Christmas Holidays Negligence In Chester County 

Negligence at Christmas in Chester County PA

One of the most spectacular holidays of each year is Christmas. The hustle and bustle, though, can be overwhelming. In addition, this holiday shows the second most holiday travel of any season of the year, with Memorial Day only surpassing it in 2022, according to the NSC (National Safety Council statistical updates.  

Naturally, this season is a frenzy of holiday shopping, cooking, and decorating. This brings more traffic on the highways, but travel is not limited to the highways. Accidents do occur in airports and on public transit. 

As explained in the Thanksgiving article on our site, cooking fires occur more often on Thanksgiving, but Christmas also brings some cooking fires, although not as many. 

Serious injury and death on Christmas occur through many avenues of neglect and/or simply not following safety principles. The residents of Chester County, with its vast wealth of shopping and love of decorating, can wreak havoc on the holidays as this is a stressful time of the year.  

Serious neglect and injury are apparent during the Christmas holidays, as documented generally through hospitals and visits to Acute Care units, which see a real rush of Emergency Room services from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day itself. 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 60,000 residents throughout the United States are injured during the “most joyous time of the year.” 

Most injuries and deaths can be preventable, so negligence by any individual or corporation should be reported immediately to authorities and to a law firm experienced in negligence issues. 

Some Examples of Christmas Holidays Negligence

  • Slips and falls

These can occur within stores or outside stores. If a store has not shown a proper Duty of Care, the store can be liable. Loose carpeting and slippery floors are the chief offenders here. This can also happen outside residences or inside them, and weather conditions such as snow and ice can exacerbate the possibility of this type of injury. 

All stores need to ensure extra safety, as do private property owners, to completely ensure a Duty of Care exists that meets the legal requirements

  • Automobile accidents

It is easy to get carried away and consume a bit too much alcohol on a holiday, especially during large gatherings. Liability can be on the driver who is under the influence while driving, but party hosts should also ensure that impaired driving does not occur. The old saying, “Friends do not let friends drive drunk,” applies here. 

Holiday binge drinking increases dramatically in all states of the US, according to the watchdog group 

  • Decoration fires

While cooking fires do occur, decoration fires are more common during the Christmas holidays. Faulty wiring and dead and dried-out trees with old Christmas lights are a great cause of fire on this “spirited” holiday. This, too, can occur publicly or in private residences. 

While many incidences of decoration fires occur for multiple reasons, according to the NFA (National Fire Administration) overseen by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management), about 660 deadly fires occur upon ignition (which is starting the lighting of the decorations). 

Again, this can be a public venue, store, or a private gathering. Once a faulty ignition occurs, the combustible products that are also in the area quickly spread the fires. 

  • Choking hazards

This is greatly overlooked, but Santa and toys rule Christmas and children. Younger children tend to put things into their mouths. The statistics on children choking on faulty toys with small and loose parts are astoundingly high

While manufacturers are mandated by the Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC) to regulate all toys for loose and small parts, recalls occur regularly, as do trips to the Emergency Room for children who have choked on a small toy or part of a toy. Parents should investigate all toys and report any violations to the CPSC. 

A list of all recalls is also available on the CPSC website before purchasing any toy for a child or anyone who is giving a toy gift to a child. This is considered a real breach of Duty of Care by a manufacturer and can be the basis for a serious Negligence Lawsuit by an attorney versed in these issues. 

  • Burns and shocks

These can occur in public places or in residences and are tied into cooking fires and decorations. Faulty wiring, plus unsafe cooking practices, are the chief causes. There are mandates for the overuse of equipment and electrical outlets, and all individuals using these must show compliance with the laws, especially with UL-approved equipment. 

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) spells out the kilowatts and voltage requirements for the safe usage of all appliances, plugs, wiring, and loadings. ( “UL.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Nov. 2023)

One serious electric shock can cause permanent physical damage or even death. 

