Walking along the sidewalks of Philadelphia you will see hundreds and hundreds of street signs. Some telling you not to park here, or that this is a loading zone, or indicating that there is construction ahead. However, while these signs are designed to alert us of something, they have begun to pose a problem. Recently, there has been an increase in the amount of injuries attributed to metal stumps from these street signs.
Problems With Metal Poles
The metal signs that dot our streets and corners are left out in the weather. From the wet dreary winters, to the hot summers, these metal signs are left to the elements. Seeing a street sign on the ground is not all too uncommon. However, what happens to these signs after they are removed. There has been a growing issue on the Philadelphia streets of the remnants of street signs left in the ground. Residents all over the city have begun to trip and fall over these leftover poles partially because:
Low visibility – these “pole stumps” are often only a few inches off the ground. While it is usually very obvious when there is a full-length pole in the ground, when there is only an inch or two of the metal left in the ground it is much harder for a person to see. In addition, after the sun goes down it can be almost impossible for walker to notice these stumps.
Sharp edges – The signs on our streets are made of metal, when an out-of-control car hits one of these signs it often causes the larger part of the pole to break, and often not in a clean line. This means that these nearly invisible stumps often have very sharp edges which can cause harm to anyone unlucky enough to trip over one of them.
Lack of reporting – Admittedly, people do not want to make a scene of themselves after they trip. Most of the time a person who trips and who is not injured will pick themselves up and try to walk away from the situation as if nothing has happened. However, this poses a problem because while we try and get away from a slip with our dignity intact, we often do not think about others who may come after us and may not be as lucky. There is a problem identifying where these metal stumps are because people are simply not regularly reporting them until it is too late for another person.
Injuries From Metal Poles
While some people are lucky enough to stumble a little and continue on their path, others have not been as lucky. Injuries from people tripping over metal stumps range from minor cuts and bumps to life-threatening medical emergencies. Some of the frequently cited injuries include:
Broken wrists – When a person trips it is their natural instinct to place their hands in front of them to protect their body from the fall. However, when a person falls from a full standing position on to hard concrete it is common for a bone or bones in the wrist and hand to break due to the impact.
Ankles – Some injured by metal pole stumps have reported broken or severely injured ankles as a result of their fall.
Closed-head injury – A closed head injury is a medical emergency where a person sustains a traumatic force to their head. These injuries can range from minor concussions to hematomas, or brain bleeds, which can result in extensive and life-long injuries.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury LAwyer of Reiff & Bily Today
The city has paid out nearly $1.1 million in the past 18 months to settle 20 lawsuits filed by pedestrians who tripped over pole stumps and suffered major injuries, according to city records. If you were injured due to slip and fall accident or tripping over one of these pole stumps, contact the Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers of Reiff & Bily today – (215) 274-0072.