Unsafe balconies and decks put people at risk of suffering serious injuries or even death. It is the responsibility of the owner of a building or premises to make sure temporary or permanent balconies or decks attached to the structure are stable and safe. If they are not, the property owner must repair the issues or prevent the public from using the balcony. Read on for more information about unsafe balconies leading to accidents and injuries.Common Causes of Balcony and Deck Collapses
Sadly, tragic balcony and deck collapses are often avoidable. Studies have found that lack of information about proper balcony and deck construction and failure to regularly inspect decks and balconies are the primary factors contributing to failures. Allowing too many people onto a deck or balcony is another all too common cause of serious accidents. Other situations and circumstances causing balconies and decks to become unsafe include:
Connection Issues – In some cases, a balcony is not connected properly to the main building or structure.
Insects – For balconies and decks built from wood, timber strength may be compromised by termites and other insects. This is especially true in Georgia and Florida, where subterranean termites are very common.
Wet Rot – If timber is in constant contact with the ground or another source of moisture, wet rot can weaken a balcony or deck.
Lack of Weather Stripping – In order to prevent weather damage, weather stripping should be installed between the main structure and the balcony.
Too Heavy Loadings or Fixtures – Items like large pots, heavy furniture, and water features can put too much strain on a deck or balcony, especially if the structure was not designed to accommodate heavy loadings or fixtures.
Age – Older balconies and decks may simply have deteriorated over time, causing them to be unsafe unless measures are taken to rehab the structure.
Depending on the factors that caused a balcony or deck to be unsafe, various parties may be responsible for injuries resulting from a fall or collapse. For example, a construction company may have used improper or low quality materials in the building process. A property manager may not have adequately maintained the balcony. Or a homeowner may have failed to monitor the weight load the balcony could accommodate. (College parties are a common site of balcony and deck collapses due to weight load from too many people.) Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the accident thoroughly and identify the causes and contributors to a balcony or deck failure. It’s also critical to determine what insurance policies may cover injuries or death from a deck collapse or balcony accident.Call Us after an Unsafe Balcony Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured because of an unsafe balcony or deck, contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC at 404-460-0101 for a free initial consultation. We can help you move past the stress and burden created by a serious accident and ensure others are not injured as a result of the negligent conduct of property owners or renters.