A 3-year-old girl was injured after she fell out of an apartment window in the Bronx. According to a CBS New York news report, the incident occurred in an apartment complex on Sheridan Avenue in the Claremont section. The child’s grandfather said he was frantically looking for her moments before she fell. Details are still unclear as to where the child fell from and how she fell, but the girl’s grandfather said she managed to run away from him on the second floor and reached the third floor.
Moments, later neighbors said they heard a loud crash, like a car crash. A neighbor who looked out saw the child on top of a nearby scaffold and called for help. The girl was rushed to an area hospital. Her grandfather said she suffered a leg injury and is expected to survive. Surveillance cameras in and around the building are expected to help police determine how and why this incident occurred. The investigation is ongoing.
Laws Concerning Window Guards
Each year, a number of young children are either severely injured or killed in falls from unguarded windows in New York City. These are certainly preventable deaths and injuries. Homeowners in New York City have a responsibility to ensure that window guards are property installed. Local authorities have the authority to issue violations for failure to install proper window guards.
City law also requires owners/managers to send an annual notice to tenants of multiple dwellings to determine if window guards are required. Property owners and property managers must provide and install approved guards on all windows including first floor bathrooms and windows leading onto a balcony or terrace in an apartment where a child 10 years of age or younger resides, and in each common area window, if any, in such buildings.
A landlord (building owner) must install window guards in an apartment even if there are no children 10 years of age or younger living there if its tenant or occupant requests for the window guards in writing. For example, grandparents who have visiting children, parents who share custody or occupants who provide childcare services may wish to request window guards, even though they may not have a child permanently living with them.
Window guards approved by the NYC Department of Health (DOH) must be properly installed according to specifications in all windows, including bathroom windows, except any window providing access to fire escapes. For buildings with fire escapes above the first and ground floors, but none below, one window must be left unguarded to allow for a secondary exit from the apartment under NYC Building department rule 4.10. If a property owner or property manager is negligent (careless) in this regard, he or she can be held financially responsible for any accidents or injuries that occur due to the lack of a window guard.
Premises Liability Issues
There are several parties who may be held liable for falls from windows. Building owners and managers who have a responsibility to install proper guards can be held liable for their failure to do so. Owners of apartments, condos, hotels and homes can be held accountable for accidents that occur on their premises.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. If you have lost a loved one in such an accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties.
Compensation for Victims
If your child has suffered fall-related injuries due to someone else’s negligence (carelessness), the experienced New York personal injury attorneys with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our firm recovered $1,100,000 as a total payout for a child who fell from a window. The landlord (building owner) in that case had not installed a window guard as required under the law. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases
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