As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, many Americans will be breaking out their barbecue pits, purchasing fireworks, and in some cases, consuming higher than usual amounts of alcohol.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimated that about 482 people would die in motor vehicle accidents over the 2022 Independence Day holiday. And while impaired driving crashes are perhaps the most pressing danger for people who are out and about celebrating the holiday weekend, people can also be injured at residences, in swimming pools, and when shooting fireworks.
Here, we’ll discuss some common causes of injuries that people suffer during the Fourth of July celebrations and tips for avoiding them.
When individuals consume alcohol during Fourth of July celebrations, they could experience impaired judgment, an inability to concentrate, and a delayed reaction time. Using fireworks, swimming in a pool, and getting behind the wheel while intoxicated can lead to devastating accidents. Drunk driving can also have serious consequences for the intoxicated driver, including jail time, fines, and other penalties.
If you plan to drink, make sure you avoid potentially dangerous activities and designate a sober driver to take you home at the end of the day.
Fireworks and Burn Injuries
Many people decide to shoot off fireworks on the Fourth of July. Many fireworks (including aerial fireworks) are illegal in Nassau County, but sparklers, ground-based sparkling fireworks, and other types of fireworks are available for purchase. If you decide to purchase fireworks to celebrate the holiday, you must make sure that you comply with local ordinances and state laws and that you understand the risks associated with igniting explosives.
Fireworks are dangerous in and of themselves, but the danger is compounded if alcohol consumption is involved. Impairment can lead to a greater risk of injury when setting off fireworks. If you are lighting sparklers or other legal fireworks, you should avoid consuming alcohol before setting them off, thoroughly read the instructions before igniting fireworks, avoid pointing the fireworks at other people, and never re-light fireworks that failed to ignite on the first attempt.
Fireworks are among the most common causes of burn injuries on Independence Day. Grilling and campfires can also cause burn injuries, especially if the person grilling or tending to the fire is under the influence of alcohol.
Many people host gatherings at their homes on Independence Day. If you are planning to host a Fourth of July party, there are numerous steps you should take before the event to ensure that your guests are protected from being injured on your property. If a guest is injured at your residence due to a hazard you failed to eliminate, you could be liable for the harm they suffer and the losses they incur.
To reduce your risk of becoming the defendant in a premises’ liability case, you should examine your entire property, inside and outside, and look for possible hazards that could lead to injury.
- If you have pets, you should consider keeping them in a secure location where they can’t accidentally bite or harm one of your guests. You should do this even if your pet has no history of attacking humans, simply because animals are unpredictable. Even a typically good-natured pet could lash out if they feel threatened.
- Prevent children from accessing dangerous areas by setting up boundaries around areas with hazardous objects.
- Secure any loose extension cords to the ground or floor, or move them out of the way for your guests.
- If you notice any possible slip hazards, including liquid spills or food debris, you should eliminate the hazard as quickly as possible to prevent visitors from being injured in a slip and fall accident.
Lastly, if you were injured as a guest on someone else’s property, you could hold the property owner responsible through a premises’ liability claim. Many homeowners insurance policies cover injuries suffered by visitors to a property. Filing a claim with the property owner’s insurance policy will allow you to circumvent potentially uncomfortable and contentious disputes between two parties who know each other.
You could obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other losses you suffered through a premises’ liability claim.
Swimming Pool Safety
If you plan to host a party or gathering at a residence with a pool, you should consider implementing specific pool safety measures to prevent guests from being injured in the pool area. July tends to be one of the warmest months in New York, and having your friends over for a nice, cool dip in the pool can be a lot of fun. To reduce the risk of swimming pool accidents and drownings, follow these preventive measures:
- Monitor infants and children playing in or around the pool at all times
- Repair drains and address any hazards that may exist in or around the pool
- Stock the pool area with emergency life jackets and flotation devices
- Don’t allow any guests, regardless of their age, to swim by themselves, as they are less likely to drown if another person is present at the pool
- Warn visitors not to run around the pool, which can lead to slip and falls
- Prohibit diving since most residential pools are not deep enough to do so safely
- Remain vigilant at all times, and do not permit any impaired individuals to enter the pool
If you are injured at a private or public pool, a water park, or elsewhere due to a property owner’s negligence, you can pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured due to someone else’s carelessness this Independence Day, contact the New York personal injury attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. immediately to discuss your case and evaluate your legal options. Call us today at 855-TOP-FIRM or reach out to us online.