What happens if I am injured during an April Fools’ Prank?
Every year, thousands of April Fools’ pranks or tricks are perpetrated on unsuspecting victims. While most are harmless and involve nothing more than a well-crafted story (i.e. through a loophole in the NHL Rulebook, the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs in 2015-2016), physical pranks can result in serious injuries.
In general, if someone is injured in an April Fools’ Day prank, they can start a lawsuit for damages against the person who committed the prank. However, if the person named in the lawsuit has no assets, an injured party will be unable to recover any damages even if their lawsuit is successful. Therefore, it is important to investigate and determine whether an insurer or other entity might ultimately be responsible for paying an award for damages.
There are two particular instances where an injured party may not be able find such an insurer or entity: where the perpetrator was a member of your household, or if your injury occurs at work.
In the event that a member of your household plays a prank on you resulting in injury, your homeowner’s policy is unlikely to respond to the claim. While all policies are different, there is typically an exclusion that would prevent a resident of the household from recovering damages under the policy if their injury is caused by another member of the household.
If you are injured by a prank at work, you may be able to commence a lawsuit against your co-worker. However, depending on the type of job you hold, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act may prevent you from suing your employer or fellow employee for injuries sustained in the course of your employment. Furthermore, employers are often not held legally responsible for damages caused by the horseplay of their employees.
While you typically cannot recover damages from either your home insurer or your employer if you are injured in an April Fools’ Day prank, there are exceptions. If you are seriously injured in any way, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your rights and options.
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