Parties on the deck are a classic tradition in the summer time, but recently one such party turned into a tragedy. As Gant Daily reported, 25 people were on a deck in North Carolina in early July when the deck collapsed. The deck was off of a rented private home and many of the guests who were outdoors on the deck sustained serious injuries as a result of the collapse.
Our Asheville, NC accident lawyers know that those who were hurt by the deck collapse may be able to take legal action. Since the home was a rented private home, the owner of the home likely had an obligation to ensure that the deck was structurally sound so no injuries would occur. The owner should be responsible for covering all costs and losses, which may be very significant in this case since some of those hurt in the collapse sustained spinal cord injuries and other serious damage.
Deck Collapse Leads to Devastating Injuries
Gant Daily reports that 21 out of the 25 people who were on the North Carolina deck were hurt in the collapse. Those who were hurt sustained a variety of different injuries including lacerations, hip and bone fractures and spinal cord damage.
Spinal cord damage can be complete or incomplete. When the spine is damaged, it can cause paralysis below the area where the spine was affected. An accident victim could lose feeling and muscle control and could potentially become a quadriplegic or a paraplegic as a result of the spinal damage.
Bone fractures, and especially hip fractures, can also be serious injury although, unlike spinal cord damage, there is hope that the accident victims will make a full recovery when they break bones. For some victims- and especially the elderly- a hip fracture may never fully heal and older adults are often unable to live independently any more after they have broken their hip.
Because the injuries were so serious as a result of the deck collapse, it will be very important for the injured victims to make a claim for compensation so they can cover their medical bills and costs. The person or entity responsible for the deck collapse should be liable for paying for the damages and pain that the victims incurred as a result of the tragic incident.
In this case, since the home was rented, it is likely that the owner of the home would be the one responsible for maintaining it and would thus be considered liable for the failure to ensure the deck was structurally sound. A deck doesn’t just collapse because people were on it, and if the owner ignored structural problems that he or she should have resolved, then the owner could potentially be required to compensate injured victims.
It will also be relevant to consider whether there were too many people on the deck at the time of the collapse. If there were posted occupancy limits in the rental space, and if those limits were broken, then it is possible the injured victims could be considered partially to blame for overcrowding the deck. If this is the case, then it is possible that their damages would be reduced based on their own contributions to the cause of the injuries. Determining who was to blame can be a challenge, but an attorney can help.
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid, exclusive of case costs.
Additional Blog Entries:
Fatal I-485 Truck Crash Highlights Summer Road Construction Risks, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 4, 2013.