The holiday season, while a time of celebration and joy, also brings with it a unique set of risks and potential accidents. Here are some of the common accidents that tend to occur around the holidays:
- Automobile Accidents: With more people traveling to visit family and friends, roads become busier, and the risk of traffic accidents increases. Winter weather conditions like snow and ice can also contribute to more hazardous driving conditions. The holiday season often sees an increase in car accidents also unfortunately due to drunk driving after holiday parties. Drivers at fault can be held liable for injuries caused in such accidents.
- Accidents As A Result of Slips and Falls: Decorating for the holidays often involves climbing ladders to string lights or hanging ornaments, which can lead to falls. These falls can result in a range of injuries, from minor bruises to more serious injuries like fractures or concussions. Slip and fall accidents can also occur more often during the holidays due to slippery sidewalks and entryways, wet floors in stores, or tripping hazards from holiday decorations such as lights and cords lying around on the floors in our homes. Property owners might be liable if they fail to maintain safe conditions or warn of potential hazards.
- Fire-related Accidents: The use of candles, fireplaces, and holiday lights increases the risk of house fires. Christmas trees, especially if they are real and not kept watered, can also be a fire hazard.
- Cooking-related Accidents: Kitchens are busier during the holidays, increasing the risk of burns, cuts, and other kitchen-related injuries. There is also an increased use of candles and fireplaces, leading to a higher incidence of burns during the holiday season.
- Electrical Accidents: Injuries involving electricity are also possible at this time of year as a result of the installation of holiday lights and decorations. Working with electricity can lead to electric shocks if not handled properly. Overloading electrical outlets with holiday lights and decorations can lead to electrical fires. If these injuries result from someone else’s negligence (like a landlord not maintaining fire safety standards), there may be grounds for a personal injury claim.
- Product Liability and Toy-Related Injuries: For children, new toys, especially those not age-appropriate, can pose choking hazards or lead to other injuries. Gifts and holiday products can sometimes be defective or dangerous, leading to injuries. If a product is poorly designed, manufactured, or lacks proper warnings, the manufacturer or seller could be liable under product liability laws.
- Alcohol-related Accidents: Holiday celebrations often involve alcohol, leading to an increased risk of accidents related to intoxication, including drunk driving and alcohol-related falls. Texas has social host liability laws which might come into play if a minor under the age of 21 is served alcohol in someone’s home. Texas law states that social hosts who are 21 years of age or older are liable for serving liquor to minors, who go on to injure themselves or others or cause property damage, or any combination.
- Dog Bites and Animal Attacks: With more social gatherings, there is increased exposure to pets, which might lead to more animal-related injuries. Pet owners are generally liable for any harm their pets cause.
To prevent the above accidents, it is important to be mindful of potential hazards and take proactive safety measures, such as not drinking and driving, keeping walkways clear of ice and snow, monitoring cooking and decorations closely, and following safety instructions for toys and electrical equipment.
Hopefully, any injuries will be avoided during the holiday season. However, should an accident unfortunately occur during this time of year, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who can help you determine if you should pursue a legal claim. Ceja Law Firm, PLLC can help you should you need to take legal action as a result of the festivities surrounding the holidays.