Atlanta’s Preeminent Attorney for Victims of Window Fall Accidents Due to Negligence
Table of Contents
- Premises Liability Claims Stemming from Window Fall Injuries in Georgia?
- Proving Negligence & Causation In A Falling Through An Open Window Case
- Compensation & Damages Recoverable In Cases Of Falling Through An Open Window
- Types of Injuries Suffered From Falling Through An Open Window
- Further Reading On Falling Through Open Window Cases
Windows can be wonderful for providing ventilation and natural light, but they can pose major risks – particularly to kids – if they aren’t properly safeguarded.
Most (though not all) serious window fall cases involve children. They’re especially vulnerable because they simply don’t understand the risk. Leaning in to get a closer look at a firetruck or city skyline can be a deadly mistake.
According to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission, window falls result in approximately eight deaths involving children 5 and under every single year. What’s more, more than 3,300 children under the age of 5 are treated annually at hospital emergency departments for injuries stemming from window falls.
Kids under age 4 are at the highest risk of sustaining head injuries in window falls. They’re almost twice as likely to die from window falls as older kids.
In general, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for all kids 19 and under. The American Academy of Pediatrics, meanwhile, looked at window falls among kids 10 and under, and tallied more than 5,000 injuries each year and a dozen deaths.
In most of these accidents, there is a window screen in place, but these aren’t sturdy enough (or properly installed) to withstand the full weight of a child against it.
Premises Liability Claims Stemming from Window Fall Injuries in Georgia
Window fall injury cases are governed by premises liability laws in Georgia, which cover injuries on someone’s property. Open windows can be hazardous, especially to small children who don’t understand the dangers.
Anytime someone is injured by a window fall, we can help. We have experience with these types of cases and can help you as well.
A famous case is that of Atlanta model Lashawna Threatt who died when she was engaged in horseplay with a friend following her 30th birthday party in an Atlanta hotel. The two women leaned onto a windowpane, which shattered from the pressure. Both women fell out of the 10th floor hotel room. Lashawna died when she landed on an adjacent sunroof. The other woman survived the fall to the ground and was left in critical condition.
Another window fall case is the death of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand on a cruise ship. The child’s grandfather allowed her to knock on the glass of an 11th-story window, unaware that the window was fully open. Royal Caribbean failed to follow safety procedures to prevent such an accident, including allowing the windows to slide completely open without any safety devices to prevent falls.
Proving Negligence & Causation in a Georgia Window Fall Injury Case
Owners are responsible for keeping their property safe for anyone who steps onto it. Faulty or improperly maintained windows that allow someone to fall through them are dangerous. Safety devices that do not work leave children vulnerable to possible falls on anything above the first floor.
Property owners bear a major responsibility when it comes to ensuring windows are safe for building occupants. Often, local, state and even international building codes are involved. Windows that do not meet local building codes and other standards can be the responsibility of not only the owner, but the:
- The architect who designed the building.
- The builder, contractor, or subcontractor who constructed the windows and were responsible for the type of materials used.
- The suppliers of the glass or other parts of the window frame that failed in the accident.
- Any maintenance company that was responsible for the building’s upkeep and repair.
Many hotels now keep windows sealed closed or install devices that prevent the window from opening more than four inches. But if the window isn’t constructed according to current building codes, sealing them isn’t necessarily helpful. In the case of Lashawna Threatt, the windows were actually closed. The two women only leaned on the pane when it shattered.
There may be multiple parties responsible for a window failure that leads to someone falling through. An Atlanta premises liability attorney can determine where the failure occurred and who might be liable for the accident.
Compensation & Damages Recoverable in Window Fall Injury Accident Claims
If you or a family member have been injured after falling through an open window, you may be entitled to compensation for losses such as:
- Medical expenses for physical injuries.
- Lost wages and work time.
- Property damages.
- Pain and suffering.
- Final expenses for loved one in a wrongful death.
- Other losses experienced after an accident.
Should you be contacted by a party’s insurance company, don’t accept their first offer. Instead, refer them to your personal injury attorney who can handle the negotiations on your behalf. Chances are the offer will be much less than you need to cover your losses. Accepting that “quick check” will leave you without enough money to recover from your injuries.