Legal Issues During the Holiday Season Cooper & Friedman, PLLC

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The Most Common Legal Issues Seen by Lawyers during the Holiday Season

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on December 14, 2022
Most common legal issues during the holiday season

The holiday season, for most, is filled with the busy buzz of getting ready. Maybe for family to come to your house, or you to theirs, perhaps it’s a work party or a Christmas for your own family that they’ll never forget. Regardless, this time of year, everything seems to be fast-paced and go-go-go, which can have unintentional consequences if precautions are thrown to the wayside in favor of punctuality, safety is disregarded for seasonal décor, or goodwill is forgotten in favor of the perfect gift.

Lawyers work year-round for their clients, because legal issues occur at all times of the year. The holiday season causes a hubbub, though, without fail every year – which, with the amount of travel and emotions flying around, isn’t particularly surprising. But if you’ve ever wondered what issues become even more prevalent, here’s a list of the 5 most common legal issues that are brought to lawyers in the holiday season.

1. Decoration Damage

The holidays present a lot of opportunity for renters and homeowners alike to spruce up their surroundings with seasonal holiday décor, from leafy garlands and colored gourds to Christmas candles, lawn blowups, and hanging lights. While most decorations don’t need electricity to function, the ones that do present a lot of fire-hazard risk, especially if your house or outlets aren’t built to function at the level needed to power all your beautiful garnish for long. Be sure to check your fire detectors around this time so that you don’t have any electrical mishaps that will be worth far more than outdoing your neighbor in Christmas lights this year.

These decorations also present a bigger risk of falls while putting them up. Be sure your ladders and stools are in working order and on stable ground before attempting any high-up hangings, and try to always have a second-in-command at the base to provide more stabilization and help if something does happen to go wrong. If you experience personal or property injury from decorations, make sure you have evidence that your case was due to product error rather than personal before you bring it to a lawyer so that you have the highest chance of a successful case.

2. Shopping Injuries

Speaking of personal injury, we’ve all seen the videos of Walmart or Best Buy on Black Friday – hoards of shoppers, all crammed into aisles and checkouts like sardines and fighting for their deals in a very literal sense. While the existence of online ordering, Cyber Monday, and increased security during these times has decreased the likelihood of getting injured in your supermarket, it certainly isn’t a promise.

Shopping accidents increase exponentially during the holiday season as aisles become cluttered with dropped or spilled products that present tripping and slipping hazards and competition for the same ingredients, the same toys, the same tools rises (and they aren’t all accidents, either). There is also the increased risk of property damage with increased theft of items in cars and damage from shopping carts left to the elements in parking lots.

Be safe when you shop, and mindful that everyone else is in the same boat as you!

3. Slips and Falls

It seems as though slips and falls make up a large portion of the previous risks and consequences and, as the weather becomes inclement and presents less favorable conditions, that’s natural. Slips and falls can occur due to several different factors, not all of them viable in court, but if your slip and fall is the result of a company or other party, then you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or other compensatory payments.

Some common slip and fall scenarios that would could be compensated:

  • The sidewalk or parking lot under the care of your work, apartment building, or a business is left icy and slick and you fall because of their negligence
  • An aisle in your supermarket became wet with a spill in the midst of a holiday rush and employees were notified but failed to rectify the spill or notify other customers
  • Weather infiltrates a building and warps the floorboards to create a tripping hazard that is not addressed

Especially with places of work, the experienced workers compensation lawyers at Cooper and Friedman can guarantee you our best foot forward in getting you the workers’ rights that you deserve if you are injured and cannot work or experienced an injury on the job due to their negligence.

4. Car Accidents

One of the big ticket cases during the holidays is the uptick in car accidents. With more people on the road in worse weather conditions than normal, it’s unavoidable, but the severity of the accident is, and you can prevent a life-threatening accident by simply being more attentive to the road and the drivers around you. Lessen the distractions around you by silencing your phone, securing all fragile or spill-able cargo before you leave, and leaving the back window free of gifts and objects so that you have full visibility.

Road conditions and distractions make up a large part of this increase in car accidents, but holiday parties can play a big factor in DUIs and other substance-based accidents. If you’ve been drinking, be sure to call a transportation service or a trusted friend to get you home if you can’t stay at the location of the party.

Finally, with the increase in car accidents comes the increase in denied insurance claims. If you’ve experienced a PIP claim denial or something similar, read about what you should do in our Part 1 and Part 2 blogs on Denied PIP Claims, then give us a call for a consultation.

5. Traffic Tickets

Coming in on the tail-end of car accidents, sometimes vehicular issues don’t result in a full blown accident, but they can result in a hefty ticket fine from a police officer, depending on where you were and what the issue was. Be sure to be cognizant of your driving habits around the holiday seasons, because police are usually on high alert and very aware of the increase in reckless driving.

If you read our last blog, What To Do: Unlawful Search and Seizure and Unlawful Arrests during Traffic Stops,” then you’ll know that traffic stops usually aren’t grounds for search, seizure, or arrest, but are one of the leading situations where police misconduct occurs. Investing in a dash cam or other recording equipment can be a monumental help in getting you the compensation and outcome in court that you deserve, whether that be from vehicle damage from an accident or police misconduct. Remember that it is legal for you to turn on your hazards to acknowledge the officer and keep going until you get to a well-lit, safe location to stop.

Call Cooper and Friedman

Accidents are never a walk in the park, but no one wants to deal with them during the holiday season, when you should be roasting chestnuts on an open fire, wishing for snow and mistletoe, or digging into a spread of food with all your friends and family. That’s why Cooper and Friedman are here – we provide experienced representation year-round for accidents of all sorts.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of an accident in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of Kentucky residentsContact us with questions you might have or schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.

Posted Under: Bike Accidents, Car Accidents, Child Injury Lawyer, Civil Rights, Civil Rights Law, Personal Injury, PIP Claims, Police Misconduct, Product Liability, slip and fall, Truck Accidents, Workers Compensation, Workplace Injury

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