Balcony Injury Lawyers Fighting for You
Balcony railing failure lawsuits are a legal remedy for injury victims or the families of those who have lost their lives in a fall from a balcony due to an unsafe balcony railing. This negligent care of an establishment, apartment, condominium, hotel or office building puts unsuspecting visitors, tenants, and patrons at high risk for sustaining a severe injury or death in a balcony accident. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a balcony fall, the experienced premises liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP can help. We know how traumatic these cases can be, and we want to help you and your family secure the compensation you deserve.
In potentially complex cases like these, you need effective legal representation on your side. With decades of experience in personal injury litigation, our lawyers have the skill and knowledge necessary to obtain justice for you and your loved ones. We’ve achieved near-unprecedented results for our clients, garnering more than $2 billion in settlement awards and verdicts. We’ve also earned the trust and respect of colleagues, judges, members of the community, and, most importantly, our clients. The attorneys and staff at Parker Waichman know you are working with us during a trying time, and we will be by your side every step of the way. Call us today for a free consultation with no obligation.
The Most Common Causes of Balcony Railing Falls
While these injuries occur in an instant, usually the true cause of a railing or balcony failure is the result of a cumulative problem. Some of the most common causes of balcony railing accidents are:
- Loose or Rusty Screws and Bolts: Exposure to outdoor elements can cause the screws and bolts holding a railing together to rust or become loose. If even one screw or bolt fails, the railing becomes unstable. If someone leans on it or sets something against it, the entire railing can then fail.
- Wear and Tear: Over time, normal traffic, weather, and objects leaning against balcony railings can wear railings down and cause them to lose some of their strength. Placing any weight on the railing can then cause it to give out.
- Rotten Wood or Rusted Parts: Rain and snow can rot outdoor wooden railings and cause metal railings to rust. The corrosive process eventually affects the entire railing’s support and it can collapse in a railing or balcony accident.
- Unsafe Loads: Sometimes guests or tenants put too much stress on a balcony or railing, and some building owners themselves put too much weight on them. If the strength of the balcony and railing has been compromised, this leaves the next tenants or guests at risk of an accident.
- Building Code Violations: Balconies and railings, both indoor and outdoor, must adhere to strict standards when they are built. These codes are in place for safety reasons, and a failure to obey them can result in an unsafe structure and lead to rail failures.
- Unsafe Design: Too much decorative detail or a failure to consider weight and placement of railings can cause balcony railings to be dangerous. Unsafe design can also mean the railing is too short or the railing spindles are too widely set, making it possible for people (particularly children) to fall over or fall through the railing.
- Faulty Construction: Cutting corners, using cheap materials or rushing to meet a tight deadline can result in unsafe end products. This faulty construction leaves people vulnerable to accidents when using the balcony.
- Improper Maintenance: Building and business owners have a duty to regularly maintain their balconies and railings to make sure they are still up to code and safe. Without regular maintenance, guests and tenants can end up paying the price for balcony failures.
- Failure to Inspect: To carry out proper maintenance, all balconies and railings need to be regularly inspected. This is an incredibly important step that some owners skip. Without an inspection, hazards can go unnoticed and unresolved.
When any of the above issues occur, people are at greater risk of suffering a catastrophic injury or death from balcony rail failures. A fall from a second story or higher can result in devastating injuries that require extensive medical care and lower your quality of life. In the worst cases, our law firm represents families that have lost loved ones due to a fall caused by a balcony rail failure.
Common Injuries Sustained in Balcony Railing Accidents
When a balcony railing fails or a balcony gives out, people can be severely injured. Especially if the balcony is located several stories up, a fall can cause devastating harm. In our practice litigating these cases, we have represented clients with numerous kinds of injuries from railing and balcony failures. The most common injuries include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Internal organ injuries, including internal bleeding
- Spinal injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head trauma
- Broken back
- Broken collarbone
The Duty of Care in Premises Liability Cases
When you rent an apartment or condo or visit a hotel or other venue, you expect the balconies to be well-maintained and safe. Building and business owners have a legal obligation to make sure that structural aspects of their buildings, including balconies and balcony railings, are secure to minimize the possibility of balcony failures. In some cases, the property owners do not take proper precautions and leave guests and tenants at risk of severe injuries. When reasonable care is not taken, building owners are liable to provide compensation for injuries. Our experienced law firm can help you file a balcony railing failure lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for injuries that happen when building codes are not followed.
Am I Qualified to File a Balcony Railing Failure Lawsuit?
When we file a case on your behalf for injuries caused by a faulty balcony railing, we usually bring a premises liability case or a basic negligence case against the owner. In a premises liability lawsuit, we need to prove four things:
- A dangerous condition existed on the premises.
