Few things are as terrifying as the idea of falling out an open window. Even worse is the thought of a young child falling victim to this type of horrific accident. These accidents carry a high risk of death or serious injury. Astonishingly, thousands of small children are injured from accidental window falls. Window falls that are a result of a property owner’s negligence are likely to be incidents for which compensation is available.
Our Lawyers Have Handled The Biggest Window Fall Accident Cases
LMW handles a wide variety of personal injury cases, including the most highly publicized window fall case of recent years: the preventable death of Chloe Wiegand. 18-month-old Chloe was with her family on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Freedom of the Seas when she fell from an open window on the 11th deck just steps away from a children’s water play area. As LMW alleged in the Complaint, Royal Caribbean failed to followed the well established codes which hold that certain safety measures must be taken in order to prevent such falls. The family continues its fight, through LMW, to hold Royal Caribbean liable for the death of Chloe Wiegand due to their negligence in allowing 11th-story windows to slide fully open with no safety devices installed to prevent accidental falls. The civil case against Royal Caribbean is still ongoing.
Window Fall Statistics
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that window falls result in an average of eight deaths to children five years old or younger each year. In addition, literally thousands of children aged five or younger go to hospital emergency rooms after window falls.
Window Fall Prevention
There are a number of simple steps one can take to prevent young children from falling out of open windows.
- Install window guards or window stops. These provide a physical barrier that prevents children from being able to fall through a window. Window guards are bars or grids that go over a window to prevent falls, while window stops prevent a window from opening past a certain point — typically four inches.
- If possible, open windows from the top rather than the bottom.
- Keep furniture well away from windows to prevent children from having easy access to an open window.
- Keep windows closed and locked if they are not in use.
- Supervise young children around windows, and ask about window safety when you are away from home.
- Reduce the potential for serious injury by placing softer materials underneath windows where possible. Plant shrubs or place wood chips under windows to soften the impact of any fall.
- Don’t depend on window screens for safety. Most screens are only built to withstand the force of small insects from getting through the screen. This will not be enough to hold back the weight of even a small child.
First Steps After A Window Fall Accident
The most important step following a window fall accident is to seek immediate medical attention for the victim. Window falls from significant heights can lead to serious injury or death. It is vital to get medical assistance for any victim who falls from an open window as soon as possible. Primarily, this action protects the health and safety of the victim. Window falls, even from relatively small heights, may cause hidden injuries such as broken bones, internal bleeding, or concussions. A medical professional can evaluate the victim for injuries and treat any that are found. In addition, immediate medical attention serves as evidence of the severity of any injury and the circumstances in which it happened, should legal action be pursued.
Aside from medical attention, efforts should be made to document the circumstances of the fall. This may include pictures or videos of the area around the window, showing dangerous conditions or an absence of safety devices. Any additional evidence that may be helpful should also be gathered, such as photo or video that may have captured the fall, and the contact information for any witnesses who were present.
Finally, if your fall or your child’s fall may have been the consequence of negligence on the part of the property owner, then you should contact an experienced window fall personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Who Is Responsible For Window Fall Injuries
Typically, a property owner who has acted negligently or failed to properly maintain a property may be liable for injuries occurring as a result. Thus, if a young child falls from an open window that lacks any type of safety device, or has a safety device that has been allowed to fall into disrepair, the property owner may be considered responsible for compensation to the victim.
Most of the time, if conditions exist that allow someone to fall from an open window, there may be negligence involved. To be sure, contact a qualified personal injury attorney to discuss the particulars of your case.
Contact Our Award Winning Law Firm Today
LMW, P.A. was named 2020 Lawyer of the Year in Admiralty and Maritime by US News & World Report. Four of our lawyers were given the Best Lawyer honor in 2021. Our team of attorneys can claim over 165 years of combined experience on more than 3,000 cases. We have recovered over $300 million in compensation for our clients. For an experienced window fall lawyer, contact LMW today for a free consultation at 877-233-1238. We are passionate about protecting victims and will fight hard for the justice you deserve.