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I'm 16 years old and have been doing a haunted maze/walkthrough for a few years now at my moms house. However they have only been open to my family and friends during a party we have every year. This year i asked her if we could have it opened to the public but she wasnt to thrilled about that. She's worried about sue-happy people and insurance and liability. Is there any way around this stuff or anything you guys do to make sure you're not held responsibile for someone else getting hurt in your maze? Any feedback would be helpful!
 

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I don't think there is a way around the liability. That's the sole reason I do not make my scavenger hunts/halloween haunts public.
With my luck, something bad will happen. I've seen a cluster of arm linked people take out a display at Knotts Haunt when they got scared -it nearly crushed a person. - I don't think I can handle the stress. Good Luck with whatever you decide. and Happy Halloween!
 

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I agree with celipops, no matter how much fun your Haunt is...no matter how many compliments you get....no matter how fool-proof or safe it is, it only takes ONE person to complain about the smallest, stupidest immature thing to bring everything to a halt. Play it safe and fun, cross your fingers all goes well. Good luck to you and your Haunt
 

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Talk to your parents's insurance agent. They should be able to offer you guidance about what your parents' homeowners insurance would cover, what kind of riders could be added to it or how much event liability insurance would be.
 

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One reason I only have a front yard haunt. I agree to discuss with your insurance agent. You could always post one of those not responsible for "____" signs too.
 

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Print out waiver forms and have them sign it before entering.
What if they are under 18 and their parents aren't there? What if someone says they are the kids' parent and signs for them, but isn't? What (and this is the really, really big one) they get hurt because of negligence on your part? A slightly raised piece of concrete foundation, a prop someone knocked over a minute ago that the next person through trips over, etc.? The point is, neither signs nor waivers clear you of liability. You can only hope nothing happens, or make sure your insurance covers it if it does happen.
 

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Well I guess the thing to find out is what the big professional haunters do. We went to one last year. I do remember them having a not responsible sign up but I don't remember having to sign anything. I believe it was ran by a local costume shop or something. I don't care to go back to this particular haunt as it was more of a hospital insane asylum theme. I was more grossed out than scared ESP by the body bags lol. It was cool tho cause it was a VERY stormy night lol. But they had to have some sort of liability insurance just for the haunt. I would think homeowners insurance would cover it but there is always a deductible. Best to call and get all the details.
 

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What do professional haunters do..they have insurance out the ying yang and have to deal with city, building and fire codes..

If you want to avoid the chance of getting sued, then turn off the lights and don't haunt or hand out candy.

Kdag11..as was mentioned above, have your mom talk to the insurance agent, then show your mom how you have a SAFE haunt and you've looked at all the possible hazards. And if she still says no, that's her prerogative and don't give her a hard time about it.
 

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Yes, a discussion with your agent is a must! We have an incredible amount of ins. We wanted to raise our coverage after installing our in ground pool. I discussed the possibilities of creating a garage haunt with my agent and we raised my coverage even more. This is my 31st year haunting and I've only done 3 years now of an actually walkthrough. Halloween is fun, but I would never risk my family's future over it. There is wonderful things you can do with a yard haunt. Play it safe and have fun!
 

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I had 4 years of a successful home haunt. (maze) As long as you don't go advertising all around town you really don't need to flip the lid. I would as stated call your insurance company but, in reality nothing will most likely happen. If you live in a nice middle class area you aren't going to have a high chance of running into people who abuse the system.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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What if they are under 18 and their parents aren't there? What if someone says they are the kids' parent and signs for them, but isn't? What (and this is the really, really big one) they get hurt because of negligence on your part? A slightly raised piece of concrete foundation, a prop someone knocked over a minute ago that the next person through trips over, etc.? The point is, neither signs nor waivers clear you of liability. You can only hope nothing happens, or make sure your insurance covers it if it does happen.
Actually, if someone signs as a child's parent but isn't, that constitutes an act of fraud which you can use as a legal defense, to at least shift responsibility away from your haunt.

Well I guess the thing to find out is what the big professional haunters do. We went to one last year. I do remember them having a not responsible sign up but I don't remember having to sign anything. I believe it was ran by a local costume shop or something. I don't care to go back to this particular haunt as it was more of a hospital insane asylum theme. I was more grossed out than scared ESP by the body bags lol. It was cool tho cause it was a VERY stormy night lol. But they had to have some sort of liability insurance just for the haunt. I would think homeowners insurance would cover it but there is always a deductible. Best to call and get all the details.
Pro haunts have insurance. I run (well not this year anyway) a charity haunt on a piece of property that has coverage of damages and injury as part of its general liability - it is a privately owned preserved open space under New Jersey's Green Acres program, which requires the property to be accessible to the public from dusk to dawn, to that liability coverage is already necessary. Being able to run various events without having to fuss with insurance is an added bonus.
 

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Actually, if someone signs as a child's parent but isn't, that constitutes an act of fraud which you can use as a legal defense, to at least shift responsibility away from your haunt.

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Assuming you can remember who that person was, and can find them, a few months later when the lawsuit is filed.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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Assuming you can remember who that person was, and can find them, a few months later when the lawsuit is filed.
There be a signature and name on the waiver. Not that hard to find them when there is a paper trail.

Also, if you take the time to hang "no trespassing" signs, the lack of a signed waiver for the kid and/or parent means the injured party was on your property without permission and/or the child was out at night without parental supervision.

The law has mechanisms in place to protect everyone - the one who figures out how to establish and manipulate those protections the best wins.
 

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Keep to the front yard or driveway. Just don't take the chance. You and your parents could go round and round about this. You could plan something for the front area and could be one of your best haunts yet.
 

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Also, if you take the time to hang "no trespassing" signs, the lack of a signed waiver for the kid and/or parent means the injured party was on your property without permission and/or the child was out at night without parental supervision.

The law has mechanisms in place to protect everyone - the one who figures out how to establish and manipulate those protections the best wins.
I think if you are letting a single person onto your property, as you would be on Halloween, "No Trespassing" signs would be null and void. Failing to enforce a contract, patent or trademark, or this case "no trespassing" , can invalidate it.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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I think if you are letting a single person onto your property, as you would be on Halloween, "No Trespassing" signs would be null and void. Failing to enforce a contract, patent or trademark, or this case "no trespassing" , can invalidate it.
Actually, that only applies in contract law and trademark law. Positive defense of a patent can occur after a patent expires, provided the patent holder can prove the transgression occurred prior to the expiration date. Trespass law is a legal entity unto itself, where none of those applies. And inviting one person onto your property doesn't mean you're inviting the entire world. Anyone uninvited is still trespassing. The big clincher for trespass law is the fact that if you do not post warnings against trespass, you are not barring entry and thus cannot enforce trespass law on your property.
 
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