The Overlooked Danger of Falling Furniture
A two-year-old boy in Utah became an internet favorite after a miraculous video of him rescuing his brother surfaced over the weekend. In the video, which was caught on home security footage, the twin boys are climbing on a dresser when it tips over, trapping one of the boys beneath it. Thinking quickly, his brother pushes the dresser out of the way, creating just enough space for him to slip through to safety. Thankfully, there were no injuries. In fact, the parents didn’t even realize what happened until they saw the security footage!
An Overlooked Danger
This kind of accident could happen to anyone — and the results might not always be as nice. Everyone has furniture in their home or apartment, and TVs, dressers, and desks are fixtures in our everyday lives. While people worry about dangerous household chemicals or slippery stairs, furniture usually doesn’t come to mind as something that could cause serious injuries. But according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 43,000 injuries occur every year due to tip-over accidents. Most victims are children under the age of 5, with a child dying every two weeks from a furniture accident. In the past ten years, a child has visited the ER every 45 seconds due to injuries from fallen furniture.
Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal bleeding, particularly in the liver and spleen
- Broken bones
While anything can become dangerous if used improperly or badly designed, dressers, bookshelves, TVs, and bureaus are the most frequent culprits.
Many furniture accidents are the result of improper or reckless use. Climbing on a bookshelf to reach the highest shelf or reaching onto a tall shelf for a TV remote, for example, could cause the furniture to tumble or fall. If children are playing on furniture, like the boys in the video, it increases the chances of an accident.
Who Is Liable?
However, when a tip-over accident occurs, other factors must be taken into the account. In some cases, a faulty design might cause an injury. A piece of furniture may be improperly balanced, not screw into the wall properly, or have loose shelves. If a manufacturing issue causes an injury, it may be a product liability case.
To avoid accidents, make sure all furniture is stabilized or properly mounted. Remind children to not climb on furniture, and to ask an adult if they need something from a high shelf. If you take all the necessary precautions and an accident still occurs, talk to an experienced defective products attorney to determine if a product defect contributed to the injuries.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.