Premises Liability and Collapsing Balconies: Who Is Liable?
By Michael Verna on December 14, 2016
Injuries sustained from a collapsing balcony are often severe and can even be fatal. This is especially true in high rises and other tall structures with balconies. Our attorneys are here to help you or your loved one after such a serious accident. We thoroughly understand the laws surrounding premises liability and collapsing balconies and can help clients in the Walnut Creek, CA area pursue damages. With such serious injuries involved, you need a skilled team of premises liability attorneys on your side. In the event that your loved one suffered a fatal injury from a collapsed balcony, our team will provide the aggressive representation you need to hold the negligent party responsible.
Causes of Balcony Collapses
Most balconies fail and collapse due to structural problems. These problems may exist from the time the balcony was built, or they may develop over time as a result of negligence. Structural problems may include:
- Undetected dry rot or termite damage in wooden balconies
- Failure to correctly calculate the safe load of the balcony
- Rusted and weakened bolts supporting the balcony
- Broken or defective railings
- Other problems that fail to meet building code standards
Where Can Balcony Collapses Happen?
A balcony collapse can happen almost anywhere, including:
- Office buildings
- Apartments or condominiums
- Public buildings
Who Is Liable for Damages after a Balcony Collapse?
When a balcony collapses, it is common to assume the property owner is responsible. That is not always the case, however. Sometimes, the builder, part manufacturer, or another party is responsible for the failed structure. To determine exactly which party (or parties) is liable for your damages, you need the skilled attorneys at Bowles & Verna, LLP.
Our team of attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the root cause of the collapse and the responsible party. In newer structures, the fault is more likely to lie with the builder, contractors, or manufacturers. They may have failed to properly support the balcony or failed to comply with building codes. In some cases, the design of the balcony itself is faulty.
In many cases of older structures, the fault lies with the property owner. If he or she fails to perform regular maintenance on the balcony to prevent collapse, then he or she is liable.
Damages for Premises Liability and Collapsing Balcony Injuries
After determining the liable party, our attorneys will assemble a strong case against them to secure the maximum amount of compensation for you. Damages in a premises liability case typically include:
- Medical expenses pertaining to your injury (present and potential future)
- Lost wages or loss of income if your injury renders you unable to return to work
- Both your physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
If the accident resulted in a fatal injury for your loved one, in addition to the above, we will also pursue damages for funeral expenses and loss of consortium for loved ones. In some cases, pursuing punitive damages may also be appropriate.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a horrific accident like a collapsing balcony, contact Bowles & Verna, LLP, today to discuss your premises liability claim.