Halloween is just around the corner and with it comes annual warnings to trick or treaters about taking certain safety precautions for Halloween safety. These include checking your candy and other items for hidden objects and avoiding encounters with strangers on the street who offer candy if you will to come to their car or house.
There are also warnings for parents as well as trick and treaters regarding being on the lookout for cars. Parents often take their children to certain residential areas and either drop them off from house to house or slowly drive behind them while they ring doorbells. With many parents following this practice, traffic can build up endangering trick or treaters and other pedestrians. It can also panic drivers who may lose sight of their children or children who cannot find their parent’s car.
There are some measures or tips that parents and children can take to minimize the risks of being hit by a car on Halloween:
- Watch for other cars when driving and for trick or treaters darting into the street
- Only go to familiar town, city or residential areas when driving your children
- Drive slowly and do not use your cell phone. Don’t get distracted.
- Avoid driving or being out on the streets after 8:00 p.m.
- Pay particular attention to intersections and crosswalks and scan your environment while driving
- Have a marker or some identifying object on or in your car so your child can recognize it
- If out at night, have your child carry a flashlight to shine in front of them, give them glow sticks or have reflective tape on clothing or costumes –and caution them to only use crosswalks
- Use hazard lights when stopped other than at a stop sign
- Have an adult or responsible older teenager accompany your children when trick or treating
- Consider taking your children to downtown businesses that offer candy and other treats to children
- Why not walk with them and leave the car at home?
Halloween safety is everyone’s concern but use common sense when out at night and be wary of other cars and people acting recklessly.
Although Halloween is not a holiday where businesses, schools and public functions take the day off, it does attract drinking parties and drunk drivers and older intoxicated trick or treaters in cars. With increased numbers of pedestrians, this can make for a deadly mix.
In one stretch of years from 2007 to 2011, 23% of fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween involved a drunken motorist. In 2011, 38% of fatal accidents on Halloween were alcohol-related.
With this in mind, you can be on the lookout for motorists driving erratically, speeding or who have occupants acting irresponsibly.
Damages in a Halloween Car Accident
If you or your child were hit by a car on Halloween either as a motorist, passenger or pedestrian, you may have a claim for injuries. As indicated, impaired motorists or parents in vehicles who are distracted or otherwise inattentive to your car as they observe their own children or to you as a pedestrian/trick or treater are liable to you for any damages you sustain.
Your damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future loss of earnings
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma
- Permanent disability
- Lost earning capacity
If a loved one was killed, an administrator for the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death action against the negligent party. Damages may consist of:
- Any medical expenses incurred
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support
- Pain and suffering if the decedent consciously suffered before death
- Loss of the love, companionship, guidance and moral support of the decedent
- Punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct was grossly negligent
Contact Neil Burns, a personal injury and car accident lawyer from Boston who has represented injury victims throughout Massachusetts. Over his 30 years of practice, Attorney Burns has gained the experience, knowledge and aggressiveness necessary in his having obtained millions of dollars in compensation for his clients. Call his office today for an in-depth analysis of your injury claim.