Who is Liable if You’re Injured During an NYC Parade?

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

In 2005, the M&Ms Red and Yellow Brighten the Holidays balloon caught its handling line on a lamp post, causing the post to fall into the crowd below. Two sisters were hit and injured.

In 1997, a balloon swept out of control and put a woman in 24 days after a Cat in the Hat balloon caught in 40 mph winds struck a light pole, broke the pole, and sent debris into the crowd. The woman, Kathleen Caronna, suffered from a severe head injury and was awarded damages.

Parades are a lot of fun, but they aren’t always safe.

With so many holiday parades coming up, it seems like a good time to review potential parade injuries and the personal injury liability that can come with them.

Common Injuries at Parades

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We’ve seen quite a few injuries, including:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Human stampedes
  • Falling debris
  • Dog bites
  • Vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents
  • Assaults

Any injury that you can imagine happening when you pack people, vehicles, giant balloons, people’s dogs, and weather conditions into narrow city streets can happen during a parade.

Who Gets Injured at Parades

Balloon handlers on the parade front lines often risk injuries, but so too do people in the crowds.

You should be on your guard and exercise your own safety precautions whenever you are at a big public event like a parade.

How People Get Injured at Parades

There are a variety of ways people get injured at parades.

  • Float riders fall off floats.
  • Marchers or balloon handlers slip or trip on the streets.
  • Crowds slip or trip on the sidewalks.
  • Balloon lines catch on light posts or other fixtures, raining debris onto the crowd below.
  • Drivers momentarily lose control of parade floats and end up striking pedestrian participants.
  • People bring their dogs to parades; the dogs get hyper-excited, and a dog bite incident happens.
  • People push, panic, or get out of control and end up shoving each other to the pavement and running over each other as they try to get out of an area.
  • Acts of violence can break out at parades, which can lead to the aforementioned panic response.

While the vast majority of people are safe at parades, it’s good to be aware that anything can happen.

Determining Parade Liability

There are several parties we can look to when determining who is responsible for your injury. We’re looking for the party or parties who are most negligent.

In the past, we’ve sued event organizers, float builders, the city, float drivers, and others. It all depends on why the injury happened and who was negligent. Was there insufficient security? Did the parade organizers fail to account for prevailing weather conditions? Was a float driver driving negligently?

If you have been injured in a parade, it is vital to move quickly. If we determine the city is the responsible party, we’ll have just 30 days from the date of your injury to file a Notice of Claim. If we don’t file with the city on time, you might never be able to recover compensation for your accident.

What to Do If You’re Injured at a Parade

You should take the same steps you’d take after any accident.

  1. Obtain medical attention as quickly as possible.
  2. Get the names and numbers of any witnesses.
  3. If injured by a driver or float driver, get their contact information and insurance policy number.
  4. Take as many pictures as possible.
  5. Follow all instructions given to you by your medical provider.
  6. Obtain a personal injury lawyer to review your case as soon as you’re medically capable of doing so.

Many people hesitate to contact a lawyer because they’re not sure their injury is “serious enough” or they aren’t sure they have a case. Don’t make that mistake. You don’t have to do guesswork. We’ll tell you whether it’s better to simply file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and move on, but often, you can’t even launch a claim without a lawyer’s help.

Get Help Today

We hope you have a safe, happy holiday this parade season, and we hope you and your family have fun and don’t suffer any injuries.

Yet if something does happen, don’t hesitate to call us. We’re here to help you obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

Already been injured in an accident? Call now to schedule a case review today.

See also:

Common Thanksgiving Injuries in New York

Five for Fighting: When Fans Are Physically Assaulted at Hockey Games

Understanding Damages in a New York Personal Injury Case

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