How to Handle 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 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 some building owners continue to allow their properties to be unsafe. This has the potential to 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.
What are 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 serious injuries. 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
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. This is due to medical costs and lost income for time off work. You can also experience significant trauma and pain and suffering. If a porch is unsafe and fails, you should be able to recover your losses from the responsible party. Further, our attorneys can help you do just that.
Why 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.
First, keeping a property safe may include regularly inspecting the area to ensure there are no defects. Second, it may mean addressing any defects within a reasonable amount of time. Third, if an owner cannot rectify a defect or hazard right away, they must provide adequate warnings to any visitors. For example, tell them not to go onto a balcony or porch.
What are Examples of Premises Liability Negligence?
When a property owner fails to abide by their legal duty and people sustain injuries, they have acted negligently. Negligence can take many forms in porch collapse and other premises liability cases. Some examples include:
- Failing to ensure proper design and construction of a porch
- 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. Further, there must be a determination as to whether the collapse could have been avoided if a property owner had taken proper precautions. Our law firm has access to experts, if necessary. That expert, often an architect, can investigate and testify whether a property owner was negligent and should be liable for your losses. After a porch collapse, it is better to contact our office as soon as practicable. We may want to send an architect to the scene to investigate.
If a property owner acted negligently, you need a skilled porch collapse lawyer in Chicago handling your claim. You have the right to seek compensation for all of your accident-related losses. This may involve filing an insurance claim and/or a premises liability lawsuit. Property owners and their insurance companies often do not want to simply admit liability and cover losses of victims. 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.
Should You Consult Our Chicago Porch Collapse Attorneys?
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., a Chicago Porch Collapse Lawyer can calculate the value of your claim and hold negligent property owners fully accountable for their careless actions and the losses they cause.
Finally, we evaluate your potential case for free and do not collect any fees unless there is a settlement or verdict. Call today at (312) 924-7575 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help after your serious injury.