Brian White | October 26, 2017 | safety
Halloween is right around the corner and that means costumes, candy, and scary events like haunted hayrides, amusement parks, and haunted houses. While these can be fun and exciting outings for the whole family, it’s also important to remember your rights in the event of an injury. A haunted house attraction owes a duty of care to patrons, and, despite the scary atmosphere, they must take care to prevent injuries to guests. Haunted house injuries happen in a variety of circumstances:
- Overzealous actors. Some haunted house attractions employ actors who dress up as monsters to frighten guests. If an actor gets carried away in his or her role, it can cause injuries to guests, such as scaring them into falling over and suffering a head injury, rushing them and causing a collision, or grabbing guests to scare them. Just like any other work-related legal issue involving an employee, haunted house employees will incur liability for an injured guest’s damages if they acted beyond the scope of their job duties.
- Some haunted houses feature very surprising exhibits or events that suddenly startle large groups of patrons. If a large group of guests suddenly starts to run away, it can cause a small stampede effect, sometimes causing trampling injuries to small children who may be in attendance.
- Unsafe premises. A haunted house may look decrepit and run-down, but it’s imperative for attraction purveyors to take care of their premises to prevent injuries to guests. Weak floors, damaged walls, lack of safety features like railings and guardrails, and other common-sense safety violations can cause serious injuries.
When discussing haunted house injuries, it’s essential to consider the concept of assumed risk. All haunted house patrons assume a degree of risk when they enter a haunted house. Logically, a patron would expect to be scared during a haunted house attraction.
If guests suffer an anxiety attack, they would probably fail in a civil action against the haunted house. Injured patrons will likely only succeed in civil claims if an injury resulted from negligence or unsafe premises conditions. If the injury occurred during normal, age-appropriate, and reasonably safe conditions, the court will side with the attraction purveyor.
Contact an Attorney
After any haunted house injury, address your medical needs immediately and then reach out to a reliable Houston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Property owners have a legal duty to address known safety hazards in a timely and effective manner. Additionally, they must warn lawful visitors to the property of any known hazards. When negligence or unsafe premises lead to haunted house injuries, an attorney can help an injured plaintiff recover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages in a personal injury claim.
Most haunted house attractions will carry liability insurance to cover the cost of any guest injuries. However, it’s vital to speak to an attorney before accepting a claim payout or settlement. In most situations, insurance companies will look for any possible reason to lowball or deny a claim, and a premises liability attorney can help an injured client maximize his or her compensation.