With the weather warming up, people are seeking relief wherever they can find it. On warm summer nights, sitting out on the balcony can help residents and their friends stay cool. Sitting out on the balcony may not seem like anything dangerous. However, shoddy construction of a building or balcony can cause the structure to suddenly collapse.
When a balcony collapses, there may not be any time for the individuals on the balcony to react. Injuries can range from minor to serious, and falling from a balcony can be fatal. When someone is injured in a balcony collapse, the person responsible for the injuries should be held accountable.
Chicago Balcony Collapse
One of the deadliest balcony collapse accidents in U.S. history occurred during the summer of 2003 in Chicago. During a party in an apartment building, an overloaded 3rd floor balcony collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 57 others. The property owner tried to blame the accident on being overloaded. However, an investigation identified problems with the way the balcony was built, finding errors in construction that contributed to the collapse.
According to an architect, “the porch could have withstood the load placed on it if it had been constructed in accord with city code.” It took almost 10 years for the lawsuits against the building owner and insurance carrier to finally settle. In total, the lawsuit settled for $16.6 million for the victims of the collapse and their families.
Berkeley Balcony Collapse
On June 16, 2015, another large balcony collapse in Berkeley, California took the lives of 6 people. Five Irish students and an Irish-American died and 7 others were injured after a 5th floor balcony collapsed. The young victims were celebrating a 21st birthday. An investigation and criminal probe were launched. Evidence identified construction defects as the cause of the collapse.
West Philly Balcony Collapse
Just last year, on June 25, 2019, two men were critically injured after a 3rd floor fire escape landing collapsed in West Philly. A 36-year-old man suffered head trauma and a 31-year-old man suffered trauma to the body. Both were taken to Penny Presbyterian Medical Center for treatment.
Premises Liability After Injury on Another's Property
Suffering an injury on another's property may involve a premises liability claim. Once you step onto someone else's property, they may owe you a certain duty of care to make sure you are not seriously injured. The property owner should be aware of any potential hazards, take steps to fix them, or at least warn you about them.
The property owner has to keep the property maintained for invitees, including making reasonable inspections of the premises to make sure there are no hidden dangers. If a property owner does not inspect the property for problems with the balcony, the property owner may be liable for injuries caused if the balcony collapses.
Legal Help After a Balcony Collapse or Fall
If you want a chance to get compensation for an injury on someone else's property, contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney today to discuss your case. The property owner responsible for your injuries should be held accountable to pay for the cost of your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to someone's negligence, please do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.