Georgia property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of the public when visiting their property. This includes business owners, homeowners, landlords, and commercial property owners (including hotel owners). These entities must keep their properties reasonably safe for use by tenants and customers or patrons. If you are injured on another person's property a premises liability attorney at Shane Smith Law can review the incident and advise you of your legal rights.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining their property's structural integrity in a way that minimizes the risk of visitors' injuries. Homeowners or businesses may fail to properly monitor the weight load on a deck, thereby resulting in a deck collapse.
There are many potential contributing causes to a deck collapse. They may include:
- Negligent deck construction or maintenance: The deck may have been poorly designed or improperly constructed, including work done without proper permits, without sufficient design engineering, or built with substandard materials. A deck might not be properly secured to the main structure, causing it to fall from the structure and collapse. The designer may not have used treated lumber or the homeowner may not have consistently treated the surface with a weather-resistant coating to prevent wood rot. Additionally, wood may not have been treated or inspected for insect infestation that could compromise structural integrity.
- Failure to regulate maximum weight loads: Homeowners or rental facilities may have events on decks without considering whether the event might exceed the structure's maximum weight-bearing capacity.
In a Clayton County premises liability suit, the injured party has an obligation to prove that the property owner's negligence was the proximate cause of the injuries sustained from a deck fall. Additionally, the victim must show that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and that the owner neglected to remedy the problem by making repairs or appropriately issuing warnings to protect the public from the dangerous situation. The property owner will attempt to show that the injured party did not exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances.
If you have been injured in a deck collapse, call a Clayton County premises liability attorney at Shane Smith Law to schedule a free legal consultation.