Am I Liable for Injuries on My Property on Halloween?
Halloween is the biggest night of the year where children with costumes go out to trick-or-treat and load up on sugary treats. Halloween night allows families to transform their front yards into haunted houses or creepy graveyards, and neighborhoods even have competitions to see who has the scariest home. With an increased number of kids near your home, someone might get injured.
What Happens If a Trick-or-Treater is Injured at My Home?
If a visitor is injured on your property, you might be found liable for their injuries if you were negligent. This concept is called premises liability. For instance, if you own the home, you could be responsible for any slips and falls on your front yard that lead to an injury. If a trick-or-treater was injured at a business that you own, you could also be liable if it was found you were negligent in keeping the property safe.
To be found liable in a premises liability case, you must have caused or created the dangerous hazard; known about the condition but failed to repair or warn others of it within a reasonable time; or it is proven that you should have known about the hazard and had a reasonable time to repair or warn others of it. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Walsh Woodard LLC today if you seek potential representation.
In order to prevent a premises liability lawsuit, you should make sure that you properly prepare your home for Halloween night. You should:
- Keep your front yard and any walkways well lit
- Ensure there are no trip hazards, such as cords, wires, or any decorations that aren’t easily seen
- Use battery-powered candles in Jack-o-Lanterns and other decorations to prevent a fire
- Use caution with fog machines or dry ice, since these can limit sight
- Make sure your dogs are kept inside
Hartford Personal Injury Lawyer
Hartford Personal Injury Lawyers
The fall season is a time that many in our area will celebrate a well-known, much loved holiday. Halloween is a day in which excited children dress up, show off their costumes and enjoy too many sweet treats. It is also a time when children are exposed to potential injury due to some increased risks and conditions that exist on Halloween. The Hartford Personal Injury Lawyers at The Law Offices of Walsh & Woodward offer the following safety tips for all trick-or-treaters and party-goers to ensure a safe and fun holiday, instead of a scary one.
Limit trick-or-treating to your own neighborhood where people are more likely to watch out for your well-being
Travel in groups. It’s fun & safe
Stay in a well lit area and carry a flashlight
Visit well lit homes
Never enter a stranger’s home, even if invited inside
Have an adult inspect your candy for signs of tampering before eating • Don’t eat anything that looks suspicious
Be highly visible to motorists
Wear light colored costumes with reflective tape
Carry a flashlight
If you wear a mask, cut the eye holes larger to maximize vision
Make sure costumes are flame resistant
Avoid carrying sharp or pointed objects to prevent injuries
Pre-plan a trick-or-treat route for your children
Escort younger children or designate responsibility to an older child
Keep children in-sight
Do not let children dart into traffic
Watch for children who are easily distracted by Halloween activities
Watch for small children entering the roadway without warning
Turn on your headlights to increase visibility
Drive below the posted speed limit
Labor Day Lawyer
The Connecticut Police Departments, Traffic Enforcement Unit, will be conducting A Labor Day Weekend Sobriety/Driver License Checkpoint.
Labor Day is coming up and DUI task forces will be out looking for impaired drivers throughout this holiday weekend. There will be many saturated areas of police officers locally and they will pull anyone over that commits any minor traffic violation. They will be putting several drivers through field sobriety tests, breath tests, and even blood tests if they take that driver down to the police station.
Due to multiple cars being on the road and many potential drunk drivers, there are high number of auto accidents. If you or anyone you know is involved in an auto accident over this holiday weekend, please contact us today so that we can help with this difficult process. You need to be dealing with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney.
If you are at the lake and on a boat, this will apply to the person who is driving the boat. You can get a Boating DUI, which is called Operating under the Influence (OUI) while boating.
Important Connecticut Tort Deadlines
|Notice Periods||Length of Time|
|Defective Highway Statute §13a-144 (state), §13a-149 (municipal)||90 days (2 yr. Statute of Limitations).|
|Dram Shop Statute §30-102||120 days (injury), 180 days (death or incapacity)(1 yr. Statute of Limitations).|
|Municipal Employee Negligence Claim §7-465||6 months (2 yr. Statute of Limitations).|
|Firefighter Negligence Claim §7-308||6 months (1 yr. Statute of Limitations).|
|Claims Against the State §4-148||1 yr. from when “sustained or discovered,” not to exceed 3 yrs. (Notice must be filed with the Claims Commissioner).|
|Housing Authority Claims §8-67||6 months (2 yr. Statute of Limitations).|
|Statute of Limitations||Length of Time|
|Negligence/ Reckless Claims (including Medical Malpractice) for Injury to Person or Property §52-584||2 yrs. from when “sustained or discovered,” not to exceed 3 yrs.|
|Wrongful Death §52-555||2 yrs. from death, not to exceed 5 yrs. from date of act.|
|Other Torts (including intentional acts and legal malpractice) §52-577||3 yrs.|
|Product Liability Claim §52-577a||3 yrs. from when first “sustained or discovered,” not to exceed 10 yrs. from when defendant parted with possession.|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims §38a-336(g)(1)||3 yrs. from date of accident.But in UIM claim, Statute of Limitations may be tolled by (1) notifying insurer of claim in writing, within 3 yrs.; and (2) bringing suit within 180 days from exhaustion of limits of all applicable liability policies.|
|Other||Length of Time|
|Service of Complaint §52-46||12 days before return date.|
|Filing of Complaint §52-46a||6 days before return date.|
|Substitution of Estate upon death of plaintiff §52-599 (b)||Within 6 months of plaintiff’s death or, subject to the court’s discretion and for good cause shown, at any time prior to the action commencing trial.|
|Substitution of Estate upon death of defendant §52-599 (b)||Within 1 yr. after receiving notice of defendant’s death.|
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, what should I do?
