On Saturday, April 22nd, nine people were hospitalized following a deck collapse in the Appalachian mountains. Ashe County Rescue Squd, Ashe Medics, four local fire departments, and several other emergency response agencies were dispatched to the scene at 520 Little Tree Road in West Jefferson at about 8:00 p.m.
I was injured at my North Carolina vacation rental. Who is responsible?
Two of the victims sustained serious injuries and were airlifted to a regional trauma center. Investigators have not released any immediate details explaining exactly what happened, but a quick look at Realtor.com shows a log cabin with an open, second-story porch jutting out over a steep mountain grade. The cabin was constructed in 1998 and sits on four acres of land.
If you sustained a serious injury in a negligence-based accident, the North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries and other damages. No one should be forced into financial difficulties because of someone else’s careless actions. Call us today to schedule your free case review.
Deck Collapse Accidents in North Carolina
The state’s Vacation Rental Act requires property managers and homeowners to ensure the safety of rental properties, meaning they are liable for any accidents resulting from a property defect. So, if you were injured due to a collapsing porch, balcony, or railing at a North Carolina rental property, you could have a valid premises liability claim.
Is the Landlord Legally Liable?
Generally speaking, landlords are responsible for the condition of their properties. Rather than being based on ownership, however, it is not unusual for liability to occasionally be attributed to the person in control of the property. When a guest or visitor is injured by faulty or hazardous conditions, fault might be assigned to the tenant or lessee, rather than the lessor.
Nevertheless, the owner could be liable if they were contractually obligated to keep up on repairs, knowingly permitted the hazardous condition to exist, or knowingly permitted lessees to engage in dangerous behavior.
Conversely, if the materials or products that were used in the construction of the deck, balcony, or railing were defective and resulted in an injury-causing accident, a product liability claim could be an appropriate response. Product manufacturers and designers have a duty to caution consumers of any flaws or defects that could be dangerous.
North Carolina law has numerous provisions pertaining to new buildings. There are, however, no regulations requiring continued inspections unless a complaint is filed.
A few basic methods of checking the safety of a balcony, deck, or railing include:
- Check for any signs of decay or splitting, and spots in the wood that appear to be retaining moisture.
- Check accessories, such as handrails, for any weak spots by pulling or pushing on them.
- Inspect support hardware and fasteners for any signs of corrosion or rust.
Seeking Damages After a North Carolina Deck Collapse
Deck collapses and other similar accidents commonly cause serious injuries such as spinal cord damage, head and brain injuries, broken and fractured bones, and even internal bleeding and organ damage. Many of these injuries could potentially cause a lifelong disability such as quadriplegia, paraplegia, or brain damage that will have an impact on the rest of your life. When you work with our personal injury law firm, we will pursue full and fair financial compensation for any damages you might be entitled to, including:
- Current and anticipated medical bills
- Physical therapy expenses
- Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Lost income, lost future income, or reduced earning capacity
- Home modifications and adaptations as needed
Speak With a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
If you sustained injuries in a North Carolina deck collapse, it is important to speak with a reputable personal injury attorney who can explain your rights and legal options to you and help you collect the maximum amount of financial compensation under the law. Bear in mind that each case is different, and the exact rules and regulations that pertain to your case will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident.
The experienced North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you get the financial recovery you deserve. Call our law offices today at (833) 997-1774 to schedule your free case evaluation.