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Who is responsible for Halloween party accidents?

Halloween is one of those holidays that manages to transcend age groups -- there are plenty of parties for kids, teens, college students and adults to attend, each with their own unique feature.

However, they all share at least one other feature (aside from candy treats): The hosts of those parties have a certain responsibility to make sure that the premises are reasonably safe for their guests. That's a basic part of personal injury law known as premises liability.

Now, not every accident that happens at a Halloween party is a good basis for a lawsuit -- or even the fault of the host. If you've been injured at a Halloween party, ask yourself the following questions as you try to decide if the host should be liable:

1. Did the host create a situation that was unsafe that lead to the accident? For example, if he or she had real candles burning on every shelf and flat surface available, it wouldn't be surprising if someone in a costume accidentally got a burn.

2. Did the host take steps to prevent any obviously foreseeable problems that could lead to an accident? For example, if the porch railing was broken, did he or she tape it off or warn everyone not to lean against it? If the host has a dog, was the dog put in a room away from guests? If not, and someone falls over the side of the porch or gets bitten by the family dog, that's the host's fault.

3. Did the host do anything that encouraged guests to act in a way that led to the injury? For example, if the host organized a "zombie versus survivors" Halloween party that used paint guns, was everyone properly outfitted with the right safety gear to prevent serious injuries? If they weren't, that's a serious failing on the host's part.

An attorney can help you pursue compensation if you ended up injured while attending a Halloween party at someone's home or through some organization.

Source: FIndLaw, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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