Staying Safe During December Holidays
During the December holidays in the U.S., it is all too true that certain types of accidents are more prone to happen than they might be at other times of year, particularly vehicle accidents and in-home injuries. If you are injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence during the holiday season, you have the right to seek compensation from that person for what you have been through. Consulting an experienced attorney can help answer any questions you may have.
By far the most common cause of holiday-related injuries is the rise in intoxicated drivers that can be seen during the December holidays. Data reported by American Addiction Centers shows that of 450,000 DUI offenders, as many as 33 percent increased their alcohol intake significantly between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, despite knowing they were being monitored. This rise in drinking behavior mirrors the general population, and this does translate onto U.S. roads.
If you are injured in an accident involving an intoxicated driver, and your injuries are sufficiently severe, you can file suit against the driver in court, seeking money damages to cover expenses like medical bills, as well as pain and suffering or mental anguish. Be aware, however, that if your injuries do not reach a certain threshold, you will instead be required to file a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurer, as Florida has a no-fault system of auto insurance. This means that instead of filing minor claims in court, they are handled directly by insurance companies.
The other main type of holiday injury happens most often in the home. Decoration-related injuries happen more often than one might imagine – for example, falling from ladders or trees, poisoning (especially in very young children and pets), and scalds or burns from fireplaces are all common injuries that tend to happen more often around the holidays. The issue with these types of injuries is that since they happen most often in the home, it can be quite difficult to establish that your injuries were the fault of anyone but you. It can still be done, particularly via eyewitness testimony, but it may not be easy.
There is one instance in which it may be easier to present evidence that decoration-related injuries were due to someone else’s negligence, and that is in cases involving product liability – that is, instances where it can be shown that if not for a defective product, a person’s injuries would have been lesser or not occurred at all. For example, if a person uses a long stick lighter to get a fire going in the fireplace, but the lighter explodes in their hand, they would likely have a case against the lighter’s manufacturer or seller over the allegedly defective lighter. These cases are complex, but having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make a big difference.
Contact A Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
The holidays are a wonderful time of year for many, but the enjoyment of the day does not mean that one can get away with being reckless. If you have been injured in a personal injury accident around the December holidays, a Tampa personal injury attorney may be able to help you decide what path is best to take going forward. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.