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October 28th, 2019
October is the month when witches and ghouls come out to
play, but for all who love a scary good time, an injury is exactly the wrong
kind of scare when you want to have fun. Unfortunately, people are injured at
Halloween attractions and while out trick-or-treating every year. So how you
can prevent it, and what can you do if it happens to you?
Whenever someone enters a haunted house, they take on
“assumed risk.” Assumption of risk is a legal term meaning a plaintiff can’t
sue for damages if they willingly exposed themselves to a danger they knew
about. In the case of haunted houses, where people go to be scared, this means
you can’t sue for “fear-based injuries” such as panic attacks or heart attacks.
Likewise, you may have difficulty getting compensation if you trip and fall
while running away from a haunted house actor because they scared you.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get compensation at all
if you are injured in a haunted house. If your injuries were caused by a hazard
that the average person would not reasonably expect to find in a haunted house,
the haunted house operator may still be found negligent and liable for your
injuries, even if you signed a waiver before entering.
Haunted houses aren’t open year-round, which means they are
often hastily constructed, and though they are legally required to meet
building safety codes, ADA compliance laws, and fire code regulations, many do
not. Visitors to haunted houses can be injured by weak walls and uneven floors,
exposed nails or extension cords, missing or broken guardrails, poor lighting,
and lack of clearly marked exits. Because many haunted houses also use
artificial fog, visitors may be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if the
venue does not have sufficient ventilation.
Other risks may include:
When haunted house operators expose visitors to risks
outside of what they agreed to when they entered, or fail to warn visitors
about all potential risks, they may be liable for any injuries that may occur.
Most Halloween attractions carry liability insurance to
cover the medical costs of any guests who are injured on the property. However,
insurance companies will often fight injury claims by arguing the injury falls
under the assumed risk. To protect your rights to compensation, follow these
Premises liability doesn’t only apply for business owners like haunted house operators. Homeowners can also be sued if someone slips and falls on their property. Protect yourself from an injury lawsuit this year by making your home safe for trick-or-treaters with these tips.
Whether you plan to go trick-or-treating or are buying
tickets for a haunted house this October 31st, make sure to always
follow these safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and free of
From all of us at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we wish you a safe and happy Halloween! If you or a loved one suffered injuries while visiting a Halloween attraction, don’t hesitate to call our team.