Injuries Caused by Building Code Violations
Imagine walking down a stairwell when, all of a sudden, the handrail comes loose causing you to fall and suffer a serious head injury. Or, you are walking down a hall when the floor suddenly dips without warning causing you to trip and fall. If you suffered an injury due to a building code violation, you can bring a lawsuit for compensation against the owner and/or a leaseholder of the building.
Houston Building Codes
Building codes were enacted for the purpose of ensuring that buildings were designed and constructed in a safe way. This is to ensure the safety of visitors, occupants, etc.
There are codes for every part of the building. They regulate the materials, design, and building practices used for the building. This is to ensure the durability and safety of the structure and its systems.
The building codes usually cover specific areas such as sprinklers, exit signs, elevators, smoke detectors, and emergency escapes. Certified building inspectors are charged with enforcing the codes and protecting the unsuspecting public from building code violation injuries.
Building Code Violations
Violations of the building codes can often lead to serious situations that may occasion injury. Some of the building code violations that may lead to serious injury include the following:
- Lack of exit signs or placing them poorly in bad lighting
- Inadequate fire protection. This may include absence of or faulty sprinklers, fire alarms or fire escapes.
- Structural defects in the building
- Poor or substandard electrical wiring
- Bad pipe or gas fittings
- Worn or damaged elevators
- Inadequate locks on the exterior of the building
- Stairways that were not built according to the codes or that have become damaged. The building codes do not only cover the construction stage. They also extend to maintenance. So, if the building initially complied with the codes but has fallen into disrepair, there would still be an actionable violation of the codes.
These are just a few examples of code violations, though. They are not exhaustive. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury because of what you feel may be a building code violation, you can get in touch with an attorney. They can listen to your story and help determine if you have suffered injury due to a building code violation.
Negligence of Landlords or Occupiers
In a suit for compensation for injury as a result of a building code violation, you may need to show that your injury was caused by the negligence of the owner or occupier of the building. There are some things you would need to prove, though. They include:
- Duty of care: This would involve showing that the occupier or owner had a duty under the building codes to maintain the building in a particular manner.
- Breach of duty: To prove this element, you would need to detail exactly how the occupier or owner failed to maintain the building according to the codes. Any citation that had been issued against them by the building inspection officer is useful proof of a breach.
- Breach related harm: You would finally have to show that you have suffered harm. This harm must be a result of the breach by the owner or occupier of the building.
Have Questions? Contact Our Houston Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a family member was seriously injured while at a business premise and suspect it was caused by a building code violation, now is the time to take legal action. Contact the Houston lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates today.