Despite safety measures and rigid regulations, buildings and other structures fail. In many situations, these devastating incidents are preventable. Human error or hubris is often to blame when a building experiences a structural failure and collapse. For example, to save money, some buildings are constructed on substandard or eroding ground, inferior materials are used, or construction workers cut corners. If you or a loved one was injured in a structural collapse, you need our experienced Philadelphia building and structural collapse injury attorneys.
The medical costs and emotional toll of a building collapse are often astronomical. Our law office offers professional and aggressive representation to victims who have suffered severe injuries. We also focus on complex personal injury litigation, so we have the resources and skills to handle the most challenging structural failure case.
The attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm know how devastating structural failures can be. Our Philadelphia construction injury lawyers have experience representing individuals, property owners, and other entities in cases arising from a building collapse or structural failure. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case so all potentially liable parties could be held accountable. To schedule a free consultation, call our law offices at (215) 709-6940.
Common Causes of Structural Failures in Philadelphia
Nearly every structural failure and building collapse is preventable. This is mostly because there are regulations in place to safeguard against failures. Unfortunately, building collapses and structural failures sometimes occur – often resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries. Developers cut corners to save money on materials, design flaws go unnoticed until it is too late, and construction workers are careless or negligent when building the structure.
Building collapses come in three different categories. First, a structural failure could occur while a building is being erected, injuring those working on the construction. The second category includes buildings that collapse after completion. The final type of accident occurs when a neighboring structure collapses, damaging on bringing down an adjacent building.
Some of the common causes of building collapses or structural failures are listed below.
Soil Erosion or Improper Foundation
When a building is built on ground that is unable to sustain the structure’s weight or the soil beneath a building begins to erode, it could cause dangerous structural damage. Cracks in the floors or ceiling could indicate that a building rests on unstable and unsafe ground. Depending on the damage that occurs and how many years it is neglected, soil erosion could cause a full or partial collapse of an existing structure.
Design Flaws of Defects
An architectural design can contribute to the collapse of a building. Buildings that soar over pedestrians require more complicated designs than two or three-story structures. A miscalculation or poorly thought-out design decision could result in a building that is doomed before the cornerstone is laid.
Poor Workmanship or Materials
A well-designed building could still present an unknown danger to people who utilize it if the materials are inferior. To cut costs, a builder might opt to use questionable materials or eliminate important steps in the construction and inspection process. Additionally, human error or carelessness could contribute to a building’s collapse.
Types of Structural Failures in Philadelphia
Structural failures occur in all types of buildings and structures. These disastrous incidents typically require vigorous investigation to determine what parties could be held responsible for any injuries, deaths, or damage. The experienced attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm have handled many types of complex questions arising from structural failures.
Severe fire damage could weaken the integrity of a building, resulting in a full or partial collapse. These tragic events are sometimes caused by human error, flammable material stored in the building, or a ruptured or poorly installed gas line. Depending on the intensity of the fire, victims could suffer burn injuries or damage due to smoke inhalation.
When a building collapses, it usually results in terrible and fatal injuries. In nearly every case, the collapse was the direct result of human error. While in some areas of the country, structures fail because of natural disasters, the conditions in and around Philadelphia are rarely severe enough to damage a well-built and maintained structure.
Few people worry about traveling across one of the bridges crossing the Delaware River. However, Philadelphia and the surrounding area is filled with small bridges crossing creeks, streams, or other roadways. When a bridge structurally fails, the resulting injuries are usually catastrophic or fatal. Bridges will collapse due to design defects, poor construction, or lack of maintenance. In many cases, the failure to inspect a bridge directly contributes to its structural failure.
Liability for a Building or Structure Collapse in Philadelphia
When a building or other type of structure collapses, the injuries are often devastating. Victims could require long-term medical treatment, suffer permanently disabling injuries, or be killed in the devastation. Assigning liability in these types of cases is challenging – presenting many complicated legal questions. Depending on the circumstances, many different parties could be involved, including the developer, the architect, the construction company, the building’s management, the building inspector, or other third parties. If the collapse was caused by defective material or construction equipment, then the manufacturers of the defective products could also be held liable. If you are injured in a structural collapse, you need our experienced Philadelphia building and structural collapse injury attorneys to investigate the facts surrounding your accident.
Contact Our Philadelphia Building and Structural Collapse Injury Attorneys Today
Severe injuries require serious and dedicated legal representation. At the Reiff Law Firm, our Philadelphia building and structural collapse attorneys have the resources and access to experts and professional investigators to determine what parties should be held responsible when a building or other structure collapses. Call our law offices at (215) 709-6940. to discuss what you need to do to begin fighting for the compensation you deserve.