Mardi Gras is undoubtedly one of the biggest holidays in New Orleans. Nearly 1 million enthusiastic visitors fill the streets each year to celebrate the exciting carnival season. However, with the Mardi Gras excitement, comes a much greater risk of injury due to large crowds, overconsumption of alcohol and carefree partying.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission found that the Mardi Gras holiday is the most dangerous holiday for car accidents on Louisiana highways. The New Orleans Police Department revealed that they routinely see a spike in car accidents in the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday as visitors begin to trickle in. In fact, the Saturday before Mardi Gras is the most active day for collisions with over 120 accidents happening on that day each year since 2017.
The worst hazard of all is an individual who is not drinking responsibly. All too often people get carried away and what should be a fun time turns tragic. Drunk people who get behind the wheel not only risk their own lives, but they also risk the lives of other innocent parade goers.
With that said, car accidents are not the only concern during Carnival season. Slip and fall accidents are also common due to heavy foot traffic in many busy establishments. With so many visitors, it may be hard to keep the premises free of hazards. No matter how busy it is, restaurants, hotels, and all other business owners have a duty to keep their property safe and free from hazardous conditions. Although a fall may seem minor, some falls can cause serious injuries to an individual. If you happen to slip and fall on a greasy or wet walkway and sustain injuries, the hotel, restaurant, or bar may be liable for your damages.
Moreover, one of the French Quarter’s most prominent and memorable features are its abundant wooden and iron work balconies. During Mardi Gras, everyone wants to be at a balcony party for a good view of the floats above the lively crowds. While they can be a beautiful sight, they can also be very dangerous.
Railing and balcony collapses are not uncommon due to the age of most of the buildings and regular wear and tear from millions of tourist’s feet. These types of accidents can happen anywhere, from hotels, to clubs, residential rental homes and bars. While building owners are supposed to perform regular maintenance to ensure that these structures are safe for their patrons, this is not always the case. In fact, many structural collapse accidents are entirely preventable, but factors such as bad design and poor maintenance make them susceptible to malfunctioning. When the negligence of a building owner causes a structural collapse, like a balcony falling or the railing giving way, serious injuries can occur which they may be liable for.
Take control of your safety this Mardi Gras. Below are some safety tips all visitors should take into consideration:
- Call an UBER or use a designated driver if you have been drinking;
- Remain cautious of wet or slippery floors;
- Avoid leaning over balconies and railing;
- Watch for loose shattered glass from alcohol bottles;
- Be vigilant of beads and other throws being thrown at you;
- Remain behind barricades while the parade is passing;
- Refrain from approaching a float and do not run between floats;
- If using a ladder, ensure that it is stable and safe; and
- Observe street signs, traffic signals, and road rules to avoid being hit or hitting someone;
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
We hope you have a good time on Mardi Gras, but if you find yourself injured after an accident, we are here to help you! WGNO (ABC affiliate) Legal Analyst, Cliff Cardone, has helped clients throughout all of Louisiana with their personal injury needs for over 40 years.
If you or a loved one has been injured, and need help navigating your claim, call us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office), 1-888-892-2736 (toll free) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.