Owners of apartment complexes and other residential buildings in Hawaii must comply with strict regulations to prevent injuries to tenants and visitors. Noncompliance could lead to premises liability claims. When a 4-year-old child was seriously injured after a recent fall from the second floor of a home, the importance of safeguarding windows of multi-story buildings was underscored.
Officials say this was not an isolated incident. Similar accidents occur several times every year, and records indicate that the average number of children age 5 and younger who are treated for fall injuries every year is 33. A pediatric surgeon says children's heads are the biggest and heaviest part of their bodies, making them more vulnerable to suffer head trauma. However, falls from heights greater than eight feet are particularly dangerous and could lead to fractured bones, internal organ damage, skull fractures and even paralysis.
Owners of apartment buildings can prevent such tragedies by ensuring that all windows above ground floor have locks fitted. That will allow parents to keep their children safe. Mesh screens and guard bars can also provide protection. Window stops could be effective because they can prevent the windows from opening wider than four inches, thereby preventing a child to get his or her head through the opening.
Anyone in Hawaii whose child has suffered injuries due to the negligence of a landlord or building owner may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit in a civil court. An experienced personal injury attorney can determine the viability of such a claim. He or she can assess the circumstances and suggest the most appropriate steps to take to recover financial and emotional losses.
Source: khon2.com, "How to protect your keiki from a potentially deadly, often preventable accident", Sara Mattison, Sept. 4, 2017