Atlanta Deck Collapse Attorney
As Atlanta deck collapse attorneys, we know the ways in which a negligent property owner can lead to a family gathering, barbecue, or party ending in tragedy. A deck collapse can pose a significant threat to personal safety, especially if the deck is on a second story, there are items such as grills or boiling pots of food on the deck, or a great number of people. Deck collapses can result in catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, and broken bones. Almost all deck collapses are preventable with proper care and maintenance.
Deck Collapses and Premises Liability Laws in Georgia
A deck collapse may be a form of premises liability, wherein the property owner would likely be responsible for damages. If the deck collapse resulted from a property owner’s neglect to maintain the structure, injured parties may be able to sue on the grounds of premises liability. To have a case against a property owner for a deck collapse, a plaintiff and his or her Atlanta personal injury lawyer must prove:
- The property owner owed you a duty. Unless you were a trespasser, the property owner owed you a certain duty of care. If the owner gave you an express or implied invitation to the property, he or she owes you a duty to provide a reasonably safe premises. This means inspecting for unknown hazards, repairing known dangers, and warning visitors of potential dangers if you were an invitee, such as a customer. As a friend or family member on the property for your own purposes, you are a licensee and the owner only has a duty not to intentionally harm you.
- The property owner breached his or her duty. If a property owner negligently failed to inspect the deck for structural integrity and repair known hazards before inviting people onto it, it could lead to a deck collapse. This is a breach of duty to invitees. An example of a breach of duty to invitees is if the owner knew about a risk of collapse (i.e. if too many people stood on the deck) but failed to warn people. This may qualify as wantonly causing harm to visitors.
- The breach caused your injuries. You cannot sue a property owner for your injuries if something else caused them, such as burning yourself on the grill prior to the deck collapsing. You must have proof that your injuries directly resulted from the property owner’s breach of duty (i.e. the owner didn’t maintain the deck, the deck collapsed, the grill fell on you, and you suffered burn injuries).
- You suffered damages. A person cannot file a lawsuit for a deck collapse even if the property owner was negligent if he or she did not suffer physical injury, emotional distress, property damage, or financial losses. You must have sustained some sort of injury in the deck collapse to bring a claim against an at-fault party.
Some deck collapse cases may use product liability or negligence laws instead of premises liability. If a manufacturing error such as a faulty joint or screw led to the collapse of the structure, the manufacturer may be responsible based on product liability laws. If you were standing on a deck while a maintenance person performed repairs and he or she negligently made the deck collapse, you may have a case of negligence. Speak to an Atlanta deck collapse lawyer to find out your options for legal action after a deck collapse injury in Georgia.
Contact an Atlanta Deck Collapse Attorney for Legal Help
If you’ve been the victim of a deck collapse in Atlanta, don’t hesitate to contact The Dixon Firm, P.C. Our personal injury lawyers will listen to the details of your accident and injuries and give you our professional opinion regarding your potential legal remedies. Call 404-733-1166 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lead attorneys.