Christmas is just around the corner, which means many families up and down the country will be preparing for festive feasts, hitting the shops to buy gifts and looking forward to spending more time with loved ones.
Unfortunately, the holidays aren’t a joyous occasion for everyone. In fact, figures from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District revealed that regional hospitals experience a 40 per cent rise in the number of injuries that require hospitalisation during the Xmas period. Dr Peter Grant, senior staff specialist at St George’s Hospital’s emergency department, said there are various reasons why more accidents occur at Christmas.
“For every road death, there are at least ten times as many people left with significant injuries.”
Speaking in December 2014, Dr Grant stated: “This year, we treated children who have suffered injuries due to accidents involving skateboards, bikes and Christmas toys; and elderly patients suffering falls or other mishaps in the unfamiliar environment of relative’s homes.”
People who injure themselves during the festive season may be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances of their accident. But what types of payout are available? Here are a few of the leading reasons individuals may get in touch with injury compensation lawyers at Christmas.
1. Car accidents
Motor vehicle collisions are more frequent during the holidays, with alcohol consumption and regular travel considered the main contributing factors. Drunk drivers are unlikely to receive car accident compensation, but other road users may be eligible if they are involved in an incident.
Data from the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) showed Australians collectively sustained 2,500 serious injuries on the country’s roads over the Christmas and New Year period in 2014-15.
“For every road death, there are at least ten times as many people left with significant injuries and 50 times more with minor injuries that still interfere with everyday life,” said Dr Aitken, chair and emergency specialist at the EMF.
Car accidents occur more frequently during the festive season.
2. Workplace accidents
Christmas is a time of giving, and forecasts suggest people intend to be particularly generous this year. The Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan Research predicted festive spending will reach $46.7 billion in retail stores between November 15 and December 24 – 3.6 per cent higher than in 2014.
However, accidents can happen when businesses are rushing to cope with Christmas demand. Last month’s Black Friday sales have already shown how dangerous shops can be when consumers congregate en-masse to battle over the best deals. Staff members that are injured while doing their job may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which can cover lost wages, medical expenses and a range of other costs.
3. Slips and falls
The number of people who shopped at bricks-and-mortar stores rose 4.1 per cent year on year in September, according to National Australia Bank data. While this growth was less than the 5.7 per cent annual leap in online retail, the figures indicate Australians still love to buy gifts the old-fashioned way.
Experienced injury compensation lawyers can provide expert advice on the likelihood of a claim’s success.
With bustling Christmas crowds filling shops to bursting point, the chance of suffering a slip, trip or fall could increase. Whether it’s an unattended drink spillage, boxes in store aisles or various other hazards, busy shops can lead to injuries in numerous ways.
Claimants who prove they were owed a duty of care while in a public place may receive compensation if they can also show this obligation was breached.
Making a claim
These are just three examples of when individuals may be entitled to a payout due to an injury sustained during Christmas celebrations. However, there are many other situations where compensation is appropriate.