Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers at Freeman & Freeman, LLP Offer Suggestions to Avoid Common Holiday Dangers

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The attorneys of Freeman & Freeman, LLP know that the vast majority of holiday festivities will be filled with happiness and joy. But for far too many families, tragedy will strike. The lawyers offer the following reminders to help you and your loved ones celebrate a safe holiday season.

Unfortunately, the list of holiday hazards is quite long. But by focusing on some of the most common injury accidents that occur during the Christmas and New Year's season, we hope that more people will be able to safely enjoy the holidays this year

Attorneys Stan and Steven Freeman of the Los Angeles-based Freeman & Freeman law firm are experienced personal injury lawyers who know that the Christmas season and New Year's holiday can be risky. Both attorneys have been practicing personal injury law for decades and they have nearly 80 years of combined legal experience. In that time they have learned that during late November through early January, certain injuries are likely to occur. Steven Freeman says "people are kind of in a happy state of mind and seem to think nothing bad will happen during the holidays. But slip and falls on icy sidewalks, car accidents outside busy malls, burns from electrical fires and falls from ladders occur regularly during this time of year. And, perhaps most troubling, drunk driving accidents often make a festive occasion into a horrible memory."

Stan Freeman says that "when holiday-season accidents do occur, Freeman & Freeman can pursue justice and compensation for the injured party. Whether it's a premises liability case, a situation that involves criminal negligence or a defective toy that leads to a child's injury, we are prepared. But many holiday-season injuries can be avoided with just a bit of awareness and caution. That's why we have decided to offer these reminders."

The attorneys hope the public will take notice of how the cold weather can impact driving and walking surfaces. Cold weather can lead to ice and ice can result in extremely slippery conditions. Slow down when driving and use extra caution on sidewalks and in entry ways to stores, they say. "A business owner has a responsibility to keep their premises safe. If someone falls on a retail establishment's property or while on a rented property, the property owner may be liable. Wet surfaces from weather conditions, spills from broken jars, unsafe flooring, these must all be monitored by property owners. When cold weather is present, this is particularly important so ice doesn't form on wet surfaces," Steven Freeman says.

Also, adds Stan Freeman, "alcohol may play a part in many celebrations this time of year. If a bar, nightclub or restaurant owner does not maintain a safe environment, whether through security or the building's maintenance, they may be responsible in-part or completely for any injuries that occur to their patrons or employees." And, Steven Freeman asserts, "no one should ever drink and drive. This should be reiterated all year long but especially at this time of year."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports in their 2103 pre-holiday drunk driving prevention campaign that in 2011, 760 people lost their lives as a result of drunk-driving-related crashes during the month of December and many more people suffered catastrophic injuries. Though organizations like the NHTSA, MADD, local law enforcement agencies and a variety of safety advocates stress the importance of sober driving, "the message must be repeated," says Steven Freeman. "Never drink and drive and always designate a driver or arrange for a ride home. The consequences are not worth the risks.

While alcohol may play a part in many holiday-season injuries, many accidents occur even when alcohol is not necessarily a factor. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there were approximately 15,000 holiday decorating injuries in November and December of 2012. In a press release published on December 5, 2013 called "'Deck the Halls' Safely," the government organization cautions consumers in an effort to reduce the number of such injuries this year.

Falling from ladders while hanging lights often leads to the emergency room for thousands of Americans each year. "Yes more lighting and decorating options exist than ever before," says Stan Freeman, "and elaborate light displays are impressive. But no Christmas light display is worth a broken limb or a head injury. Never put your house decor above your own health. Always work with a partner and make sure that your ladder is stable and positioned correctly." For more information on ladder safety, see the CPSC's Ladder Safety 101.

House fires are also a major concern at this time of year. To minimize the risk of such fires, the Freemans suggest checking holiday lights for cracks or frayed wiring before hanging them whether inside or out and especially on Christmas trees which may become dry and more flammable as the season progresses. When it comes to candles, never leave one in an unobserved location or in a position where a pet or a child might inadvertently knock it over.

"Unfortunately, the list of holiday hazards is quite long. But by focusing on some of the most common injury accidents that occur during the Christmas and New Year's season, we hope that more people will be able to safely enjoy the holidays this year," Stan Freeman concludes.

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Brett Watson
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