Premises Liability: Porch Collapse

Jul 29

Premises liability is a legal concept wherein a property owner can be held liable for the accidents, injuries, and deaths that have occurred in his premises, especially if negligence or recklessness has been involved. So, property owners should be responsible in the maintenance and safety of their premises.

One of the least talked about cases of premises liability is porch collapse, because it is not as common as, say, escalator and elevator malfunctions, swimming pool drownings, and fires. Still, according to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, those who have been harmed because of porch collapse may have a legal option to take the property owner to court.

But how can a porch collapse? There are many ways how, and below are just some of the ways where the property owner can be blamed.

Poor Maintenance

Porches require maintenance, to ensure that they are in perfect condition to avoid defects and accidents. If a porch is not regularly inspected and maintained, it may suffer from the consequences of wear and tear, particularly the parts that are crucial for support, such as the posts, beams, ledger boards, and even the small ones, like the joist hangers.

Poor Support

Speaking of support, the porch can still collapse even if it is properly maintained if the support is not adequate in the first place. First, the foundation should be strong enough, so the property owner should hire a competent person who knows the building standards for these things. Second, the support systems, such as the components mentioned earlier, should be strong enough to accommodate a specific weight limit that a property owner should comply to.

Overloading

A porch that has a strong support and adequate maintenance is still prone to collapsing accidents if the property owner does the most negligent thing he can do – putting too much weight on the porch. This is the most negligent because it is a problem that is often self-inflicted. A property owner should know the limitations of his porch and should be cautious in putting too much items on it. This can put too much pressure on the porch, so the porch may give in and, at worst, cause an injury to an innocent person.

Read More