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Did a building's design defect cause your injury?

Sometimes when an architect designs a building, it has inherent safety hazards incorporated into it that the architect either failed to acknowledge or ignored. This can create safety risks to the building's occupants or the public at large.

Such a situation may be to blame for the recent fatal accident involving a New Jersey woman at the World Trade Center Oculus. The transportation facility was the scene of the 29-year-old's three-story death plunge. She was attempting to grab her twin sister's hat from where it fell onto the outer edge of an escalator when she lost her balance and fell 34 feet to the marble floor.

According one engineering source, design deficiencies form the basis for roughly 38 percent of disputes in the construction industry. These deficiencies can arise from inadequate designs and/or incomplete or inaccurate blueprints.

When construction projects get fast-tracked, design deficiencies can turn into costly premises liability litigation. Economic pressures can push projects through the design and building phases faster than is safe to do so. Obvious safety flaws get overlooked in the rush to bring a project to completion under budget or in unreasonably short time frames.

Design deficiencies may also involve:

-- Incomplete risk analyses. Costs of potential project delays and rising overtime during delays should be included in risk analyses by contractors. When these factors omitted, project overruns occur.

-- Construction defects. Building owners might learn that construction workers have deviated from the specifications.

-- Performance specifications. Designers may use particular methods to fulfill design specs, yet projects turn out differently than intended. The specifications present unintended problems.

-- Defective plans. Most construction plans have some inherent minor defects that usually get weeded out during the process. But sometimes they slip through and create hazards to the public.

If you get injured on property owned by an individual or business due to a design defect, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit and get compensated for your injuries and/or damages.

Source: TrueLook.com, "Common Construction Lawsuits and How to Fix Them," James White, accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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