Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when trusting the strength and durability of porches and decks constructed in Illinois. It is impossible to identify any defect by merely looking at a porch or deck to know whether it will support an entire group of people or collapse when it bears the slightest weight.

Property owners and businesses incorporating outdoor closures in their building designs must ensure that each deck or porch is up to par with the Chicago building code and regularly maintained to prevent premises liability claims.

Unfortunately, many buildings are owned or managed by people who avoid their legal duty and don’t take proper precautions to prevent personal injuries to keep costs low. The negligent party responsible for injuries sustained when a balcony or deck collapses can legally be held liable.

The Chicago premises liability lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent victims who suffered injuries in balcony collapse due to overcrowding, too much weight, poor construction, or building code violations. Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) today to schedule a free consultation with our office to tell us about your Chicago porch collapse.

Our Chicago deck collapse lawyer represents deck collapse accident clients throughout the United States, Illinois, and the Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Joliet, Lincoln Park, Waukegan, and Wheaton.

Chicago Porch Collapse Lawyer

Causes of a Porch Collapse Accident

A five-year study using the reported numbers to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) [1] concerning deck collapse accidents in the United States revealed 224,740 injuries related to a defective or neglected deck or porch. Over 30,000 porch collapse injuries resulted from structural failure or deck collapse. As you can see, deck collapses occur more frequently than you may think and cause various catastrophic injuries, emotional trauma, and even wrongful death cases.

Any outdoor enclosure, including a deck, balcony, or porch, is subject to a building code that regulates the amount of weight it can support, and routine building inspections to maintain structural integrity are necessary.

A deck or balcony collapse can occur due to the following circumstances:

  • A structural failure is not up to the required building codes, including using defective materials such as a defective railing or dry rot that fail due to low quality
  • Termite infestations cause the weakening of vital structural components, including dry rot
  • Rotting wood or weakening of load-bearing components over time when the property owner failed to ensure regular maintenance
  • Exceeding the occupancy for which the porch or deck was designed, resulting in the construction’s collapse under the added weight

A property owner could be held legally responsible for code violations if a deck collapse occurred within their property in the city of Chicago. In one such deck collapse case, a young woman was killed, and more than a dozen other people were hurt when the porch of an apartment building in the Lincoln Park neighborhood collapsed during a party.

A seriously injured victim can file a premises liability lawsuit against the building or property owner for poor construction or failure to maintain porch or balcony integrity.

Contact our balcony collapse lawyers for a free consultation if you have suffered a serious injury due to a deck or balcony collapse.

Chicago Porch Collapse Lawyers

Personal Injury Caused by Porch and Deck Collapses

The severity of a personal injury sustained in a deck collapse depends on the structure’s location, height from the ground, and any other objects with which the injured party could come in contact. The most common injuries reported in deck and porch collapses are listed below:

  • Broken and shattered bone injuries caused by a serious fall or collisions with objects.
  • Neck and spine, which can stem from a spinal cord injury. Mainly if the victim was under the deck or porch during the time of collapse and it fell on them.
  • Crushing injuries and internal injuries: Those caught beneath a porch or deck when it collapses may suffer from multiple injuries, including brain injury, caused by the weight of the structure landing on their bodies.
  • Lacerations and bleeding are caused by collisions with the ground, components of the structure, or objects on the floor or struck on the way down.
  • Paraplegia and quadriplegia if the structure crushes the victim’s spine or injures the spine during the severe fall.
  • Traumatic brain injuries occur if the structure’s components strike the victim on the head.
  • Wrongful death due to a serious personal injury sustained in the deck collapse.

The Chicago local CBS affiliate reported that the Chicago Fire Department transported four seriously injured victims of a back porch collapse [2] in Palmer Square in 2018. One resident in an apartment building stated that party-goers were injured after a second-floor porch collapsed onto the first floor. The accident was the worst porch collapse incident at the time.

The following year (2019), a resident suffered serious injuries from a porch collapse in Auburn Gresham, falling twenty feet. City inspectors report that the porch collapse resulted from dry rot in the aging construction, creating a dangerous premises liability claim problem for the property owner since he failed to exercise reasonable care when ensuring the safety of their property.

What Compensation Can I Get After a Deck Collapse Accident?

Deck collapses are major accidents frequently resulting from multiple accountable parties’ negligence. You only get one chance to recuperate from your injuries if you are hurt in a deck, porch, or balcony collapse. After settling your claim, you are not permitted to sue the parties at fault for compensation if your injuries from the deck collapse result in ongoing health problems.

