PKSD Newsletter – Evan’s Law to Prevent Window Falls
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on April 12, 2023 in Personal Injury
Recent studies show that accidents involving children falling from windows happen far more often than you might think. In fact, thousands of children suffer severe window fall injuries every year. Annually, there are also several children who die from their injuries after falling from a window.
In 2011, four-year-old Evan, the young son of a military family, was playing with his seven-year-old brother near an upstairs window of their home in Pearl Harbor. The two of them were laughing and shouting out to a friend below who was playing outside on the Hawaii naval base where they lived. Sadly, while Evan was pushing against the window screen, it gave way, causing Evan to fall through the window and two stories below. Just two days later, he succumbed to his injuries.
After the tragedy of losing their young son just weeks before his fifth birthday, Evan’s grieving parents did not initially want to take legal action for what had happened. However, they needed to do something and felt that by advocating for better child safety, other parents might be spared the grief of losing a child.
What is Evan’s Law?
In 2017, Evan’s Law was introduced into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 by Michael Turner, a congressman from Ohio. This important legislation requires privatized military housing to install new safety devices on windows. In its infancy, Evan’s Law only applied to a limited number of existing windows, newly installed windows, or new windows in fully renovated homes.
While the law was a good step forward, concerned lawmakers felt it was not nearly enough and got involved to advocate for additional changes. As a result of their efforts, additional provisions were added in 2019 and 2020 to include adding safety devices to any windows placed 42 inches from the floor. Additionally, the Defense Department established a grant program to pay privatized housing companies to retrofit windows of existing homes with these safety devices.
Today, Evan’s Law is much improved, but still only applies to military housing. Despite the known window fall risks to young children, Safe Kids Worldwide reports that about 70 percent of parents today admit they have not installed safety devices on their windows.
How Can Parents Protect Children From Window Falls?
In the latest PKSD Newsletter, we include information about window falls and other common hazards in your home that could cause severe or fatal injuries to children.
Additionally, PKSD strongly recommends parents take preventative measures to help reduce the risk of window falls for their children, such as by:
- Opening windows from the top: Whenever possible, only open windows from the top. When not in use, be sure to lock them again.
- Installing window safety guards and stops: Be mindful that some children may figure out how to open closed or locked windows, even as toddlers.
- Taking children outside or elsewhere to play: Keep young children away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
- Not placing any furniture close to windows: This makes it too easy for children to climb onto furniture and out onto windowsills or balconies through open patio doors.
Need Legal Help for a Personal Injury Case? Call PKSD Today
While nothing can take away the devastation a parent feels after the loss of a child, seeking legal help can be an important step in moving forward. At PKSD, we believe it is critical to hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligence. We also know how important it is to help families recover compensation for their damages.
Our law firm has been representing injured victims in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin for decades. PKSD has the staff and resources to fully manage your injury case and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Our experienced attorneys will negotiate for a settlement, but we are prepared for a courtroom trial when an agreement cannot be reached.
To get answers to your legal questions and determine if you may have a case, call our law offices today. We have staff available to take your call 24/7. Request your free consultation with a knowledgeable Milwaukee personal injury lawyer at our firm when you call. If we represent you, there are no fees or upfront costs to pay.
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