As summer and warmer weather approach, people are spending more time outdoors on decks, verandas, and balconies. While it’s relaxing to sit outside in these enjoyable spaces, you need to be aware that collapses are not uncommon. When adequate inspections are not conducted and decks are not properly maintained, the structures can give way, causing serious injuries and even fatality. If you were hurt in a deck collapse accident, it’s essential to ensure the responsible party answers for their negligence or carelessness — and is held accountable for your damages.
Common Causes of Deck Collapse Accidents
There are many reasons deck collapses occur. From structural defects, warping caused by leaks, weakened wood due to weather damage, and overcrowding, this part of a building can cave in when property owners fail to maintain, repair, and upkeep them. Other common causes of deck collapse accidents include the following:
- Defective design
- Poor construction
- Exceeding the capacity limit
- Failure to conduct inspections
- Defective building materials
- Termite damage
- Rotting wood
Since deck collapse accidents often involve falls from significantly elevated heights, the resulting injuries can be severe. They may include broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, paralysis, internal organ damage, permanent disability, and disfigurement. These types of injuries typically require extensive medical treatment and result in considerable time lost from work. Unfortunately, in some cases, a victim may even need lifelong care and cannot return to their employment.
Who’s Responsible for a Deck Collapse Accident?
Whether the deck is located at an apartment complex, condominium, restaurant, hotel, or elsewhere, a building owner has a duty to ensure their premises are in safe condition. If a responsible party knows or should know about a hazardous condition on their property — and fails to repair or warn about it — they may be held liable for negligence for any resulting injuries. However, determining liability for these matters can be complicated. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the deck collapse accident, there may be parties besides the property owner who might be held accountable in a personal injury action.
In addition to the owner, the property manager, landlord, or party responsible for maintaining the structure can be liable for a deck accident if it was caused by lack of maintenance. If the collapse occurred due to a design flaw, the architect or engineer might be named in a lawsuit. Significantly, a contractor may be to blame if the deck was not constructed properly, or they failed to comply with the applicable building codes and regulations. A victim might also have a case against the manufacturer or supplier of the building materials if they were defective.
Compensation for Deck Collapse Accidents
Deck collapse accidents can take a substantial physical, financial, and emotional toll on a victim. If you were injured due to a deck, veranda, or balcony collapse, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. By filing a personal injury action against the negligent party, you might be able to recover both your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages for a deck collapse accident can include the monetary losses you incurred in connection with your injuries, including unreimbursed hospital bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket medical costs, and other financial losses. Non-economic damages often comprise the largest portion of a personal injury award and are meant to compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced because of your injuries.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
Identifying the liable parties for your deck collapse injuries can be complex. It’s vital to have a skillful personal injury attorney by your side who can investigate your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented accident victims for over three decades and helped them obtain the best possible results in their unique cases.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.