Danger From Above: Injuries When Objects Fall on Your Head
There are, or at least used to be, children’s cartoons, where large objects fall from tall buildings onto cartoon character’s heads. And while it is unlikely in real life that a giant piano will fall from the top of a building on your head, it is much more likely that a more common item could fall from above you while inside of a store.
Why So Dangerous?
Falling items are particularly dangerous because unlike traditional falls, victims often don’t see items falling from above, and thus, have no opportunity to brace themselves or their body parts for impact, the way that they would when they fall.
Additionally, while a traditional fall can, of course, cause significant injury, in many cases, our heads are not affected by the fall. But when something falls from above us, onto where we are walking or standing, our heads and necks are vulnerable and exposed.
Making falling objects even more dangerous is the impact of gravity; it isn’t just the weight of the falling object that hits your head and neck, it is the weight magnified by the downward force of gravity.
How These Accidents Happen
The most common scenario involving falling objects, are merchandise that is improperly or unsafely stacked or stored on store shelves.
Sometimes, this is the store’s doing—the store may have excess merchandise, and may just opt to pile all the excess merchandise high up on a top shelf, away from view of customers. In other cases, customers who can reach the higher shelves may just throw objects onto those shelves.
In cases where it is clear that there is merchandise that is precariously stacked, many stores won’t have the proper warning signs telling customers to avoid the area.
Investigating Falling Items
When objects fall from store shelves, your injury attorney will investigate to see which employee last worked on the particular shelf, or which employee handled the item that fell on you. If the item is observable by the naked eye, and the items were improperly stacked for long enough, the store may have constructive knowledge that the items were improperly stacked—even if the store didn’t actually know the items were ripe to collapse.
There are experts, both in merchandising, and even in basic physics, who can testify that the way that a particular shelf was stacked was dangerous, and prone to falls or collapses.
It isn’t just stores where accidents happen. At construction sites, workers can drop objects on people below, when construction is going on over walkways or sidewalks. This is a common injury not just for innocent bystanders, but also constitutes a risk to the construction workers themselves, who often need to make workers compensation claims for these kinds of injuries.
Have you been injured by an item falling on you from above? Contact the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian and schedule a consultation today.