Recently, an upper deck on a rental house in Ocean Isle Beach collapsed, causing 25 people to fall down to a hard concrete patio below. All but four people were hospitalized. The accident victims mostly sustained injuries such as broken legs and ankles. These types of injuries may require corrective surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Not to mention lost wages and pain and suffering. Reports have yet to reveal if victims suffered spinal or head trauma as a result of the second-story fall.
The deck collapse is bringing a lot of attention to North Carolina premises liability law and the legal responsibilities of landlords and property owners. Property owners are responsible for ensuring their properties are maintained safely and that any possible hazards are eliminated. The investigation is only beginning, but if reports show the deck was in disrepair and the owner was aware of any damage or decay, they should have restricted access to this area, provided adequate signage of the hazard, and repaired it immediately.
There are other factors to consider in an accident like this:
- Were the tenants permitted to have parties?
- Was there clearly visible signage on the deck warning of maximum capacity?
- Was the deck legal and built to code?
There are several possible areas of negligence that need to be explored when establishing a personal injury case--or in this case, potentially 21 personal injury cases--in North Carolina. This accident may involve negligent tenants, a careless landlord, or an at-fault contractor if the deck was not built to code. If you were involved in an accident on someone's private property, request a free case evaluation with one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers.