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Fourth of July weekend: the safety risks

New York residents who plan to live it up on the Fourth of July should keep that many accidents take place on during the holiday. The greatest risk is on the roads; both Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety state that 40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 occurred because of drunk drivers over the extended July Fourth weekend. During this several-day period, there are approximately 200 highway deaths every year.

Indeed, of all the days of the year, Independence Day is the worst for fatal crashes. Besides alcohol, another factor is that there are more drivers traveling during the holiday weekend. AAA estimates that this year, 37.5 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more from their homes to partake in festivities.

Another leading cause of injuries on Independence Day is fireworks mishaps. People could burn themselves after approaching fireworks that don't go off immediately. The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission states that hands and fingers are most commonly injured by mishandled fireworks. Standing too close to fireworks that are shot into the air could cause face or eye injuries as well.

Eating and drinking come with their own risks, too. Excessive alcohol consumption creates alcohol poisoning, and eating undercooked meat spreads foodborne illnesses. That's why it's important to think about what is consumed while at a July Fourth barbecue.

Among these types of personal injuries, those sustained in car accidents are among the most likely to be redressed in a claim. A lawyer could bring in third-party experts to gather evidence that proves the other driver was negligent. Once the case is ready for negotiations, the lawyer can strive for a fair settlement out of court. If the auto insurance company refuses to pay out, the victim can litigate.

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