Halloween should be a fun night for children and adults alike. Whether you go all out decorating your home or if you provide treats for the kids that go trick-or-treating, the last thing you want is for anyone – child or adult – to get hurt on your property on this festive night. You’re responsible for the safety of anyone you invite onto your property. If something goes wrong and someone gets hurt, you could face a premises liability lawsuit.
The Florida premises liability lawyers with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath hope you have a fun and safe Halloween without any incidents. In the event you’re hurt on someone’s property due to their negligence, we’ll be ready to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Just contact us online or give us a call at (561) 655-1990 for a no-obligation, free review of your case.
Here’s some information and tips to help you avoid any potentially safety issues this Halloween.
Fire, falls, and traffic accidents, oh my!
Unfortunately, Halloween accidents aren’t uncommon and sometimes result in severe injuries. Here’s some of the most common.
- Trips and falls – Children and their parents cover a lot of ground on Halloween going from house to house. Along the way, they might encounter some uneven pavement on a sidewalk or on some decorations or a garden hose going up to a house. These hazards can lead to serious falls that may result in head, neck, and back injuries.
- Cuts – What Halloween décor is complete without a jack-o-lantern? Unfortunately, carving a pumpkin can be dangerous when handling a knife with slippery pumpkins. If you invite neighbors and their children to your home to carve pumpkins and someone gets cut by the knife, you could become the target of a lawsuit. If you still want to involve the neighborhood in festivities, maybe provide safer activities like painting pumpkins with paint or paint markers or coloring spooky pages.
- Fire – Some children wear costumes with masks, wings, beards, and other items that might stick out far from their body. You might decide to light some candles to give your house a spookier look or have a fire pit in the front yard for you and your neighbors to enjoy. If a costumed child brushes up against a candle or if embers from the fire land on their costume and catch it on fire, the child could sustain severe burn injuries, or worse.
Be mindful of pets
While we all love our pets and view them as members of the family, a lot of them might not like Halloween as it’s filled with people, noises, and people in costumes and masks. Some pets who aren’t aggressive might be agitated and act out aggressively due to fear of the people and costumes, especially dogs. They may bite someone out of fear or thinking they’re protecting their family.
Pets might also become increasingly agitated by the ringing doorbell or a steady stream of people knocking on your door. Your dog might react poorly to decorations at your house or those around the neighborhood. Any of these situations might make your dogs try to escape or act defensively because they’re scared, even if that’s abnormal behavior for them.
If your pet bites someone, that could also result in a premises liability lawsuit against you, and you could be forced to euthanize them. Here’s some simple tips to follow as a pet owner to avoid trouble.
- Keep your dog in a room that doesn’t have any decorations, one they’re used to being in. Make sure they have plenty of their favorite toys and comfort items like their bed or blanket. A treat that will distract them for hours might also be helpful.
- Check on them regularly to reassure them that everything’s okay.
- If possible, remain on your front porch to greet trick-or-treaters so they won’t have to knock on your door or ring the bell repeatedly.
As a level of precaution, avoid other people’s pets on Halloween, even if they’re normally friendly–it’s not worth the risk of your or your child’s safety.
Preparing your home for trick-or-treaters
You can still be festive while being safe at the same time. The following are a few ways you can ensure that your property will be exactly that for all of your visitors.
- Make sure all walkways and your front yard are well lit.
- During daylight, carefully look for any potential hazards that could cause someone to trip and fall such as water hoses, electrical cords, and toys. If you plan on decorating your yard, keep anything that could cause a tripping accident far away from walkways.
- Use battery-powered candles instead of any flames.
Premises liability experts in Florida
If you get hurt on someone else’s property, even if it didn’t happen on Halloween, use our online contact form or call (561) 655-1990 to schedule your free consultation with our Florida premises liability lawyers.
Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath hope you have a safe Halloween.