Often times, a collapse of a balcony or deck can lead to serious injuries or even death. An injured party may file a claim or lawsuit to seek compensation for damages sustained.
Who is Liable for a Balcony Collapse Accident?
Under the premises liability law of California, the owner of the property should exercise reasonable care of the property. A defendant can prove that he/she exercised reasonable care by showing her or she did the following:
- timely inspection of the property,
- maintaining of the property,
- repairing dangerous conditions of it,
- giving warning to the habitants of the premises regarding the existing dangerous conditions.
Generally, landlords will be held liable in the event the rented property has an unsafe deck or balcony which resulted in an injury. Liability attaches on a landlord because the landlord has an obligation to timely inspect, correct the defects, and warn the tenants regarding possible dangers.
Liability of Contractors and Builders of Defective Balcony and Decks
The contractors/builders’ liability generally attaches if the deck or balcony was not constructed in a manner required under regulations and existing standards.
If you are injured on the property belong to a third party, you can sue the:
- owner of the property,
- the person/company who has control over that premises,
- the tenant, etc.
Particularly, to sue the defendant for the injuries sustained due to a balcony or deck collapse, the injured party must prove that:
- the defendant controlled the property, meaning the defendant owned the property;
- the defendant failed to maintain or repair any defects
- plaintiff suffered harm;
- the injury suffered by the plaintiff was directly linked to and was a result of the negligence of the liable party; and
- the plaintiff suffered damages
As mentioned, sometimes the party, who is liable, is the building contractor. The liability of the building contractor is hard to prove but it is still possible by engaging professional experts in your case by bringing expert reports or using their statements as evidence.
Proving that the Property Owner Knew or Should Have Known About The Condition of the Balcony or Deck
In order the prove that the property owner knew or should have know about the defective condition of the balcony or deck, the plaintiff can provide evidence showing the negligence of the property owner in the following ways:
- the condition of the balcony or deck was hazardous and obvious,
- the property owner knew of a previous complaint(s) regarding that hazard
- there were prior injuries because of the hazardous condition of the balcony or deck
- there were no professional attempts to repair the condition of the balcony or deck by the owner
What Type of Compensation Can an Injured Party Seek in a Balcony or Deck Injury Lawsuit?
A plaintiff may seek compensation arising out of a injury sustained due a collapse of a balcony or deck. Examples of such compensation may include the following:
- medical bills, including therapy bills, and anticipated future medical bills
- loss of earning capacity and loss of wages
- emotional traumas and stress (pain and suffering)
- the inability to return to your profession and job
In the event a death occurred due to a balcony or deck collapse, a party may file a lawsuit to seek compensation for a family member by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Get Attorney Help for Injuries Sustained in a Balcony Collapse Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a balcony or deck collapse, we invite you to contact our Los Angeles Personal Injury attorney at (310) 943-1171 for a free consultation and case review. Our attorneys will evaluate the details of your case and advise you on what to expect and how you can proceed.