Haunted houses are a great way to get into the Halloween spirit, but what happens when some spooky fun takes a truly scary turn? No one expects to leave a haunted house with anything more than a newfound fear of the dark, let alone a physical injury. Here is what you need to know about your legal options after an injury at a haunted house, and whether you could potentially qualify for compensation.
“No Touch” Policies at Haunted Houses
Scare actors at haunted houses have one job: to effectively frighten the people coming through the attraction. How they are allowed to accomplish that goal depends on the haunted house. While some haunted houses allow actors to jump out from behind corners and grab patrons to add to the fright, others have no-touch policies. These policies should be clearly explained to patrons before they enter the attraction so they know exactly what to expect.
Does Signing a Waiver Disqualify You from Compensation?
Before you visit a haunted house, especially one that promises “extreme scares,” you may have to sign a liability waiver. Always read the waiver carefully, and if you are asked to sign away any rights that you are not comfortable with, it is better to leave the haunted house.
A liability waiver will usually cover foreseeable risks within a haunted house, such as injuries due to poor visibility or the risk of cardiac events for those with heart conditions. However, signing a liability waiver does not necessarily mean you have signed all your rights away. If you suffer an injury due to gross negligence, you may still be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. These waivers become especially tricky in cases of pre-injury releases involving minors. It is worthwhile to discuss your options with an attorney.
What Evidence Do I Need After a Haunted House Injury?
When preparing to file a personal injury lawsuit after an injury at a haunted house, you will need to provide evidence to back up your claim. Take photos of your injury as soon as possible, and if you were with anyone at the haunted house, ask them to make a statement as a witness. Once you have seen a doctor, be sure to obtain a copy of your medical records, as well. Even if you are not sure whether you will pursue a case, document evidence anyways. It is generally better to have evidence and not need it than need it and not have it.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Haunted House Injury?
If you were injured at a haunted house in Texas as a performer or a guest, speaking with a lawyer may help you determine what to do next and whether pursuing a lawsuit is a reasonable course of action. Contact Simmons and Fletcher, P.C.’s experienced attorneys today for a free case consultation.