Avoiding injuries on the Fourth of July weekend

Texas residents who want to have fun on Independence Day without injuring themselves should first of all know what the most common dangers are during this holiday period.

For example, a barbecue party could end in food poisoning if someone eats undercooked meat, and those who drink to excess are at a high risk for alcohol poisoning. Having a party by a swimming pool or lake could be hazardous for children or inexperienced swimmers. Standing too close to fireworks that are shot into the air could end in burns to the head, face, ears and eyes. 

Experts say one should stand at least 500 feet away from such fireworks. Mishandling fireworks can result in burns to the hands and fingers, according to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission.

The Fourth of July, lastly, is known as the worst day in the year for fatal car crashes. Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claim that every year between June 30 and July 4, there are nearly 200 traffic deaths. From 2007 to 2011, drunk driving cases falling within that five-day period accounted for 40 percent of all highway deaths.

Besides alcohol, the presence of more people on the road influences crash rates. AAA estimates that this year, 37.5 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles from their home for the holiday.

While some of these injuries are avoidable, one cannot prevent other drivers from being negligent. When the negligence of another causes a motor vehicle accident, the victim may be eligible for compensation under personal injury law.

The first step is to have a lawyer evaluate the claim, factor in any comparative negligence and determine a fair amount for a settlement. If retained, the lawyer could get to work on gathering proof and then proceed to negotiations with the insurance company.

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