As the calendar year winds to a close and people set out to return to work after a holiday season, its important to remember to stay safe and avoid personal injury.  Shopkeepers and landlords are aware of some of the most common personal injury claims around the holidays, but do you know what to look for?  Take a look below at some of the preventable personal injuries that always seem to happen in Ohio during the winter months.

 Christmas Tree Dangers

While many of us remember gathering around the Christmas tree with a cup of hot cocoa and reading Christmas stories, it is important to think about what to do with the pine tree after Christmas.  If you are like many families in central Ohio, you purchase a live tree from one of the Christmas tree lots in the area.  Buying local Christmas trees can be a great way to spend time with the family and get wonderful tradition started.

This tradition can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions.  If you have a Christmas tree that is too dry draped with electrical lights and flammable ornaments, you may have inadvertently brought a fire starter into your home.  To limit the potential for a house fire, always keep your tree well watered and remember to buy your Christmas trees early in the season or chop down your own tree.

Many want to get pre-lit artificial Christmas trees rather than mess with the potential fire hazard of a live Christmas tree.  While you don’t have organic matter to burn, the lights themselves can be very hot and may ignite ornaments on the tree.  Most experts recommend unplugging the Christmas tree at night or using a timer to save electricity and prevent the bulbs from getting too hot.  Another solution is to use LED lights rather than incandescent lights for the tree.  LED lights are more expensive, but they do not give off as much heat and will last much longer.  After Christmas specials are the perfect time to stock up on lights and an artificial tree for next year.

Outdoor Accidents

Putting up Christmas lights can be dangerous, and removing them can double the danger.  You should always put up lights in a safe manner away from dry trees and branches.  When you remove the lights, take every safety precaution you can.  Have a spotter with you and someone to help you with the tall ladders needed to decorate the roof of your house.  Even with warmer weather, the fall from a heavy ladder can be quite painful and result in injuries.

Remember to unplug the lights before you remove them from the house.  In the event one of the strands of lights snags or you have a broken bulb, you may find the experience a little more shocking than you would have liked.   Again, be careful and take precautions to avoid injury.  If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an outdoor accident, call a personal injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio to review your case.

Decorative Carelessness

Decorations are wonderful, but some may be harmful.  If you feel you have been injured while installing decorations or by the decorations themselves, call a personal injury attorney.  Each case is unique; so let an attorney review your case to see if you have a valid personal injury claim.  Money is especially tight during the holiday season, so it is best to review a claim with an attorney to see if you should be compensated for your injuries due to the carelessness of others.

Be careful what festive holiday plants you keep in the kitchen and around the house.  While many adults know that you don’t eat the mistletoe, holly berries, and other decorative plants, toddlers and young children might have access to and eat these plants.  Have the poison control number available if you have these plants in your home, and be sure to keep them out of reach of small children and animals.

In addition to decorative plants, watch for the many decorations that may also be harmful to small children.  Ornaments are looking more and more lifelike so if you find an ornament that may look too appealing to children, perhaps keep it off the tree.    Now is the perfect time to go shopping for ornaments and wrapping paper for next year, so make sure to keep safety in mind while finding those holiday deals!

Reckless Driving

One thing to always watch for is a reckless driver around the holiday season.  Even after Christmas, you will find people in a rush for parties or to return presents to the mall.  Make sure that you take every precaution while driving because accidents can happen, and when they happen right around the holidays it can be devastating.  Be sure to have your seatbelt on and always have small children ride in the back with an approved safety belt for their age.  While you can’t control the other drivers on the road, you can do your best to stay safe.  Stay off your phone, or use hands free technology when driving.

This is especially important when central Ohio gets hit with winter storms as we have in the past.  Many drivers are not aware of the additional time needed to navigate icy and snowy streets and rush when they should drive more carefully.  Play it safe this winter and drive cautiously as you wrap up your holiday activities.   If you do find yourself injured by a reckless driver due to the winter weather, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  Central Ohio personal injury lawyers are accustomed to the Ohio laws governing reckless driving, and will have worked on similar cases in the past.

If you feel you have suffered an injury this holiday season due to the carelessness of others, contact the personal injury attorneys of Agee Clymer Portman and Mitchell.  We have the experience necessary to represent you against insurance companies and corporations who want to minimize their responsibility in your injury. Our Ohio personal injury lawyers will fight for you to gain the compensation you deserve.