An innocent game of ball on a Marina Park premises turned deadly last week. A young boy, seeking to retrieve the ball he was playing with from a large flower pot, was killed when the vessel loosed from its position and fell atop him. The heavy object, a 4-foot-long ceramic flower pot in a window planter box, toppled over, and landed on 8-year-old Kevin Reilly’s head. This tragic accident shattered the neighborhood in Brooklyn; neighbors on the scene remember hearing Kevin’s mother shout desperately for help.
Police and fire department authorities were called and rushed immediately to the scene, but it was too late to save the young boy’s life. He was brought to Coney Island Hospital, where he died.
It is a sad fact of life that freak accidents of this sort happen, despite our best intentions. However, there are steps which home and property owners can take to secure heavy objects and safeguard their properties from potential hazards, so as to help avoid incidents such as these.
Securing Air Conditioners in Windows
Falling out of a window is a recognized danger, but there is equal danger in unsecured items falling from windows. With summer fast approaching, it’s of paramount importance that homeowners learn how to properly secure air conditioners into the windows of their homes. Here’s a quick guide on how to install air conditioners.
- Keep It Level: Center the air conditioner in the window. Make sure the edges and flanges align and form a tight and even seal. If you’ve installed the unit evenly, condensation will be able to drain properly, which will help the air conditioner maintain an even weight. This will decrease the likelihood of a weight imbalance, which could cause the unit to fall out of the window.
- Add Security: Screw in the top and bottom sashes that should have come, as part of the mounting kit, with the air conditioner. These will keep the unit firmly in place.
- Close the Gap: Most air conditioners have side curtains that can accordion out to fit the horizontal frame of the window in question. Extend these as far as possible, then insert screws to hold them in place. This will add an extra level of security.
- Insulate: If available, insert foam or other insulation into whatever gaps are visible in the frame. This will not only prevent air from escaping, which will cool your room quicker and save you money on energy bills, but will provide a more snug fit for the air conditioner itself.
When an accident happens, who is at fault? Matters like these fall under the purview of something called “premises liability.” Property owners and non-owner residents alike are responsible for maintaining reasonably safe and hazard-free environments. Visitors to your property are entitled to expect that they won’t be injured. Which means that, if an accident does occur and an individual is injured, an investigation into fault must be performed. This is not always so cut and dried. For example, if a delivery man or woman comes onto your front porch and steps on an exposed nail, which punctures their foot, you will likely be at fault. However, if a would-be intruder tries to burgle your home under the influence of alcohol, it’s almost certain that any injury he or she sustains in the process will be considered their fault. There is a widely debatable gray area in between.
There are many variables that come into play, including:
- Whether or not the injured party was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
- The condition of the property in question.
- Whether or not children were involved.
- And the possibility of both parties being partially to blame.
All states have different premises laws, and the laws governing private and public property vary greatly. Parsing the nature of these laws and determining fault is tricky business- business best left to the professionals at Kaplan Lawyers PC.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
Home and property owners have a responsibility, to keep the areas which they own safe and free of hazards. Premises liability is a dense and intricate field. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys are well-versed in all types of personal injury cases. Which means that if you’ve been hurt in a store, in an apartment complex, or some other area outside of your home, it may be within your rights to sue. The compensation we will win for you can help defray the costs of expensive medical bills. This will allow you to focus on what’s really important, your health, as you recover from injuries. If you’re unsure of your rights or don’t know where to turn next, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our free and easy consultations are a great way to get started.