Determining Liability in Your New York City Fall from Window Accident

In New York City, determining liability for a fall from a window can be a complex process, involving various legal principles and parties. Understanding the specific circumstances of the fall, the condition of the premises, and the duties and responsibilities of those involved is key in such cases.

Potential Liable Parties

Fall from Window AccidentSome of the parties who can potentially be held liable if your child or a family member has suffered injuries in a fall from window accident include:

Property Owner/Manager

Property owners/managers have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This duty extends to ensuring that windows and their associated structures (such as window guards, locks, and screens) are safe and compliant with New York City building codes and regulations. If a fall occurs due to a defect or lack of maintenance (e.g., broken windows, missing window guards), the property owner and/or property manager can be held liable for negligence.

Building Management Companies

In many cases, especially in larger buildings, property management companies are responsible for the upkeep and safety of the premises. If these companies fail to perform their duties, such as conducting regular inspections or promptly addressing maintenance issues, they can be held liable for accidents resulting from their negligence.

Manufacturers and Installers

If a fall is caused by a defect in the window itself, such as a malfunctioning lock or structural weakness, the manufacturer or installer of the window may be liable under product liability laws. In such cases, it may be proven that the defect existed at the time of manufacture or installation and that it directly contributed to the fall.

What Do New York City’s Laws Say

The New York City Building Code includes specific requirements for window safety, particularly in residential buildings. For example, Local Law 57 mandates window guards in apartments where children under ten years old reside. Compliance with these regulations is crucial, and failure to adhere to them can result in liability for property owners/managers.

The Multiple Dwelling Law or MDL outlines the responsibilities of property owners/managers in maintaining safe living conditions in multi-family dwellings. This includes ensuring that windows are secure and properly maintained. Violations of the MDL can be used as evidence of negligence (carelessness) in liability cases.

Under general negligence (carelessness) principles, property owners/managers owe a duty of care to those legally on their property. If an owner/manager breaches this duty by failing to maintain safe conditions, they can be held liable for resulting injuries. In premises liability cases, the injured party must prove that the owner/manager knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take appropriate action.

In residential settings, falls from windows often involve children, making window safety a critical concern. Property owners and managers must adhere to specific regulations, such as installing window guards in units where young children live or visit. Additionally, owners/mangers must ensure that windows are in good working order, with functional locks and screens to prevent accidents.

Compensation for Victims

Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, lost earnings and benefits, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. If you have lost a loved one in such an accident, you may also be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties.

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, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. 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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