Decks, porches, and balconies are perfect for hosting events and relaxing outdoors. However, when they are not properly designed, installed and maintained, they can collapse. If you have an outdoor deck or porch, you could be held accountable if anyone is ever injured in a collapse or falling accident.
According to a recent study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 224,000 people were injured over a five-year period in deck or porch related incidents. Approximately 15 percent of those injuries were the result of a structural failure or collapse. According to a 2007 study by Morse Technologies, deck collapses are increasing about 21 percent annually.
The injuries suffered in deck collapse accidents vary from minor to severe. Serious injuries suffered in deck and porch accidents can include head trauma, bone factures, concussions, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis. Many of these types of injuries can be prevented if the property owner hires someone to perform a deck inspection.