Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “May I choose my own doctor in a person injury case?”
Terrible news hit papers this week as reports surfaced of a deck collapse at an oceanfront condo located in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. The collapse occurred while some 25 people were gathered on the second-story deck watching the sun go down over the water.
Authorities say the deck collapse resulted in serious injuries to 20 people, one so severe the person had to be taken by helicopter to a hospital in Wilmington. Police say the injuries include broken arms, legs and ankles as well as serious cuts to the face and body. According to early reports, the condo is privately owned but used as a rental property and was rented to a couple that had friends over for the holiday weekend.
Officials say they are investigating exactly what happened and what may have led to the deck collapse, but early reports indicate that it may simply have been too much weight. When the second-story deck collapsed it gave way and fell 12 feet onto the concrete patio below. In many deck collapse cases, weight, structural insecurity, bug infestations and poor maintenance contribute to the collapse.
Local authorities, including the mayor, Debbie Smith, have said that the recent deck collapse should serve as a reason to spur a change in laws regarding deck safety. Smith says she has been fighting for years to make more stringent building standards for oceanfront decks, saying that the decks in seaside communities like Ocean Isle are frequently used by large groups and need to be stronger to reflect that increased use. Smith says that while local governments have tried to increase building codes, they have frequently found themselves stymied by North Carolina state law, which has much looser definitions for what constitutes a safe deck.
The recent deck collapse is the second so far this year to receive national attention. A deck at a Florida restaurant in Biscayne Bay sent 100 people to the hospital earlier this year after falling into the water. Thankfully no one died, though dozens sustained serious injuries. The problem, according to authorities, is that in cases where large groups are gathered there’s so much noise and commotion that people seldom realize what’s happening until it’s already too late.
Though it is tragic that 20 people had to be injured in this case, the hope is that the news will cause authorities in North Carolina to take action to ensure that such tragedies do not happen in the future.
If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys and lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828.
About the Author:
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on Personal Injury, Family Law and Business Litigation. Mr. Arnold began his career handling insurance defense litigation for several major insurance companies. He also went on to handle business litigation cases and high value mortgage fraud cases, primarily in Superior Court.
Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.
“N.C. Deck Collapse: Condo Accident Sends 20 To Hospital,” by Amanda Crum, published at WebProNews.com.
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