Smiley Law Firm - October 2017

Keep Your Trick-or-Treaters Safe This Halloween

People falling: the internet’s favorite video topic. Many of us are guilty of having a chuckle at someone’s graceless tumble. Likewise, most of us have slipped, tripped, or fallen at some point. Most falls are shaken off moments later, with an embarrassed laugh and the hope that none of our friends were around to see it. However, there are circumstances in which a fall is far more dangerous. A bad fall can lead to injuries that require medical attention or physical therapy, or even lead to permanent disability. Even a seemingly small bump on the head can cause a major concussion. Unfortunately, if a person does suffer an injury after a fall, they often avoid seeking compensation due to the negative connotations of such a claim. “Frivolous lawsuits are ruining this country,” other people might rage. “Why should someone else have to pay just because of your carelessness?” This is an extremely shortsighted mentality. Commercial businesses, where falls often happen, have a legal duty to keep their premises safe for patrons. This includes cleaning up slick leaves in the fall, salting sheets of ice in the winter, and removing obstacles that could get You may wonder if trick-or-treating is safe, especially when stories of poisoned Halloween candy circulate every year. These terrifying tales have all been hoaxes, but beyond needlessly frightening parents, these urban legends take attention away from the real danger kids face while trick-or-treating. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that children are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Here’s what you need to remember before sending your little witches and knights out trick-or-treating. LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Brightly colored costumes will help your child stay visible in the dark. That said, if your ghouls and goblins have their hearts set on being a real creature of the night, flashlights, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and reflective tape attached to candy bags can help trick-or-treaters remain visible to drivers. DRESS FOR COMFORT The cold might not bother Elsa, but your trick-or-treater may not be ready to sing after the sun sets and the temperature drops. Have them wear jackets and gloves as needed and insist on shoes they can walk in. If your little princess is absolutely in love with her high heels, have her wear the pretty, uncomfortable shoes for pictures at the door, then switch into comfy sneakers before hitting the sidewalks. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE Masks can really bring a costume together, but they can also make it hard for young eyes to see where they’re going. Before trick-or-treaters head out to collect that sweet candy, swap out masks with face paint.

It might take a few practice runs, but face paint can be just as cool. Make sure to test for allergic reactions first.

KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD It is important for trick-or-treaters of all ages to know how to behave safely as they walk down the sidewalks. They should always look both ways before crossing the street, never run out between parked cars, and make sure oncoming traffic is completely stopped before they step out into the road. Kids under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult, and older children should stick with their friends and never trick or treat alone. Trick-or-treating is a wonderful childhood tradition, and it shouldn’t end in tragedy. Talk to your kids about the risks and make sure they know why these rules are necessary. When you keep safety in mind, your trick-or-treaters can focus on the best part of Halloween: getting the most candy!

Injured by a Fall?

You Are Entitled to Compensation

underfoot. If someone’s negligence resulted in your injury, then seeking compensation should never be considered “frivolous.”

Sometimes, an injured person may not want to make a claim

because they have a prior relationship with the establishment where the fall occurred. It’s

important to remember that property owners rarely have to foot the bill for your injures out of pocket. Depending on the circumstances, insurance policies will cover such incidents, which means you can have your bills paid and receive compensation for pain and suffering as well. If you’ve experienced injured due to a fall, don’t suffer in silence. Call Smiley Law Firm at 504-208-1124 and speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer today.

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