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Premises Liability – Defective Building and Stairs

Many preventable accidents are caused by a building owner’s failure to follow the proper construction and maintenance rules for their property. Every structure in Seattle is subject to some sort of building code. Yet far too many property owners ignore the building code requirements, which in turn leads to people suffering serious injuries due to a hazard created by this non-compliance.

If you have been seriously injured on someone else’s property and suspect that this may have been a factor, it is important to seek out qualified legal advice. A skilled lawyer can help you investigate your accident and help you determine what legal action may be appropriate. At the Emerald Law Group, we represent many clients such as yourself who may be entitled to substantial compensation from negligent property owners and other third parties involved with the construction or maintenance of a building.

Failure to Follow Building Codes Can Help Prove Negligence

In every municipality there are certain standards that must be followed with respect to the construction and maintenance of buildings. For example, the Seattle Building Code governs the minimum requirements for construction and design of new buildings within the city. This code is based on the 2018 International Building Code, a model code used by many cities and counties throughout the United States. Seattle also has a Residential Code that expressly applies to the design and construction of single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses of no more than three stories. Finally, there is an Existing Building Code that governs the repair and alteration of existing buildings, which is also modeled on the International Building Code.

In some cases, a building may have been defectively designed–i.e., not in compliance with the applicable building code. This can lead to a situation where a defect may lie dormant for many years before creating a safety hazard. In other scenarios, the building design is fine, but the owner has failed to follow the proper maintenance rules spelled out in the building code. Delaying or ignoring necessary repairs often leads to its own safety hazards.

Some of the more common examples of defective building conditions that can lead to a personal injury claim include:

  • missing or broken stairs or defective handrails in public stairways;
  • malfunctioning elevators and escalators;
  • water damage;
  • uneven flooring;
  • cracks in the sidewalk adjacent to the building;
  • exposed wires;
  • inadequate lighting; and
  • structural failure due to the use of improper materials.

If you can prove that a defective building condition, such as a broken stairway, was the cause of your injury, you can seek a variety of legal damages, including compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and your ongoing pain and suffering.

Contact Emerald Law Group Today

Personal injury claims based on defective building conditions are often quite complex. They require knowledge of city building codes and often involve dealing with insurance companies for the property owners. Your best chance for obtaining a favorable outcome in such cases is to work with an experienced Seattle defective building conditions and stairs lawyer. Contact the Emerald Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation.

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