Every Halloween children and their parents make wonderful memories trick or treating. The experience of having your children dress up and walk about the neighborhood is a typically safe and fun activity. The night for many can involve minor injuries from cuts and scrapes to falling. For few a though, the night can be tragic with a debilitating injury or the death of a child.
A study by State Farm Insurance and Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization committed to prevent accidental childhood injury, shows that kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween. The highest level of incidents typically happens between 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The higher incidents of children being struck by automobiles is typically because of the sheer increase of children being on the streets during that time. Statistically, there are also higher driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests during Halloween than most holidays. The large increase in children being on the streets, added to the increase in alcohol consumption during Halloween leads to a lethal combination. Even just speeding through a neighborhood in a car with the increase in children, due to the Halloween festivities, can be a recipe for disaster.
There are criminal charges which the state enforces for a child who is struck by a reckless, drunk, and/or negligent driver, but there too can be civil actions. The actions can be against the driver individually and even against the establishment who over served the driver the alcohol. This cause of action against bars, restaurants or clubs is often referred to as a dram shop case in Texas.
Not every injury can or will be actionable. Depending on the situation and how the injury occurred the law may provide rights to the parents who had a child who was injured or killed while trick or treating. It is important to insure a proper investigation takes place regarding the accident to protect the person’s and their family’s rights.