CHAIR FALL ACCIDENTS
Chair injuries are often overlooked in our society. The only chair injuries that typically receive any publicity are highchair injuries. On average, there are 9,500 highchair injuries every year. The number of adult chair injuries, however, is in the hundreds of thousands every year.
Chairs are everywhere in our lives and we sit in them multiple times a day for hours at a time. We sit in them at restaurants, bars, offices, waiting rooms, homes, and furniture stores. For as much as we use chairs, it should come as no surprise that they do not always work properly. Sometimes chairs, for whatever reason, fail and cause injury to the person using it.
CAN YOU SUE IF YOU WERE INJURED FROM FALLING FROM A CHAIR?
It depends, but usually there are three potential parties that may be liable. The property manager, property owner, or the chair manufacturer are the three parties that you may be able to sue. Which party you can sue will depend on the individual facts of your case. For example, if the chair you sat on broke due to a product defect, then you can sue the manufacturer. Another example is if the property owner of the chair knew that the chair previously had problems (had fallen over before) and continued to let patrons sit in it, then you could hold the owner liable.
WHAT TYPE OF INJURIES CAN YOU HAVE AS A RESULT OF FALLING FROM A CHAIR?
Injuries that you can sustain from a fall off a chair can vary and is seemingly endless. Some of the more frequent chair injuries include broken bones, back and neck injuries, and severed fingers. In severe cases, the momentum from the fall from a chair can cause your head to whip on the ground resulting in a head and brain injury.
CAN YOU SUE IF THE CHAIR MANUFACTURER RECALLED THE CHAIR?
Yes, there is a good chance you will be able to sue the chair manufacturer if they recalled the chair. Manufacturers generally recall a product when there is a widely known and recognized problem with their product that has an increased risk for injury when using the product. If you were injured as a result of a chair defect that has previously been recalled due to that defect you will be able to hold the manufacturer liable.
IF YOU FALL FROM A CHAIR IS IT YOUR FAULT?
Not necessarily, but it depends on the circumstances. For example, if you sit down on a chair and the chair collapses, then it is not your fault. Under this scenario, you did nothing wrong and merely sat on a chair resulting in an injury. On the other hand, if you are leaning back on a chair and the chair falls backwards you may be potentially at fault. However, even if you are partially at fault it does not bar you from any recovery.
In Florida, there is comparative fault. This means that any award for falling from a chair will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributed to you. For example, if you were awarded $100.00, but were fifty percent at fault for falling off the chair, then you would receive $50.00. An experienced personal injury attorney will analyze your case to determine if there is any comparative fault in your case. Importantly, an experienced personal injury attorney can prevent the defense from placing any comparative fault on your case when you did nothing wrong.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU FALL OFF THE CHAIR?
First, try not to be embarrassed, as this happens much more frequently than you believe. Do NOT try to get up quickly before anyone sees you, especially if you are injured. Seek medical treatment if you are injured. Your health and well-being is of the utmost importance.
Promptly obtaining medical treatment will increase the strength of your claim and increase any award you may receive. Your doctor will document in the medical records how you obtained your injury (as a result of falling from a chair), which will bolster your case. Conversely, any delay in seeking medical treatment will likely be used against you in any lawsuit as evidence that you were not injured as a result of falling from a chair.
After a you have sought medical treatment it is important that you memorize the event. Write down notes of what happened and the names of any witnesses to the incident. Take pictures of any of your injuries and, if possible, take pictures of the chair.
WHERE DO BROKEN CHAIR ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?
While broken chair accidents can occur anywhere, establishments that have chairs that are used frequently usually have more of these accidents. These include restaurants such as McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Burger King, IHOP, Wendy’s, Checkers, KFC, Subway, Carrabbas, Outback, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc. This also includes the food courts at Kmart, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, Publix and Sprouts.
WHAT CAN YOU RECOVER FROM A CHAIR FALL INJURY?
You can recover damages for your past medical bills along with any future medical treatment that you will need. You can recover damages for any lost wages as a result of your injuries. You can recover damages for any personal property that was damaged or destroyed as a result of your fall. Lastly, you can recover damages for pain and suffering.
HOW MUCH IS YOUR CASE WORTH FOR FALLING OFF A CHAIR?
This depends on several factors including the nature and extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, any future medical treatment your injuries will require, and the amount work you have missed as a result of the fall. Every case is unique and should be treated as such. We offer a free strategy session and case analysis.