To ensure public safety in the community, property owners, developers and contractors must follow strict industry building codes regulating the construction and maintenance of a building. Commercial structures built from a poor design or with substandard construction cannot only produce significant financial losses for the owners, but can cause serious injuries or death to the occupants.
Commercial property defect
Commercial property defects produce liability issues when victims and surviving family members are injured on the premises and seek financial compensation for their losses and damages. This is because a commercial property owner, tenant or occupier has a legal responsibility to exercise reasonable care when building and maintaining the premises or repairing any damage to the structure. Any defect that constitutes a hazardous condition that poses an injurious danger to others must be dealt with expeditiously to avoid an unreasonable risk of harm to others.
Unsafe Conditions on property
Commercial property owners in Providence may be liable for any structural defect or unsafe, hazardous condition produced by the structure. Simply being ignorant of the condition does not absolve the parties at fault whether they knew the problem existed or should have reasonably expected it to exist.
Unsafe hazardous conditions caused by a commercial property defect are usually the result of poor maintenance or lack of repair. A serious defect might include a crumbling foundation, aging roof, loose window screens, improper lighting or missing smoke detectors. However, the dangerous condition might be less obvious to the property owner, the victim or others, such as exposing occupants to asbestos, toxins, chemicals or other hazards. Typical premise
liability cases in Providence often involve:
• Injuries caused by escalators and elevators
• Long term exposure to mold, fungus or other toxic substance
• Electrocution, explosion or fire
• Foundation or structure collapse
Defining a Construction Defect in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
In the legal world, there are two specific kinds of defects of commercial properties that include a design defect and building defect. Typically, an architect or engineer can be held legally at fault for any defect in the design of the building that causes a hazard, injury or death to another. Contractors, subcontractors and maintenance crews may also be responsible for building defects. Some construction defects include:
• A roof collapse caused by the use of inferior building materials
• A slip and fall injury down the stairway or uneven surface caused by improper lighting
• A porch collapse due to heavy overloaded weight caused by a defective design
Filing a Claim for compensation in Providence RI Superior Court
To obtain financial recovery from the property owner, architect, manager, maintenance crews or others in charge of the structure, the injured victim must cross a legal threshold. The injured victim in Rhode Island must prove that the commercial property defect posed a serious unreasonable risk of harm that eventually led to property damage, injury or death. The injured party must prove three specific elements to file a claim or lawsuit. These elements include:
1. The defendant in the case, which could be an architect, structural engineer, contractor and/or subcontractor at a legal responsibility to the victim to provide a standard of care
2. a defendant in the case failed to perform their responsibilities according to that specific standard
3. The victim suffers real damages directly associated with that failure
Hiring a RI premises liability Attorney or Rhode Island Injury Lawyer
Premises liability cases in RI involving defects on commercial properties that cause accidents are difficult to litigate. Because of that, many victims will hire personal injury attorneys in Rhode Island or a RI personal injury lawyer who specializes in premise liability claims against commercial property owners. A RI injury lawyer working on behalf of the victim can build the case for recompense that includes:
• The cost of medical bills to treat the injury now and in the future
• Financial recovery of lost wages caused by missed time away from work because of the accident
• Intangible damages including anxiety, mental stress, pain and suffering
• Diminished loss of living a normal life because of the injury
Premise liability claims are typically handled on contingency. This means the victim can have access to immediate legal representation without paying upfront fees. However, time is of the essence. All claims and lawsuits must be filed before the expiration of the state’s statute of limitations.