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How Do Building Codes Violations Help Slip and Fall Cases?

A plaintiff in an Illinois slip and fall case can use building code violations to prove the defendant property owner was negligent and legally responsible for their injuries and damages.

How Are Building Codes Used

What Are the Chicago Building Codes?

The Chicago Building Codes are a set of rules that apply to the development and maintenance of residential and commercial buildings across the Chicagoland area. They also set forth violations, punishment, a hearings process, and the appeals process among other things.

Other cities in Illinois have their own sets of rules for the same topic and it is important to consult your local government's prescriptions.

In Chicago, some of the most common violations of the Buildings Code include the following:

  • Defective wiring
  • Defective plumbing
  • Insufficient lighting
  • Unsafe scaffolds or balconies
  • Malfunctioning elevators
  • Malfunctioning escalators
  • Lack of guards or handrails
  • Failure to fix unsafe conditions or keep the building in a proper condition

Contact our law firm for a free consultation and to set up an attorney client relationship after an accident on someone else's property. We can see what legal duty the building owner had (per state building codes) and if you have an injury case.

Chicago Building Codes

How Can I Use a Building Code Violation in My Slip and Fall Case?

Whether you slip and fall on a residential or commercial property, a building code violation can increase your chances in court. The catch is that the building code violation had to be related to how the injury happened.

If it was the cause of your injury, then you could possibly argue that the defendant was negligent per se. Per se negligence means that the defendant was negligent by definition and that, if the plaintiff raises this contention, then the defendant must overcome the presumption or it will lose the case.

Our law firm helps injured victims of fall accidents recover after the injury sustained if the accident occurred on someone's property.

You should seek medical attention right away and then call us to see if we can bring slip and fall cases for uneven steps, broken handrails, non-slip mats, or other dangerous conditions. You may also be able to file a claim with an insurance company that insured the commercial or rental properties.

What Must You Establish to Argue Negligence per se?

However, before plaintiffs can argue negligence per se, the plaintiff must establish the following points of law:

  • The defendant violated the building code safety statute;
  • The violation created the kind of harm that the law was concerned with; and
  • The harm suffered by the plaintiff was foreseeable from the violation.

For instance, if the defendant fails to follow the Chicago Building Codes and does install handrails in its commercial building, and you fall while ascending the staircase because of the lack of handrails, then you might be able to raise the presumption of negligence per se.

If the property owner's carelessness caused the accident and personal injury, then our law firm can take reasonable steps to help you obtain relief per the building standards of local municipalities.

We may be able to file a case in the remaining time before many jurisdictions will bar it due to statute of limitations as the rules apply generally.

Most Common Chicago Building Code Violations

What Are the Most Common Chicago Building Code Violations?

Some building code violations are more common than others. Here is a quick guide to how Chicago property owners skirt the rules the most:

  • Decks and Balconies: Chicago has a lot of codes for decks, balconies, scaffolds, and porches because many incidents take place on them. The codes touch on their maximum height, distance from the building, and other pertinent details. Ignoring any of them will mean that the property owner has violated the particular Chicago building code.
  • Guide Rails: Staircases in Chicago buildings also have rules regarding their handrails. Specifically, if they are over three and a half feet tall, then the stairs need handrails on both sides. Additionally, the rails need to be approximately three feet from the floor. Failure to follow these guidelines will mean a building code violation.
  • Smoke Detectors: Chicago has several rules regarding smoke detectors including their proximity to the ceiling and bedrooms. Failure to meet any of the rules results in a building code violation.
  • Chimneys: The setup and specifications of chimneys in Chicago have tight requirements and are often not followed around the city.
  • Grout: Construction of brick buildings in the city need to abide by strict rules regarding the usage of mortar, grout, and other substances. Failure to abide by these rules leaves many property owners outside the bounds of the building codes.

Compensation in a Slip and Fall Case

If you bring a personal injury claim with qualified personal injury attorneys after a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to substantial relief and financial compensation.

