New Year’s celebrations are all about new beginnings – and many this year are especially eager to start the next chapter!
To help ensure 2021 starts on a bright note, our West Palm Beach injury lawyers are offering 5 Tips on New Year’s Eve Safety. This list is gleaned from our years of observing the top causes of preventable injuries in South Florida around this holiday.
This probably seems obvious, but this is an issue every single year – with both drivers and (in Florida, especially) boaters. Alcohol impairment is cited in nearly one third of all fatal boating and car accidents in Florida. If you’re planning to drink, make a plan NOT to drive or operate a marine vessel. Choose a designated driver, hire a driver, hire a boating charter, take public transportation, invite guests to stay, book a nearby hotel or AirBNB – whatever you need to do so you aren’t driving.
Our Florida injury lawyers have seen far too many horrible accidents and preventable losses that were incurred because people chose not to imbibe responsibly. Though many are planning smaller gatherings closer to home this year, this is still an important reminder.
Exercise Caution When Using New Products.
You may have gotten a great new holiday gift, but if it requires careful operation or use on a roadway, you may want to wait to try it out. Products should be reasonably safe when used as intended, but the thousands of product recalls issued each year are testament enough to the fact that this doesn’t always happen. Manufacturers and retailers can be held liable for dangerous products that cause personal injuries under a legal theory known as product liability.
Watch Your Step.
Falls are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S., particularly among older people. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 5 falls causes a serious injury, such as a broken bone or head injury. This is a concern year-round, but it’s something everyone should be particularly mindful of if they plan to imbibe or spend their evening walking from place-to-place. Businesses and property owners have a legal responsibility to keep walking areas reasonably safe for guests and patrons, but not all meet the standard. If a business fails to regularly check the site for hazards or address a known problem or warn people about a dangerous condition, they may be held legally responsible to pay for resulting injuries under a legal theory known as premises liability.
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings.
Increased alcohol consumption can lower inhibitions, emboldening some and making others more vulnerable.
If you are attacked or assaulted, immediately contact your local police department or RAINN, which offers free, confidential support from trained staffers who can provide help in finding a local health facility to offer services, help you talk through what happened, give you basic information about state laws and refer you to local resources and long-term support. Once you are safe and have been treated by medical professionals, our civil trial lawyers are available to answer your questions about your options for legal recourse through the civil justice system.
Practice Fireworks Safety.
At-home fireworks may be even more tempting this year with so many practicing social distancing, but it may be wise to stick to noisemakers and sparklers. Tragedies have been known to occur when inexperienced or impaired individuals try to set off larger displays. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there are an estimated 10,000 fireworks injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms every year – with the incidence rate spiking over certain holidays, New Year’s celebrations included.
If you have any questions about injuries or your rights under Florida law, our dedicated injury lawyers are available to provide answers and free initial consultations.
Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and happy 2021!
Contact the South Florida personal injury attorneys at Halberg & Fogg PLLC by calling toll-free at 1-877-425-2374. Serving West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Fort Myers/ Naples. There is no fee unless you win.
Drunk Driving, NHTSA
More Blog Entries:
South Florida Injury Lawyer: Don’t Drive Drunk on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, 2020, West Palm Beach Injury Lawyer Blog