New Year’s Eve celebrations are widely anticipated each year. However, there is a reason hospitals, police and fire departments brace themselves for the holiday. Amid all that revelry is a sizable uptick in personal injuries and death, ranging from drunk driving accidents to unsafe intoxication to gun fire.
As our Miami personal injury attorneys know, there are many instances in which persons with a duty of care to others breach this duty and cause injury to innocent people. In these cases, the affected persons may have grounds to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Depending on the underlying circumstances, there could be numerous liable individuals and entities, and in cases of serious injury, it’s important to thoroughly explore those.
Here, we take a look at some of the most common personal injuries reported on New Year’s Eve, and some of the ways you can help to avoid it.
Eye injuries. Specifically, we’re talking about eye injuries caused by popping champagne corks. This is much more common than you might think. According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, a champagne cork can rocket out of the bottle at speeds of 50 mph. A cork may not seem like a dangerous projectile, but at that speed, it can break glass. If it hits an eye, it can cause serious injury, including loss of sight. The academy recommends chilling the champagne to 45 degrees (bubbles in the bottle will expand at warmer temperatures). Avoid shaking, rattling or pointing the bottle at anyone. Shaking the bottle increases the pressure inside, and will increase the force. Aiming it at someone intentionally could result in serious injury. Keep the cork under control after tearing the foil by holding it down with the palm of your hand while removing the wire. Don’t ever use a corkscrew. Smother the entire top with a towel, point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from you and others and slowly twist the bottle at the base while holding the cork (not visa versa) to break the seal.
Gunfire. In this case, we’re talking about celebratory gunfire. Generally, it’s not a good idea to fire a gun without aim. Yet for some reason, people seem to want to do this on New Year’s Eve. A bullet that is shot up into the air will travel upward for two miles before falling back to earth at a rate of between 300 and 700 feet per second. That’s fast enough to kill you, reports the Los Angeles Police Department. Stray bullets kill dozens of people on New Year’s annually. The bottom line here: Don’t do it. Not only is it illegal, it could be deadly.
Drunk driving. This is the big one on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. This action kills more than 10,000 people in the U.S. every year, and no one day more so than New Year’s Day, just after midnight. This one is easy too: Make sure you have a designated sober driver or an Uber. Stay vigilant on the roads, don’t let others drive drunk and report any drivers you believe may be intoxicated.
Fireworks. An estimated 11,000 people are injured each year by fireworks. Many people on New Year’s Eve like to set these off, but are often intoxicated when they do so. When it comes to pyrotechnics, it’s best to let a professional handle them. However, if you do get fireworks, do so while sober, keep them away from children and don’t try to make your own.
Unsafe intoxication. Drinking and New Year’s celebrations go hand-in-hand, quite often. However, many people don’t realize that even just a few drinks over your personal limit can have serious consequences. Alcohol poisoning has the potential to kill you. Pace yourself. Don’t consume drinks given to you by strangers and drink plenty of water too.
If you suffer a personal injury on New Year’s Eve in Miami, our dedicated legal team will help you determine whether you may be entitled to damages.
If you have been injured in Miami, call Chalik & Chalik at (954) 476-1000 or 1 (800) 873-9040.
4 Ways People Get Hurt on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 30, 2014, By Justin Worland, Time
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