Halloween Attractions and Events Can Be Dangerous for Child Employees Who Help Run the Events

Halloween activities such as haunted houses, mazes, hayrides, and other events often cause serious injury or death to child participants. Teenagers who are employed by businesses to operate or assist in these events are also susceptible to injury or death caused by businesses’ negligence, dangerous conditions on land used for events, or the recklessness or negligence of participants. In October 2014, for instance, a teenaged employee taking part in a Zombie and paint-ball Halloween attraction was killed when he tripped and fell under the rear wheel of a bus that was being driven through a corn maze as part of the attraction. The accident occurred when the teen ran toward the bus, which was full of passengers who had paid to shoot paint balls at the teen and other employees who were dressed as zombies. The employees were hired to jump out from the maze and other hiding places and to pretend to attack the bus so that they could be “shot” by participants. This was the first year that the particular attraction had been offered by the business operating the event.

halloween injuryEmployees of all sorts may be injured while performing jobs for employers. Can an employer be held liable for a child employee’s injury or death? The liability of any employer for an employee’s injury or death may depend on many things, including the state in which an accident occurred and the particular circumstances of the injury-causing accident. If your child was injured or killed while working for an employer or as a result of someone’s negligence, child injury attorney Jeff Killino and his nationally recognized team of child accident and injury lawyers can help you obtain the compensation to which you and your child are entitled.

Legal Responsibility for Children’s Work Accident Injuries and Deaths

When a child employee is injured while working for an employer, the child may be entitled to compensation through workers’ compensation or, in some cases, a civil tort action brought against the responsible individual or entity.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is insurance purchased by employers to compensate employees for work-related injuries and to pay survivors’ benefits to the families of employees whose injuries are fatal. Every state has its own workers’ compensation laws, so the particular provisions of workers’ comp statutes vary somewhat from state to state. Despite this variation, most states require all businesses to carry some type of workers’ compensation insurance.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to an employee’s entitlement to workers’ compensation for injuries sustained on the job. On the plus side, workers’ comp benefits enable an injured employee to recover damages for injuries caused by an employer’s negligence without having to go through a lawsuit against the employer. Workers’ comp benefits may also be available to an injured employee even for injuries caused by the employee’s own negligence and through no fault of the employer (though some states deny benefits to an employee who was injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or who intentionally caused his or her own injury).

On the minus side, most state statutes limit the amount an injured employee may recover for an injury and prevent the employee from suing co-workers whose negligence or other conduct may have contributed to the employee’s injury. These statutes generally also prohibit an employee from suing his employer, forcing the employee to accept workers’ comp benefits in lieu of what the employee might have recovered in a civil tort action. This “exclusive remedy” aspect of workers’ comp is not always desirable, as workers’ comp benefits do not cover pain and suffering endured by an employee as a result of an injury.

In some states, certain classes of workers are not entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. Many state statutes do not include agricultural employees, domestic employees, and independent contractors in their workers’ comp systems. Thus, a child employee injured in a Halloween event operated by a farming business may not be entitled to workers’ comp benefits under certain state laws if the employee is determined to be a farm worker. In such a case, the employee would be free to bring suit against the employer for injuries caused by the employer’s negligence or other actionable conduct. Such an employee may also seek civil tort damages from a co-employee whose negligence or other actionable conduct was a cause of the employee’s injury.

Civil Tort Actions

Even workers who are covered by workers’ compensation may be entitled to bring civil actions to recover damages for work-related injuries under certain circumstances. Recovery for injuries caused to an employee by an employer’s intentional act, for example, may be sought through a civil tort action against the employer rather than through workers’ compensation benefits. Damages for injuries caused by a defect in products or equipment used on a job may also be pursued through the institution of a product liability action against the manufacturer of the equipment or product and others involved in its production or sale. On-the-job injuries caused by the actionable conduct of someone other than a co-worker or employer may also be compensated through a civil tort action. If, for example, a worker’s injury is due to the recklessness or negligence of a business patron who was participating in a Halloween event, the injured worker would be entitled to seek damages for the injury through a civil action against the patron.

Obtain Expert Assistance from Child Injury Attorney Jeffrey Killino

Child injury attorney Jeffrey Killino and his team of child injury and wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to achieving justice for all children who have been injured or killed as a result of someone’s negligence or a defect in a product or equipment. If your child has been injured or killed in a work-related accident and you have reason to believe that the accident or resultant injuries were caused by the negligence or intentional act of your child’s employer or by defective products or equipment used by your child while on the job, contact attorney Killino for additional information about your legal rights and options.