RSS
Print This Post Print This Post

William Henry PhD – Perspectives – Architect’s REAL Viewpoint

bill henry

Can An Expert Help You Assess The Causes Of A Fall?

By William Henry, PhD

In many slip and fall cases there are multiple aspects of a site that contribute to the accident and resulting injury. Can an expert help you assess how the physical conditions contributed to the accident? The answer is, YES.

Consider a typical hypothetical fact situation. Let us assume that a young lady and her husband go to see a movie at the local multiplex. As she climbs the stairway to her seat her foot slips off the front edge of a step and she falls and as a result she suffers severe injury. In due course she contacts an attorney to look into a claim against the theater for damages. The attorney considers her story and decides she needs to look into the physical nature of the location of the fall.

An experienced personal injury attorney will want to conduct a very thorough investigation and should there be a chance that noncompliance with a law of some sort contributed to the injury she will look for an expert to assess the site.

Some experts provide “best practice” opinions based on industry standards. However, such opinions are just that – opinions. They are not based on objective fact. Any number of “best practices” opinions can be argued in any given case.

A better alternative is to depend on hard, objective data based on violations of law that can be easily be defined, applied to the facts, and upon which there can be little or no dispute.

The ideal expert will be someone highly experienced in architecture, design and the various codes that apply thereto. The expert will collect the pertinent data about the site including its location, its nature, the age of structures involved and the physical condition of the accident location.

Depending on the city, county and state in which the injury occurred a number of different codes might apply. Each state generally has a building code, but may also have an accessibility code based on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Fair Housing Act or the International Building Maintenance Code may apply as well as others. The age of the structure or the date of any modifications to it will determine which version of a given code will apply, since the codes were adopted and modified at different dates and have different effective dates.

Once the expert has collected the site data and has determined which code or codes apply, all of the evidence will be applied to the codes to determine the existence of any violations of code provisions. Particular attention will be paid to violations which contributed to the injury in some way.

Using our hypothetical, one might find that there were problems with the design or construction of the stairway treads or risers or that the lighting along the darkened theater stairway was deficient. Each issue may fall under a separate code which will be sorted out by the expert.

The expert will also determine, based on all the available information, to what extent each code deficiency may have contributed to the injury. In some situations a combination of deficiencies will come together as a whole to create the injurious condition. In others deficiencies will each contribute separately and individually. In either case the expert will determine the extent to which each deficiency contributed or in what way each combined with others to create the unsafe condition.

The sole purpose of all of this is to provide the attorney the information that will allow her to establish a strong theory upon which to base the case. Depending on the desires of the attorney the expert will convey his opinion to her orally, in a written report or sworn affidavit. The expert will also be available to testify in depositions or at trial.

There is no substitute for strong, objective evidence upon which to base a personal injury case. Your expert can provide that and substantially increase the chance of success.

bill-henryWilliam Henry PhD is the Principal in Charge of RGA-Design, LLC a full service architectural and interior design firm that has served as the architect of record for over 1,000 projects across the State of Florida (Registration number AA0003523, AR007521). He has lectured and written widely on the above topic. His most recent publication is ‘Return of the Master Builder’ available on Amazon Kindle e Books. Henry’s contact information is whenry@rga-design.com; (813-226-2220 Ext 204) or visit the company web site at www.rga-design .com or www.buildingdoctorfl.com.

Copyright © 2015 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
Links to this article are encouraged

Share

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply


Featured Properties

Ads

REAL HAPPENINGS

Commercial Investment Division Changes Name

Commercial Investment Division Changes Name

RASM Commercial Division Now Know As Commercial Real Estate Alliance. The Realtor Association of[...]
December 3, 2019 GivingTuesday

December 3, 2019 GivingTuesday

Join the GivingTuesday Movement. GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the po[...]
Payne Park Skate Park Now Free To Public

Payne Park Skate Park Now Free To Public

Previous Payne Park User Fee Is Eliminated. Admission to the skate park at Payne Park is now fre[...]
December 3, 2019 Wine And Design

December 3, 2019 Wine And Design

Holiday Splendor - Floral Design Workshop. Join Selby Gardens for Wine & Design a floral design [...]
November 30, 2019 Breakfast With The Sharks

November 30, 2019 Breakfast With The Sharks

Start Your Day With Sharks! Rise & dive! Start your day with our sharks before the Aquarium open[...]
November 28, 2019 Florida Turkey Trot

November 28, 2019 Florida Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving 5K Turkey Trot. Fit2Run and Nathan Benderson Park are coming together to provide a [...]
March 8-14 2020 Sarasota Jazz Festival

March 8-14 2020 Sarasota Jazz Festival

40th Anniversary Sarasota Jazz Festival. The Jazz Club of Sarasota marks its 40th anniversary on[...]
Public Service Announcement

Public Service Announcement

New Data Breach At Macy's. Department store chain Macy's was the victim of a data breach that co[...]
November 20, 2019 Explore Sarasota's Celery Fields

November 20, 2019 Explore Sarasota's Celery Fields

Guided Tour Of Celery Fields. Why is it called Celery Fields? Why is Celery Fields so popular? A[...]
November 18, 2019 - April 27, 2020 Bayfront Gardens Tour

November 18, 2019 - April 27, 2020 Bayfront Gardens Tour

The Ringling Introduces Gardens Walking Tour. This walking tour will introduce you to interestin[...]
November 20, 2019 Bobby Jones Golf Club Workshop

November 20, 2019 Bobby Jones Golf Club Workshop

Public Workshop Presented by Kimley-Horn and Associates. This workshop will focus on park-relate[...]
November 15-16 Brundibár

November 15-16 Brundibár

Sarasota Youth Opera Presents Historic Children’s Opera. Sarasota Youth Opera presents a reviva[...]
November 11, 2019 Veterans Day

November 11, 2019 Veterans Day

Tomb Of The Unknowns And Veterans Day. Official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day center aro[...]
Michael Saunders & Company Adds New Agent

Michael Saunders & Company Adds New Agent

Brian Wood Joins Michael Saunders & Company. Michael Saunders & Company announced that Brian Woo[...]
Florida Studio Theatre Receives $45,000 Grant

Florida Studio Theatre Receives $45,000 Grant

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Arts Appreciation Grant. Florida Studio Theatre was awar[...]
November 7, 2019 Ringling Underground

November 7, 2019 Ringling Underground

Ringling Underground. Enjoy live music, and art in the Museum of Art Courtyard 8:00pm -11:00pm. [...]
Public Service Announcement

Public Service Announcement

User After Free Vulnerability - Google Chrome. Google has issued an update to its Chrome browser[...]
Sarasota Orchestra Receives $50,000 Grant

Sarasota Orchestra Receives $50,000 Grant

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Arts Appreciation Grant. The Sarasota Orchestra was awar[...]
November 3, 2019 Daylight Savings Time

November 3, 2019 Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time Can Be Dangerous! Did you set your clocks back? At 5pm virtually everyone [...]
November 8-10, 2019 Sarasota MOD

November 8-10, 2019 Sarasota MOD

Sarasota Architectural Foundation's MOD Weekend Returns. Mark your calendars for November 8-10,[...]
Translate »