Who Might Be Liable in a Deck Collapse? | Rubén J. Padrón, PA

Who Might Be Liable in a Deck Collapse?

January 19, 2022

Property owner negligence is a serious issue. When a deck collapses, who can you go to for help? Who can you sue to make sure your medical bills are covered?

Deck collapses can be addressed through personal injury law. A property owner is responsible for keeping their premises in good shape, whether that’s a deck or a set of stairs on the property. Here’s what you need to know about property owner negligence in a deck collapse case.

Who is responsible for maintaining a property?

If you’re injured in a deck collapse, the first job you and your lawyer will have is to find out who is responsible for the property. A landlord or property manager has a duty to keep the premises in good shape, or at least cause no harm to others.

This is called premises liability law, which is a type of negligence claim. Property owners are required to address hazards they knew or should have known about before someone can get hurt.

Proving a premises liability claim

To prove a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must show:

  1. The property owner or manager owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  2. The property owner or manager breached the duty
  3. This breach caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries and
  4. The plaintiff suffered actual harm.

Even if you saw that a deck was in immediate danger of collapse, but you didn’t get hurt when it did, you won’t be able to sue. The plaintiff in any suit must have suffered actual damages in order to recover injury.

Your lawyer will work with you to find evidence to support each element. There could be any number of reasons a deck collapses, which may range from shoddy construction (a claim against the construction or maintenance company) to neglect (a claim against the landlord). Decks might collapse because of rotting wood, poor construction and maintenance, defective materials, lack of upkeep and more. When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they’ll ask you questions to decide whether this is a case of property owner negligence or if someone else is responsible. Depending on the evidence, they can then file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties.

Tips for plaintiffs

If you’re injured in a deck collapse, make sure you keep great records. The Florida statute of limitations gives plaintiffs two years to file a claim, but you’ll probably want to file a suit sooner rather than later.

When you get ready to file a lawsuit, gather any evidence you have: medical bills, photos, written dealings with the landlord and more. This will help your lawyer decide whether you have a good case.

Trying to get justice after a deck collapse can be frustrating and difficult. Let a seasoned lawyer help you get the compensation you deserve. Call Ruben J. Padron, PA today to discuss your case. We can help you explore your legal options and decide how you’d like to pursue compensation. Don’t let property owner negligence ruin your future—call us today to schedule a consultation.

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