It’s October, which means ghouls, goblins, Jedi, and princesses will soon overrun New York City. Trick-or-treating, adult parties, and many other events will coat the city with excitement and fun.
Unfortunately, Halloween is also a time when plenty of people get injuries.
Trips and falls are by far the most common injuries we see on Halloween. People walk around on uneven sidewalks, often in costumes that limit their visibility. While most trick-or-treating in New York happens when the sun is still up, some always like to indulge in the exercise until well after dark, which also contributes.
Drunk driving accidents are also very common, thanks to all the parties and bar events that happen on Halloween.
The next most common injuries are burns from costumes that turn out to be flammable and cuts from pumpkin carving.
What about candy tampering? Those incidents are extremely rare. In the United States, there’s only been one verifiable incident: a man poisoned his son’s candy to blame the crime on a stranger. Four tampering incidents occurred in Canada between 2008 and 2019, but none resulted in injuries or death. Experts say that current rumors of rainbow fentanyl in children’s Halloween pumpkins are unfounded and unlikely.
The following safety tips can help you prevent Halloween injuries.
- Pay attention to your borough’s trick-or-treat rules and guidelines. Knowing them can help you start on time and end on time.
- Avoid costumes that restrict movement, create trip hazards, are flammable, or restrict vision. Be aware that fabrics may be flammable even if they pass the Federal Flammability Standard.
- Wear safety gloves when carving pumpkins.
- If you drink at a Halloween party, get an Uber, a Lyft, or a Taxi instead of driving home.
- Check candy, even if you aren’t seriously worried about tampering. It’s a good precaution, even if the chances of finding anything untoward are very slim.
- Do not let your children enter someone else’s home to get candy.
- Go over safety rules with every member of your family.
- Have a plan if you and your kids get separated during Halloween. Rehearse the plan until everyone in the family knows it.
- Stick to the sidewalks while trick-or-treating, and stay out of the roads.
- Avoid traveling in a group that’s too large. It’s easy to lose track of everyone if you do.
- Avoid using open flames inside Jack-o-Lanterns or while decorating. Electric candles offer the same warming glow. If you want to fill your home with a specific scent, try using a diffuser instead.
Plan your entire Halloween route and festivities in advance so there are no surprises. Fewer surprises mean less potential for accidents.
Knowing When a Lawsuit Might be Appropriate
It’s important to understand that personal injury suits don’t exist to address every bad thing that could possibly happen to another person. Accidents happen, and we must address many of them by paying for the resulting medical care out-of-pocket or using our health insurance.
In cases where another party was negligent, however, you may have grounds to ask them to pay your losses instead.
For example, if you sustain a severe injury because you’re hit by a drunk driver on Halloween night, you absolutely should contact a lawyer about launching a personal injury suit.
If you buy a costume that advertises itself as non-flammable only to discover it is flammable and you or your child get injured as a result, again, you have grounds for a suit.
If you’re not sure, you don’t have to do guesswork. We’ll look at any case for free and help you determine your next steps.
This is not to say you can’t make any mistakes in an accident to qualify for a personal injury case. In New York, you may sue for injuries even if you are partially at fault.
What to Do if You’re Injured on Halloween
Remember the basic steps you should take after any accident.
- Seek medical attention.
- Get the names and numbers of anyone involved in the accident and of any witnesses.
- If applicable, get a copy of the other driver’s insurance policy, or report your accident to the property owner where the accident occurred.
- Take lots of pictures at the scene.
- Continue to follow long-term medical advice.
Contact a lawyer as soon as you feel medically capable of doing so. We can handle insurance companies on your behalf, gather evidence, and work with you to make a strong case that maximizes the amount of money you receive. There is rarely any benefit in waiting, so call us ASAP!
Contact us to get started today. Until then, Happy Halloween!