Common Personal Injuries on New Year’s Eve and How to Avoid Them

new years eve personal injuries in Los angeles

New Year’s Eve is a joyous time. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when we see a spike in holiday-related accidents, personal injuries, and even fatalities. According to the National Safety Council forecast, 427 traffic-related fatalities were likely to occur during the 2022 New Year’s Day Holiday period.

However, traffic-related accidents aren’t solely to blame for these incidents. Haffner Law, home to skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles, offers the following tips to ensure a safe New Year’s holiday celebration for you and your loved ones.

Don’t Drink and Drive

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers made 263 DUI (drinking under the influence) arrests on New Year’s Eve, an 8% increase from 2021. There were also 29 reported deaths over the New Year’s holiday weekend. Help reduce these numbers by assigning someone to stay sober and safely drive everyone home. Or, you can pitch in to hire a designated driver.

Exercise Caution When Using Fireworks

Prevent injuries by letting professionals handle the fireworks. Always have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby in case of an emergency. Most importantly, don’t allow kids and pets to get too near the fireworks display.

Also, if you do plan on buying fireworks, make sure only to purchase legal fireworks that have been screened and tested for safety purposes. The State of California only allows the use of non-aerial and non-explosive fireworks, including:

  • Ground and handheld sparkling devices
  • Wheel and Ground Spinners
  • Cylindrical and cone fountains
  • Illuminating torches

If you’re not sure which fireworks are legal, you can refer to the approved list issued by the State Fire Marshall’s office.

Say No to Celebratory Gunfire

In California, celebratory gunfire or shooting firearms in the air as an act of celebration is illegal. Under section 246.3 of the California Penal Code, reckless shooting of guns can lead to prison time. An individual can be charged for gross negligence if they fall under any of the following categories:

  • They acted in a reckless manner that could have resulted in a high risk of fatality or bodily injury
  • They knew that their actions could create suck risks
  • The use of firearms could have resulted in the injury or death of an individual
  • The defendant did not act as a result of self-defense.

Note that a person who was unaware that the firearm was loaded prior to discharging it is exempted from this law.

Have You Been Injured? Get Help from L.A.’s Trusted Personal Injury Lawyers

Accidents can happen on New Year’s Eve regardless of whether safety precautions were followed or not. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone’s reckless behavior, the personal injury lawyers at Haffner Law will help make things right.

Our seasoned legal team knows how to handle all types of personal injury cases in Los Angeles, from firework injuries to intoxicated driving accidents. We’ll help you gather the necessary evidence, track down witnesses, and more.

Get the legal support you need for your case. Reach out to Haffner Law today at 213-514-5681 for a free case review.

Ridesharing and Roadside Fatalities During New Year’s Eve

rideshare accidents new years los angeles

New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days for ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft. Unfortunately, with more travelers on the road, the risk of road traffic crashes also increases.

If you find yourself in a Lyft or Uber car accident during the holidays, you’ll need to take steps to protect yourself. Haffner Law’s Uber accident attorney in Los Angeles can help you file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your losses.

The rise of app-based ridesharing services

The popularity of ridesharing services has grown dramatically since their introduction in 2009 (Uber) and 2012 (Lyft). These apps have collectively made 11 billion trips in the U.S. Part of what makes Uber and Lyft so popular is their convenience and cost-effectiveness. Passengers typically get where they are going quicker and cheaper than they would by taxis.

Despite the advantages they offer, these ridesharing apps were found to have increased traffic congestion and the rate of fatal car crashes. According to a study done by researchers at Rice University and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the arrival of app-based ride-hailing apps in a city led to a 3% increase in the total number of motor vehicle fatalities. These accidents involved not only passengers but also pedestrians. Likewise, gas consumption, time spent in traffic, miles driven, and the number of newly registered cars also skyrocketed.

The unfortunate reality is that, like all modes of transportation, neither Uber nor Lyft can ever completely guarantee passenger safety. More so during the holiday season, when packed roads and drunk driving cases become more widespread.

California road fatalities on New Year’s Eve

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s often sees a dramatic rise in DUI incidents as people partake in holiday celebrations. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 210 lives were lost during the Christmas to New Year’s Day holiday period in 2019 due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Alcohol can slow down a driver’s reflexes and increase feelings of drowsiness, putting other motorists in their vicinity at serious risk.

In California alone, a total of 244 drivers were arrested on the evening of December 31, 2020. All of them were suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs, or similar substances.

In addition, California saw an increase in the fatality rate of traffic accidents during New Year’s Eve 2020. According to the California Highway Patrol, a total of 13 lives were lost due to a traffic accident from the evening of the 31st to the early morning of the next day.

What to do after an Uber or Lyft car accident

Uber and Lyft drivers are not invincible, and sometimes they can get into accidents, especially during busy holiday seasons. Unfortunately, those incidents can seriously harm you, whether you were the Uber passenger, driving your own car, or crossing the street.

If the accident occurred as a result of the Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, Haffner Law can help you pursue full compensation for your losses. Contact our Uber accident attorneys immediately and get the aggressive representation you need.