Porch collapses can result in serious injuries. If the property owner does not take proper precautions to ensure the safety of visitors and tenants, you may be able to hold him or her accountable for an accident.
Many people underestimate the seriousness of what a deck collapse can cause. In 2003, the deadliest porch collapse in history occurred. 13 people died in the accident and 55 others were injured. While most collapses are not as severe as the 2003 collapse, collapses are common.
Lack of inspections behind many collapses
No one can control the weather. Rain, wind and snow weather building exteriors, including patios and decks. While a building owner cannot control the weather, he or she can control how often professionals perform an inspection. If an inspection does not occur at least once a year, the owners may miss serious defects in the structural integrity. Additionally, some deck designs can hide serious issues. For example, if a deck has wood guardrails covered by aluminum, inspectors may miss potential issues with the wood.
Water and decay as a factor behind collapses
When water seeps into the wood of a deck, it can cause rot to occur. Likewise, water can expand within the wood during Chicago winter and cause the wood to crack. Cracks and decay in the wood make the structure more vulnerable. Tenants or guests may gather on the porch, only for it to collapse due to unknown corrosion.
When a landlord or property owner does not care for his or her property and people become injured as a result, the injured may be able to seek compensation under premises liability.