Halloween Safety – Staying Safe While Trick-or-Treating

Halloween is only one week away and soon the streets will be filled with trick-or-treaters dressed in their costumes as they go door-to-door in their quest for candy. Unfortunately, kids and families must share these streets with drivers who may be distracted or under of the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you are out trick-or-treating this year, be aware of cars on the streets. Drivers may have a hard time seeing children, especially small children or children dressed in dark costumes, particularly in areas that do not have adequate street lighting.

All pedestrians have the duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain their own safety. This year, take the following precautions to help stay safe:

  • Travel in groups;
  • Travel with at least one adult;
  • Stick to streets with good street lights;
  • Carry flashlights (turned on), glow sticks, or light-up jewelry;
  • Wear colorful costumes;
  • Trick-or-Treat early in the evening when there is still sunlight; and
  • Stay on sidewalks and only use crosswalks to cross the street;
  • Be mindful of cars that may be exiting or entering driveways.

Unavoidable Ice – Tips to Keep You Safe

With colder weather, holidays, and ski season soon approaching, we will also be encountering dangerous icy conditions. Falling on ice is one of Colorado’s most common winter injuries and reasons for bringing a lawsuit. It takes less than two seconds from the moment that you slip to when your body hits the ground, leaving you vulnerable to serious injuries and broken bones.

Businesses in Colorado which are open to the general public have a duty to protect their patrons from dangerous ice build-up. When you’re out and about this winter, remember these following tips:

  • Stay on designated sidewalks and walkways.
  • Wear appropriate winter shoes with good traction.
  • Only walk in well-lit areas.
  • If you notice dangerous ice, tell an employee.
  • Walk slowly and keep your center of gravity over your front leg.
  • Keep your arms free to help you balance. If you are carrying heavy bags, ask an employee to help carry them to your car.

Ghosts on Trial: Haunted House Lawsuits

When your haunted house visit leaves you with more than just nightmares.

Now that it’s October, signs of fall are popping up all over Denver. Leaves are changing, pumpkins are popping up on front porches, and advertisements for haunted houses are appearing.
If you’re one of many haunted house patrons, you may love the fear and suspense that comes from these attractions. But not everyone leaves haunted houses unafflicted. If you come away feeling harmed, don’t blame the ghosts, clowns, and zombies, accordingly to recent court decisions.

In a recent lawsuit, an adult became frightened while visiting a local haunted house and attempted to flee the house to get away from a saw-wielding employee. During his attempted escape, he fell and injured his arm. The man then sued the haunted house. The lawsuit was eventually thrown out of court with the judge noting that “the point of the [haunted house] is to scare people.”

In another lawsuit, an adult sued a haunted house for emotional distress after seeing what she described as excessively gory and frightening scenes during the tour.

Being frightened is an inherent risk, and often the whole point, of visiting a haunted house. When a customer visits an attraction and becomes injured, either physically or emotionally, due to an inherent risk, it is difficult to recover damages. It is only when the haunted house unreasonably increases the normal inherent risks of a haunted house that they can become responsible for injuries. For example, if a large quantity of fake blood on the floor caused slippery conditions that led to a slip-and-fall injury, this may be actionable. However, simply the fright caused by such a scene would be considered an inherent risk.

If you venture out into one of Denver’s many frightening haunted houses this October, make sure you know what you’re signing up for.