Summertime is a favorite season for many Chicagoans. After our notorious cold and harsh winters, we gladly embrace the summer warmth and pleasant temperatures. Chicago citizens tend to flock to outdoor activities throughout the city, from festivals to the lakefront paths and especially neighborhood barbecues. However, when the places we go to relax with friends and family are unsafe, summertime fun can quickly turn dangerous, putting our loved ones in harm’s way.
According to a recent article by ABC 7, an upper level deck in Evanston collapsed, injuring several people. According to building inspectors, the porch was not properly attached to the home. The inspectors further stated that when porch collapses like these occur, they normally occur where the deck meets the house, which is what happened in this incident at hand. According to one building inspector, the deck was not properly adhered to the structure.
The incident occurred in Evanston in the 1900-block of Darrow Avenue on Memorial Day. Several people were on the second-floor porch when it gave way and fell down to the first floor. One of the seven victims described how she heard a cracking, and the floor suddenly dropped. She elaborated that no one had any time to grab onto anything. She was knocked unconscious from the fall and then awoke finding cuts to her head and an injured knee. Another victim described how the porch suddenly collapsed and everyone fell on top of one another, with debris from the porch, including a hot grill, falling on top of them too. The family said their landlord had told them that he was going to fix their deck.
Our attorneys have represented victims who have suffered injuries as a result of unsafe structures and understand the importance of enforcing premises liability laws. Under this theory of law, when an accident, such as a porch collapse, occurs to a visitor to or tenant of another’s property, the owner of the property may be legally responsible if it was their negligence (i.e. not repairing or maintaining the porch) that led to the accident and resulting injuries. In such cases, plaintiffs must prove that property owners failed to maintain the property making it dangerous, created unsafe conditions leading to injury, or knew about hazard on the property but did not alert those visiting it. Where victims show this to be true, they can recover costs they would not have otherwise incurred but for the accident, such as those from medical bills, lost earnings, emotional distress, or permanent disabilities.
Our lawyers empathize with and advocate for victims who suffer unexpected injuries as a result of unsafe properties and structures. When renting property or visiting the property of another, we should not have to fear that we will be put in such a dangerous situation, as the floor beneath us collapsing and sending us to the story below. We should be able to expect and trust that all places we visit, whether residential or commercial, are safe for us and do not present us with imminent harm from going about normal activities like cooking and sitting in the warm summer weather with friends.