Personal InjuryAnother Thanksgiving has come and gone. The end of Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas and holiday shopping season. This means that there will be an increase in traffic and pedestrians on our Massachusetts roadways and highways. The increase in traffic creates an increased risk of accidents and injuries. If you are injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover financial compensation for your damages and losses.

The personal injury law office of Mahaney & Pappas, LLP centrally located in Framingham, Massachusetts serves victims of accidents in Boston, greater Boston, Worcester and all other surrounding towns. If you are injured in an accident during this holiday shopping season, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights are.

Auto Accidents and Injuries Tend to Increase During the Holiday Season

Many stores offer great deals on presents and gifts for our loved ones during the holiday shopping season. While in this modern era a lot of us shop online, many of us still hit the stores to take advantage of all the great deals. With an increase in vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic, it’s understandable why the holiday season leads to an increase in accidents.

Since Mahaney & Pappas, LLP specializes in personal injury cases in Massachusetts, such as car accidents and pedestrian accidents, we see an increase in calls for car crashes and pedestrians hit by cars. Many of the accidents occur in parking lots of shopping malls and centers. Areas, such as the Natick Mall and Framingham Shoppers World, get extremely busy during this time of year.

Shoppers from all over Massachusetts head out to the many shopping malls and centers to look for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. The increase in drivers on the highways heading to the malls and looking for parking spaces in the crowded parking lots together with winter weather increase the chances of being involved in car accidents. The increase in shoppers walking through the parking lots or heading from store to store coupled with the increase in cars driving in the same areas create an increased risk of pedestrians being hit by a car and seriously injured. Daylight savings results in it getting dark outside in the early evening when many of us get out to do our shopping. This is another major factor that may cause accidents during this time of year.

Tips to Keep You Safe During the Busy Shopping Season

We all look forward to enjoying the holiday season. It is a very happy time of the year to spend getting gifts for and spending time with our loved ones. No one wants to deal with hospital and doctor visits and to be hampered with serious injuries, trust us. Most importantly, no one wants to be overwhelmed with extremely expensive medical bills when we’d all rather spend our hard-earned money on gifts for our loved ones. Therefore, here are a few tips to stay safe while out driving this holiday season.    

Take it Slow and Be Aware of Your Surroundings: During the busy shopping season most of us are in a hurry. Drivers are fighting the traffic to get to the shopping malls after work and shoppers are hurrying through the parking lots to get into the stores. Whether you are behind the wheel or walking in the parking lots, be sure to pay extra attention to your surroundings. Drivers should slow down in the parking lots and make sure they keep their attention focused on the vehicles in front of them. Many accidents in parking lots are rear-end collisions. This is caused by drivers that are looking side to side for a parking space and don’t see the car in front of them slowing down or stopping. Similarly, pedestrians are trying to quickly get through the parking lot and into the stores. They sometimes fail to see an oncoming car and could get hit and seriously injured.

Pedestrians Should Always Use Crosswalks: When we finally navigate through the busy traffic and find that perfect parking space, we all want to hurry and get into the shopping malls and stores. This sometimes leads to pedestrians paying less attention to the cars driving through the parking lots. Pedestrians should always use the crosswalks or designated walkways when walking through the parking lots. Using crosswalk and walkways will decrease our chances of being hit by a car. Also, if you are hit and injured by a car while using a crosswalk the other driver will most likely be found at-fault for causing the accident and your injuries. This will prevent the driver’s insurance company from trying to blame the pedestrian for causing or contributing to the accident so the pedestrian will be able to recover the full amount of damages they deserve for their injuries.

Stay Off Your Phone: A lot of shoppers meet up at the malls with family and friends. This leads to many drivers and pedestrians using their phones to locate the people they are meeting. It’s well documented that cellphone use while driving or walking is a serious distraction, and this can lead to being involved in an accident. While hands free technology is helpful in these situations, many studies have shown that even hands fee devices are also a distraction and can result in being involved in an accident. The best thing to do is wait until you have found a parking space and are in a safe position to get on your phone.

Check the Weather Forecast Before Heading Out Shopping: The holiday shopping season, especially here in Massachusetts, is during the colder months of the year. The colder weather, freezing rain, snow and darker evenings are prime circumstances for slippery and icy conditions. Black ice and other slippery conditions are major causes of car crashes and slip and falls during the winter months. Before making plans to head out shopping this season, it is always advisable to check the forecast first. If a winter storm is on its way or weather conditions are hazardous, you should consider rescheduling and stay home until it’s safer to venture out shopping.   

These are just a few tips to stay safe this holiday shopping season. Sometimes, no matter how careful we are, we may end up being seriously injured in an accident. If you are, unfortunately, injured in an accident, you should consult with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney. An experienced accident lawyer will be able to explain and protect your rights and know how to get you the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.

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