Evidence of a building code violation can be powerful evidence in your slip and fall claim. State and local building codes provide minimum standards for both the maintenance and construction of a building– a violation of these standards usually represents a risk of serious injury.
Building code violations are public records that can be submitted as evidence at trial. If the violation relates directly to the hazard that caused your slip and fall claim, the jury could rely on it as proof that the owner or manager was negligent. Often, violations are the strongest evidence available to a personal injury lawyer when taking on a slip and fall accident claim.
Building codes exist for a reason. These standards are considered the minimum level of construction and maintenance necessary to ensure a building is not unreasonably dangerous to those that enter it. These codes regulate the maintenance of public and private spaces, including electrical errors, missing or broken smoke alarms, storage of hazardous chemicals, faulty guardrails, broken stairwells, dangerous windows, improper ventilation, and many others. A violation not only penalizes the owner it also requires further steps to fix the issue.
Further, proof of a building code violation could be the very center of a slip and fall accident lawsuit. The plaintiff must establish that they suffered an injury due to a dangerous property condition. Often, defendants dispute that the condition was there or claim they were unaware of it. However, a violation serves as documented evidence that the hazard exists and that they were aware of it at the time of the fall. Given this evidence’s strength, it should come as no surprise that researching potential building code violations is an integral part of the investigation for a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer.
It is easy to assume that building code violations will primarily occur in slip and fall cases in a public space. It is worth noting that it could still be evidence of negligence regardless of the type of property in question. Building permits are necessary for private residences and apartment buildings— particularly in cases of major renovations. If, for example, the owner or manager of a rental unit failed to meet the standards of local building codes, it could serve as evidence of negligence in a lawsuit.
Whether your injuries stem from a slip and fall on a staircase or elsewhere, evidence of a building code violation could dramatically strengthen your injury claim. If you are considering a lawsuit after a fall, we are ready to help. Reach out to our team as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation and discuss your claim’s strength. There are no upfront legal costs because we work on a contingency-fee-basis.