First, if you are injured, you should seek medical care for your injuries without regard to any potential lawsuit. If you are injured due to the fault of another person, you may well have the right to pursue a claim for injuries or losses against that person, probably through their insurance company. Because every case involves individual facts, your best course is probably to contact an attorney who can help advise you of the particular claim. Before you speak to any insurance personnel, you may want to at least engage in some sort of initial consultation with an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. You should also take photographs of the damage to the vehicles before they are repaired.
You can read more on this topic here
What compensation am I entitled to?
If you are injured in an accident due to the fault of another, you are entitled to the following types of damages:
- Lost wages, profits and future earnings
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Mental and emotional injuries
For damages like pain and suffering, disfigurement, etc. that do not usually involve specific dollar amounts, compensation for those damages is based upon what constitutes fair, just and reasonable compensation. The amount of that compensation is an amount that can be agreed upon in settlement discussions, or ultimately, determined by a jury.
What is a contingency fee?
Most of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee agreement means that we are paid only if we are successful in obtaining a monetary recovery in the pursuit of your case. We typically will be paid 1/3 of the monetary amount awarded if your case involves personal injuries, including medical malpractice. With this type of arrangement, if the case is lost, and no money is awarded, you do not owe us any legal fees for our time.
See also, our Glossary of Legal Terms
Am I responsible for costs and expenses for bringing a personal injury case?
For cases handled on a contingency fee basis for personal injuries, we only require our clients to reimburse our firm for costs and expenses associated with litigation if we are successful in recovering money either by way of settlement or trial. In some circumstances, we do negotiate with a client who wants certain experts retained or cases investigated before we agree to accept the matter. However, in most instances, we only require costs and expenses for personal injury cases to be paid back out of the proceeds of the case.
Will I have to go to Court or testify?
Many personal injury cases settle before a case actually goes to trial. However, if the defendant or insurance company is unwilling to offer money towards settlement or the amount is not reasonable, the case will go to trial. If so, the person bringing the personal injury case needs to be present and involved in the case. If any other testimony is required before the trial, the attorney will prepare you for that process.
What is medical malpractice?
When a patient is harmed or suffers serious illness due to the negligence of a health care provider, he or she is a victim of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a complex area of law that requires experienced attorneys. Oftentimes until medical records are fully reviewed and investigated, it is impossible to know whether someone truly has been subjected to medical malpractice. Please see the practice areas or contact us directly for further information.
See also, our Glossary of Legal Terms
If I am injured, how long do I have to bring a claim?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. For your particular case, you should consult with an attorney to get an accurate answer to this question. In general, injuries for negligent drivers causing an accident must be filed within two years of the date of accident. Medical malpractice cases have a similar time frame, although there are certain circumstances that allow for extensions of the two year time frame. However, in some instances you may need to provide certain notice to the wrongdoers well before the two year time period. Therefore, if you are contemplating a claim, you should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible after the event to preserve your rights.
Is money received for personal injuries taxable income?
In general, damages paid for compensation for personal physical injures or physical sickness is generally excluded from taxable income. However, if a component of your settlement is for lost wages, or emotional distress not tied to physical injury or sickness, or punitive damages, those items can be taxable. We are not tax attorneys and would always recommend that any compensation you receive be discussed with your tax advisor. However, in general, settlements or verdicts that are compensation for physical injures and physical sickness caused by the negligence of another person are excluded from income. For the most recent regulation from the IRS, please see the regulation at 26 C.F.R I§I.I04-1(c).
Glossary of Legal Terms
For our Glossary of Legal Terms click here
Walsh Woodard LLC opens new West Hartford office
Walsh Woodard LLC has relocated the Hartford office to a new convenient location, 527 Prospect Avenue in West Hartford, CT. Please stop by and see our new space!
Attorney Thomas Moukawsher appointed Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court
Congratulations to our former partner, Thomas Moukawsher who on March 6, 2013 was formally sworn in as a Judge of the Superior Court here in Connecticut. Our firm will continue to handle disability and pension matters. If anyone has questions or concerns about new or pending matters please call 860-785-2011 or contact us online.