Escape rooms have grown in popularity and variety, providing fun group entertainment in your hometown or on vacation. But these full-size puzzles also come with their own risks. How might you get injured while participating in an escape room? And what should you know if you are? Here are some answers to your questions.
How Do Escape Room Injuries Happen?
The most likely ways to get hurt in any escape room depend on the nature of the setup. Darkness, flashing lights, and confusing architecture, for example, can cause trip-and-fall accidents. You may have to rush around due to a limited time frame, causing people to get in each other's way, trip, or fall into structures. You might find choking hazards, sharp objects, toxic materials, or even something that burns.
Is the Escape Room Company Liable?
In general, a business is liable for accidents or damage that occurs while a customer is on their property or using their services. The primary form of liability for escape rooms is what is known as premises liability. The business has a duty of care to provide a safe environment for users. Premises liability may even extend to other parties, such as the owner of a rented property, if they failed in the same duty.
What About the Waiver You Signed?
Recognizing the heightened risk for people participating under stress in a giant puzzle box, most escape room proprietors require customers to sign a waiver of liability before entering. Does signing take away your right to seek damages later?
The waiver does make your case harder to win if you do have to sue the business, but it doesn't necessarily mean you can't prevail. For instance, your attorney may be able to build a case based on unenforceable waivers, lack of reasonable care, or intentional negligence.
What Should You Do First?
As with any injury, the most important thing to do first is to get proper medical treatment right away. You may need to call medical or fire personnel, which you have the right to do.
Then, notify escape room management of the injury and damage. Ask them to fill out an incident report to verify that you reported the accident. Document your injuries as well as anything in the escape room that may have contributed to them. Some causes, like a sharp object, may be easy to document. Others, like fog or flashing lights, are harder to capture in real-time.
Where Can You Find Help?
Once the initial emergency has been resolved, meet with a personal injury lawyer about the next steps. The escape room may have insurance which will help cover your costs. Or you may need to pursue damages from them or other responsible parties. Your attorney will help you find the right path to full recovery. For more information, contact a personal injury lawyer near you.