The often ideal weather in California makes having outdoor space for eating and dining a massive benefit for many of the over 3000 Starbucks locations in the state. But when the sun is intense, or there is a light sprinkle, those patio areas are useless unless they have an awning to protect patrons from the weather. So it is rare to find a Starbucks location that does not have an awning over the outdoor seating spaces.
But guests never consider that these much-appreciated additions to the property come with substantial care and maintenance requirements. And when the awning is not getting the attention it needs, the safety risk for those sitting in the area increases exponentially. In the worst case, the result is a Starbucks awning collapse that could injure dozens of patrons seated in the area or others walking by the space as the awning collapses.
If you have suffered injuries due to an awning collapse at a California Starbucks, you need to contact the expert Starbucks awning collapse attorneys at DTLA Law Group. Our staff is available 24/7 to answer your immediate questions and schedule a free consultation with a DTLA attorney who will answer your questions specific to the accident and your rights as an injury victim.
What Causes A Starbucks Awning To Collapse?
The answer to this relatively simple question is more complex than you might think. There are several reasons the awning failed and fell on numerous people enjoying their coffee or relaxing and eating a snack. Some of the common causes of a commercial awing failure include:
Degradation of the structural connectors within the frame of the awning
Deterioration of the awning support members
Damage or deterioration of the hardware, brackets, or attachments connecting the awning to the structure or building
An incorrectly installed awning
Attaching added structures or materials to the awning to increase the weight and exceed the load limit for the support structure or connections
Lack of maintenance of the awning or support structure
Excessive rain adds weight to the awning and exceeds the support structure’s load limit
A design flaw in the awning or the support structure for the awning
Failure to remove debris, such as leaves and tree branches, from the awning
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Establishing Liability After A Starbucks Awning Collapse
After you have gotten the medical care needed to treat your injuries and sitting quietly reflecting on the events that caused your injuries, you are sure to begin contemplating who is to blame for your current condition. It is human nature to want to know why something like this happened. In addition, you could be very concerned about the cost of the medical care you have received and the additional care your injuries could require. Finally, you want to know who should be helping you pay those bills and compensating you for your lost wages and other financial hardships the incident has caused.
The DTLA Law Group legal experts will help you determine which of the following parties is responsible for your injuries and should be held accountable for your expenses:
The property owner if Starbucks is only a tenant
The company that installed the awning
The manufacturer of the awning
In some cases, the responsibility is clear. But in others, the DTLA Law Group relies on the evaluation of experts in the field to assist in evaluating the awning, the location where it was installed, and other details to determine who should be held accountable for the injuries caused by a Starbucks awning collapse.
Helpful Information To Gather
At the time of the Starbucks awning collapse, it could rapidly become very chaotic. Injury victims often go into shock after suffering trauma. And even those with only minor injuries can find it difficult to regain their composure and think clearly. However, it is crucial to gather some valuable information before leaving Starbucks to get a complete medical evaluation to ensure your injuries are minor.
Some of the information you will want to document includes:
Pictures of the collapsed awning and any of the visible support structure
Images of the connecting devices
Photos of any visible injuries you sustained in the incident
Contact information of witnesses or other injury victims
The contact information for the Starbucks manager on duty
Add copies of your medical evaluation to these documents
In the case of a Starbucks awning collapse, the awning and other items will likely be removed from the scene quickly to eliminate other safety hazards for guests to the property. So having images of the collapsed awning and the contact information for witnesses will be very beneficial if you pursue legal action related to the incident.
Potential Injuries Suffered Due To An Awning Collapse
The term awning can be misleading to many people. You hear the word and imagine a lightweight fabric shielding you from sunlight or light rain. However, when you are sitting under a commercial awning, there is a significant difference in the weight of the object and its durability. Commercial awnings typically include a metal frame or support structure to increase the awning’s strength, durability, and longevity.
And when this more robust structure falls, it drops with a great deal of force rather than gently floating to the ground. Metal or heavy plastic pipes and framing, along with the weight of the thick fabric, can add up to hundreds of pounds of debris suddenly falling onto the heads of innocent victims enjoying a cup of coffee or a quick snack or brunch. The resulting injuries can include:
Neck, back, and spinal cord damage
Head injuries such as a fractured skull, concussion, or traumatic brain injury
Facial injuries, including damage to the eyes, nose, mouth, or teeth
Broken or fractured bones
Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
These are just a few injuries that could occur when a Starbucks awning collapses. It is essential to call 911 if you feel your injuries are severe. Then try to remain calm and as still as possible until help arrives. If you think your injuries are minor, be sure to visit your doctor for a complete evaluation to ensure there are no hidden or masked injuries that could place your health at risk if untreated.
Important Time Considerations For Starbucks Awning Collapse Matters
All injury victims of a Starbucks awning collapse in California need to understand that the Statute of Limitations defines how long you have to file your claim with the court system. If you fail to file in the allotted two years from the date of the incident, you will likely lose your right to claim your losses and injuries. Your DTLA Law Group legal team will explain any exceptions to these rules that might allow you to wait to file your claim after the typical two-year Statute of Limitations has expired.
It is also vital to understand that you can move much more quickly and file your case long before the two-year window if you choose to. The staff at DTLA Law Group always recommends seeking legal advice immediately after suffering an injury accident to facilitate the rapid accumulation of the necessary documents and information to file your claim. The sooner your case goes to court, the sooner you will have the compensation you deserve for the injuries and losses you suffered.
The Value Of A Starbucks Awning Collapse Lawsuit
All legal matters are unique. There is no chart to determine the precise amount of any lawsuit. Your legal team at DTLA Law Group will work with you to determine the total expenses you incurred due to your injuries and losses. The most common items include:
The cost of all your medical bills
Any lost wages if you were unable to work or for time lost to attend medical appointments
Your legal fees
The value of any damaged or destroyed personal property
A dollar amount to account for your pain and suffering
If other items could apply to your specific case, the DTLA team will discuss them with you and help you gather the supporting documents needed to include them in your claim.
No Upfront Legal Fees Or Added Stress
At DTLA Law Group, we understand that you are seeking our expertise because you have suffered losses and, in most cases, a traumatic event. Our goal is to offer expert legal guidance and services to ensure you get the fair and full compensation you deserve. And we pledge to secure that money for you without compounding your financial hardships.
Therefore, we never ask our valued clients to pay any upfront fees or expenses when they hire DTLA Law Group to represent them. Instead, we only get paid after you have the settlement or verdict needed to pay your bills and cover our legal fees. This process is one we have found many of our clients sincerely appreciate and tell us help to reduce their stress level while moving through the processing of their legal matter. In addition, if we fail to win your case, you owe us nothing. Because we failed, you did not get paid. And we only get paid after we get you paid, so we worked for free on your case. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with DTLA Law Group today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your Starbucks awning collapse incident.
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