Chicago Porch Collapse Lawyers

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 partygoers 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.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as a result of a porch collapse in Chicago, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, suffering, or other losses. 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.

It’s always a good idea to consult legal professionals if you are facing financial responsibility after an accident like this. You should know your rights, and the Chicago porch collapse attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC will help you through the legal process. Contact us at 312-346-8620 to schedule a free consultation about your options after a porch collapse with our lawyers. We can help you get compensation for medical bills, physical therapy, loss of wages, long-term care, and other suffering you may face.

Why You Need a Lawyer

After a porch collapse accident, you are likely dealing with severe injuries, significant pain, and an overwhelming financial situation. A lawsuit can help you recover from these harms, but is unlikely to be successful without a lawyer.

An experienced porch collapse lawyer will know how to investigate the accident to determine its cause. From there, they will be able to discover who should be held liable for your injuries. They can gather all the necessary evidence, evaluate your injuries to determine how much information to ask for, and then negotiate with the opposing party to ensure that you get the most amount of money possible. To ensure that your case goes as smoothly as possible and has the best outcome, you need a qualified attorney on your side.

Why Choose Us

The porch collapse attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are dedicated to holding property owners and construction companies accountable for keeping their porches and balconies safe. Since we started our law firm in 1970, we have recovered over $400 million for our clients. We have the experience and the reputation to provide you with excellent legal representation in the event of a porch collapse. Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum because of our work in getting our clients over a million dollars in verdicts or settlements. Fewer than 1% of lawyers in the country are members of this prestigious group.

Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC has been helping the people of Chicago for almost fifty years, and is fully dedicated to fighting for the rights of our community members when they are faced with injuries, death, and suffering after an accident like a porch collapse.

Common Causes of Porch Collapse

Common sense 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:

  • Rotten wood: Termite and bug infestation, water damage, and old age can all cause the wood of a porch or deck to rot and endanger the people using it.
  • Other poor-quality building materials like rusty hinges or weak nails: The quality of the materials that hold a porch or deck together are very important parts of its safety. Porch owners must use strong and safe materials to protect their users.
  • Improper porch design: Proper porch design helps ensure the safety of the people who use it. But with a structural defect, a building code violation, or poor planning of a porch, deck, or balcony, dangerous results may occur.
  • Shoddy craftsmanship: It is likely that shoddy craftsmanship of a porch – whether it was built with poor materials, designed badly, or built too quickly to ensure safety – can endanger the people using it.
  • Insufficient signage indicating dangers: Before or during structural upgrades of a porch, there must be a clear indication of any dangers people may face on any part of their porch.
  • Structural damage: If there is damage to a porch, those porch owners are responsible for fixing those problems and indicating any danger.

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. Many of these issues like rusty hinges, exposed nails, or missing signs can be easily fixed to avoid disastrous outcomes like a porch collapse. Even if these problems don’t sound so serious on their own, they can add up and cause significant harm if they are not taken care of. Because the dangers are so dire, property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent porch collapse, and it is their legal responsibility to do so. After the devastating, record-breaking porch collapse in 2003, the city of Chicago began to more strongly enforce property owners to maintain their porches, decks, and balconies to ensure that they are up to code in every way.

Injuries Caused by Porch Collapses

An accident like a porch collapse can be harmful in many ways. Some injuries that cause people to accumulate expensive medical bills and miss work include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Brain injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Nerve damage
  • Neck or spine damage
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Death

If you or a loved one have suffered from any of these injuries after a porch collapse, Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC may be able to help you recover compensation.

Who Can Be Held Responsible After a Porch Collapse

In the event of a porch collapse, there are several different entities that can be held responsible, depending on what caused the collapse and how serious the injuries were. The building’s architect or construction company can be found at fault if there were inherent problems with the structure of the porch, deck, or balcony that caused it to collapse. If the porch was built properly, but was poorly taken care of over the years, then the property owner or company that manages the property could be responsible for its collapse. Either way, it’s always smart to understand your legal rights and the legal responsibility of these entities. You could be entitled to financial compensation for any injuries, death, or suffering that you or a loved one experienced as a result of a porch or balcony collapse.

Contact Us

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 for your medical bills and lost wages. Call us at 312-346-8620 to learn more about your legal options from a skilled professional.

Written by Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Last Updated : December 5, 2023