Every year during prom season, groups of local teenagers celebrate by flocking to the New Jersey shore and staying at seaside motels. As long as these teenage guests can pay for their rooms, they are welcomed with open arms. But, as parents well know, when teenagers party after their proms, there is a good chance they’ll include alcohol or other intoxicating substances in their party mix. There is also a good chance they’ll get hurt—especially if the motels they are staying in pose safety risks.
The warm months of May and June are not exclusive to prom season. They also mark the beginning of the tourist season at the Jersey shore. It is fair to say that many of the motels on the shore have not been very busy over the cold winter months, and are in need of repair, due to the ravages of storms and winter weather— especially this year, after the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy.
The conjunction of prom season and tourist season is a valid concern for the parents of these shore-bound teenagers. Typically, prom-goers look for the cheapest possible motel deal, and end up staying in places where the quality of maintenance is not up to par, or in accordance with safety codes. As a father and a motel/hotel premise liability lawyer who specializes in balcony and railing falls, I worry—for myself, and for all parents of teenagers.
Every year, victims are left in critical condition, or die, after falling over balconies in seashore motels with defective balcony railings. Just last year, a real estate agent was showing a seashore motel property listed for sale, when he leaned against the railing and fell over backwards, suffering permanent catastrophic injuries. The beachfront motel on the Jersey shore where he fell was said to have had multiple safety violations.
Falls from hotel and motel balconies commonly occur during holidays or post-prom parties, and they are often fueled by intoxicating substances and unusual behavior. Despite the presence of alcohol, however, property owners are responsible for the safety of their premises. A fall from a balcony due to defective railings or deck surfaces can totally decimate a victim’s hopes and dreams, and those responsible must be held accountable. If you, your teenage child, or anyone else in your family, has been injured in this kind of accident, you must act immediately, and seek the counsel of an experienced premises liability lawyer.
The nationally recognized premise hotel/motel liability law firm of Reiff and Bily has well over three decades of experience successfully representing victims of slip and fall and balcony fall accidents. We know what can go wrong, and understand the modes of failure and safety code violations that lead to balcony and railing collapses. We have been recognized by our peers and outside third parties as being among the best and brightest, and have been listed as members the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by National Trial Lawyers.