It’s happened again…An early-July celebration of new life turned disastrous when a Hartford, Connecticut, porch collapsed. Approximately 20 people were on the second-story porch, celebrating the birth of two babies when the incident occurred. Twelve people, including a child and an infant, were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The fact that there were no fatalities is remarkable, considering that the victims endured a 20-foot drop onto the house’s backyard.
Porch and deck collapses are all too common in the United States. An estimated 6,500 people were injured in such collapses between 2003 and 2015, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This period included two of the country’s worst outdoor-structure failures, a 2003 porch collapse in Chicago that killed 13, and a 2015 balcony collapse in Berkley, California, that resulted in six fatalities.
Most of these structural failures can be attributed to faulty construction and poor maintenance—and especially to corroded fasteners. Because porches and decks are exposed to the elements, they are vulnerable to rot, dry rot, termites, and rust, and need to be regularly inspected and repaired.
Who May Be Liable in a Porch Collapse?
A number of parties can be held liable for a porch or deck collapse, including the property owner or caretaker/manager, the builder or designer of the structure, the party charged with repairing the structure, and the manufacturer of the materials used to construct the structure. In many cases, multiple parties may share liability for a porch, deck, or balcony collapse.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a structure collapse, you deserve to be compensated for such damages as:
- All medical costs (current and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional trauma (PTSD, etc.)
- Property loss
- Permanent injury or disability
- Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Home and vehicle modifications while you recover (wheelchair ramps and lifts, hospital beds, etc.)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of income
- Loss of career or earning potential
- Wrongful death
- And more
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
When you file an injury or wrongful death claim, you will be dealing with the liable party’s insurance company. The problem is that insurance companies do not have you and your family’s best interests at heart—they’re concerned with turning a profit. Their claims adjuster will try to get you to accept a payout that is far less than you deserve. A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney will stand up to the insurance company and see to it that you get a verdict or settlement worthy of your losses.
However, not all lawyers are familiar with structural disasters. Rhine Law Firm, P.C., has handled all types of collapse cases—decks, railings, steps, bridges, buildings, and more. Our North Carolina deck collapse lawyers have backgrounds in construction and understand these cases thoroughly.
At our Wilmington office, we fight tirelessly for justice and have amassed an impressive record of successes for our clients. To find out more about your legal rights and options, call (910) 772-9960 for a free consultation.