When a deck collapse disaster occurs, it’s crucial to contact a personal injury lawyer so that we can thoroughly determine all parties at fault and take all of your damages into account when pursuing your lawsuit and insurance claim. Contact our associates about compensable injuries to begin your recovery:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills, including prescription drugs, physical therapy, and surgery.
  • Loss of earnings while you were rehabilitating and a reduction in your ability to earn in the future.
  • Disabilities and cosmetic changes
  • Distress and suffering
  • Lost wages

You must establish that the balcony collapse caused the plaintiff’s injuries to show the losses and harms you sustained due to the accident. Our skilled deck collapse attorneys have access to the specialists and tools necessary to build a compelling case and ensure that you receive a fair financial recovery.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Chicago Deck Collapse Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been hurt on a crumbling porch, the property owner owes you compensation for your injuries. The experienced deck collapse lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you understand your legal options and fight for the justice you deserve.

The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, a leading personal injury law firm in the Chicago area, are conversant with many practice areas and represent the interests of all those hurt due to the negligent acts of others, including premises liability cases. Our Illinois law firm has obtained over $250 million in financial compensation for our clients.

Chicago Deck Collapse Attorneys

Deck and Porch Collapse Injuries FAQs

Our law office understands that families have many questions about holding negligent property owners liable for property hazards or dangerous porch collapses that result in serious injury or death. Our legal team has answered some of those questions below.

Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation with a porch collapse lawyer from our legal team to explore your legal rights to recover damages. We’ll work to obtain the compensation you deserve for medical bills and other costs from the liable party or parties.

What Causes a Deck to Collapse?

Substandard construction and failures of posted beams holding up the deck are leading causes of balcony failures. Other factors leading to a porch collapse include rotting wood,[3]  termite damage, and undersized parts.

Some builders set the upright posts in the soil where moisture can damage and rot the components necessary to support weight loads. Failure to maintain the deck properly could cause the structure to collapse with or without additional weight. One would expect a reasonable person to ensure their deck is adequately built and maintained to avoid putting others in danger.

How Often Do Decks Collapse?

Statistics reveal that over 500 individuals throughout the United States suffer injuries such as brain injury caused by a collapsing deck every year. Many of these accidents cause fatal injuries.

Collapses often occur due to faulty construction that fails to follow current construction codes or was built with substandard materials. The nails can rise, the wood can splinter or rot, and the railing can become wobbly without maintenance.

Every property owner has a legal responsibility to maintain their premises to avoid a serious accident leading to injury or wrongful death.

Can Balconies Collapse?

Rotting components or heavy loads on balconies could cause an unexpected collapse. Many porch collapse accidents occur in older commercial shops, offices, and multistory apartment complexes when overoccupancy (excessive weight) passes the weight load capacity, causing the structure to fall.

Other factors that cause porches, balconies, and decks to collapse include:

  • Design and structural problems
  • Worn or rotting materials
  • Defective foundation
  • Inadequate railing or supports

Is It Safe to Leave a Porch Door Open

Ingress and egress out a porch door could create problems even if you are at home. Many houses, including apartment complexes, have multiple stories. Anyone, including a child, could fall through the baluster railings or climb over the rail and fall to death.

Homeowners, property owners, and renters can never be too safe in protecting those they love. Never allow young children out on an open porch where they could climb on furniture and pots to fall or jump off the railing.

What Are the Common Injuries after a Deck Collapse?

Balcony collapse victims could suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries if the porch is built on the second floor or higher.

Common porch collapse cases involve:

  • Ankle and feet injuries when victims fall or jump from the porch while the structure is collapsing
  • Broken bones and fractures caused by blunt force trauma when the body is pushed, pulled, or twisted during the accident
  • Crushing injuries when heavy materials trap body parts during the accident. Many victims are found underneath piles of rubble and debris after the collapse.
  • Lacerations and cuts, including puncture wounds, gashes, and skin tears
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that might involve concussions, contusions, and coma due to oxygen deprivation after the porch falls
  • Spinal cord damage when the backbone is crushed, severed, or hurt in a porch collapse property accident
Chicago Porch Collapse Attorney

Hiring a Chicago Porch or Deck Collapse Injury Attorney to Resolve Your Porch Collapse Case

Were you injured or a loved one killed in a porch collapse in Illinois? You may be able to bring a premises liability claim against the building designer, construction company, property owner, or management company to recover financial compensation for the medical bills, pain, and suffering, and the loss of wages or quality of life due to tragic life-altering severe injuries.

Contact our Chicago porch collapse lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to arrange a risk-free consultation with one of our highly qualified Chicago porch collapse attorneys to discuss holding property owners accountable and obtaining compensation.

Your Chicago porch collapse lawyer will be happy to guide you through the legal process by reviewing the details of your porch collapse, providing advice on your legal rights, and assessing and investigating your premises liability case to identify your deserved compensation for your serious injuries or the loss of a loved one.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If we cannot recover compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers represent clients and their personal injury cases in numerous practice areas: car accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, product liability, premises liability, tire defects, harmful medications, medical negligence, and wrongful death.

Resources: [1] CPSC, [2] CBSNews Chicago, [3] USAToday

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
Free Consultation (888) 424-5757