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Common accidents during Fourth of July weekend

Minnesota residents will want to be careful on the roads when the Fourth of July weekend comes up. There are approximately 200 highway deaths each year from June 30 to July 4; in fact, 40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 take place during this five-day period, according to Esurance and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The common factor in these deaths is alcohol intoxication.

That's not the only hazard, though. AAA estimates that 37.5 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more from their home this Fourth of July weekend, which means more drivers on the road who are perhaps traveling on unfamiliar routes. Other safety risks present themselves at home.

Playing with fireworks, for example, can lead to hand and finger injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission. Approaching "dud" fireworks that go off unexpectedly can injure the eyes, head, face and ears as well. Such injuries can be debilitating, though not usually fatal unless they create a fire.

Illness is all too common during the holiday. Eating undercooked meat can result in food poisoning while drinking excessively can cause alcohol poisoning. Lastly, inexperienced swimmers could have accidents, which is why monitoring children and providing lifejackets is important.

Whether it's a holiday or not, drivers are expected to keep their vehicles under control at all times. When intoxication or some other form of negligence contributes to a car accident, those who are not at fault may have the grounds for an injury claim. This means approaching the defendant's auto insurance company so as to be compensated for medical expenses, vehicle damage and other losses.

The process can be complicated without legal assistance. Victims could have a lawyer evaluate the claim, estimate a settlement and negotiate for it. If negotiations fall through, victims can proceed to litigation.

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Law Office of Jeffrey A. Jones, PA

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Phone: 612-597-4149
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