Structure failure injuries and negligence may be the basis of a legal claim for compensation. Even though a collapse may seem like an accident, negligence may be the underlying cause. Injuries may be severe. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys want you to understand structural failure injuries, negligence and your legal rights.
Structural Failure Collapse Causes Injuries and Wrongful Death
In the early morning hours of June 24, 2021, residents of the Champlain Towers South slept in their beds. Suddenly, structural failure caused a portion of the building to disappear. Hundreds of residents lost their lives, and many others suffered injuries.
An inquiry revealed that engineers reported dangers to the condominium complex structure as early as 2018. Requests for repairs were ignored. Perhaps if the right people heeded the warnings, they could have prevented the collapse. The victims and their families are left to fight for answers and justice as the structural failure collapse caused injuries and wrongful death.
Examples of Structural Failure Injuries
Some examples of structural failure injuries include:
- Wrongful death
- Spinal injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries, concussion and closed head injuries
- Respiratory illnesses from breathing dust and fumes
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Sprains and strains
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Burns from an explosion or fire
- Amputation, loss of limb
A structural failure can cause an individual to suffer injuries in multiple ways. First, there are the damages that result from falling from a height. Second, injuries may result from the crushing weight of building materials. Injuries from a structural failure are often catastrophic.
In addition, a victim may sustain property damage and mental health injuries. All types of injuries may be part of a compensation claim when negligence occurs.
Related: What if you’re injured in a building collapse?
Who Is Responsible for Structural Failure Injuries?
A party who acted negligently may be responsible for structural failure injuries. Negligence is a legal term that means a failure of a duty to act with reasonable care and caution. Anyone who breaches a duty of care with negligent actions may be responsible for structural failure injuries.
Examples of parties who may be responsible for structural failure injuries include:
- Building owners and managers
- Architects and designers
- A tenant who overloads the building structure
- Construction contractors and subcontractors
- Manufacturers of construction equipment and vehicles
There are many individuals involved in the design, construction and maintenance of a structure. These individuals have a duty in their activities to act with reasonable care for the safety of others. Formal contracts and written statements are not required. The duty is what is reasonable based on the circumstances of the situation.
What Is Negligence That Leads to Structural Failure?
Here are some examples of negligence that may lead to structural failure:
- Based on their professional training, an architect should know that a particular design is not capable of withstanding a load. The architect proceeds with the plan anyway.
- Engineers know that particular building materials aren’t strong enough to withstand a design. However, because the material is less expensive, they choose to use it instead of something more sturdy.
- A building manager allows building components to rust, destabilizing the structure.
- The tenant allows too many individuals on a deck for a party. The deck cannot hold the weight and it collapses.
- An accidental explosion destabilizes components in the building.
- Foundational errors make the building dangerous from the beginning of its construction.
- Cracks start to form at stress points in a building. However, the owners fail to inspect further or take action.
At first glance, a building collapse may seem like an accident. However, if you look further, there’s a good chance that legal negligence is to blame. Negligence is decided on an individual basis and depends on the party’s actions at the time and the dangers that they knew or should have known.
What Kind of Lawsuit Is a Claim for a Structural Failure Injury?
A legal claim for structural failure injury is a personal injury claim. It is a kind of civil claim. The purpose of a civil personal injury claim is for the victim to hold the wrongdoers accountable for their actions and claim financial compensation for damages. The victim initiates the lawsuit on their own through individual legal pleadings in the appropriate civil court.
Where Do I File a Structural Failure Negligence Claim in Florida?
In Florida, you are most likely to file a structural failure negligence claim in a Circuit Court. The Florida Circuit Courts are trial courts with jurisdiction over more significant amounts than county courts’ claims.
Determining the exact court depends on where the accident occurs, where the defendant does business, and where the victim may be located. An attorney can help you identify the appropriate court to file a structural failure negligence claim in Florida.
Related: What is premise liability?
What Damages Can You Claim in a Structural Failure Negligence Claim?
Damages that you can claim in a structural failure negligence claim include:
- Medical bills
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Mental health treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for disability and disfigurement
- Emotional anguish
- Property damage
- Lost wages and career disruption
- Punitive damages, if applicable
- Wrongful death expenses, including final medical care and loss of companionship
To receive damages for a structural failure injury, you must prove the negligence of the responsible party. Each element must be proven, including the breach of duty, causation of injuries, and damages.
Attorneys for Structural Failure Injuries in Tampa, FL
Have you been hurt because of a structural failure? Let our team of experienced Tampa structural failure lawyers put our experience and resources to work for you. We handle every type of personal injury claim, and our expertise can help you minimize the stress of the legal process while advocating for the justice you deserve.
Don’t let the insurance representative or big corporations intimidate you. Get the professional legal representation and support you need now. Ask how our team can represent you on a contingency fee basis with no fee unless you win. Contact us today to talk about your case with a free consultation.