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Product Instability Contributes to Tip-Over Injuries

Written by Ankin Law Office

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. One minute, your toddler is dancing around the room while watching a kids’ show on television. The next minute, she is lying squashed under the fallen television, gravely injured.

A tip-over accident happens when a television set, a dresser, a cabinet, or an appliance falls over onto a person. The results of such an accident can be tragic. Some victims of tip-over accidents may get away with a few broken bones or some deep bruising. Unfortunately, some victims die. They may be crushed by the item, suffocate because they cannot get out from underneath the item, or sustain a serious head injury.

Tip-over accidents may be caused by multiple factors. For example, the product may have been designed in a way that contributed to its instability. Or, the product could be defective. In some cases, a person or entity should have secured the item to the wall or floor to ensure that it could not fall and injure someone.

A recent report sheds light on product instability and tip-over accidents.

A recent report prepared by the Consumer Product Safety Commission provides insight into this problem. The report contains information on product instability or tip-over injuries and fatalities associated with televisions, furniture, and appliances.

Who gets hurt in tip-over accidents?

Close to 350 fatalities were reported between 2000 and 2011 from tip-over accidents. Between 2009 and 2011, the annual average of emergency department-treated injuries was 43,200.

Victims are most often children. An estimated 59% of the emergency department-treated injuries involved children under the age of 18. Children make up an even greater percentage of the fatalities. Of the fatalities from tip-over accidents, 84% involved children ages 1 month to 8 years.

What falls?

Any unsecured furniture piece or appliance can injure a person. Injuries treated by emergency departments included injuries from:

  • Falling televisions or falling televisions and furniture (44%);
  • Falling furniture pieces (52%); and
  • Falling appliances (4%).

For fatalities, the statistics are slightly different:

  • Falling televisions comprised 62% of the deaths.
  • Falling furniture caused 30% of the deaths.
  • Falling appliances caused 8% of the deaths.

Where do tip-over accidents happen?

Most often, these accidents happen in homes. The report indicates that 69% of these injuries occurred in residential settings, 4% occurred in public settings, and 27% occurred in unspecified locations.

What types of injuries are caused by tip-over accidents?

Injuries can cover a broad spectrum. Common injuries include:

  • Contusions/abrasions (39%);
  • Internal organ injuries (15%);
  • Lacerations (14%); and
  • Fractures (13%).

How do people die in tip-over accidents?

For reported fatalities, 57% of the people killed were crushed and remained under the fallen item; 12% were hit or struck by the item but were not crushed; and 19% suffocated because of the way the item landed.

Contact a Chicago, Illinois personal injury lawyer if you or your family member got hurt in a tip-over accident.

Tip-over accidents can be caused by many factors. An experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can examine the factors at play in your situation to determine if you might have a potential claim for damages. If so, the Chicago, Illinois personal injury lawyers at Ankin Law Office LLC may be able to help you. You may contact our attorneys by telephone at 312-600-0000 or by email to learn more about our services.