You may have heard that appearances can be deceiving and when it comes to porches and decks constructed throughout Chicago, this couldn’t be truer. It can be impossible to tell simply by looking at a deck or porch whether it will support an entire group of people or collapse the moment it is required to bear the slightest weight.
The owners and management companies of buildings that incorporate these outdoor closures in their designs are responsible for ensuring that each deck or porch is up to par with Chicago building code and maintained on a regular basis to prevent failure. Unfortunately, many of these buildings are owned or managed by people who skirt their responsibilities in favor of keeping costs low.
Causes of Porch and Deck Collapses
Any outdoor enclosure such as a deck, balcony or porch is subject to building code that regulates the amount of weight that can be supported and the routine inspection of the structure in order to maintain structural integrity. Causes of porch and deck collapses can occur as a result of the following circumstances.
- Poor building design that is not up to required building code. This can include the use of materials that are subpar and fail due to poor quality.
- Termite infestations that cause the weakening of key structural components.
- Rotting of wood or weakening of load bearing components over time due to lack of regular maintenance.
- Exceeding the occupancy for which the porch or deck was designed, resulting in the collapse of the structure under the added weight.
Injuries Caused by Deck and Porch Collapses
The severity of injuries sustained in a collapse depends on the location of the structure and its height from the ground and any other objects which the injured parties could come in contact with. The most common injuries reported in deck and porch collapses are the following.
- Broken and shattered bones caused from falls or collisions with objects.
- Injuries to the neck and spine— especially if the victim was under the deck or porch during the time of collapse and it fell on top of him or her.
- Crushing injuries and internal injuries. Those who are caught beneath a porch or deck when it has collapsed may suffer from multiple injuries to internal organs caused by the weight of the structure landing on their bodies.
- Lacerations and bleeding caused by collisions with the ground, components of the structure or objects on the ground or struck on the way down.
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia if the structure crushes the victim’s spine or he or she injures his or her spine during the fall.
- Traumatic brain injuries caused when the structure or components of the structure strike the victim on the head.
- Death due to injuries sustained in the collapse.
Injured in a Chicago Porch or Deck Collapse?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a deck or porch collapse in Illinois, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the building designer, construction company, owner or management company to recover compensation for the cost of medical treatment, pain and suffering and the loss of wages or quality of life due to tragic life altering injuries.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are a leading personal injury law firm in the Chicago area and represent the interests of anyone who has been injured due to negligent acts of others. Contact our Chicago porch collapse lawyers today to arrange a risk free consultation with one of our highly qualified and experienced attorneys.
We will be happy to review the details of your porch collapse and to perform our own assessment and investigation of your case to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or the loss of a loved one. We will also answer any questions you have about your rights as well as your legal options and if we are able to assist you, we will advise you on how best to proceed and what you can expect from the entire process from beginning to end. Finally, if we are unable to recover compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.