Balcony Accident Lawyer
Balcony railings are meant to protect residents and their visitors from accidental falls and injuries, but many apartment buildings fail to take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of their residents’ balconies and railings.
A Chicago personal injury lawyer from the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is dedicated to holding negligent complexes accountable when their disregard for resident safety leads to serious accidents that claim lives or result in life-changing catastrophic injuries. Contact us online or call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation to file and resolve a deck collapse case.
Have you suffered serious injuries from one of these accidents? It’s crucial to know your rights and what legal resources are available so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
What are the Common Causes of Balcony Accidents?
A failed railing or sudden balcony collapse catches apartment residents and their guests off guard because the common assumption is that it is adequately maintained and safe for habitation whenever you rent a property.
Years of wear and tear, changing weather conditions, and neglect can cause balconies and railings to lose their structural integrity, leading to their eventual failure and deck collapse. Here are some of the causes of accidents our Chicago railing accident lawyers have encountered.
- Screws and bolts supporting the railing become rusty due to years of neglect and precipitation. Rust can eat through the metal and weaken it. When a resident or a guest leans against the railing, the screws or bolts snap and the railing and victim tumble off the edge.
- Tenants and their guests subject the balcony to extreme and excessive use by overloading the balcony with people or property. When the tenant moves out, the next one to move in may inherit a balcony that is on the verge of collapse.
- Apartment staff does not notify tenants of balcony weight limits and tolerances that could cause a balcony collapse. Residents may subject balconies to excessive wear and tear without knowing that their actions impact the balcony's structural integrity.
- If apartment management does not provide sufficient warnings, it could be held liable when tenants overload their balconies unwittingly.
- The property owner or management company does not perform routine inspections or maintenance to ensure balconies’ structural integrity. Most railing accidents can be prevented by simple maintenance and the replacement of failed parts.
What Type of Personal Injury Do People Suffer from Defective Balconies?
The serious injuries resulting from balcony accidents are often serious and catastrophic. In most cases, the victim is completely unaware of the issue and the accidents happen without any warning signs. The height of the balcony and objects on the ground can play a large role in the severity of injuries suffered, and the prognosis for victims is rarely favorable.
Injuries suffered in these accidents include the following.
- Fractures and shattered bones or joints. The impact of a fall from considerable heights is almost always bound to result in broken bones. Expensive surgeries and painful rehabilitation may be required if the fractures are serious or located in or near load-bearing joints.
- Traumatic brain injuries. If the victim strikes his or her head in a fall, it is possible to endure traumatic brain injuries that have a long-term impact on cognitive functions, memory, speech, and motor function.
- Injuries to the back and spine. Many victims injured in a balcony collapse or railing accident suffer injuries to their spines upon impact and may become physically impaired as a result. In the event that the injury can be treated, it will often result in one or more expensive surgeries followed by a prolonged, painful rehabilitation period. The worst-case scenario is that the victim is paralyzed for the rest of his or her life. Caring for a person with paraplegia can cost millions of dollars over a lifetime.
- Ruptured or perforated organs. Blunt trauma can cause internal injuries, mainly if broken bones with sharp edges cause internal damage. Broken ribs can puncture the lungs and the spleen can rupture upon impact. The hidden danger of internal injuries is that they may not be detected until they have been allowed to cause considerable damage to vital organs.
- Secondary injuries and complications. Untreated, open wounds, perforated organs, and internal bleeding can result in additional complications such as the development of infection at the site of the injury or septic shock, which is a condition resulting when an infection reaches the bloodstream where it can be carried to other parts of the body.
- Death from injuries sustained in the fall or upon impact.
Filing a Premises Liability Case for Compensation
Balcony collapses occur more often than imagined. The lives and well-being of many people could have been protected if the building owner or manager followed safety guidelines.
Every property owner is responsible for maintaining safety on their premises according to laws and building codes. Unfortunately, balcony accidents occur all too often due to a lack of maintenance, poor construction, or failure to follow the law.
Every injured victim has a legal right to file a civil lawsuit under premises liability laws to protect their family if they suffer injuries or wrongful death that could have been prevented. An accident attorney working on behalf of the family will build a case against all defendants that could be resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.
Nearly every personal injury accident attorney will accept a premises liability case on contingency, avoiding the need for the victim to pay upfront for legal services to resolve their debt collapse case.
Sample Illinois Balcony and Porch Fall Accident Settlements & Lawsuits
$250,000 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois; 2018:
This Chicago balcony railing accident involved a man in his late forties carrying items up to his third-floor balcony when the building railing failed, causing him to fall to the ground. The accident resulted in serious injuries, requiring over $13,000 in medical care.
