Common Thanksgiving Injuries in New York

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

Food, football, time with family, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanksgiving can be a wonderful holiday, but it can also be a dangerous one.

Our law firm helps people who have suffered as a result of other people’s negligence launch personal injury suits to recoup their losses.

But ultimately, we’d like everyone to be safe this holiday season. So we thought it would be a great time to cover some of the most common Thanksgiving injuries and how you might avoid them and stay safe.

Deep Frying Accidents

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There are a few things that can go wrong when deep frying a turkey. When done properly, the results are delicious, but when done incorrectly, the results are tragic.

Follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Fry your turkey at least 10 feet from a house, car, or shed, and do so on pavement or asphalt.
  • Your frying area should be level and free of leaves or debris.
  • Defrost and dry your turkey. If you drop a frozen turkey into hot, boiling oil, the oil will splash, steam, and splatter, which can lead to burns or even a full-blown fire.
  • Lower the turkey slowly. The goal is to avoid splashing.
  • Never overfill the turkey pot, and make sure the pot is the proper size for your turkey.

If you’re not sure you can deep fry the turkey safely, it may be time to consider cooking the turkey a different way. You can even cut up a raw whole turkey for faster roasting, which can result in a juicy, tasty turkey, and is conducive to cooking in a smaller apartment.

Carving Accidents

Carving the turkey can be hazardous in a number of ways! Yes, you can cut your hands, but you can also burn yourself.

To keep yourself safe, follow these tips:

  • Give the turkey time to cool so you don’t risk scalding from steam or splattering juices when you cut the turkey.
  • Sharpen your knives before you start cutting. A dull knife can slip and snag, putting you at a higher risk for serious cuts.
  • Watch the lighting. You need good light to cut your turkey safely!
  • Make sure everyone is seated so you aren’t risking getting bumped into or jostled while you cut the turkey.
  • Use a meat fork to stay steady.

The American Society for the Surgery of the Hand has a few other, more specific tips to avoid turkey carving injuries. You’ll find them here.

Stove and Oven Burns

With so many dishes coming on and off the stove and in and out of the oven, you end up with a lot of opportunities for burns. Try to slow down, and don’t forget to use your oven mitts!

When you’re carrying hot dishes, stay aware of your surroundings, especially other people who are working in the room with you.

DWI/DUI Car Accidents

Overindulgence is a common fault at Thanksgiving, but if you know you’ve had a little too much, ask for a couch, a guest room, or a ride. Don’t get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve had too much to drink (or had too many of Aunt Marge’s “special” brownies).

If you’re driving home from your family holiday, please be careful. Even if you haven’t overindulged, there will be drivers on the road who weren’t as careful as you were and who may not even realize they’re over the legal limit. Traffic accidents increase on any holiday. The National Safety Council estimates that 485 people die on the roads every Thanksgiving.

Food Poisoning

48 million people get sick every Thanksgiving. 3,000 of them die from foodborne diseases.

Turkey is especially dangerous. You’ll kill off most of the diseases by cooking it, but cross-contamination may still be an issue.

Slow down, take your time, and watch every step of the food production chain. Wash your hands often, wash your tools often, and wipe down surfaces often. If you’re not sure whether an implement has come into contact with raw meat or eggs, wash it or get another one.

House Fires

Kitchen mishaps, fryer mishaps, and even fireplace mishaps can cause major fires during the Thanksgiving season. Fire departments report roughly 1600 house fires every year.

Don’t let the holiday lure you into a false sense of security. Take more care than you normally would on Thanksgiving Day, not less.

Kitchen Slips and Falls

Keep kitchen floors clean and dry, and consider adding a slip-proof mat to your floor to give yourself and your guests a little more traction inside the kitchen. It’s also a good idea to declutter your kitchen before the family arrives, just to keep walkways and counter space as clear as possible.

Given the amount of rush and bustle that can happen in a Thanksgiving kitchen, it’s also a good idea to wear slip-proof shoes while you cook, just as you would while working in a commercial kitchen.

Stay Safe, and Call Us If You Need Us

Personal injury law isn’t designed to address every bad thing that happens. But if you get hurt this Thanksgiving because another party was negligent, feel free to call us. We’re here to help you file your lawsuit and to help you navigate it.

Contact us to get started today.

See also:

Winter Safety for New York City Drivers

The Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in NYC

What to Do If You’re Injured in a Taxi or Rideshare in NYC

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