Can I sue if my child was hurt on Halloween? The answer depends on how your child was hurt and who is responsible…
Halloween has come and gone once again, leaving fond memories of witches, ghouls, demons, and angels traveling from door to door in laughing, fun-loving hordes.
Unfortunately, the fun is cut short for many families each year on Halloween when tragedy strikes – dangerous costumes, decorations, unsafe conditions at houses, pumpkin carving, and drunk drivers may land many children or parents in the hospital.
Whether you can sue if your child was hurt this Halloween depends on how and where they were hurt – below, we will talk about some of the more common Halloween injuries and whether you can be compensated for your child’s injuries.
When Can I Sue if My Child was Hurt on Halloween?
In a 2012 study conducted by State Farm, they found that children are twice as likely to die on Halloween than any other day of the year. Most of the deaths happen during peak trick-or-treating time, from 6-7 p.m.
What causes those deaths? What are some of the other avoidable injuries suffered by children on the scariest night of the year, and when can you sue for compensation?
Common Halloween Injuries
Many injuries are not compensable because they are not caused by another person’s negligence, although your own homeowner’s policy may provide some coverage.
Some of the more common injuries that children suffer include:
- Pumpkin carving: Excited children, butcher knives, and a pumpkin – what could go wrong? Some of the most common injuries that hospitals see during the Halloween season include hand injuries from carving pumpkins.
- Falls caused by oversized costumes or masks that obscure vision.
- Eye injuries caused by face paint or thrown objects (eggs, anyone?).
- Food allergies: One in thirteen children have food allergies – milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, and all kinds of goodies that just might be in your child’s trick-or-treat basket.
Although these Halloween injuries can land your child in the hospital or worse, there may not be any recourse for compensation unless the harm was caused by another person’s negligence or you have coverage through your own homeowner’s or other insurance policy.
When Someone Else’s Negligence Causes Halloween Injuries
In other cases, however, someone else’s negligence or intentional acts are the cause of a child’s Halloween injuries. When another person’s negligent, reckless, careless, or intentional actions cause your child to be hurt, we can sue to make them compensate your child.
As your children are wandering the neighborhood collecting candy, some adults are also on the roads – partying hard. If a drunk driver hits your child on Halloween, you need to get a hard-hitting personal injury lawyer on your case who will do everything possible to hold them accountable and to make them pay for what they’ve done.
With throngs of young children wandering the streets, every driver has a duty of care to drive slowly and to carefully watch for children in the street. If a reckless driver strikes a pedestrian, they are responsible for the damage that they caused.
Fire Hazards – Decorations
That super-cool, awesome, fire-breathing zombie on the front porch might just catch a child’s costume on fire and cause a real-life nightmare. Reckless placement of unsafe Halloween decorations can lead to lawsuits for damages when those decorations hurt children.
Fire Hazards – Costumes
In the United States, all costumes are required by law to be fire-resistant. If your child’s costume goes up in flames while they are wearing it, you may have a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer as well as a lawsuit against the person who caused the fire hazard.
Trip and Fall Hazards
If a homeowner or business is responsible for a hazardous condition on their property and they don’t fix it or warn trick-or-treaters, they may be responsible for any injuries that result. Halloween decorations, extension cords, or unsafe conditions on sidewalks, driveways, or porches can cause trips, slips, and falls, and a resulting lawsuit against the homeowner.
Eye Injuries from Costumes
Eye injuries and other types of injuries that are caused by unsafe costume designs can result in a products liability lawsuit against the costume manufacturer – chemicals in face masks, sharp edges or pointy objects in a face mask, or unsafe contact lenses can all result in preventable injuries to children.
Should I Sue if My Child was Hurt on Halloween?
Part of the tragedy of injured children on Halloween is that, for some children and parents, it’s the most fun night of the year – a family night of laughter and community fun ends with tears and a hospital room.
What if my child’s injuries were caused by a homeowner’s decorations or broken sidewalk? I don’t want to “go after” someone who was just trying to make the kids happy, right?
Even if a homeowner’s negligence was well-intentioned, it was still negligence that hurt your child – it was avoidable, and, if you don’t follow through, it may happen again next year. And the year after that…
Most homeowners who caused a child’s injuries will want to help. Their insurance company may fight your lawsuit, but, in most cases, the homeowner will understand that they messed up and they will want to take responsibility for it.
When someone’s carelessness results in harm to another person, they are responsible for compensating the injured person. In most cases, their insurance will defend the lawsuit and pay the bill at the end.
That’s how it works – it’s why we have a tort system and it’s the purpose of insurance.
SC Personal Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach
Your Myrtle Beach personal injury attorney at Coastal Law will help you to determine whether you have a valid claim and will help you to collect maximum damages for you or your child’s injuries whenever possible.
Call now at (843) 488-5000 or send us a message to talk to a Myrtle Beach injury lawyer today.