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Chicago Porch Collapses

Handling Complex Premises Liability Claims in Chicago

In 2003, Chicago was the location of the worst porch collapse to ever happen in the United States. An apartment building with three floors was serving as a party venue, and revelers crowded onto the balconies. The top balcony splintered and fell, taking down the two balconies below it. All three balconies collapsed to the ground, with about 100 people involved, many of whom became trapped under debris or in a blocked stairwell. 57 people suffered injuries and 13 victims did not survive.


Following the collapse, investigators determined there were several errors in the construction of the balconies. The building owners faced liability for building code violations for the property in question, as well as numerous other properties owned by the company. The City of Chicago also investigated thousands more properties and took action for repairs to more than 1,200 buildings.


Despite the actions Chicago took to try to make balconies safer, balconies continue to collapse and injure people. In May 2018, a porch collapsed in Highland Park and three people fell 20 feet. They went to the hospital for their injuries. It is an example that building owners continue to allow their properties to be unsafe and injure tenants and visitors as a result.


Did you suffer injuries due to a porch or balcony collapse? If so, the Chicago premises liability lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C., are ready to help you. We believe you should be able to trust that a property is safe and properly maintained. If a property hazard results in injuries, please contact our law firm for a free consultation today.


Porch Collapse Injuries

Porch collapses have the potential to cause a wide range of traumatic injuries. Whether you are on the porch itself or standing below a porch that falls, you can suffer multiple injuries, many of which can have lasting effects. The following are some common injuries in this type of accident:

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Compound fractures

  • Skull fractures

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Back injuries

  • Neck injuries

  • Crushed limbs

  • Internal injuries

  • Hemorrhaging


It can take numerous rescue personnel to save victims of porch collapses. Sometimes, victims must be extricated from under debris and may have to be airlifted to the hospital. At the very least, victims should always go to the emergency room after a serious fall from a porch.


The medical bills for any of the above injuries can add up quickly. Hospitalization, surgeries, and other costly treatments may be necessary to save your life. Many fall victims require extensive rehabilitation to help their injuries. Some porch collapse injuries are catastrophic and a victim’s life is never the same. For example, a brain injury can cause serious cognitive impairments, or a spinal cord injury can cause permanent paralysis.


No matter what type of injury you suffer in a porch collapse, you will likely incur many losses, both due to medical costs and lost income for time away from work. You can also experience significant mental trauma and pain and suffering. If a porch was unsafe, you should be able to recover for all of those losses from the responsible party, and our attorneys can help you do just that.


Premises Liability Claims After a Porch Collapse

Personal injury claims stemming from property hazards rely on the legal principle of premises liability. Premises liability law requires a property owner to ensure that their premises are safe for any visitors. “Visitors” can include invited guests, customers at a store, tenants of apartment or condo complexes, and similar individuals.


Keeping a property safe includes regularly inspecting the area to ensure there are no defects, and addressing any defects as quickly as possible. If an owner cannot rectify a defect or hazard right away, they must provide adequate warnings to any visitors, such as tell them not to go onto a balcony or porch.


When a property owner fails to abide by their legal duty and people get injured, they have acted negligently. Negligence can take many forms in porch collapse and other premises liability cases. Some examples include:

  • Failing to ensure the porch was properly constructed

  • Not performing adequate inspections or maintenance on the porch

  • Not warning tenants or guests of maximum porch capacity

  • Violating building codes


Determining the cause of a porch collapse can require a thorough investigation. Construction and engineering experts may have to examine what exactly led to the collapse and whether the collapse could have been avoided if a property owner had taken proper precautions and care with the premises. Our law firm has access to experts who can investigate and testify whether a property owner was negligent and should be liable for your losses.


If a property owner acted negligently, you need a skilled premises liability lawyer handling your claim. You have the right to seek compensation for all of your accident-related losses, which can involve filing an insurance claim and/or a premises liability lawsuit. Property owners and their insurance companies rarely want to simply admit liability and cover losses of victims, which can be overwhelming. The legal process can often be frustrating and stressful, especially when you are already dealing with serious injuries. You can trust our legal team to handle your claim and always seek the maximum amount of compensation in your case.


Consult Our Chicago Premises Liability Attorneys as Soon as Possible

Porch collapses and other premises liability claims can vary significantly from car accident claims and other personal injury cases. You need an attorney on your side who understands how to handle this type of claim in a skillful and efficient way. At the law firm of Abels & Annes, P.C., we can calculate the value of your claim and hold negligent property owners fully accountable for their careless actions and the losses they cause.


We evaluate the possibility of a case for free and do not collect any fees unless we successfully represent your rights. Call today at (312) 924-7575 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help after your serious injury.


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