Are Homeowners Liable for Injury to a Trick-or-Treater?
Halloween is a fun holiday that families and friends can enjoy together; while going trick-or-treating or attending a costume party is a great way to spend the holiday, you may suffer injuries while you are on someone else’s property. Can the homeowner be held liable for your injuries and damages?
Yes, if a homeowner is proven to have acted negligently or recklessly, they can be held liable for trick-or-treater’s injuries. Property owners owe people who are legally visiting or inhabiting their property a duty of care and should ensure their guests are safe. If there are unsafe conditions on a property, property owners should either take steps to rectify the issue or warn others of the issue.
For instance, if a homeowner has defective stairs on their front porch, they should have a sign warning people about the stairs. If they do not take steps to fix the steps or create a warning and a trick-or-treater slips and falls, the trick-or-treater may pursue legal action.
What Types of Accidents Can Happen While Trick-or-Treating?
Many types of accidents can happen on someone’s property while you are trick-or-treating because of:
- Animal attacks. Pet owners should take steps to secure pets they know are not friendly or who are spooked by strangers, because trick-or-treaters can suffer dog bite or animal attack injuries if the pet attacks them. If someone is bitten by someone else’s dog or pet, they can pursue legal action against the owner.
- Fire hazards. Flickering candles can add a great aesthetic touch to someone’s Halloween décor; however, they can be a fire hazard. Trick-or-treaters with long sleeves or capes may get too close to candles and suffer severe burns. Depending on their placement, the candles may also be knocked over and trick-or-treaters as well as the property owners may suffer burn injuries.
- Inadequate lighting. Homeowners should make sure there is adequate lighting on their porch, entryway, and around their property so that guests can see where they are going. Guests who slip and fall and/or who are attacked on your property because of inadequate lighting can pursue legal action.
- Pumpkin slime. If a jack-o-lantern or pumpkin is knocked over, the innards pose a risk to trick-or-treaters as they can slip on the pumpkin slime. Homeowners can be held liable as they should remove the mess.
- Tripping hazards. Homeowners should remove tripping hazards like ill-placed decorations, power cords, and broken porch steps; failure to address or warn guests about tripping hazards can lead to a premises liability suit.
Consult with Our Attorneys
Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos Sousa P.C. is dedicated to helping clients receive fair compensation if they have suffered injuries in a negligence-based accident. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries while trick-or-treating on someone else’s property, you can trust our attorneys with your case. With over 100 years of collective experience, our team can help you collect evidence and establish liability as well as maximize your compensation and minimize your liability.
To learn more about how we can help you, telephone (203) 583-8299 orcomplete our online form today.