Common Thanksgiving Personal Injuries

Common Thanksgiving Personal Injuries

Overall, the U.S. mortality rate annually spikes around Thanksgiving and remains elevated through winter. Some of it is due to seasonal effect however some is due to Thanksgiving personal injuries such as car accidentsslip and falls, and food-related injuries.

Car Accidents

Each year, the National Safety Council estimates the number of fatal crashes that are likely to occur during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Note that the Thanksgiving holiday period tends to run from the Wednesday before the holiday through Sunday. In 2020, the National Safety Council predicts as many as 417 fatalities. AAA estimates that 50 million Americans would be traveling during the holiday and due to the Covid pandemic, about 95% will be traveling by car.

Slip and Falls

The busiest time of year for most grocery stores is around Thanksgiving. However, it is anticipated that crowds will be lower than in past years for Black Friday as more people utilize online shopping. Just because there are less people, doesn’t mean that slip and falls can’t occur due to spills, uneven floor surfaces, poor lighting or poor housekeeping.


Frying a turkey? Be careful. Make sure your guests stay away from the heat source as you put the bird in the fryer. More than three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day as on a typical day of the year. That’s according to a U.S. Home Cooking Fires report released by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA), which shows that there were 1,600 reported home cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2017, reflecting a 238 percent increase over the daily average. Unattended cooking was the leading cause of these fires.


Whether it’s prepping food or carving the turkey, cuts are all too common. Make sure you’re focusing on the task at hand and take your time. You’re more likely to be injured if you’re in a hurry. Additionally, use a sharp knife and keep your cutting board secure. Lastly, always make sure any sharp knives or utensils are out of the reach of small children.

Food Poisoning

If you’re headed out to dinner for Thanksgiving, make sure your food is properly cooked before you eat it. If the food does not taste or smell right, do not consume it. If you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you use a thermometer to properly test the temperature and ensure all food is properly cooked.

While not an injury itself, consuming too much alcohol can be the cause of these injuries. Cuts and burns can also occur if too much alcohol is consumed. Be responsible when you drink, and never drink and drive. If you are hosting a get-together and serving alcohol, do not overserve guests, and never let anyone who is intoxicated drive home. You may even want to consider having local taxi company phone numbers available or calling Uber or Lift for your guests.

Be careful this Thanksgiving so that you can continue to spend time with the ones you love most. If you’ve been injured this Thanksgiving due to another person’s carelessness or due to negligence by a business, contact Menkes Law Firm at (212) 285-0900.