New York Balcony or Terrace Accident Lawyer
Many properties in New York, such as houses, apartments, restaurants, and event centers, have balconies or terraces. Unfortunately, many balconies and terraces are not properly maintained and accidents occur as a result. A faulty handrail, balcony collapse, or slip-and-fall can leave a victim with serious injuries.
Have you or someone you love been injured or killed in a terrace or balcony accident? If so, you do not have to go through this difficult time alone. A premises liability lawyer can inform you of your legal rights and help you hold all negligent parties liable for your injuries.
Contact our law firm today at (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free initial case consultation. The personal injury attorneys of our law firm care about our clients. In fact, clients have said that when Hill & Moin LLP is on your side, “it’s like having a lawyer in the family.”
Balcony vs. Terrace
Both balconies and terraces are a great way to connect the inside and outside. Many people enjoy spending time on a balcony or terrace visiting with friends, eating a meal, or just relaxing. However, to be kept secure and safe, both balconies and terraces need to be regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired.
While balconies and terraces have similar features, there are significant differences between the two.
A balcony is a raised outdoor platform that is attached to the side of a building and supported by brackets or columns. Balconies are enclosed by a low railing or wall, accessed from an upper floor, and designed to extend living space outdoors.
A balcony is typically long and narrow and much smaller than a terrace. Balconies attached to the side of a house are usually much larger than those attached to an apartment.
A terrace is an outdoor area located next to or on the top of a building. Terraces are open, flat, slightly elevated, and used as a garden, entertainment, or living space.
Terraces are often much larger than balconies. Unlike a balcony, it is free-standing and not usually attached to a building (unless it is a rooftop terrace).
Common Causes of Balcony and Terrace Accidents
Homeowners, property owners, and property managers in New York have an obligation to ensure that their properties are safe for residents and guests. This includes keeping balconies and terraces in safe condition. Many accidents occur because property owners fail to regularly inspect and maintain the balconies and terraces on their properties.
Causes of balcony and terrace accidents include:
- Exceeded weight limit: Balconies are designed to support a certain weight limit. When a property owner fails to understand or enforce the weight restrictions for a balcony, the structure could collapse from too many people being allowed on it at one time.
- Wear and tear: Rotted wood, rusted bolts and screws, and the deterioration of other building materials can cause balconies and railings to lose some strength. For this reason, these structures need to be regularly inspected and maintained.
- Design problems: If the design of a balcony or terrace is unsafe, then the structure will be dangerous even if weight restrictions are enforced. For example, if a railing is too short or the spindles are set too far apart, people (especially children) could fall over or through the balustrade.
- Poor construction: A contractor may have cut corners by using cheap building materials or rushing to meet a deadline. A poorly constructed balcony or terrace is an accident waiting to happen.
- Failure to inspect: A property owner or management company must perform routine inspections to ensure the structural integrity of a raised terrace or balcony. Unfortunately, many owners skip this important task and hazards go unnoticed and unresolved.
The Danger of Falls From a Balcony or Terrace
Rooftop terraces, bars, and restaurants have boomed in popularity in New York in recent years. While these locations provide people with a great place to relax and have fun, property owners must ensure these places are safe for building residents and patrons.
A fall from a balcony or rooftop terrace can result in injury or even death. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle accidents.
Causes of balcony or terrace falls include:
- Manufacturing or design defects
- Lack of proper guard rails
- Failure to close windows, screens, and doors (especially in accidents involving minors)
- Spilled liquid on the balcony or terrace floor
- Failure to obey warning signs
- Excessive use of alcohol
The severity of injuries sustained in a terrace or balcony fall will depend on a number of factors – perhaps most notably the height from which a person falls. A person who has fallen from a greater height is more at risk of severe injury or death.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a balcony or rooftop terrace accident, contact Hill & Moin LLP today to learn about your options for compensation.
Injuries Sustained in a New York Balcony or Terrace Accident
Severe injuries can result when a balcony collapses or a railing gives out. This is especially true if the terrace or balcony is several stories up.
Common injuries sustained in balcony or terrace accidents include:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Cuts or lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal injuries
- Internal organ damage
Establishing Liability Following a New York Terrace or Balcony Accident
There are various parties that may be liable after a terrace or balcony accident. A New York premises liability lawyer can review your case and help you identify who is responsible for your injuries.
Liable parties may include:
- Builders: A contractor who used defective materials, failed to comply with building codes, or used poor construction methods could face liability for the accident.
- Manufacturers: If a structural collapse resulted from poorly manufactured parts, the manufacturer could be held responsible under product liability law.
- Property owner or managers: Premises liability laws require property owners to keep their buildings in good shape and free from hazards. If a balcony or terrace was not properly maintained, the owner or manager could be found liable for any resulting injuries.
- Maintenance companies: An owner or manager may hire out the maintenance of his or her buildings to an outside company by contract. If the maintenance crew failed to properly inspect and repair a balcony or terrace, the contractor could be financially liable for damages.
In some situations, more than one party may share liability for a balcony or terrace accident. A New York personal injury lawyer can help you identify all responsible parties and file a claim or lawsuit.
Filing a Premises Liability Claim Following a NY Balcony or Terrace Accident
Rooftop terrace and balcony accidents occur more often than most people realize. The safety and well-being of many people could have been better preserved if the property owner or manager had followed safety guidelines. Unfortunately, many are injured every year due to a lack of maintenance, poor construction, or a failure to obey the law.
Victims injured in balcony or terrace accidents have the right to file for compensation under premises liability law. You too can find legal recourse.
A personal injury attorney can investigate the cause of your accident and let you know what laws apply to your situation. Your attorney can then gather evidence, identify all liable parties, and help you file a claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for your accident-related losses.
Damages a premises liability lawyer can help you recover compensation for may include:
- Medical expenses: Reimbursement for ambulance rides, emergency room visits, tests, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation therapy, and more.
- Loss of income: Money for the wages you lost while you were unable to work due to your accident and injuries.
- Loss of future earning potential: Damages awarded if a victim’s injuries are so severe that he or she is unable to return to his or her previous career or place of employment.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for the mental anguish and emotional distress you have suffered as a result of the accident.
- Wrongful death: Compensation for burial costs, funeral expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of consortium, and more.
Find Out How a NY Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help After Your Balcony or Terrace Accident
A personal injury claim involving a balcony or terrace accident is a serious and complex issue. A premises liability lawyer can offer legal advice and help you understand your options. With Hill & Moin LLP on your side, you can focus on healing while we concentrate on getting you the compensation you deserve.
Our law firm takes balcony and terrace accident cases on contingency. This means you pay no upfront costs or fees, and we only get paid if your case is successful and when you are awarded a settlement.
With over 50 years of combined experience, we at Hill & Moin know what is needed to build a solid premises liability case and recover maximum compensation for our clients. Learn what our results-oriented premises liability lawyers can do for you. Contact our office today at (212) 668-6000 for a free consultation to learn your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.
Don’t wonder about your rights!