Trick-or-Trickery: Protecting Yourself Against Halloween Mishaps, Frank N. Darras, America’s Top Insurance Lawyer Offers Tips
Pumpkins, trick-or-treaters, and way too much candy are all common sights on Halloween. Unfortunately, so are mischievous pranks, vandalism, and unusual accidents. Frank N. Darras, America’s top insurance lawyer, issues advice today to protect personal property and avoid accident liability during the approaching holiday.
“Whether it’s the teenagers down the street who decide egging your home or car sounds like fun or the parent who decides to sue after their child trips over your garden-hose, Halloween presents a higher risk of an incident occurring on or to your property. Unfortunately, those incidents become your responsibility,” says Darras.
Darras recommends taking precautionary measures to safeguard property and prevent accidental injuries. Keeping areas well-lit is the best action property owners can take. Not only will trick-or-treaters be more apt to see any hazards, it will also discourage pranksters for fear of getting caught.
“Darkness inspires secrecy and mischievousness. While egging your car seemed like a good idea to pranksters when darkness was on their side, lighting the area around it will quickly change their mind. After all, most pranks don’t occur out of hatred and you probably weren’t targeted on purpose. Kids think its funny and often don’t realize that eggs or shaving cream can cause serious damage to a car or home. Taking simple steps like lighting or moving your car off the street go a long way in preventing vandalism,” says Darras.
Homeowners should also be aware that they are liable for any injury a person might suffer while on their property if negligence has occurred. This means that if child or parent trips on your property because they can’t see the hazard, your homeowner’s insurance will cover it. Remember, a home insurance claim can trigger a hike in monthly premiums.
Darras suggests moving any obstacles from the yard or sidewalks and ensuring that Halloween decorations are placed out of harm’s way. Pets should also be kept in the house and if needed, contained in an area of the home.
“Take some time to walk around the entire yard looking for any potential hazards. Check in all areas, even if you doubt someone will walk there. Whether it’s the massive amounts of sugar being consumed or getting to stay up past bedtime, kids have a way of getting overly excited on Halloween. There’s no telling where they might end up on your property. It’s better to be overly cautious than get sued for the dog biting a kid who snuck into the backyard. Taking the time now will save you the headache and a lawsuit later,” says Darras.