Imagine you are just kicking back on your porch enjoying this great spring weather in Syracuse, New York, hanging with some buddies, maybe having a beer when —- BANG — you wake up in pain, lying on the ground below.
This is what happened Saturday at an apartment on the corner of Lynwood Avenue and James Street in Syracuse. The porch just collapsed with no warning, dropping the three people sitting on it to the ground below.
Central New York porch, balcony or deck collapse lawsuits are not as uncommon as you may think. The Auburn New York personal injury law office of Michaels & Smolak has handled several such cases.
While porches, balconies and decks are great places to hang out and enjoy the good weather, if they are not properly maintained and regularly inspected, they can, and do, collapse, causing serious injury, fractured bones, paralysis or even death. Occasionally, even new decks, balconies or porches collapse if they are designed or built incorrectly.
The most common causes of porch, deck and balcony collapses are: rotten wood that has not been replaced, rusty nails or other hardware failures, failure to regularly inspect for rot, deterioration or signs of sinking, design errors, building errors, building code violations and excessive weight.
Homeowners and landlords who have decks, porches or balconies on their homes can be held liable for failing to fix or inspect rotting wood, for failing to notice signs of rot or deterioration, and for failing to properly maintain the structures. A contractor or builder who negligently designs or builds a deck, balcony or porch can also be held liable if these structures collapse due to poor design or bad building practices.
A competent Syracuse collapsing balcony lawyer will hire expert carpenters and builders to examine the collapsed structures to determine the cause of the collapse. Since the injuries in falling balcony, deck and porch cases tend to be quite serious, the investigation needs to be equally serious.
Those responsible for collapsing balconies, decks and porches should be sued so that the innocent victims of the collapse can recover fair compensation for the injuries caused by the owner’s or builder’s negligence. Homeowner’s, landlord’s or contractor’s liability insurance generally cover these injuries.