New York Falls From Windows Injury Attorney
It may take only a moment for a seemingly harmless act of looking out the window to result in tragedy. Thousands of children are injured nationwide each year in falls from windows that could have been prevented. The injuries that a child suffers in a window fall accident will of course depend upon the distance he or she fell, how the child landed and the type of surface onto which he or she fell. These types of accidents are particularly dangerous in New York City because so many families live in high-rise, high-density urban housing buildings that are often not up to code.
Statistics Relating to Falls from Windows
According to a 2011 study published in the journal Pediatrics, about 5,100 children are injured each year in window fall accidents. Between 1990 and 2008, 98,415 children were treated for injuries caused by falls from windows. About a fourth of all window fall injuries sustained during that 19-year period required hospitalization.
Also, children under 5 years of age were more likely to suffer a serious injury such as brain damage. Other injuries commonly suffered ranged from cuts and bruises to fatal brain injuries. The injuries evaluated in this study were dependent on the height of the window and the type of landing surface. Children who fell on concrete were twice as likely to suffer head injuries, require hospitalization or die from their injuries than those who were cushioned by a bush.
Window Fall Prevention
Cities such as New York and Boston have launched programs to tackle this issue creating public awareness about the importance of installing window guards. In New York City, window guards are mandatory in apartments where young children live. Window openings that do not have guards installed or those that have improperly installed or poorly maintained window guards can definitely pose a greater fall hazard particularly for younger children.
There are many steps that property owners and parents can take to improve window safety. It is advisable to:
- Place window guards or locks that keep the window from opening more than four inches. Having quick release window guards will allow the window to be opened easily in the event of an emergency while still providing fall protection.
- Install locks that prevent children from opening sliding windows.
- Keep furniture away from windows. Children are more likely to fall out of windows that are right next to beds, chairs and sofas.
- Place bushes and plant beds underneath windows. This will create a cushioned landing surface.
- Be aware that screens do not provide adequate fall prevention. They are designed to only keep bugs and debris outside. They are not capable of withstanding pressure. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy, screens were involved in 76 percent of window fall accidents.
- Carefully monitor children who are near accessible windows.
Liability in Window Fall Cases
It is possible for the family of victims injured or killed in a window-related accident to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault party. Potential liable parties include:
- Building owners: A significant number of window fall cases involve premises liability. Owners of apartments, condos, hotels and homes can be held accountable for the accidents that happen on their premises.
- Window and screen manufacturer: It is possible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor or seller of a window or screen if it had a defect that caused the fall.
- Individuals: Some falling victims are pushed. Whether intentional or unintentional, individuals who push people out of windows can face litigation for their actions.
The Steps You Should Take
The first thing you should do if your child has fallen out of a window is to call for emergency services right away. If your child suffered a neck or back injury, you may want to keep him or her still until help arrives. You can cause more damage by moving someone with a neck fracture. Instead, keep your child stay calm and have emergency crews take him or her to the hospital right away.
Soon after, it may be in your best interest to:
- Take photos of the accident site.
- Photograph the window, the screen, the furniture setup in the room and the location where the child fell.
- Write down the name, address and number of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Report the incident to the property owner.
- Keep records of the medical bills and the suffering your child has experienced since the accident.
- Preserve the damaged window or screen.
- Call the police and ambulance right away
Getting the Support You Need
If you or a loved one has been injured in a window fall accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. With more than 42 years of experience, we work tirelessly to help obtain the best possible compensation for injured victims or those who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. In one recent case, our law firm obtained a $425,000 verdict plus medical bill payments for a child in Queens who fell from a window. The property owner failed to install window guards that could have prevented the accident.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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