- A body shop repair worker set his coworker on fire, causing serious injuries
- A practical joke where employees told a coworker a project was due early caused heart palpitations that resulted in time missed off work
- Hard materials inserted into pancake batter resulted in damage to teeth
Even if you’re on great terms with the person you’re pranking, injuring them to the point where they endure serious injuries, costly medical bills and perhaps time off work is no laughing matter. A serious personal injury can result in a costly lawsuit, all because of an April Fool’s Day prank gone wrong. Here’s what to be aware of.
How to Prank Safely on April Fool’s Day
Pranks can cause startled reactions that throw someone off their balance or even increase heart rate to the point of danger. If you really need to get a rise out of someone by playing a prank on them on April 1, use these guidelines to stay safe.
Create the prank in a safe environment.
Don’t set off a prank where someone can fall, like at the top of stairs or from a high distance, like a balcony. If the person feels like they need to run or back up, make sure they can safely do so without running into obstacles.
Make sure the person who is being pranked is not holding something dangerous.
If the person is carrying heavy equipment or is holding something dangerous, like chemicals or a knife, don’t prank them. They could drop what they’re holding, spill it, or run into it and experience serious injury.
Avoid pranking while the person is operating machinery
This includes forklifts, golf carts and motor vehicles. Also, if the person is riding a bike in traffic or rollerblading, etc., don’t prank them.
Don’t cause a slip and fall accident.
Water or other liquid materials in a prank can cause the victim to fall and seriously injure themselves.
Be aware of the type of reaction you might get
If the person you are pranking is not likely to take the prank as a joke and in good fun, they may react in a way that causes damage. If there’s a chance the person could react violently or in a way that harms themselves or someone else, don’t prank them.
Leave animals out of it
Spiders, snakes and other insects and animals should never be involved in pranks. Not only can the animal be harmed in the prank, they could seriously injure another person.
Consult workplace guidelines before pranking
Smart workplaces have guidelines in place to protect employees. There may even be a stipulation about what kinds of actions you can and can’t take at work on April Fool’s Day. Doing a prank at work could put your job in jeopardy, as well as harm someone else.
Bear in mind that any time you play a prank on someone, if the person is seriously injured, they may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against you. Ask yourself if the risk is worth it, and if you do decide you need to follow through on a prank, ensure the circumstances are completely safe.
If you are the victim of an April Fool’s Day prank gone wrong, it’s important to take certain steps to ensure you are protected. Follow these guidelines.
Get medical attention
Accept medical attention that is offered to you. Keep all medical records of emergency room visits and subsequent doctor visits.
Document what happened
Gather witness testimony at the scene if you’re able to. Contact police if you feel that is necessary, and get a police report of what occurred. At the very least, make sure to write down your own account of the prank, and take photos and videos if possible of injuries and the scene of the accident.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have sustained serious injuries or missed time off work due to a personal injury from an April Fool’s Day prank, contact a personal injury lawyer like Pittman, Dutton, & Hellums for a free consultation. When what may have been intended to be fun turns into suffering on your part, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury.
April Fool’s Day can be filled with laughter and merriment, but it’s also wise to be aware of the risks you face both as a prank-player and as a victim. Workplaces have a responsibility to foster a safe work environment for employees, including protection from injuries caused by pranks.
If you get hurt, be sure to get the medical attention you need, monitor your injuries, and contact a lawyer for a consultation. No one deserves to be injured for someone else’s amusement.