Awnings — Brand Builders or Potential Killers?

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Prestonsburg was hit by two feet of snow during the recent Nor’Easter that hammered the U.S. with blizzard-like weather conditions. The building that houses Lad n’ Lassie Children’s Boutique received damage to its awning as a result. The building’s heavy awning, which spanned the width of the front exterior, was dragged down by the weight of the snow and collapsed during non-business hours. Owner Cheryl Leslie later had the entire structure removed so as not to put customers at risk should another collapse occur.

Awnings are aerial canvasses that cover the overhead walkway of a storefront. Officially, they’re used for blocking sunlight and shielding a business and its customers from the elements. More importantly for a small business, awnings are used for branding. The typeset and color choice for an awning is part of the business’s overall concept. Due to its size and scope in relation to the store or office underneath, it has the potential to make a good — or bad — first impression.

The importance of an awning for a growing enterprise cannot be understated. Awning issues can be very detrimental to small businesses, both as potential health hazards and as eyesores that fail to convey the brand message. Likewise, the lack of maintenance to an awning over time can lead to structural problems that can endanger customers and clients.

Awnings, when not properly secured or maintained, can be just as dangerous to passersby. Last year in North Carolina, 25 high school band students were injured when a concrete awning collapsed on them prior to a competition.

If you’ve received personal injury caused by a distressed awning collapse, our attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are happy to review the scope of the accident to determine if you’re eligible for any damages as a result.

During construction, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds above the scaffolding temporarily replace awnings and have the potential to cause damage to a business’s brand and hamper curb appeal.

Some businesses have attempted to mitigate the brand damage caused by the loss of an awning’s signage due to construction by affixing a store sign over the scaffolding. This attempt, however, is not a cure-all for the loss of customers that comes with the removal of permanent signage.

Our attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are also experienced in business litigation. Our dedicated Business Trial Group is available to represent your business for litigation related to the recoupment of damages for loss of business due to construction and other complex commercial disputes. For your benefit, we handle all cases in our business trial group on a contingency-fee basis.

Prestonsburg — and the rest of the nation — may not be fully prepared for another snowstorm of epic proportions. But, should weather conditions or other acts of negligence lead to additional structural impairments that cause damage to your person or to your businesses, reach out to Morgan & Morgan. We’re here to help you rebuild.

By Staff