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Practice Areas: Personal Injury

Although the chance of being hit by a falling object is rare, even celebrities have close calls. During a performance by The Weeknd in Mexico City during his ongoing tour, an unforeseen event occurred—a falling object descended from above.

In a brief video the artist posted on social platforms, The Weeknd was in the midst of singing when the object plummeted, barely avoiding hitting him. Despite the object rebounding upon landing, the singer showed no visible reaction.

It’s not certain whether he was aware of the incident as it happened, but The Weeknd eventually acknowledged the falling object by posting the video clip of the moment.

In Louisiana, property owners have a duty to keep their spaces safe for visitors. In the context of injuries from falling objects, premises liability law holds property owners accountable when someone gets hurt due to unsafe conditions. For example, if a poorly secured shelf in a store leads to a falling object injuring a shopper, the store could be held responsible. Louisiana follows a “comparative fault” system, meaning a victim’s compensation may be reduced if found partially at fault for the injury. However, the primary focus remains on whether the property owner took reasonable steps to prevent such accidents. 

Common Locations Where Falling Object Injuries Occur

Falling object injuries can happen in a variety of settings, each with its own set of risks. Retail stores are a common location for such incidents, especially in aisles where items are stacked high. In these environments, a simple bump against a shelf could send objects tumbling down. Construction sites also pose a high risk for falling object injuries. Workers or even passersby could be struck by tools, materials, or debris falling from above. Warehouses and storage facilities are another area of concern, where items stored on high shelves can become hazards if not properly secured. Public events like concerts or sports games can also be risky, as equipment or decorations may be suspended overhead. 

Legal Obligations of Property Owners: A Closer Look

Property owners in Louisiana have specific legal duties to ensure the safety of visitors. One of these responsibilities is to maintain an environment where the risk of falling objects is minimized. For instance, in a retail store, it’s the owner’s job to make sure shelves are sturdy and items are securely placed. Similarly, construction site managers must enforce safety measures like securing tools and materials to prevent them from falling. Failure to meet these obligations could result in the property owner being held liable for any injuries caused by falling objects. It’s not just about common sense; it’s a legal requirement to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents.

Steps to Take Immediately After Suffering an Injury from a Falling Object

When someone suffers an injury from a falling object, immediate action can make a significant difference in both well-being and any future legal proceedings. First, medical attention should be sought right away, even if injuries appear minor. Documenting the medical condition immediately after the incident can be valuable later. Second, if possible, photographs of the accident scene, the object, and any visible injuries should be taken. Witnesses can also provide important perspectives, so gathering their contact information is advisable. Additionally, filing an incident report with the property owner or manager serves as an official record of what happened. The steps won’t undo the injury, but can provide a foundation for understanding the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Gathering Evidence: What Victims Need to Know

Collecting evidence is a vital part of building a strong premises liability case related to injuries from falling objects. Photographic evidence can be particularly compelling; pictures of the accident scene, the object causing the injury, and any warning signs or lack thereof can all be useful. In addition to photographs, victims should aim to collect any available video footage, which might offer a more comprehensive view of the incident. Witness accounts can also be invaluable, so securing names and contact details of anyone who saw the event is recommended. Finally, any incident reports or records of communication with the property owner can serve as official documentation of the event. By gathering a thorough set of evidence, victims can better understand the circumstances of their injury and potentially strengthen their case.

How Louisiana Law Addresses Injuries from Falling Objects

Louisiana law addresses injuries from falling objects through its premises liability statutes. Under these laws, property owners are obligated to maintain a safe environment for visitors. If an individual is injured due to a falling object, the focus often turns to whether the property owner took reasonable steps to prevent such an incident. Louisiana operates under a “comparative fault” system, which means if a victim is partially at fault for their own injury, any compensation may receive will be reduced accordingly. For example, if someone is found to be 20% at fault, would receive 80% of the total damages awarded. Louisiana law allows for both economic and non-economic damages, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, and even emotional distress.

Key Factors Influencing a Successful Premises Liability Claim

Several factors can influence the outcome of a premises liability claim related to injuries from falling objects. One of the most important is the concept of “duty of care,” which assesses whether the property owner took reasonable steps to ensure safety. Another factor is the condition of the property at the time of the incident. Was the area poorly lit, or were there warning signs? These elements can play a role in determining liability. Timing also matters; prompt reporting and documentation of the incident can lend credibility to a claim. Additionally, the comparative fault system in Louisiana can impact the amount of compensation awarded. If a victim is found to be partially responsible for their own injury, the compensation may be reduced. 

Financial Compensation: What Victims Can Expect

Premises Liability Law

In premises liability cases involving injuries from falling objects, financial compensation can vary widely based on several factors. One of these is the severity of the injury. More serious injuries often result in higher compensation to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages. Emotional distress and pain and suffering are also considered, although these are categorized as non-economic damages and can be more challenging to quantify. Louisiana’s comparative fault system also plays a role in determining the final amount. If a victim is found to be partially at fault, the awarded compensation will be reduced in proportion to their level of responsibility. While each case is unique, understanding these general guidelines can offer victims an idea of what to expect in terms of financial compensation.

If you have suffered an injury from a falling object, please contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC online, or call our office at (504) 294-5094.


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