- The business or building owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
- The owner failed to take reasonable steps to cure the dangerous condition or warn about it.
- The dangerous condition caused injury to a person.
If your case meets these four conditions, you likely have grounds for a balcony railing failure lawsuit. Call our skilled attorneys today and we’ll review the details of your case for free and let you know if we think you have grounds for legal action.
Duty of Care in Balcony Railing Failure Lawsuits
The law does not require business or building owners to anticipate unusual scenarios, but it does require them to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable consequences of certain conditions. For instance, if a hotel has received complaints about a loose railing on the balcony of a particular room, the hotel can reasonably anticipate that it might give way and cause someone harm. The hotel in that scenario has an obligation to take steps to correct the loose railing to prevent hotel guests from falling or otherwise injuring themselves.
Breach of Duty in Railing Failure Cases
Breach of duty means that someone failed to use the required reasonable care to prevent harm. To determine whether someone failed to use reasonable care, courts examine the potential for alternate action. The law focuses on what should have been done compared to what was done. If someone could have acted differently but did not, they likely breached their duty to use reasonable care.
Establishing Causation and Damages
Next, we have to prove that you were harmed and that your harm was actually caused by the premises owner’s negligence. In cases involving balcony failures, we have to prove that you were injured in some way and your injury was caused by the failure to maintain the balcony and ensure its safety.
Balcony Railing Case Statutes of Limitations
It’s important to note that statutes of limitations place time restraints on filing lawsuits. These limitations may bar a person’s claim entirely if it’s not filed in the appropriate amount of time in the appropriate court. States enact statutes of limitations to encourage people to act quickly after an injury because swifter action generally results in higher-quality evidence for the trial. If plaintiffs act quickly following an accident, people’s memories are stronger and records and business documents will be readily available.
Many factors go into calculating the statute of limitations for a particular case, and failure to calculate the filing deadline correctly can be extremely costly. The only way to definitively determine the correct statute of limitations on your potential claim is to work with a skilled lawyer. When we sign up a case at Parker Waichman, we immediately investigate to arrive at the appropriate statute of limitations and preserve all relevant evidence to make sure that we have time to build the best possible case for you.
How Can a Premises Liability Injury Lawyer Help Me?
The attorneys at Parker Waichman know that your injuries have changed your life, and we are committed to helping you receive just compensation. When you file a claim for damages against the building or business owner responsible for the balcony or railing, you can recover compensation for all of the ways you were injured. This includes claims for:
- Past medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages (current and future)
- Mental and physical pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (if appropriate)
When you hire our law firm, we will do everything we can to maximize your recovery, including exploring all potential avenues for economic and noneconomic damages. You deserve to be compensated for the full extent of your injuries and we will work tirelessly to make that happen.
Why Choose Parker Waichman for Your Balcony Accident Claim?
We know that when you sign your case with us, you are placing your trust in us, and we take that very seriously. We’ll work steadfastly to get results for you and ease the burden placed on you and your family by this devastating incident. Our attorneys are invested in people and are committed to helping victims of dangerous building conditions. Together, we can hold the responsible persons accountable for your injuries and help prevent the same from happening to others.
Contact Parker Waichman for Your Free Consultation Today
If you or a loved one suffered injury because of an unsafe balcony railing, you have legal rights, and we can help you protect them. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are ready to start the process of investigating your potential claim. Contact our law firm today by filling out our online form or by calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free consultation.
Common Questions About Balcony and Railing Legal Requirements and Building Codes
How Tall Does a Balcony Railing Need to Be According to Code?
All building codes and regulations are local in nature and may be set by both state and local authorities. In general, balcony railings for individual residences generally must be at least 36 inches in height to meet code, and businesses and multi-family structures meet code with railings of 42 or 48 inches. Owners can be liable if accidents occur and these codes have not been followed.
What Height Should a Stair Railing Be?
Building codes may require stair railings to be between 34 and 38 inches high, measured from the front edge or nose of the stair to the top of the railing. OSHA regulations call for railings no higher than 37 inches.
What Is the Standard Height of a Deck Railing According to Code?
Once again, while buildings codes and regulations are set by state and local authorities, the International Residential Code calls for a height of at least 36 inches from the surface of the deck to the top of the rail. This height must be at least 42 inches for businesses and apartment buildings.
What Is the Building Code for Handrails?
Typically, handrails must meet the same requirements as deck or balcony railings: 36 inches high for homes and at least 42 inches high for businesses. Handrail building codes are set by state and local authorities.