Should You Be Spooked About Being Liable for Causing Injuries on Halloween?

By: Tim Bottaro | October 2022 | Personal Injury Law

Halloween is both fun and scary! Let’s talk about a few of the scary things for which there is a potential overlap with legal matters.Halloween - Trick or Treaters

IS DUE CARE ENOUGH IF A CHILD RUNS OUT IN FRONT OF YOUR CAR WHILE TRICK-OR-TREATING?

If you must drive at dusk or later on Halloween, be extra vigilant for pedestrian’s i.e., trick or treaters.  There are still several children’s costumes which are not made of reflective material; and thus, sometimes making children “invisible” to drivers.  Since people crossing streets at various places – not always at an intersection – should be anticipated by drivers, a jury in a personal injury action brought by someone hitting a trick-or-treater with their car may hold the driver to a higher duty of care even though they are not supposed to.

ARE YOU LIABLE IF KIDS OR ADULTS COME ONTO YOUR PROPERTY AND GET HURT WHILE TRICK-OR-TREATING?

Since you may be expecting several children and adults being on your property for the treats you are providing, be sure and remove or make safer any potential obstacles, which may result in a slip/trip and fall incident.  If you have been raking up leaves, using a hose, or digging up plants for example, make sure they are put away.  If you like to scare your visitors, keep in mind, they could be caught off balance and fall, potentially resulting in a serious injury.  This is particularly dangerous if your guests must climb some steps to get to your front door.  If you find you must scare people, consider the “boo” taking place on level ground rather than on steps or in confined areas.  If you have a hole in your yard, consider using plywood to cover it. We all know, on Halloween in their haste to get as much candy as possible, it is sometimes the expectation for people to use your sidewalk or driveway, but that is often not the case.

Halloween - Haunted HouseWHAT IF YOU GET HURT WHILE VISITING A HAUNTED HOUSE?

Let’s leave your property and go to one of the fun Halloween traditions: visiting a haunted house.  Those of us who love being scared (like me) often make an annual pilgrimage to one or more haunted houses.  Once you enter the ghoulish abode, you assume the risk for any injuries you might suffer.  Since you know going in you will be subjected to/be expecting to be startled, jostled, or come into contact with various spooky props, then you are on notice that an injury could result while you are on the property.  Although laws as to claims for premises liability-injuries received while on another’s property-vary from state-to-state, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer if you are injured in Dracula’s Castle.

Here’s to a scary, yet safe and spooktacular Halloween!

WHERE CAN I FIND THE BEST ATTORNEY TO HELP ME WITH MY LEGAL MATTERS?

As always, the lawyers at Vriezelaar, Tigges, Edgington, Bottaro, Boden & Lessmann Law Firm are centered on providing exceptional legal services to the people of Siouxland and the surrounding area. The attorneys pride themselves on being first-rate advocates, ensuring their client’s rights and interests are protected and each voice is always heard. Using their knowledge, expertise, and over 240 years collective experience, they aim to deliver the best results possible for their clients.

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