Law Office of Jeffrey A. Jones, P.A.

Woman falls off balcony after railing breaks

Accidents can happen anywhere at any time. There are certain incidents that cannot be prevented. However, when negligence is a factor in a serious accident, victims may be able to take action against the liable party. Property owners in Minnesota have a critical responsibility to make sure they maintain safe conditions on their premises; otherwise an innocent person may suffer a wrongful death.

Recently, a woman was on the second-story balcony of a duplex in a Midwestern city. There were only two other people on the balcony with her at the time. According to reports, the woman tripped on something and grabbed onto the railing of the balcony to stop her fall. However, the railing broke off and then woman started falling off the balcony. A second woman tried to catch her, but both women fell to the ground.

The woman who initially tripped and fell suffered fatal injuries in the accident. The second woman suffered injuries as well, but the extent of her injuries is unknown. After the devastating accident, police were prompted to investigate the condition of the railing.

In this case, it is likely that the railing could have prevented the tragic fall had it been intact. For some reason, however, it was not secured properly which may make the property owner liable for the dangerous condition. If the owner of the duplex knew about the hazardous railing and did not take proper precautions to fix the problem or warn the tenants about the issue, this would be evidence of negligence.

If the investigation uncovers this type of negligence, the families of the victims may be able to file a premises liability or wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the property. Losing a loved one can be devastating for family members. A family suffers financial damage on top of the emotional damage when someone unexpectedly dies. It can be very helpful to hold negligent parties liable for punitive damages and other forms of compensation so that a family can begin to move forward.

Source: The Detroit News, "One dead, one injured in fall after railing breaks at Detroit duplex," Tom Greenwood, July 18, 2012

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