Homeowners in Georgia may have their concerns about liability as Halloween approaches, and it’s important to address them. For example, homeowners may turn on their porch light to invite trick-or-treaters; at that moment, they assume responsibility for any injuries that trick-or-treaters may incur. If they do not intend to invite trick-or-treaters, they should turn off the light.
Slips and falls are especially common, so homeowners must maintain well-lit pathways and warn of any potential hazards beforehand. To not do so would be an example of ordinary negligence, or failure to exercise the care that any reasonable person would exercise. Many homeowners insurance policies do cover slip and falls unless they are intentionally caused by the homeowner.
Candies, especially homemade ones, can pose a risk to trick-or-treaters, especially individuals with certain allergies. Homeowners should make sure that store-bought treats are not expired and that homemade goods come with allergy warnings if applicable.
Real fires in jack-o-lanterns also pose a risk. The National Fire Protection Association says that holiday decorations cause nearly 900 fires every year. Using battery-operated candles is the safer choice.
Lastly, anyone who might drive on Halloween will want to double-check Georgia’s minimum auto insurance requirements. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than on any other night.
If someone’s child is injured on another person’s property, he or she may be able to file a premises liability claim. For the claim to be successful, it must be shown that the slip, trip, fall or other incident was a preventable accident. Proving negligence might be difficult without a lawyer, so the family may want to consult with one as soon as possible. The lawyer may handle all negotiations for a settlement, preparing the case for court if one is not achieved.