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What Can I Do if My Child Was Injured in a Haunted House?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Creepy music, dimly lit passages, and eerie décor set the stage for paying customers seeking to feel startled and scared in the classic Halloween-time haunted house. As costumed employees jump around corners and faux guillotines drop right in front of guests, people suffer premises-related injuries every year. In certain cases, haunted house owners bear responsibility for resulting injuries, and parents should take swift action to protect their children’s rights.

Types of Haunted House Injuries

Owners often lay out haunted houses in a way that disorients customers, creates sensations of unease, and directs the flow of traffic. If the owners and operators do not use extreme care during construction and employee training, they can create accident hazards and increase the overall risk of injury. Some of the most common types of haunted houses injuries include:

  • Actor-caused accidents. In character, some haunted house employees take their roles too seriously. They may grab guests or run into them with force. These actions can cause a child or adult to fall backwards, into other customers, or into a safety hazard.
  • Trampling incidents. In a particularly frightening moment, crowds may run together to get away from the startling image and knock down and/or trample unsuspecting children. Many reputable haunted houses limit the number of visitors allowed inside at one time to prevent these kinds of accidents.
  • Unsafe premises incidents. Haunted house operators must use reasonable care when constructing and maintaining the venue for the season. Improper ventilation, poorly secured props, rides, and exposed construction materials can all contribute to preventable injuries onsite. These oversights can result in injuries including carbon monoxide poisoning, lacerations, burns, and broken limbs.

The causes of these incidents are outside a visitor’s control. They can happen despite a visitor’s individual safety precautions.

Scare Related vs. Premises Liability Related Injuries

Haunted house owners are liable for injuries that arise from onsite hazards and negligent actions. However, all haunted house visitors assume a certain amount of risk the moment they walk through the entrance. If your or your child’s injury resulted from normal, safe, and age-appropriate haunted house conditions, the courts will likely side with the haunted house. Anxiety attacks and other fear-related injuries will generally not stand up as fair personal injury arguments in court.

The concept of assumption of risk will only protect a haunted house up to a point. You may want to discuss a scare related claim with a personal injury attorney before writing off legal action.

What to Do After a Haunted House Injury

Always make sure younger children visit haunted houses with appropriate adult supervision and that older children go in groups. As soon as you learn of the injury, take these steps:

  • Gather information. If you weren’t present at the time of injury, visit the area where your child was injured and take pictures. If you were with your child at the time of the incident, take pictures/video and ask people nearby for their account of what happened, while collecting names/contact information.
  • Report the injury to the haunted house manager or owner. Ask to file an incident report as soon as possible, and record the names of employees who talk to you about the incident. A haunted house employee may even serve as a valuable witness.
  • Take your child to a medical provider. Tell the physician about the incident and keep all medical records associated with the injury. A swift evaluation can link the injury to the haunted house and serve as a basis for your personal injury claim.

Most reputable haunted houses carry liability insurance to cover premises liability claims that arise onsite. Before you speak to an adjustor, accept a settlement, or let the case go, speak to an attorney. Your child deserves justice in incidents that involve haunted house negligence or malicious conduct, and taking action can prevent similar incidents in the future.

Posted by admin at 8:18 pm

When Can I Sue for a Parking Lot Injury?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Parking lots are the scenes of a variety of harmful personal injuries in Texas every day. Customers may suffer slip, trip, and fall in public or private parking lots, as well as be victims of car accidents, physical assault, or theft. Never assume that because you aren’t inside of a store you don’t have the right to sue a property owner for parking lot injuries. Many parking lot injuries are preventable and are therefore the liability of negligent property owners. To learn when you can sue for a parking lot injury in Dallas, work with a local personal injury attorney. Here are a few basic examples of when an injured party can sue.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slip, trip, and fall accidents injure thousands of people every year. People suffer serious injuries in slip and fall accidents in parking lots, such as broken bones, concussions, and head and brain injuries. Knowing when the property owner is legally responsible for your parking lot slip, trip, or fall injury can help you know when to file a personal injury claim. An icy parking lot, rough patch of grass, or uneven curb is only grounds for a lawsuit if the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous issue but did nothing to prevent injury.

The Texas courts may hold property owners liable for accidents and injuries that occur on a property if proper care would have prevented the injury. For example, say a woman trips on an uneven sidewalk walking from the parking lot into the store and breaks her hip. If the owner of a grocery store should have noticed the dangerously uneven curb with proper routine maintenance checks, the courts may hold him or her liable for the woman’s injuries. In this example, the woman was an invitee to the property and the owner owed her the highest standard of care – including checking for and repairing unknown hazards. The woman would have to prove that a prudent property owner would have noticed the hazard and repaired or warned customers of it in the same circumstances.

Auto Collisions

If you get into a car accident in a parking lot, you may have a case against the property owner. If you suffered a personal injury such as whiplash or expensive property damage, a case against the other driver or parking lot owner may be worthwhile. The courts may hold a property owner responsible for parking lot collisions if the parking lot was in a state of disrepair or had known dangers that contributed to the accident, such as a downed light pole or inadequate/confusing signage. If the parking lot owner knew or should have known about car accident hazards and didn’t do anything to prevent a collision, an accident may be his or her responsibility.

Security Issues

Premises liability laws also encompass a property’s security measures. If the owner of a property has reason to believe there is a need for security measures such as a security guard, cameras, or extra lighting to prevent physical assaults and theft but fails to incorporate such measures, resulting in injury, the courts may find the owner guilty of negligence. A property owner may know of a security concern if the neighborhood has a high crime rate, if the previous owner had security problems, or if issues have occurred on the property previously.

Failing to make a parking lot as secure as the circumstances warrant is a form of property owner negligence that can result in serious physical, mental, and financial harm to property visitors. If you suffer as a result, speak to a personal injury attorney, file your claim, and prove your claim in the Dallas civil court system.

Posted by admin at 9:51 pm