Summary—Christmas Holidays Negligence Issues in Chester County 

This beautiful season of giving and enjoyment does not need to be marred by tragedy if some common sense and reasoning are used. However, sometimes accidents cannot be prevented. If a mishap occurs because of a lack of Duty of Care, a seasoned Negligence Attorney such as Chris Hoey, ESQ should be called immediately, 

With decades of experience under his “legal belt” and millions of dollars won, Mr. Hoey and his team will ensure the very best representation to those in Chester County and surrounding areas. 

A free consultation is available, and a Statute of Limitations does exist, so if any tragedy occurs, simply fill out the online form and email it, or call 610-645-5151 or 1-888-GO-HOEY1. 

Happy Holidays from Hoey Legal! 

Distracted Driving

Pennsylvania defines distracted driving as “an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Drivers have to focus on driving, so they can react to the information on the road, such as road conditions, hazards and other drivers. Distracted drivers do not react appropriately and thus put others at risk for severe injury or death. Examples of distractions, besides using cell phones and texting, include drinking, eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting climate controls, adjusting seats, combing hair, putting on make-up, daydreaming, reaching for dropped items, engaging in heavy conversations, and focusing on events outside of the car.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence typically refers to alcohol use, but drug use can also impair drivers and cause severe car accidents.  In either situation, enjoying cocktails at happy hour, celebrating with drugs or alcohol, drinking too much wine for dinner and unwinding after a long week at work results in too many motorists driving under the influence.  Controlled substances impact each person differently, making it common for someone to misjudge his or her level of impairment.  These poor judgments can lead to severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Driving without enough sleep is commonplace for many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Truck drivers, shift workers, and those with sleep disorders are most vulnerable to causing an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued. Not having enough rest slows down reaction time and impairs the senses. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claims that eighteen (18) hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same extent as someone who has a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of all car accidents involve speeding. Drivers who rush, run late, or simply lack patience may choose to speed when they get behind the wheel. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and makes it more difficult to react to road hazards and other vehicles. Speeding also increases the impact of a car accident and makes it far less likely that a negligent driver may maintain control of his vehicle sufficient to prevent a collision. High speed car accidents make it far more likely that those involved will suffer severe injuries or death.


At HoeyLegal, we know from our litigation experience that tractor-trailer drivers often operate at least one cellular phone which is in use at, during, or immediately prior to a tractor-trailer accident. Additionally, most tractor-trailers are equipped with data recorders which capture, in real-time, important vehicle operation events including speed, hard braking and other evasive maneuvers taken by the operator and the tractor-trailer.  It is imperative that this evidence be obtained before it is destroyed.  At HoeyLegal, our trial attorneys will obtain any necessary court order to preserve this evidence for trial.


Oftentimes, there are several defendants responsible for the tractor-trailer accident. In most cases, at least two defendants are responsible for the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer.  There may be additional defendants responsible for the hiring and retention of the tractor-trailer driver.  At HoeyLegal, our investigators will promptly identify the responsible defendants and immediately request the preservation of all evidence related to the hiring and retention of the driver, inspection of the vehicles and the supervision and drug/alcohol testing of the vehicle operator.


Our accident investigators include mechanics who will immediately respond to the accident site and the location where the truck has been impounded in order to photograph the truck and conduct necessary mechanical inspections of the vehicle. In the event that a court order is necessary to examine and inspect the trucks, HoeyLegal Attorneys will promptly file the necessary motions to enable the HoeyLegal mechanics and inspectors to conduct a prompt evaluation of the mechanical function of the at-fault tractor-trailer


Our expert accident investigators include former Pennsylvania State Police accident investigators and nationally recognized engineers who will carefully photograph the accident scene and conduct all necessary measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, displacement of debris and thoroughly examine the accident site to preserve all evidence for the time of trial.


Our investigators will promptly interview and record all witnesses that observed the accident and collect all biographical information from the witnesses so they will available to testify on your behalf at trial.

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