When you are injured in a balcony or porch collapse, it is likely that you sustained some pretty significant injuries. Who is responsible for your injuries may vary, but if you were an invited guest at a property, or you were on public property and you were injured, it may be likely that negligence of the property owner played a factor in the balcony or porch collapse.
According to the Chicago Tribune, an estimated 6,500 people have been injured because of balcony or porch collapses since 2003. This is a staggering number, as many of these injuries could have been prevented with adequate property management. Left untreated, balconies and porches are highly susceptible to dry rot, a condition that occurs when the support system gets wet and then dries out, weakening the entire system until eventually it collapses.
Balcony or Porch Collapse Injuries
If you have been injured from a collapsed structure, your first step is to seek medical care. Whether you end up taking an ambulance to the local emergency room, or you choose drive yourself to medical treatment, seeking treatment immediately will help establish a baseline for your injuries. In a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to establish a continuity of care as well as a clear timeline of when the accident occurred and what injuries you sustained immediately.
Treatment involves working with a primary care physician, and all recommended services. Additional therapies may include physical therapy, chiropractic care, or other rehabilitative services as prescribed by your treating physician. It’s important to work closely with your treatment provider as you heal from your injuries, because this means you are taking your injuries seriously.
Liability of Balcony or Porch Collapses
When a structure collapses, there are a number of people that may be culpable for your injuries. If the structure was old and not properly maintained, the property owner may hold some liability for your injuries. If the structure is a new one, the construction company that built the structure in the first place may also be partially responsible for your injuries. If you were acting irresponsibly, as in there were a hundred people on a porch designed for ten, you may be partially responsible for your injuries as well.
It isn’t going to be up to you, the injured party, to establish who is liable for your injuries. To see if you have the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your case. Most law offices will offer a free initial consultation so that you can meet to discuss the merits of your case.
Preparing for Your Initial Consultation
Scheduling a consultation with a personal injury attorney is a good start, but you should be prepared for this meeting with supporting documents that will strengthen your case. If you have any accident reports from the date of the collapse, witness statements of others who were there, and medical records regarding your treatment for your injuries, you should bring all of these records with you for the initial consultation. With these records in hand, the attorney will be able to take a close look at your case and may be able to establish whether the case has legal merit or not.
When you’ve been injured because of a collapsed balcony or porch, you have the right to secure legal counsel to help you determine if you eligible for financial compensation because of your injuries. If you have lost wages, or you are now permanently disabled, it’s important to meet with an experience attorney so that you can get your case started. You have the right to personal safety when you are the guest of a private residence, or you are meeting at a public place. If this safety was compromised because of the negligence of another party, you are entitled to receive compensation for your pain, suffering, time lost from work and future lost wages.
It will be up to your attorney to establish who is to be held responsible in your personal injury lawsuit along with your help.