When someone walks into a building, they rarely think about its structural soundness – it is usually taken for granted. Similarly, when someone is walking along the street, they do not believe they are at risk from a collapsing structure or falling debris. Because building collapses are usually sudden, there is very little time for an unsuspecting victim to react or take preventative measures.
Structural failings occur much more often than most people suspect. When a building collapses or another structure falls, the injuries are usually devastating or fatal. Tons of falling debris and building materials are liable to crush an accident victim, resulting in permanent injuries or death. When a building collapse or structural failure results from negligence or carelessness, the responsible parties should be held financially liable.
Construction accidents and building collapses give rise to complication litigation. Victims need a law firm that has decades of experience handling complex personal injury cases. At the Reiff Law Firm, our Pennsylvania building and structural collapse injury attorneys have the expertise and resources to give your case the professional and aggressive representation it deserves. If you or a loved one was injured in a building collapse, call our law offices at (215) 709-6940.
How Pennsylvania Building Collapses Occur
In Pennsylvania, building collapses are usually the result of human error. For example, a construction company or developer might utilize inferior building materials or cus corners while neglecting safety precautions. Building collapses and structural failures could also happen if there is a defect in the structure’s design or if proper inspections were not conducted over the structure’s lifetime.
Depending on what occurred, there could be multiple parties that share liability when a building collapses. Often, the responsibility is shared when several parties fail to address the risk factors or contribute to the deterioration of a building.
When catastrophic accidents occur, it is usually because the developer or construction company failed to adhere to the relevant building codes or industry standards. It generally falls on the property owner to ensure their building is up to code – whether it is in the process of being built, already occupied, or vacant.
When Bystanders are Injured in a Building Collapse in Pennsylvania
When a building falls, the occupants are not the only ones in danger. In many cases, a structure will fail while it is still being constructed. The debris that falls to the ground could seriously injure or kill pedestrians and bystanders in the vicinity of the accident. Falling building materials could cause concussions, broken bones, and head and neck injuries.
Unfortunately, people in collapsing buildings and bystanders do not always survive their injuries. When someone losses a loved one in a building collapse or due to injuries caused by falling debris, our Pennsylvania attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm could file a wrongful death claim to bring a sense of justice and financial relief.
Types of Injuries Resulting from Building Collapse in Pennsylvania
When a large structure comes crashing down, the injuries are usually devastating or fatal. If a building was in progress, construction workers often sustain severe and permanently disabling injuries. Falling debris is a deadly threat when a building becomes structurally compromised.
The risk does not end after the collapse. In many cases, there are many additional hazards present after a building falls. Adjacent structures could have suffered damage, causing additional debris to fall to the ground. Gas lines could rupture and electrical wires could be exposed – causing additional explosions or injuries. Victims could be trapped beneath the rubble for hours or days, facing further harm from a lack of oxygen to exposure to sewage or other hazardous material.
No matter how a victim sustained their injuries, they will likely be looking at intensive medical treatment, physical therapy, or a lifetime of pain and suffering. Catastrophic injuries require expensive medical treatments, including surgery and extended hospitalization. Victims of a building collapse might never be able to work again. The physical and medical costs are just part of the equation – victims will often experience years of emotional and psychological trauma after surviving such a horrifying event. Any party that contributed to the building’s collapse should be held financially liable for any injuries and damages.
Liability in Pennsylvania Building Collapse Accidents
Determining the cause of a building collapse or a structural failure requires an extensive investigation. While some failures are unpreventable or caused by natural disasters, most are the direct result of human error or negligence. Our experienced attorneys have the resources and access to professional accident investigators to thoroughly examine the factors surrounding a structural failure. An investigation to determine liability will include an examination of the architectural designs, invoices for building materials, construction schedules, inspection reports, physical evidence, and witness testimony.
Building collapses are much more complicated than a car accident or other personal injury lawsuit. In addition to the severe injuries, there is a huge amount of debris, facts, and potential negligent conduct to sift through. Liable parties include the developer, property owner, architect, engineer, construction company, sub-contractors, property manager, equipment manufacturers, or other parties that could have contributed to the building’s demise. Our experienced Pennsylvania building collapse and injury attorneys will work to ensure all potentially liable parties are included in any settlement negotiations or lawsuits.
Our Pennsylvania Building and Structural Collapse Injury Attorneys Have the Experience Your Case Needs
When a building unexpectedly collapses, it will result in catastrophic injuries and give rise to complicated litigation. Multiple parties will work hard to blame each other and avoid liability while the victims struggle to deal with their injuries. Our Pennsylvania building and structural collapse injury attorneys are committed to holding the negligent parties financially responsible for their conduct and decisions. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to discuss your rights and options.