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5 Holiday hazards to watch out for

The 2016 holiday season is in full swing. For all the wonder, joy and excitement that comes with it, so too does potential hazards to your health (and your bank account). There are a more than a few ways to be injured, or negatively affected, even in the most wondrous of wintry worlds.

As you navigate winter wonderlands, go riding in one-horse open sleighs, or even make a trek to the North Pole to see what this Santa fellow is all about, please be wary of these five potential hazards this season.

1. Perilous conditions

The biggest holiday hazard could be nothing else for us New Englanders. With the unparalleled good of the holidays comes the brutal beginnings of another northeastern winter.  Whether it’s black ice and snow causing deadly conditions on the roads and highways, frosted stairs and sidewalks providing a slipping hazard, or snowfall causing dangerous roof cave-ins and ice dams, the weather conditions of the holiday season alone provide enough dangers to fill up emergency rooms across the region.

Always make sure that you have road-worthy tires on your vehicles (winter tires if you can afford them), that your brakes are in order and that your headlights are functional. Always exercise extra caution and go slow when the weather turns for the worse.

2. More traffic means dangerous traveling

A simple and unfortunate fact of modern life is that you are much more likely to get involved in a vehicular accident when there are more people on the roadways. With the craziness of the holiday shopping season, people flock to stores, malls and outlets like moths to a flame. People also travel more during the holiday season to visit relatives and loved ones.  The added traffic will certainly cause much frustration, but it can also cause harmful and deadly accidents when combined with poorer visibility (since it gets dark earlier) and dangerous road conditions from snow and ice. Always exercise defensive driving tactics and keep alert!

3. Online scams

The allure of online shopping is obvious. It’s convenient, simple, and oftentimes the best deals can actually be accessed from your computer chair rather than a mall kiosk. However the simplicity and accessibility of online shopping has also opened up a door for scammers, identity thieves and cyber attackers intent on stealing your personal data for their own benefit.  Always be wary of offers that seem too good to be true (you are NOT the one millionth customer and you did NOT win a free iPad), never give our your personal or financial information to strange websites, and always use your instincts to avoid places and situations that just feel fishy.

4. Decoration complications

Who doesn’t love a beautiful light display or a jolly inflatable Rudolph adorning the roof ? Decorations are part of the magic of the holiday season, but they can also spell disaster for the decorators. Lights need strung to rooves, which puts you at risk of a serious fall. Christmas trees with old, incandescent lights are potential fire hazards. Somebody may have negligently secured their tree to their car, causing it to spill onto the road in front of you and make you crash.

5. Holidays lead to more alcohol consumption

For some people, the holiday season is the time to be merry. And what gets people merrier than a little spiked eggnog? Unfortunately, an abundance of holiday parties also leads to an abundance of intoxicated driving, which only makes the wintry conditions more dangerous. Never drink and drive! Besides, it’s cold outside. Wouldn’t you rather stay the night by the fireplace?

Some injuries are not your fault

Nobody wants to be injured or stuck in the hospital during the holidays. If you or somebody you love was injured or negatively affected by any of these aforementioned hazards, there is a good chance you have a right to financial compensation if the incident was the direct result of somebody else’s negligence.  Whether it was a drunk driver, a faulty set of lights that caused a fire, a negligent Christmas tree attendant forgetting to tie a proper knot, or a landlord not salting a staircase that results in a fall, call a legal professional at Altman & Altman LLP. We have over 40 holiday seasons under our belts, and can pursue the full range of personal injury cases to give you the financial compensation you are entitled to.

Call us for a free consultation today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.