Although many homeowners enjoy turning their properties into haunted homes on Halloween for the enjoyment of trick-or-treaters, low lighting, fog machines, and other decorations can pose a serious risk of a slip and fall accident for trick-or-treaters and other individuals who come to visit your home on Halloween. When you invite trick-or-treaters onto your property for candy or other treats or you invite guests into your home for a Halloween party, you open yourself up to legal liability in the event someone is injured in a slip and fall accident.
Keeping Trick-or-Treaters Safe on Your Property
The legal concept of “premises liability” makes a property owner responsible for an injury that a visitor to the property suffers due to a dangerous or hazardous condition that the property owner either fails to fix or remedy or fails to warn visitors about.
If you own your home, you will almost certainly be held responsible if a visitor to your home on Halloween suffers injury due to a dangerous or hazardous condition on your property that you knew or should have known of and failed to either fix or warn visitors about.
If you are a renter, your landlord will generally be responsible for injuries caused by dangerous or hazardous conditions in the common areas of your building or complex. You are generally responsible for hazards inside your unit. However, your landlord may delegate maintenance of certain areas to you, so be sure to check your lease and consult with an attorney about what areas your landlord can delegate to you for maintenance.
Tips to Prevent Slip and Falls
If you invite partygoers and/or trick-or-treaters to your home for Halloween, you should follow these tips to help reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents:
- Keep your yard and all walkways across your property well-lit
- Check for any tripping hazards that can be secured or removed, such as electrical cords, other wires, or decorations that can be secured flush to the ground or that can be moved further away from walking paths on your property
- Move pumpkins or plants away from areas where they might accidentally be knocked over by visitors and cause a spill that someone might later slip on
- Be careful if using fog machines or dry ice, since fog can obscure slipping or tripping hazards
- Turn off all outdoor lights if you are not giving out candy, but still be sure to keep walkways clear as some trick-or-treaters may still come to your door
Avoiding Slip and Fall Accidents on Halloween
If you are taking children out for trick-or-treating or if you and friends or family are attending a Halloween party, you can take the following steps to keep yourselves safe from a slip and fall accident:
- Only walk on dedicated pathways and sidewalks; do not cut across people’s yards
- Make sure costumes don’t drag along the ground
- Wear comfortable shoes with sufficient treading, especially if Halloween is a wet evening
- Remove masks or other visual obstructions on your face or head when walking around
What to Do If You or a Loved One Suffer a Slip and Fall
If you or a loved one end up suffering a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you should take the following steps to help protect your rights:
- Let the property owner know that an accident occurred and try to obtain the property owner’s contact information, but stay calm and avoid any emotional confrontation
- Document the scene, including taking photos if possible, or jotting down notes about where the fall occurred and what may have caused the accident
- Get names and contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Schedule an exam with a doctor, even if you don’t feel like you were seriously injured
- Talk to a slip and fall attorney about your legal rights and options
Contact a Haddonfield Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Slip and Fall Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a slip and fall in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Andres & Berger, P.C. represent clients injured because of slip and falls in Winslow, Pennsauken, Voorhees, Lindenwold, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 264 Kings Hwy. E., Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.