Personal injury cases are very common throughout any given year, but the types of claims may change considerably over the course of the year. This is especially true during the holiday season beginning as early as Halloween and extending through New Year’s Day. This is the traditional holiday and year-ending celebration period, and accidents not only increase in numbers, but they also increase in specific case types. Certain factors such as inclement weather and more visits to friends and family can result in a wide range of potential accident scenarios, but the circumstances are also often very similar when case details are evaluated. Slip and falls accidents, auto accidents, premises liability issues all tend to spike during the Holidays, so let’s take a closer look:
Holidays and Auto Accident Claims
It is an established fact that auto accident numbers increase during the holidays. This happens largely due to inclement weather during the fall and winter seasons and a general uptick in the number of drivers on the road. People are often even more active in the holiday season than during vacation seasons in the summer. One common factor in holiday season accidents is that drivers are regularly in a rush to get a task completed or arrive at a destination on time, which in turn causes accidents due to a general lack of attention. Unfortunately, there’s always a considerable uptick in DWI-related accidents and injuries, which we’ll cover below.
Common types of injuries include:
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Cranial injuries
- Facial injuries
- Back and skeletal injuries
- Internal bleeding
Holiday Season and Premises Liability Claims
The holidays are not only a time for increased visiting, but also retail shopping sees a major increase in activity as well. This means that retail outlets have more customers coming through the doors and far more activity within the store. Restocking, product storage, maintaining clean and debris-free walking areas, etc, become more of a hazard over the holidays when there are more people visiting stores and more maintenance activity by store personnel. Commercial premises liability claims are common during the holidays, but injuries can also stem from accidents on private properties. Typical premises liability claim injuries generally involve some type of ‘slip and fall’ accident, where injuries include:
- Hip injuries
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
Approaching the holiday season it’s a good idea to take a close look at your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy to see if you’re adequately covered for accidents occurring in and around your property. Remember, it doesn’t have to happen inside the home, you may be liable for pathways and sidewalks around your property, even if you’re a renter and not a homeowner. [Is A Slip and Fall Injury Covered by Homeowners’ Insurance?]
Drunk Driving (DWI) Accident Injury Claims
One of the most common increases in claim filings during the holiday season results from auto accidents involving impaired drivers. These can also include
more complex cases where a drunk driver who is at fault for an accident was served alcohol beyond the legal limit at an establishment or a social event. These claims can result in vicarious liability on the part of the business or social host in some cases when evidence can be obtained supporting the claim. Not only can negligent hosts and business owners be held liable for medical bills and general damages for pain and suffering, but punitive damages can also be applied in certain cases when a personal injury attorney can craft a case that convinces a sympathetic jury of vicarious negligence. In addition to the common auto accident injuries listed above, many DWI accidents, unfortunately, involve injuries to pedestrians and non-car drivers/passengers.
Contact Our Law Offices if You Have Been Injured
No one wants to be injured during the holidays, but accidents do indeed happen during this season at an increased rate. Personal injury claims of all types are always serious litigation cases that are strongly defended, especially when comparative negligence could be an issue. This is especially important in North Carolina where pure contributory negligence is used in case adjudication. Insurance companies know the law gives them a distinct advantage in court, and they routinely deny injury claims and force a court ruling. This means that aggressive representation from an experienced personal injury attorney is vital for any injured victim. Anyone who is injured over the holidays should contact our law firm and let us conduct a full investigation into your claim value potential.