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On June 29, 2003, friends gathered at an apartment building in Chicago’s North Side. They were marking the arrival of summer with a party, and their chatter and laughter echoed around the neighborhood. Several party goers stood out on the building’s balconies to enjoy the temperate night. Suddenly, a wooden porch gave way underneath the feet of those outside. Over ten people were killed and dozens injured in the resulting porch collapse. All of Chicago mourned the victims of this tragedy, the worst porch collapse in U.S. history. Unfortunately, this horrible incident did not mark the final porch or balcony-related injury in our city.
The porch collapse attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are dedicated to holding property owners accountable for keeping their porches and balconies safe. Our legal team understands that proper construction, maintenance, and signage can make porches much less dangerous. Furthermore, Illinois law expects property owners to take reasonable steps to ensure that people are not injured on their premises. Victims who suffer injuries in a porch collapse often need expensive medical treatment, but their recovery time can rob them of work wages. While nothing can compensate for the pain and distress of a porch collapse, the law does enable victims and their families to seek monetary recompense from negligent property owners.
Commonsense maintenance and careful installation can significantly reduce the chance of porch collapse. Sadly, when porches are not properly constructed or cared for, they can become hazardous. Porches, like any structure, have multiple components, and each one requires attention and upkeep. Porch collapse can result from a number of causes including shoddy materials and poor engineering. The numerous potential problems mean that porch owners have to be all the more cautious when preparing the premises for visitors.
Some common causes of porch collapse include:
Any one of these problems can lead to devastating injuries. Porch collapse puts innocent people at risk of a serious fall, collapsing debris, and entrapment under those materials. Because the dangers are so dire, property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent porch collapse.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a porch collapse, you might be entitled to financial compensation. The dedicated premises liability attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are ready to help you recover money lost to medical bills and lost wages. Call us at (312) 346-8620 to learn more about your legal options from a skilled professional.