It’s every cartoon character’s nightmare: You’re running full-speed down the thoroughfare when all of a sudden you momentarily defy the laws of physics and fall into an open manhole.
While these kinds of situations are all-too commonplace among fictional characters such as Goofy or “Ed, Edd n Eddy,” open manholes can pose a serious danger to unwary passersby. From a sprained ankle to a wrongful death case, open manholes are no laughing matter — if you or someone you know has fallen due to an open manhole, contact a local Salt Lake City-area lawyer and get advice on your case.
So how often do people fall down exposed manholes? While there are no statistics to be found on the likelihood of experiencing a manhole-related injury in Salt Lake City or elsewhere, there’s a fair amount of anecdotal evidence of the dangers of taking an accidental tour of the sewers.
In 2009, a teenage girl famously fell into an open manhole when she failed to see the hazard due to her preoccupation with sending a text message on her cell phone. In 2015 a man in Delhi, India fell down a manhole and fractured his leg; another man in Providence, Rhode Island also injured himself falling down an exposed manhole.
Most recently, a 6-year-old girl narrowly avoided a wrongful death situation when she fell into an open manhole during the New York City blizzard of 2016. The young child fell eight feet into sewer, luckily escaping with only bruises and lacerations. The mother in this case has hired a lawyer and plans to sue the city for damages.
While none of the above cases resulted in wrongful death, the risk of injury due to open manholes is clearly very real. There’s even a WikiHow article on how to avoid falling into one. While all open manholes should be properly blocked off, people can still fall down one. If you or anyone you know has been the unfortunate victim of an open-manhole incident, contact a local lawyer in Salt Lake City right away.