Thanksgiving Injuries & Duty Of Care

Injuries On Thanksgiving in the Chester County

The foliage is glorious before Thanksgiving in Chester County, PA, during the Fall season. However, around the end of November, when the trees shed their leaves, darkness occurs earlier due to the time change. The first week of November shifts back to Standard Time from Daylight Savings Time. 

This does add an hour of sleep. This added hour equals one day that is 25 hours long and is the first Sunday in November. This doesn’t make up for the ensuing extended darkness, though. 

Add to this the fact that the Winter is quickly approaching, with December 23 being the darkest day of the year in Chester County. Cautionary measures must be taken when out and about on the roadways or even when walking. 

This is important, as the holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving. Festivities ramp up, as does shopping, with more travel by all methods and more individuals flocking to stores. 

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that statistics show that risky driving increases on Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Eve.  While car crashes increase, other accidents surpass these figures on this Day of Thanks. The statistics do change from year to year but remain consistent in increase. 

Common Lack of Duty of Care Injuries on Thanksgiving 

Chester County is, of course, not the only area where a Duty of Care is breached on Thanksgiving. Even if a private get-together occurs, a Duty of Care exists by any property owner or vehicle operator. The most common issues are listed below: 

·     Car Crashes  

As discussed above, these increases are well documented as impaired driving from drugs and alcohol does increase. Loosening up on Thanksgiving and foregoing the usual cautions when operating a vehicle is easy. Seatbelts when going from home to home while visiting can be forgotten. 

·     House Fires

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) tracks fires seasonally, and house fires increase dramatically during the cooking of a Thanksgiving dinner. Ask any cooks, and it is easy to get involved with guests and forget that turkey or other portions of a meal that are simmering in the kitchen! 

·     Heart Attacks

Holidays can be stressful. Add to that the fact that many in Chester County and, of course, all of the USA overindulge in rich foods and too much food during this holiday. It is a day of feasting, and individuals do take this to heart (no pun intended). 

Those with undiagnosed heart conditions can experience a heart attack from stress and too much food. It is rare, though, according to the Huff Post, and not as common as vehicular accidents or house fires. 

·     Burns

These occur frequently while in a rush and cooking at the same time. Since Thanksgiving does entail preparing a lot of foods simultaneously, more burns (and trips to the ER if serious enough) do occur on Thanksgiving. 

·     Food Poisoning

This can occur either while dining at home or in a restaurant, as all foods need proper preparation and refrigeration. While not as dire as a house fire or a car crash, food poisoning can lead to hospitalization if serious enough and even, in rare cases, to death. 

According to the CDC, there are hundreds of thousands of cases of food-borne illnesses that lead to visits to an Emergency Room visit or hospitalization and about 3,000 deaths per year nationwide. 

Safe preparation and storage must occur with all foods, and temperature guidelines exist online, as do instructions on safe handling procedures. 

Summary–Duty of Care Thanksgiving Injuries in Chester County, PA 

Holidays are and should be festive. However, common sense must rule, as significant injuries can occur. If these do happen, and someone is a victim of injury or even death, a great attorney who is well-versed in the practice of negligence should be consulted ASAP.  

If an individual is accused of negligence, an attorney who is also significantly experienced in this aspect of representation is needed. Either a plaintiff or a defendant needs a team when a Duty of Care is breached and leads to an injury or death. 

Christian J. Hoey ESQ, of HoeyLegal, located in Paoli, PA, offers a free consultation via a form on the website and has both brought negligence lawsuits and successfully defended those who were accused of negligence. 

Contact by phone is also available: 610-647-5151 or 1-888-GO-HOEY1. Prefer email? 

Thanksgiving is indeed a day of thanks that should not be marred by a tragedy. Chris Hoey is proud to assist if anything tragic does occur and has a team that will serve a swath of Chester County and beyond.

Enjoy this day, but remember, Chris Hoey is there if needed after the celebration ends! 

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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