Every year, approximately 1.4 million people come to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras, in addition to all the locals who enjoy the festivities. People from all walks of life come together to enjoy fantastic parade floats, intricate dances, delicious food, and so much more. Certainly, Mardi Gras is an exciting time of year, but the influx of people and alcoholic beverages can make it dangerous sometimes.
People get sick and hurt throughout Mardi Gras. Some of these incidents are difficult to avoid, such as catching a virus from someone in the large crowds. However, negligence causes some Mardi Gras injuries. In some cases, people need New Orleans personal injury attorneys to help them recover medical expenses.
If you’re venturing out this Mardi Gras season, be sure to know what types of injuries you should look out for so that you can take preventative measures.
Injuries While Watching Parades
The parades are perhaps the most beloved part of Mardi Gras. The bright colors, excellent performances, and festive mood draw large crowds. While we hope everyone has fun while watching Mardi Gras parades, it’s also essential to stay aware of your surroundings and watch for potential hazards.
The objects that parade participants throw can cause injuries to spectators. While a quick tap from a wild string of beads may not cause significant damage, some participants have thrown heavier objects that can be more dangerous. Doctors and other medical professionals in the area say they sometimes treat people who were hit in the head by coconuts, cabbage, and even potatoes while watching the parades.
Even smaller stray objects can cause injuries if they hit your eyes. You can wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. To protect yourself from head injuries, be sure to stay aware of your surroundings and avoid becoming distracted by your phone.
Spectators should also be careful about things like sun exposure, germs, and dehydration. While these issues are not unique to Mardi Gras, many people forget to take time to lather on the sunscreen, use hand sanitizer, and drink plenty of water. These common-sense steps can help keep you safe while you enjoy the festivities.
Injuries for Parade Participants
People who walk, dance, or ride in the parades should also beware of dehydration, sunburns, and viruses. While participants are more likely to be the ones throwing objects, they should take steps to prevent getting struck by stray objects as well.
People who dance or walk in the parades are also prone to ankle sprains and similar injuries. Be sure to look out for potholes and other obstacles that could cause harm. If someone else’s negligence causes your injury, be sure to contact a New Orleans personal injury lawyer for help recouping the cost of recovery.
Those who ride on floats must be particularly careful during the parades. Falling off of a float can cause serious injuries. That’s why such participants should stay sober and avoid getting too close to the edges of the floats.
Vehicle Accidents During Mardi Gras
Alcohol is a big part of many people’s Mardi Gras experiences. Drinking to excess can be part of the indulgence of this celebration. However, when people get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, the party can come to a halt. Even sober drivers may have difficulty navigating the increased traffic during this time of year. Unfortunately, these factors can lead people to be in severe or even fatal car accidents.
In past Mardi Gras incidents, people have been hurt while driving and as pedestrians. Many people are walking the streets of New Orleans during this time, which can lead to more of these types of accidents. Parade floats are no strangers to accidents, either. In 2018, one parade vehicle struck a telephone pole and sent two people to the hospital. In another incident that year, someone with a high blood alcohol level drove a parade float into a crowd of spectators.
If you are involved in any sort of car accident during Mardi Gras, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether the at-fault driver is drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent, the insurance company should cover the cost of your medical treatment. However, insurance companies fight to avoid these payouts, which is why victims often need New Orleans personal injury attorneys on their side.
Fights and Other Drunken Behaviors
EMTs and doctors who treat Mardi Gras injuries say that many issues arise because people act without thinking when they are under the influence of alcohol. For example, people fight over objects getting tossed from floats or try to scale fences when they shouldn’t.
While the general spirit of Mardi Gras is upbeat, fights do occur. If someone hurts you during the celebration, be sure to seek immediate medical attention and police involvement. In some cases, the other person could be civilly or criminally responsible for your injuries.
What To Do If You’re Hurt During Mardi Gras
We hope that everyone has a fun and safe Mardi Gras season. However, we know that injuries do occur every year. If you’re involved in an incident that causes any serious injury, be sure to take the following steps:
- Get the medical attention you need and get to a safe place. Official parades have EMS stations along the routes.
- Involve police if needed.
- Take pictures of your injuries.
- Get the contact information for anyone else involved and potential witnesses.
- Document everything–especially medical bills and contact from involved parties.
If you take all the proper precautions, and still have a hard time getting the money you need to cover your medical expenses, hire an expert to be on your side.
Hiring a New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney
If someone injures you during Mardi Gras and you need help recouping your costs, contact Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest. Our experienced attorneys have been advocating for the people of New Orleans since 2003. Our client-centered approach to cases can help you get the money you need. Contact us today through our website or call (504) 200-0000 to get started.