falls – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 5,800 emergency room visits every holiday season involves falls from roofs due to putting up decorations. Many other fall-related injuries are the result of performing routine maintenance on the roof. Since rain and snow can make roads and sidewalks slippery and sleek, this can cause serious slip and fall injuries. From heaters to lights on the Christmas tree, the cords attached to these devices lead to over 4,000 trip-related injuries each year. Rather than set up decorations or perform maintenance yourself, hire a professional to do it. Be mindful where you’re walking and what you’re stepping on to avoid slips and trips.
- Fires – From Christmas tree lights and candles to fireplaces and cooking in the kitchen, they all present fire risks which can turn a joyous celebration into an absolute disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments respond to fires started from Christmas trees in approximately 170 homes each year. The majority of these fires are caused by faulty lights, decorations, and even candles. When Christmas trees are dehydrated and dry, they become highly combustible. House fires started by cooking equipment is another spike during the holiday months. If you plan on buying a natural Christmas tree, ensure that it’s fresh and constantly watered. If you want to buy an artificial tree, check to see if it as the fire-retardant label. Never leave food cooking in the kitchen unattended.
- Dangerous toys – Although they may bring children tremendous happiness, toys can also present many dangers. Weapons such as toy guns which fire projectiles and toy swords made of rigid plastic have the potential to cause eye and facial injuries, as well as blunt force trauma. Toys with small accessories can be a choking hazard. Toys with long strings can cause strangulation and entanglement. Toys that require an electric charge can lead to electrocution and burns. Be mindful of these hazards to avoid harming your children or someone else’s.
- Food poisoning – Food that is undercooked or reheated can lead to food poisoning. Additionally, decorative plants like holly berries and mistletoes are also poisonous. When preparing food, always wash your hands and avoid cross-contamination of raw meats. Make sure the food is heated thoroughly.
For more information about holiday injuries, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.