framingham personal injury attorneyThanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. With time to spend with family and amazing Thanksgiving Day feasts, what’s not to love about Thanksgiving. And don't forget the awesome Massachusetts tradition of Thanksgiving Day football games. While Thanksgiving can be a very festive holiday, full of fun, don’t forget how dangerous travel can be during this holiday.

We never expect to be hurt in a motor vehicle accident. Sometimes crashes are unavoidable. Statistics prove that accidents and injuries increase over the holidays. Therefore, you should remind yourselves and your families about some tips to stay safe. You should also make sure you know what to do after being injured in a car accident in order to protect yourself and make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses

Thanksgiving Day Crash Statistics Are Concerning

The Thanksgiving Day holiday period is well known as one of the most traveled holidays. AAA projects that more than 51 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over this holiday. The vast majority of people traveling over this holiday will do so by motor vehicle. With that many people on the roadways and highways, the chances of being seriously injured in an accident dramatically increases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the overall U.S. death rate spikes around Thanksgiving time. The National Highway Safety Administration reported that from 2012 to 2016, more than 800 people were fatally injured in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes over the Thanksgiving Day period. Additionally, it is estimated that more than 50,000 nonfatal, disabling injuries from motor vehicle crashes are suffered over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Typical Causes of Crashes Over Thanksgiving Day

While there are many reasons why accidents happen, below are some of the most common causes of crashes and injuries over Thanksgiving:

Intoxication: Driving while intoxicated has always been a major cause of accidents. Drunk driving crashes tend to increase over the holidays. Sure, most of us love to enjoy a few drinks or cold beers over the holidays. There is nothing wrong with that. But, make sure you do so responsibly. Drugs and alcohol affect our cognitive abilities. The cognitive effect of alcohol can reduce our abilities to react in an efficient manner while driving. This causes many drunk drivers to fail to stop in time resulting in rear-end collisions. Sometimes, drunk drivers so not see a stop sign or red light and drive right through an intersection causing a crash. Alcohol also impairs our judgment. Intoxication may result in riskier driving behaviors and the failure to judge the traffic and roadway conditions. Regardless of how a drunk driver causes an accident, injuries in serious accidents can be traumatic, devastating and permanent. If you are going to have drinks over Thanksgiving, make sure you do not get behind the wheel and arrange for a safe way home.  

Distractions: With so many people and families traveling over the Thanksgiving Day holiday, it’s easy to get distracted behind the wheel. Most of us are very excited about the holiday, having some time off work and spending time with our families. But, this shouldn't let you drop your guard while driving. I know that when I’m driving over the holidays with four kids in the car, there are a lot of distractions. Sometimes your kids may be fighting, asking you for something or telling you to look out the window. Likewise, you may want to fiddle with the radio to catch the football scores or your cell phone may be ringing when people are wondering where you are and when you will arrive. These distractions can have grave consequences especially with an increase of vehicles on the roads. Our office has seen some horrific crashes and injuries from distracted driving. Remind yourself that when you are driving, safe operation of your vehicle is your number one priority. The safety of yourself, your family and others on the road should always be your number one concern.

Speeding: With all the excitement about the holiday and seeing your family, some drivers tend to speed over Thanksgiving. With all the added vehicles on the roadways and driving in unfamiliar areas, speeding significantly increases your chances of being seriously injured in an accident. Remember, speeding is one of the major causes of motor vehicle accidents. Driving at excessive speeds will reduce a driver’s ability to timely react to other vehicles, the roads or dangerous weather conditions. High speeds also increase your chances of suffering serious injuries in a car crash. The faster a car is going at the moment of impact, the higher the probability that the vehicle’s occupants may suffer severe, and sometimes fatal injuries.  

What to Do After Being Injured in an Accident in Massachusetts

Over many years of representing people seriously injured in car accidents, we have personally witnessed the pain and frustration that crashes and injuries cause. The unfortunate truth is that in many situations, no matter how careful we drive, we are unable to avoid accidents. Serious injuries from a car crash can result in very expensive medical bills, lost wages and severe pain and suffering.

Remember, you have the right to seek financial compensation if you are injured in a car accident in Massachusetts that was caused by someone else. You shouldn't have to be financially burdened because of someone else’s negligent driving. Health care costs these days are extremely expensive. There are some treatments and procedures that your health insurance may not cover. Or, you may have high deductibles and co-pays. Through a personal injury claim, you can seek to recover compensation for medical costs and expenses. Likewise, if your injuries result in you missing time at work, you should be fairly compensated for your lost earnings.

But sometimes insurance companies make it hard to get the compensation you deserve. They routinely use insurance tactics to deny personal injury claims and create complicated legal issues that may prevent you from getting the money you deserve. That is why you should make sure you know what steps to take to put you in the best position to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

The first step is educating yourself on the personal injury claim process. The Three Important Steps to take Immediately After a Car Accident is a great start to making sure you are protecting your right to receive fair compensation for your damages. Also, our free book You Were in a Car Accident: How to Maximize Your Settlement has a lot of great information to educate you on how to get the compensation you deserve . These materials are very helpful and will inform you on what to do and what not to do so you and your loved ones are in the position to get what you deserve after being seriously injured in a crash.

Hopefully you will not need to wonder about what to do after being injured in an accident. But, if you are remember that we are here to help. I wish everyone a safe and fun-filled Thanksgiving Day.

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.
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