A balcony collapse occurring in 2013 made headline news when 33 people were injured, two of them seriously, in Miami. The accident occurred when the deck of a popular waterfront restaurant suddenly collapsed as over 100 people gathered on it to celebrate the Miami Heat game. Restaurant patrons tumbled into the waters and were injured in the process. Twenty four patrons were transported to the hospital, with two in serious condition. A number of premises liability cases arose from the accident in Miami and the structure was deemed unsafe.
This 2013 balcony collapse is just one of many to occur every year. Balcony collapses often happen in apartment and condominium buildings, hotels, restaurants, and elsewhere. Throughout Florida, there have been several instances of major balcony collapses that sent several to the hospital.
Causes of Balcony Collapses
Due to the often extreme heights involved in falls from balconies, serious injuries and even death may result. Injuries can include broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, nerve damage, internal organ damage, disfigurement, paralysis, and much more.
Balcony falls in Florida are often caused by:
- Crumbling or weak railings
- Structural issues, including rotted wood, improper anchoring, rusted bolts, loose railings, and more
- Railings that are too low or spaced too far apart
- Balcony collapse due to exceeding the maximum weight limits or miscalculation of appropriate weight limits
- Failure of property owners to comply with the Florida building codes
- Defective construction
Liability in the Event of a Balcony Collapse
Property owners in Florida are vested with a responsibility to ensure that their property, including any balconies, is safe for use and maintained in this safe condition. The laws that apply to property owners are called premises liability laws. Premises liability law requires that all balconies and terraces comply with building codes and are maintained in safe condition. Balcony safety is of particular importance for the owners and operators of apartment complexes, high rises, and hotels due to the extreme risks involved with falls from these heights.
When a balcony collapse occurs, the property owner can be held accountable for the damages that ensue. Injured victims should contact a premises liability attorney who will help to protect their legal rights. Your attorney will analyze the collapse and employ the experts necessary to uncover the reason for the fall. If the balcony collapsed due to any negligence on the part of the property owner, the builder, or the property manager, these parties can be joined in an action seeking damages for all injuries sustained.
Premises liability suits can seek recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more. If your loved one is killed in such an accident, you can file a wrongful death suit against the negligent property owner. Contact a licensed attorney as soon as possible to begin the investigatory process and preserve your potential claim.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Assisting the Victims of Dangerous Balcony Collapses
Balcony collapses can result in serious injuries and even death. When a balcony collapse occurs, the victims may be eligible to bring a personal injury action against the negligent property owner. The Miami Premises Liability Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have assisted several victims of balcony collapses with impressive results. For over 130 collective years, our firm has successfully resolved a wide variety of personal injury claims across South Florida. Our experience and talent has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida's top firms by the Miami Herald. Allow our skilled attorneys to mount your successful case. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.