It’s been said that the most fun things are sometimes the riskiest, and the biggest party in Louisiana is no different. In New Orleans, we dance, we dress up, we have our parade punch and frolic all around the city. And sometimes, we get hurt.
While people come in droves from all over the world to New Orleans to participate in the revelry, sadly not everyone can handle the celebration. In New Orleans, we’re more than used to hearing about the chaos that excessive alcohol use can breed. From car accidents or bicycle accidents due to drunk drivers, to fights in the streets and in bars, we know that when the liquor is flowing, usually a mess is not far behind. Compound the excess of alcohol with massive amounts of people, and you have a formula that can definitely result in some injuries.
During Mardi Gras in New Orleans, likely the worst hazard of all is a person who is not drinking responsibly. Drunk people who get behind the wheel not only risk their own lives, they risk the lives of innocent victims who have done nothing to deserve their injuries or even deaths.
The relationship between Mardi Gras, alcohol use, and injury is well documented. The Louisiana Highway Commission cites the five-day Mardi Gras holiday as the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to car accidents Statistics from LSU show that in 2016, between February 5 and 9 (Mardi Gras and the four days leading up to it), there were 567 car crashes in Louisiana, of which 75 involved alcohol. There were also 15 deaths (of which 9 had alcohol involved), and 932 total injuries (of which 122 had alcohol involved).
The possibilities for injuries don’t stop with drunk drivers, however. As anyone who has been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras can attest, the atmosphere can be extremely overpowering. Floats and vehicles require the full attention of the person operating that vehicle. We place an implicit trust in the operators of these floats to be responsible, to not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so that our safety is prioritized.
There are also times when a person’s better judgement is compromised during Mardi Gras due to alcohol and drug use, and a victim will simply “get in the path” of someone else’s rage episode.
What many people don’t understand is that, when it comes to getting hurt during Mardi Gras, sometimes a filing of a police report is not enough to compensate for the damage that person has experienced. Just like any other time of the year in Louisiana, if you got hurt because someone else was being careless or intentionally harmful, you probably should speak to an attorney.
If you are a victim, or the family of a victim, of an accident during Mardi Gras in Louisiana, you aren’t defenseless. Call an attorney as soon as possible to review your rights and to see if you have a valid claim.