Liability During the Holidays
by, Lexicon Legal
There are many ways to be injured around the house during the holiday season. Many personal injury claims are filed against all types of insurance policies during the holidays. Litigators must be prepared for all types of injury claims that can be filed against homeowners, auto, workers compensation, commercial liability, and business insurance policies. Learn more about the various types of claims that can lead to holiday injury claims – and how professional litigation support services can help you deliver results for your clients.
The holiday season is a time for gift giving. As every first-year law student knows, consumer products are subject to rules of strict liability. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can all be held accountable for injuries caused by the intended use of any consumer product. During the holiday season, when consumer goods are being sold and gifted in record numbers, more injuries are likely to occur. This means that personal injury lawyers can see a spike in product liability claims. Though a plaintiff does not have to establish negligence in a product liability claim, there are still other issues that can require expert testimony or technical explanations. Litigators must be prepared to defend product liability claims on a wide variety of technical, legal, and factual issues.
Auto accidents can be more likely to occur during the holiday season. Weather conditions – including snow, rain, hail, and icy roads – can contribute to higher accident rates. There are also many factors within a driver’s control that are more likely to cause holiday car crashes. Holiday parties can lead to drunk driving. The busy season is full of commitments that can make impatient drivers more likely to speed or drive aggressively. While many litigators feel confident in their ability to take a car accident case to trial, the fact is that even a relatively simple fact pattern can lead to complex technical issues. Your client might have complicated injuries or an underlying medical condition that increased both her medical bills and her pain and suffering. You will need medical experts to testify about both the science of the injuries and the increased value of the victim’s losses. There could also be technical issues involving the accident itself. You might need an accident reconstruction expert to establish exactly what happened to cause the accident. You might need a mechanic to testify about defects in a vehicle that caused an accident in order to prove a products liability claim against the manufacturer. The fact is that even a seemingly simple auto accident case can involve multiple experts and complex technical issues. Litigators must be prepared to prove all of these issues at trial in a manner that is more convincing than your opposing counsel’s strategy.
There are many, many types of accidents that lead to an increase in injury claims against homeowners insurance policies throughout the holiday season. Your case could involve a guest who slips and falls on icy steps in an entryway. The homeowner could fall off a ladder while hanging holiday lights. The homeowners could face liability for serving alcohol to underage guests who drive home from a house party. And the kitchen is a hotbed of injuries — especially during the busy holiday season when large gatherings lead to more cooking than usual. Cuts, burns, bleeding, head trauma from falling supplies, and many other injuries happen in the kitchen. Sharp objects and heat sources are abundant in this dangerous area of the house, and litigators must be prepared to prove claims involving a wide variety of injuries.
The coronavirus pandemic has upended our world in many different ways. For litigators, COVID-19 has brought a wide variety of legal questions that do not yet have clear answers. Business interruption claims are already being considered for consolidation in multi-district litigation, as entire classes of plaintiffs have had claims denied. On a smaller scale, COVID-19 also presents legal questions of liability for homeowners and business owners. Can a homeowner be liable if a guest contracts the coronavirus in her home at a holiday gathering? Can a worker file a worker’s compensation claim for contracting coronavirus on the job? What if it is not clear where the worker was exposed to COVID-19? And is the answer different if the worker is one of our frontline heroes who endangers her life every day as a firefighter, paramedic, doctor, nurse, or other medical professional?
COVID will also affect many other types of cases. The new vaccines are being rolled out quickly before researchers have had a chance to study any potential long-term side effects. On the one hand, this is an important step toward quickly controlling the unmitigated spread of a deadly disease. On the other hand, millions of patients across the globe will have to take the vaccine without full disclosure of its potential side effects or drug interactions. Can these plaintiffs sue manufacturers for their injuries under product liability claims? Will vaccine manufacturers be able to defend such claims under the theory of extraordinary social utility? These questions will continue to clog the courts of the United States as legal professionals work through the backlog of cases on crowded court dockets. Litigators must be prepared to defend their clients’ positions on novel issues of law.
PROFESSIONAL LITIGATION SUPPORT FOR ALL STAGES OF YOUR INJURY CASE
As you can see, there are many considerations and challenges that litigators must be prepared for in handling holiday personal injury cases. Whether you are handling an auto accident case, premises liability claim, products liability case, or a challenging COVID-19 case involving many unsettled issues of fact and law, Guidepoint can connect you with the tools that will help you win your case. We help litigators find the right experts, data, and research for their particular case. Contact us today to learn about how our services support all of your litigation issues. With the right tools, you will be better prepared for success every time you go to court.
Please note: This article contains the sole views and opinions of Lexicon Legal Content and does not reflect the views or opinions of Guidepoint Global, LLC (“Guidepoint”). Guidepoint is not a registered investment adviser and cannot transact business as an investment adviser or give investment advice. The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute investment advice, nor is it intended as an offer or solicitation of an offer or a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any security. Any use of this article without the express written consent of Guidepoint and Lexicon Legal Content is prohibited.