WTVM Legal Break – Halloween Safety

Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama

Gary Bruce discusses common Halloween safety concerns and steps children and parents can take to avoid an incident. Gary suggests that children stay on the sidewalks and avoid running through people’s yards. Children should also wear costumes that fit well and do not create a tripping hazard. Masks pose visibility concerns – if your child’s costume has a mask, make sure they are still able to look both ways when crossing the street. Parents and other Halloween participants should be cautious of children in the streets when driving on Halloween. Drivers should drive slowly and look both ways.

Finally, homeowners should know that on Halloween everyone who comes onto your property is a social guest. This means that you have a duty to warn of potential hazards that exist on your land. For example, if you know there is a large hole in your front yard you should try to fill it in before Halloween or place a warning sign and perhaps rope the area off.

If you have any questions about your duty to social guests or if you have been injured on someone else’s property while you were a guest, please call the Law Offices of Gary Bruce at 706-596-1446 or email lawyer@garybrucelaw.net  for a free consultation and meeting.

Transcript:

Narrator: Now answering your questions about the law and legal issues this is Legal Break with attorney, Gary Bruce.

Maureen: Hello there, Maureen Akers here with Gary Bruce today. Gary, thanks so much for joining us again.

Gary: Thank you, good to be here.

Maureen: Well, it is almost Halloween time, a lot of fun. Are you going to dress up this year?

Gary: No, no. I quit a while back. How about you?

Maureen: Probably not me, but I think this year I’m going to dress up my dogs for the first time and have fun with that right.

Gary: I grew up in a neighborhood that kind of shut down for Halloween. You know, there were kids everywhere and that was that was 50 years ago. But anyway, today it’s a little different. I think we’re all more controlled, we go to fall festivals and do these things but still, kids are out there, and we need to be aware of it. I think there’s things that we as adults, and drivers, need to be aware of and make sure we do for our kids.

Maureen: Well and how do we do that? It’s a great question, how do we keep our children safe? There’s going to be more people driving in neighborhoods, and pedestrians out on the streets.

Gary: Well I think the kids need to stay on the sidewalk. You know, don’t go running through people’s yards you don’t know, I’m sure they will. But be careful, be safe, wear costumes that fit so you don’t trip and fall. Those are kind of self-preservation issues. And they say don’t wear masks, you know paint your face so the kids can see better. The concern is these kids are excited, they get good candy, they’re sugared up, and they may make bad decisions; not looking left and right. So, as drivers obviously, I think we want to slow down, watch both ways, make eye contact with the kids before we move you know. Yeah, it’s dark when you carry things stay lit up and safe.

Maureen: Yeah, and some things that are popular like in my neighborhood, and maybe yours too, are the kind of the trailer hayrides if, you will; People hooking of a trailer and putting on a lot of kids. You’ve got to kind of watch out for those when you see those in the neighborhoods too as well.

Gary: Right, and let’s be safe about that. And I have seen over the years kids fall off of those because somebody starts up and the kids aren’t seated and ready. People can get hurt doing that. So you know that does- that is responsibility on the driver. Make sure they’re seated, make sure they’re safe, make sure everyone’s ready to go before you just kick it in.

Maureen: Absolutely, so what happens if someone falls in my driveway or, on my sidewalk?

Gary: Well, a good question. And interestingly, we have different categories for the different kind of users of your property. But on Halloween night everybody is kind of a social guest, so if there’s a big hole in your yard and you know about it, go fix it. You know, or put a sign over to do something, but if you’re on notice of a problem and don’t warn about it, then you may have liability.

Maureen: Yeah so be careful. Thank you so much for joining us today, Gary. Happy Halloween, and we look forward to seeing you in the very next Legal Break.

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