Trick or Treat Accident Injury?
If you or your child suffered an injury while trick or treating, you just might have a case for compensation.
Trick or treating is a fun tradition, but it can be a bit dangerous. Besides having to watch out for cars, parents and kids may also need to guard against hazards on neighbors’ properties that could cause them to trip, slip, fall, or otherwise be injured on their way to the door for their trick or treat candy.
Here are some possible types of hazards that could cause injuries and result in potential premises liability claims.
Fire Hazards: Flickering candlelight adds wonderful atmosphere for Halloween night, but if candles are not placed carefully, they could be a fire hazard. Considering that trick or treaters may wear bulky costumes or garments with trailing sleeves and hems, passing too close to a candle could be very dangerous and result in severe burn injuries. This type of incident is rare but would certainly merit investigation by a skilled personal injury attorney.
Pumpkin Slime: Another possible cause of trick or treat injuries could be a slippery floor. This might happen if a jack-o-lantern gets knocked over during the rush for candy or if local hooligans smash a front porch pumpkin on purpose. In any case, homeowners would be expected to notice and remove the mess during trick or treat time. If not, they could be liable for any slip and fall injuries.
Trip Hazards: Homeowners who welcome trick or treaters should also be careful to keep steps and walkways clear of any possible trip hazards. The most important trip hazards to remove are ones that are a familiar sight in the neighborhood—such as a porch step that has been broken for months. If someone trips because of a pre-existing hazard that the homeowner had clearly had ample time to fix, that homeowner would almost certainly be liable for the resulting injuries.
Animal Attack Injuries: Another possible accident that could happen in the course of trick or treating is an animal attack. A dog or even a cat may squeeze past its owner as they open the door and cause injury to kids or parents. The pet might trip the visitors, knock them over, bite them, or scratch them, and the owner would be responsible.
Inadequate Lighting: Having inadequate lighting on the porch and entryway can make all the above sorts of hazards worse and increase the likelihood that the homeowner would be liable for any trip and fall or slip and fall injuries. After all, a hazard that a “reasonably careful” person might have avoided in bright light could easily be overlooked in the dark.
If you have questions about the possibility of filing a personal injury claim for injuries suffered on a neighbor’s property during trick or treating, please contact The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707.