Compensation in a slip and fall case

The amount varies and will depend upon the circumstances of your incident, but it could include some of the following:

  • Out-of-pocket health care costs
  • Missed paychecks and other lost income
  • Ruined or damaged property
  • Pain and suffering, both immediately and long-term
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Wrongful death harm and expenses

The property owner's liability extends to whatever damage the building code violation caused. You should check with the building code department after a slip and fall accident.

This can help you see if the building owner violated the minimum standards required. Then, you could use this to argue the property owner's negligence caused the slip and fall accident and subsequent personal injury case.

Cases Involving Building Codes and Code Violations

$8.2 Million Settlement:

The plaintiff fell 20 feet from scaffolding at a worksite. He suffered injuries that caused him to become a paraplegic. The lawsuit claimed that the defendant general contractor failed to observe and enforce OSHA safety standards and did not have the proper inspections at the site.

The plaintiff presented extensive evidence of the damages that were suffered in the mediation phase of the case, showing how there would be over $5 million in future costs due to the extent of his injuries.

$5,656,722 Verdict:

The plaintiff was in a self-storage unit that he was renting from the defendant. The ceiling of the unit collapsed on him. The plaintiff claims that this was because the defendant was illegally constructing a loft on top of the storage unit.

Over a ton of metal construction material fell on top of the plaintiff causing him pelvic fractures, nerve damages and a permanent loss of vision. The plaintiff contended that the defendant general contract and architect made the building unsafe by removing beams that were supporting the roof.

$750,000 Settlement:

These events happened at a hotel in northern Illinois. A man and his 87-year-old mother were leaving the facility. The man graciously opened the door for his mother. It was controlled by a hydraulic system. However, it appeared to malfunction.

As the man released the door, it rapidly closed and smacked the woman in the face. She fell down to the ground and injured herself. The descent left her seriously wounded. She broke a number of bones and sustained other personal injuries as well.

Paramedics took her to a local hospital to take care of these harms. During her stay there, she developed pneumonia and passed away. She was survived by several family members including eight children. The family brought a case against the suburban hospital for negligence.

The two sites quickly got down to settlement talks in an effort to avoid trial. The family eventually accepted a $750,000 offer for the woman’s serious injuries, medical expenses, and other harms and losses.

$9.5 million Settlement:

The plaintiff was a special teams coach for the Dallas Cowboys. The team was holding a training camp for rookies when a storm caused the training facility in which the practice was being held to collapse.

The plaintiff suffered a broken and dislocated neck in the building collapse. The lawsuit claimed that the building had a history of structural issues prior to the collapse and that there were structural repairs done to the building without engineer approval.

The designer of the steel and fabric facility was assigned slightly less than 50 percent of the liability while the owners of the practice facility was assigned the rest of the liability.

Do You Think You Have an Illinois Slip and Fall Claim?

As much as we can help you, we cannot do anything at all until you take the first step and stand up for yourself. If you even think you have an Illinois slip and fall claim, then you should consider contacting our award-winning legal team, the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.

Normally, the fact patterns aren't that different: you're invited to another's property, you walk onto the premises, you accidentally slip and fall, and you injure yourself.

Even if you think you were careless, chances are the owner contributed to your injuries and if that's so then you could have an Illinois slip and fall claim.

At that point, it is critical that you contact a qualified attorney. Our Chicago slip and fall attorneys have helped many people injured due to the negligence of property owners. We know the tasks ahead and can quickly determine not only if you have a claim but how to make it a successful claim.

Also, we can set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation so that you can get to know us and we can get to know you. Our offices are open every hour of the day, every day of the year. You can speak to us by calling (888) 424-5757 or through the contact form below.

Slip and Fall Claim

More Resources and Further Reading

Learn more about fall accidents and building code violations as well as the relief you can get from owners and an insurance company today.

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