Most Common Injuries on Thanksgiving to Avoid - Catalano Law

Most Common Injuries on Thanksgiving to Avoid

Tens of millions of Americans observe Thanksgiving every year, making it one of the nation’s most popular holidays. However, the ways many Americans celebrate this holiday can lead to injuries and accidents.

If you or a loved one gets injured over the Thanksgiving weekend, contact one of our Syracuse personal injury attorneys to help you fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

Common Injuries and Accidents on Thanksgiving

There are many injuries and accidents that occur annually during Thanksgiving. Some of the most common injuries include:

Drunk Driving

People travel by car to visit friends and relatives more frequently for Thanskgiving than during any other holiday. Unfortunately, according to National Safety Council statistics, we can expect over 55,000 traffic injuries between the period of Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving through the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

Alcohol consumption is a large part of the reason for this high number of traffic injuries. From 2015 t0 2019, nearly 800 deaths occurred due to alcohol-impaired driving on Thanksgiving or the days surrounding it.

Additionally, by New York State’s social host laws, a social host can be liable if they served alcohol to a guest under the age of 21 who then causes a car crash or other accident that results in injuries.


Thanksgiving and the day before Thanksgiving are among the busiest days for home fires. Fire departments around the United States were called to approximately 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day in 2018. Thankfully, compensation is available to burn victims for injuries and fires resulting from negligence. The host can be held liable for negligently causing a fire, such as leaving a dishcloth near a lit stove, or a landlord could be liable for failing to provide a working fire alarm or fire extinguisher.

Food Poisoning

A common cause of food poisoning is Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria that grows in food left at room temperature. Clostridium perfringens outbreaks are more likely to occur in November and December, with foods commonly cooked during this time, such as turkey.

If you get food poisoning at a Thanksgiving gathering, you can file a personal injury claim against the food supplier for damages. You can also sue a restaurant if they breached their duty and served you contaminated food.  

Slips and Falls

Many risk factors can contribute to slips and falls in private homes, including poor lighting, uneven steps, wet floors, or clutter that poses a tripping hazard left around the home.

The holiday season also brings many people into stores, especially grocery stores, where injuries can occur due to slips and falls. New York State gives the injured party three years to file a personal injury claim for a slip and fall claim.

Cuts from Carving a Turkey

Injuries caused by improper knife use or inattention while cutting food are common. Roughly 36% of all knife-related injuries are from kitchen knives.

How to Avoid the Most Common Injuries on Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, consider these tips to help keep yourself and others safe:

Remind Guests to Plan Ahead

If you are serving alcohol at your Thanksgiving gathering, the CDC recommends you remind your guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. You can also use a rideshare app or call a taxi for those who’ve been drinking.

Keep Your Turkey at a Consistent, Safe Temperature When Thawing

Leaving a turkey to thaw at room temperature puts it at risk of harmful bacteria. Thawing your turkey in the fridge or in a cold water bath can help prevent food poisoning.

Ensure Your Turkey is Fully Thawed Before Frying

Deep frying the Thanksgiving turkey is increasingly popular, but make sure your turkey is fully thawed if you are planning on deep frying, as a partially frozen turkey can cause hot oil to splatter, increasing the risk of a fire. Furthermore, when cooking your turkey in a turkey fryer, place your fryer ten feet away from your house to prevent fires, and never fry indoors.

Make Sure Your Leftovers are Refrigerated and Reheated

Thanksgiving leftovers should be refrigerated at least two hours after preparation to prevent food poisoning. Reheating leftovers to at least 165°F is a good practice before serving. 

Clear Any Clutter in Your Home

Clean up the clutter around the floor of your home and ensure there is enough lighting to prevent accidental trips and falls. Also, make sure you clean up any spills on your floors to prevent any potential slip and fall accidents.

Have Your Guests Use Knives Safely

Spend a few minutes discussing knife safety with anyone who offers to help in the kitchen. Your kitchen knives should be used appropriately and monitored to prevent accidents.

Get Justice with the Help of a Syracuse Personal Injury Lawyer

Thanksgiving can be a great time to get the family together, but it also comes with risks.

Our Syracuse personal injury attorneys at Catalano Law can help if you or someone you care for has been harmed during Thanksgiving weekend.

A personal injury claim may entitle you to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.

If you would like to learn more about how Catalano Law can help people injured in accidents through no fault of their own, contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.

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