Fighting for the Public in Tragic Structure Failure Accidents in South Florida
The infrastructure that underlies our everyday activities is typically invisible—we don’t have to think, or worry, about our roads, utilities, homes, and other basics that make our communities livable. Unfortunately, in some cases, this means serious structural issues go unnoticed until they lead to catastrophe. The slow failure of a poorly designed or built structure can culminate in a sudden collapse that injures or even kills anyone who has the misfortune to be present. While such incidents may seem like unexpected disasters, in most cases, they are caused by some form of negligence.
Investigating a structure collapse takes time and expertise, and ordinary citizens may not be able to get answers on their own. If you are in this position, call Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of collective experience handling even the most complex and high-profile cases. We can work with experts to determine the cause of a building collapse and help those who were affected file a lawsuit against those who created the danger.
On June 24, 2021, the Miami condominium complex named “Champlain Towers” collapsed, killing 98 people and severely injuring 11 others. An extensive investigation discovered a structural flaw in the foundation of the building that led to the catastrophe.
Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. has taken a lead role in pursing justice for the victims of the Champlain Towers collapse and their families. If you were injured or lost a loved one in the building collapse, get in touch with us today!
Learn more about how we can help with your case during a free initial evaluation. Give our award winning attorneys a call at (954) 467-8800, or contact us online to schedule a time to speak with a member of our team.
Potential Causes of Bridge or Building Collapse
The design and construction of buildings and bridges must meet rigorous standards. A mistake at any point in the process could cause a catastrophic collapse.
Dangers During Construction or Renovation
Structures tend to be more vulnerable while they are in progress because they often lack the final supports that will hold them up. Typically, construction workers build temporary supports; however, any errors in such structures can have catastrophic results.
Worker mistakes can also cause a chain of events that ends in a serious accident. Employees on these sites must act with caution at all times—and the companies that hire them must provide adequate training and supervision to ensure all work is completed to high standards.
Sometimes, oversights made during the design and construction phases are not immediately noticeable. Foundations can slowly crack under the weight of too-heavy buildings; metal supports can rust and degrade if not properly protected from water; and load-bearing beams or floors may slowly begin to buckle if they are not strong enough. While the collapses caused by such damage often seem unexpected, in many cases, an inspection could (or should) have caught the warning signs.
Especially when structures built long ago collapse, it can be difficult to find the liable party. However, our attorneys have the resources and dedication to follow every lead. People injured in these accidents deserve the chance for justice, even if that means we have to work overtime to help them get it.
Collapse During a Natural Disaster
Hurricane-force winds are to be expected in Florida, and local building codes accordingly call for structures to be reinforced against this hazard. Flooding, too, is a common worry for coastal communities. Many areas also have to worry about the potential for sinkholes (or just sinking ground).
A building that collapses during a storm may have been built to the highest standards and simply suffered inconceivable forces from the winds and water—but, especially if other buildings nearby are still standing, a collapse could be the sign of poor construction. You can absolutely file a lawsuit against a developer who failed to follow building safety codes if you or a loved one are injured in such a collapse.
Potential Liable Parties
Because multiple parties are involved in most construction efforts, the list of who might be liable is longer than in many other personal injury claims. Our lawyers can investigate:
- Architects and engineers, to see if they submitted a suitable design;
- Construction companies, to see if they adhered to the blueprints and used proper materials;
- Manufacturers, to see if they sold quality materials to the construction companies;
- Inspectors, to see if they provided a full and accurate assessment of the structure; and
- Anyone else who may have been involved in building or maintaining the structure.
Building collapse investigations often must be done in tandem with state officials and other authorities. Our South Florida attorneys can help you get access to the latest official information, so your case is as strong as possible.
Who Can File a Claim After a Structure Collapse?
Workers, residents, passers-by—all can be hurt when a building or bridge fails unexpectedly. Anyone who suffers an injury or loses a loved one to a building or bridge collapse has the right to pursue a legal remedy.
Construction laborers mostly likely have workers’ compensation coverage, which helps pay for medical bills and lost wages regardless of who was at fault. In some extreme cases, you might also be able to file a lawsuit against your employer if they knowingly put you in danger. If no one at your company caused the accident, you can likely file a third-party lawsuit against whoever was to blame, whether that was another subcontractor on the site, a manufacturer whose materials or equipment you were using, or another company.
Residents and guests alike (or their families) will be eligible to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. Often, the hardest part of bringing such a claim is determining who is liable and finding a way to prove their negligence directly led to the collapse. Our experienced attorneys can help with your case.
The tragedy of a building or bridge collapse can shock a community. However, the days and weeks after such a catastrophe are the best time to find evidence of what happened. Whether you need space to heal or grieve, our attorneys can come in and take the lead on your case.
Arguing this type of case may mean facing down big companies with well-funded legal teams. Often, careless developers try to sink lawsuits by making it too difficult for their victims to keep fighting. Our team is not intimidated by these tactics. We have sufficient resources to take on big cases, and our clients pay us nothing unless and until we win. This gives you the power to take on those who think they are above the law.
After a building or bridge collapse, it’s important to learn what happened, so no one else makes the same mistakes in the future. However, sometimes the problem is not with the rules or building process, but with careless companies. We can help you prevent negligent builders from continuing to endanger their communities by taking legal action.
Speak with one of our attorneys free of charge by calling us at (954) 467-8800. We can handle building and bridge collapse claims in Fort Lauderdale and beyond.
I can't thank the team of lawyers from Schlesinger Law Firm for their high quality of professionalism and persistence in pursuing my lawsuit. They always made me feel part of their family.