Additional personal injury also involved pain and suffering, lasting long after the accident. The victim filed a civil lawsuit against the property management company.
The property owners replied that they had previously warned the man about the defective balcony railing and admitted it was safe to use the balcony. Although there was an apparent contradiction to what was said and what happened, both sides commenced settlement negotiations to resolve the premises liability case.
In the end, the property owners agreed to a $250,000 financial settlement to pay for his damages in personal injuries.
$2,800,000 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois; 2018:
A Wood Ridge, Illinois balcony involved a woman in her late twenties who was hanging out with her brother and cousin on her balcony. At some point, the rusted railing broke. All three victims fell three stories to the ground.
The personal injury sustained in the deck collapse accident included broken bones, concussions, herniated discs, and spinal damage. All the victims underwent emergency care followed by ongoing medical expenses totaling more than $250,000.
The three injured individuals filed a premises liability lawsuit against the management company, claiming the balcony accident occurred due to violations of the town’s code. Opting to avoid the trial process, the building owner chose to settle.
The plaintiff's negotiated deck accident attorney negotiated a settlement that paid the female victim $1.6 million, her brother $250,000, and her cousin $950,000.
$4,500,000 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois; 2016:
Here, a 25-year-old man visiting a friend at a Chicago apartment was hanging out with a few people on the host’s balcony. He pressed up against the balcony railing to steady himself when it suddenly detached, causing him to tumble from the deck to the ground about fifteen feet below.
During the balcony collapse accident, the victim broke his heel, wrist, and spine. Medical expenses for these injuries totaled more than $500,000. The accident also left him with personal injury and debilitating arthritis, leaving him with substantial long-term pain and suffering.
The victim filed a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner and apartment manager for his expenses, harms, disability, and reduced quality of life. The property owner's insurance company agreed to a financial compensation package of $4.5 million to settle the negligence matter.
$1,025,000 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois; 2006:
A forty-two-year-old Chicago construction worker filed a balcony collapse case after suffering injuries while installing a balcony railing at a new apartment building. During the construction, the railing and the support hoist he was using both failed, causing him to fall more than twenty feet.
The victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, herniated disc, and other personal injuries, resulting in over $40,000 in medical expenses, and more than $100,000 in lost wages. He filed a premises liability lawsuit against the building owner, claiming that the negligent company violated OSHA standards and local construction rules.
Without admitting any of the charges, the company was able to arrange a private agreement with the construction worker to settle the balcony accident matter for a reported $1,025,000.
$475,000 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois; 1996:
An unfortunate balcony accident involved the 2.5 years old boy playing at a Chicago-area park who slipped through the balcony railings, fell to the ground, and suffered severe injuries. The fall resulted in a broken skull and closed head injury.
The treating doctor testified that the balcony accident would not leave him with long-term cognitive impairment or defects. However, he still suffered mightily from the events.
His family filed a premises liability lawsuit against the park. Both the plaintiff and defendant entered into settlement negotiations after a preliminary back and forth. In the end, the defendant offered the family $475,000 to settle, and the plaintiff accepted.
What is Duty of Care and How Does it Apply to Balcony Collapse Lawsuits?A duty of care binds all apartment complexes to their residents. In short, this is defined by reasonable measures to ensure that residents are provided safe living environments.
When filing a claim against a negligent property owner or management company, our Chicago railing accident lawyers will present evidence that apartment staff failed to meet their legal responsibilities before an accident.
In most cases, the failure to meet the duty of care is due to a lack of maintenance or a failure to adequately warn residents concerning potential danger, such as providing clear balcony weight limits.
Hiring Deck Collapse Injury Attorneys to Resolve a Premises Liability Lawsuit: Free Consultation
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is an award-winning law firm with a successful track record at resolving cases involving balcony collapses and railing accidents. Our Chicago balcony railing accident attorneys help clients recover the compensation you deserve when injured in a balcony accident.
Were you injured in a balcony accident or lost a loved one in a preventable deck collapse caused by others’ negligence? Is a loved one suffering from injuries sustained in a balcony collapse?
Call us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or contact us online to schedule a risk-free consultation and case evaluation with an accident attorney.
Let the deck collapse accident lawyers from our law firm review the evidence and discuss your legal options and rights to obtain financial compensation. We can investigate what happened and hold those responsible for the accident financially accountable. Possible defendants include the property owner, construction company, building maintenance crews, and others responsible for maintaining building safety.
Each personal injury lawyer provides our clients with a contingency fee agreement to postpone payment of our legal fees until after we have successfully resolved their cases. Contact us today for your free consultation.
- OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) – Structural Collapse
- New York Times – Crowded Chicago Deck Collapse Fatalities