The holiday season is approaching, which means that certain types of injury risks will increase in Carlsbad and throughout Southern California. While the holiday season brings an opportunity for recreational activities and gatherings with friends and family, various aspects of the holiday season also bring safety hazards. Who is liable for holiday injuries, and how can you seek compensation after an accident? Our Carlsbad personal injury lawyers can provide you with the information you need.
Wide Range of Accidents and Injuries Occur During the Holidays
A wide range of accidents and injuries result from holiday activities and excursions. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), nearly 6,000 people require treatment in emergency departments each year for injuries resulting from falls while hanging holiday decorations. That number rises when you take into account holiday travel and motor vehicle collisions, home fires and burn injuries, and product defect injuries. The following are some of the more common causes of holiday injuries each year:
- Falls from hanging decorations;
- Burn injuries caused by cooking fires, heating fires, and electrical fires;
- Motor vehicle accidents during holiday travel caused by negligent motorists; and
- Toy injuries and other product defect injuries.
Liability Will Depend on the Circumstances of the Injury
Who is liable for the types of injuries cited above? Liability will depend on the circumstances of the accident and injury. For example, with fires and burn injuries caused by kitchen appliances, the maker or retailer of the product could be liable if a defect resulted in the injury. Similarly, burn or electrical injuries caused by defective holiday lights could result in the product designer or manufacturer, or the marketer or retailer of the lights, being liable for injuries. As we noted above, many injuries during the holiday season also result from falls, especially while hanging holiday decorations. In situations where a fall resulted from a defective ladder or misleading safety instructions, the injured party could be eligible to file a product defect claim.
Many holiday injuries also result from traffic collisions, and multiple parties could be liable. The negligent driver who caused the accident could bear responsibility, as could other parties, such as the owner of the premises where the crash occurred or the party responsible for maintaining the vehicle.
How Comparative Fault Can Affect a Holiday Injury Claim
What should you do if you believe your own negligence played a role in causing the accident in which you were injured? California uses what is known as a pure comparative fault system. Accordingly, under California law, you should still file a claim even if you believe you are partially at fault because you could still recover damages. Indeed, a plaintiff can recover damages whether they are minimally or significantly at fault — up to 99% at fault. The plaintiff will recover damages, but the plaintiff’s damages award will be diminished by their portion of fault.
Contact a Carlsbad Personal Injury Attorney Today
Were you injured in a holiday accident, or was a loved one injured or killed? It is essential to get in touch with one of our experienced Carlsbad personal injury lawyers to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to discuss liability and how you may be able to file a claim against an at-fault party in Southern California.
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