How Building Code Violations Affect a Slip and Fall Case
Every parish or state enacts various regulations for how buildings should be constructed and maintained to keep people safe. When building codes are ignored by a negligent property owner, customers or visitors can sustain serious injuries in an accident like a slip and fall. Knowing which specific local or statewide Louisiana code was violated is incredibly useful for strengthening your attorney’s position when presenting your case in front of a judge and jury.
Why Building Code Violations Matter in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Building code violations may play a major role in your case, whether you were hurt in an apartment complex, a rental home, a friend’s house, or a place of business. This crucial evidence is used by your legal representative to prove that the at-fault party’s negligent behavior directly led to your injury.
If a property owner, employee, or building manager hadn’t violated a Louisiana building code, then you wouldn’t have been hurt. That can make the other party liable for your damages such as lost income while recovering and medical bills after visiting the doctor for your slip and fall injury.
When it comes to premises liability cases, the property owner or their insurance provider are often reluctant to pay what you are legitimately owed. The fair and full amount you deserve after sustaining a serious injury in a fall can be costly for them.
That’s why you need a trial-ready attorney to rigorously investigate the accident and gather important details like local parish or state building code violations. Having details on a specific violation is needed to overcome common defenses in a premises liability lawsuit, such as the defendant arguing your own careless behavior caused the injury.
Particular building violations in New Orleans that may directly relate to a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit include:
- Failing to use or maintain non-stick mats on slippery surfaces
- Handrails that are broken, rotted, or simply missing
- Improper weatherproofing leads to accumulated water on floors
- Inadequate lighting, particularly in areas like staircases where tripping and falling is easier if you can’t fully see the floor
- Lack of handicapped accessibility
- Leaking pipes in ceilings or walls
- Lack of maintenance on elevators and escalators
- Missing safety railing surrounding pool areas
- Uneven flooring or steps without proper warning signage
- Using extension cords as permanent wiring that is left in walking paths
- Violations of local fire codes
Protect Your Legal Rights if You Suspect Your Fall Was Caused by a Code Violation
If you think any of those violations may have led to your fall, it is critical to document the conditions at the time of the accident. Make a point of taking photos of the scene, as well as asking any witnesses for their contact details. Your attorney may need to speak with them during the investigation and they may need to testify in court.
Having as much of a record of events as possible is key to a successful outcome when pursuing compensation. If you remain conscious after the fall and haven’t been taken to the emergency room by ambulance, make sure to notify the property owner of the fall before leaving the scene. From there, it’s important to initiate a paper trail on the extent of your injuries as soon as possible.
Visit a doctor after any slip and fall incident to make sure you aren’t suffering from internal injuries. Unfortunately, it is easy to sustain life-changing injuries without realizing it immediately after the fall. Soft tissue damage to ligaments and muscles, for instance, can reduce your range of motion and lead to extreme pain during normal activity. There is an additional risk of bone fractures, back or spinal cord damage, and even traumatic brain injuries.
After ensuring your medical condition has been addressed, the single most important action is to call an experienced premises liability attorney. A lawyer can help you with the financial aspect of your recovery so you can devote your energy to physical healing. Were you hurt in a slip and fall? Call the Scott Vicknair law firm at 504-500-1111 or send a message to schedule a consultation through our online contact form.