You may have been making your way downstairs when a handrail came loose and sent you tumbling. Or you may have been walking down the hall when a loose floorboard tripped you up. No matter the case, if you suffer an injury due to a building code violation, you may be able to recover compensation with the help of a Morgan & Morgan attorney. Here’s what you should know.
What Are Building Codes?
Property owners are required to follow building safety codes. Failure to do so can leave tenants, guests, customers, and bystanders in harm’s way. Building codes are sets of rules enacted by state and local governments that detail the design and construction standards for buildings. They dictate the materials used, the standards in constructing the building, and the work conditions at the site. These codes are designed to protect the health and safety of the construction workers who build the structure, as well as the residents, employees, and visitors who use the building after completion.
Building codes regulate numerous characteristics, including:
- General building codes such as accessibility, door height clearances, lighting levels, and construction materials
- Mechanical codes for refrigeration and solar energy systems
- Electrical codes that regulate the types of systems that can be used in construction, as well as how to repair older electrical systems
- Energy codes to support conservation during and after the construction of a building
- Plumbing codes for faucets, sewage, water heaters, fixtures, sanitary drainage, water supply systems, and storm drainage
- Fuel codes that dictate how gas piping should be installed inside and around the building
Types of Building Code Violations
Common types of building code violations include:
- Defective elevators and escalators
- Missing or poorly lit exit signs
- Faulty stairs, guardrails, and handrails
- Inadequate fire protection, including the absence of functional sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire escapes
- Poor lighting
- Faulty wiring
- Failure to maintain the building properly
- Damaged stairways or stairwells that were not built to code
Proving Negligence in a Building Code Accident
Building code hazards can lead to serious injuries that require long-term medical treatment and lead to substantial financial losses. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence for tenants, customers, guests, and visitors at properties to suffer serious injuries. If you were harmed, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party to recover compensation for your injuries. This requires proving a few elements:
- The liable party owed you a duty of care. You have to demonstrate that the owner or other responsible party had a duty to maintain the building in a certain way.
- The liable party breached their duty of care. This requires detailing how the responsible party failed to keep you safe.
- Their breach caused you harm. Your injury must be the result of someone else’s negligence.
Contact a Building Code Lawyer
Building code laws are complex and vary from one county to the next. It’s imperative that you hire a highly skilled building violation lawyer to investigate the cause of your accident and hold the liable party accountable. Find out if you may be eligible to recover compensation by contacting Morgan & Morgan. Fill out a free case evaluation to get started.