Building codes are laws and regulations designed to keep buildings and other structures safe so that injuries are prevented. Common building code violations include:
- Unsafe porches or balconies
- Faulty plumbing
- Faulty wiring
- Faulty or inadequate handrails, guardrails or stairs
- Inadequate lighting
- Defective elevators or escalators
- Failure to properly maintain the building, or repair hazardous conditions
Building codes have a significant impact on the assessment of liability in a slip and fall, or premises liability, lawsuit. When injuries are the result of a building code violation, the victim may be entitled to compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. For instance, building code violations are often deemed to be negligence per se. In some jurisdictions, negligence per se creates a presumption of negligence, but it is not enough for a plaintiff to automatically be awarded damages. In other jurisdictions, negligence per se can be rebutted by the defendant.
But does compliance with the building code mean that the property owner or contractor cannot be found negligent in a premises liability lawsuit?
Not necessarily. Many courts have held that compliance with applicable building codes is the bare minimum that a property owner or contractor must do and that a party may still be negligent for failing to take the necessary steps to maintain a property that is in safe condition.
Since premises liability and building code violation lawsuits are incredibly complex, with a variety of legal issues at play, it is advisable to consult with an experienced premises liability lawyer like the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC if you have been injured as a result of a building code violation. We will immediately launch a physical investigation into the condition of the property, and use our vast legal knowledge of the applicable building code requirements to determine whether there were any violations and how they might impact liability.
Furthermore, if you are injured at a friend’s house, you can still get compensated for your injuries. You can read more about that topic here.
Contact one of our Chicago personal injury attorneys at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about negligence standards in a premises liability lawsuit involving building code violations.