On average, a child dies every two weeks in the U.S. when a television, appliance or piece of furniture falls on him or her. This sad statistic is hard to believe yet true, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Additionally, the CPSC estimates that between 2008 and 2010, more than 22,000 children under the age of nine were treated in emergency centers for injuries resulting from tip-over accidents. Tip-over and furniture accidents are one of the top hidden hazards in the home.
We work hard to make our homes safe for our children. We install baby locks on cabinets, use doorway guards to keep small children out of certain areas, keep small objects that babies might put in their mouths out of reach, even attach latches on the toilet as an extra precaution. But still, hundreds of children are killed or injured in their own homes.
The most common tip-over accidents happen when toddlers climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on furniture. Around 70 percent of children’s fatalities involve falling televisions while 27 percent involve furniture (such as a chest of drawers, dresser or bureau) falling. Many of these furniture deaths involved pieces of furniture that have drawers or shelves that children climb on.
Sometimes a piece of furniture tips over because it was defectively designed or manufactured. For instance, a chest of drawers like you might have in your bedroom should be designed and manufactured so that the back and bottom sides are heavy enough to prevent it from falling forward when drawers are opened and a certain amount of weight is placed on the drawers. Some manufacturers design and build their furniture in an unsafe fashion, and more likely to tip over. Carr & Carr recently handled a wrongful death case on behalf of a family whose 11 month old died when a dresser tipped over onto him.
Another common problem is that furniture which is not designed to be tip-resistant frequently does not come with brackets to attach it to the wall and prevent it from falling forward. Tall shelves are especially dangerous when the manufacturer does not provide hardware to attach the back of the shelves to the wall. Toddlers may attempt to climb the shelves and the heavy shelves and all its contents come crashing down on the baby.
A 2011 CPSC report on instability of televisions, furniture and appliances shows that 293 babies or children were killed between 2000 and 2010. Unnecessary and painful medical problems caused by furniture tip-over accidents include internal organ injury, abrasions, contusions, lacerations, fractures and strains or sprains. The majority of injuries were to the head, while the largest number of fatalities was to toddlers between one and three years old.
If your baby has been injured due to furniture tipping over, you should contact a furniture tipover lawyer to see what your rights are. Depending on the type of injury and various other factors, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, future medical bills, and pain and suffering. A lawsuit can also help persuade furniture designers and manufacturers to make products that do not tip over.
Call 866-510-0580 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Our lawyers have offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, but we regularly work with families from across the country.