Stool and Chair Collapse
Thousands of adults and children are injured each year in accidents involving defective chairs and stools. When you are in a public place and you are injured, whether by a chair, stool, or anything else, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Types of chair and stool accidents:
- Chair collapse falls
- Finger injuries resulting from jagged edges
- Hand crushes between seats and bases of chairs
- Head, face, and scalp injuries
- Chair tips, commonly highchairs
These accidents can result in pinched fingers, amputated fingers, and injuries to the head, face scalp, arms, wrist, shoulders, neck, and spine.
The most common places these accidents occur are in restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars have a lot of chairs and often do not prioritize the safety and upkeep of them. Defective chairs tend to be more common at local restaurants, as national chains tend to have stricter safety policies in place. Employees at chain restaurants are often trained to routinely inspect furniture in the restaurant to prevent injury. They also often have the money to replace any broken chairs without hesitation. Still, there remains a risk. Some less observant restaurants may not repair or replace chairs until they actually break, in which case a customer may already have been injured.
Other places chair injuries are common:
- Beauty salons and barber shops
- Movie theaters
The short answer: it depends. In order to successfully win a personal injury claim against a commercial business there are a few things you have to prove. This claim is usually a negligence claim with 4 elements:
- The business had a duty to the customer to maintain a safe environment
- The business breached that duty by failing to repair a chair that they knew or should have known to be defective
- This breach of duty actually and proximately caused an injury
- The injury is one in which personal injury damages can be brought
Virtually any judge would acknowledge that a business has a duty to keep their customers safe, and keeping a defective chair in their business, which could cause an injury, is a breach of that duty. The common hiccup in a case like this is when the injured party is partially at fault.What if I am Partially at Fault?
Massachusetts is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if you are less than 51% at fault, you can recover from the other at fault party. This applies even if you contributed to the accident yourself, perhaps by sitting improperly in the chair. The caveat, however, is that your damages will be deducted by the percentage of fault that was allocated to you. For example, if you are determined to be 10% at fault, and your total damages are determined to be $10,000, you would receive $9,000 after your share of fault was deducted. If, however, your percentage of fault is 51% or more, you cannot recover at all. The business’ insurance company will try to find any way to pin fault on you. It is in your best interest to contact one of our experienced chair accident attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP to maximize your recovery.
Call us for a free consultation today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We have an experienced team of chair accident attorneys ready to work on your case. The personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP have two convenient locations – with offices located in Cambridge and Boston. We are empathetic to your unique situation and we have over 50 years of experience fighting on behalf of victims of all types of injuries. We are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays.