Halloween Safety: The Illusion of Danger Turns Into Real Injury
Halloween is a time of year where people look forward to the thrills of fear. Haunted hayrides and haunted houses are some of the usual attractions to which patrons flee to get their annual dose of spooky excitement. However, the anticipated fear is assumed to be artificial in nature, and not expected to land anyone in the emergency room with actual real-life injuries.
Unfortunately, that is not always the reality. Every year, haunted hayrides and haunted houses result in a variety of injuries to patrons including slip and falls, falling props, tractor crashes, and even carbon monoxide poisoning, among many others. Slip and falls are more likely to occur in situations where the lighting is purposefully dim and visitors are unfamiliar with their surroundings, which are two tactics that haunted house attractions utilize to enhance the intentionally frightening experience. Also with haunted houses incorporating more and more technological aspects into their exhibits, exposed wires can create an unsafe tripping hazard increasing the risk of injury.
Falling props inside a haunted house pose an additional threat to haunted house patrons. After multiple series of visitors make their way through the attractions, props are likely to get bumped and dislodged, making it more likely for an accident to occur.
Haunted hayrides, a hallmark Halloween excursion, also have a dangerous potential. From situations involving the machine malfunctioning, to the wagon unintentionally going off track due to an uneven path or an inattentive driver, passengers can become the subjects of a fatal crash.
Finally, many haunted houses also incorporate artificial fog and smoke using various chemicals. Without proper ventilation and filtration, the chemicals can quickly escalate the intended visual eerie-effect to an immediate health hazard for workers and patrons alike.
Before being allowed to participate in a haunted hayride or haunted house attraction, many hosting facilities require patrons to sign releases or otherwise attempt to disclaim all liability. However, avoiding a duty of care to patrons under these circumstances is not all that simple. Even in the event of an executed release or other alternative disclaimer, certain situations may still entitle you to compensation for your injuries. Consult one of our experienced premises liability lawyers to be informed of all of your rights if a Halloween attraction intended to only give the illusion of danger unexpectedly turns into a real injury. Call Williams Cedar today at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777. You may also submit an online inquiry.
By Shauna Friedman, Esq.