Long Island City is a growing borough, and as such it contains numerous new development and renovation projects. While we often think of buildings as solid structures, if they are not built correctly or properly maintained, they can collapse.
If you have been harmed in a building collapse, you should contact one of Shulman & Hill’s Long Island City building collapse lawyers. They can help you pursue compensation for a wide range of losses, including your medical expenses. Our Long Island City law firm offers free, no-obligation legal consultations.
What Causes Buildings to Collapse in Long Island City?
There are many reasons why a building in Long Island City might collapse. While structures often fail during construction or renovation, occupied buildings can partially or completely collapse unexpectedly.
Reasons for building collapses are numerous. Examples include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Weak foundations
- Failure to conduct strength testing
- Groundwater issues
- Faulty building materials
- Improper machine usage
- Errors made during construction
- Natural disasters (such as hurricanes)
Many of these reasons for building collapse can be avoided if proper construction site management is in place. If the building collapse occurs after the building is completed, property owners may be responsible if they failed to properly maintain the premises.
Falling Debris: Common Dangers of a Building Collapse
When a structure falls, all of the building materials fall with it. A high-rise structure may result in millions of pounds of rubble. If anyone is hit with falling cement, appliances, and similarly heavy objects, they may suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, amputated limbs, crush injuries, or another type of catastrophic personal injury. These injuries may be fatal.
In addition to the dangers of falling items, individuals might become trapped within areas of the building. Suffocation is also possible if someone is buried underneath debris.
Other Possible Injuries Related to a Long Island City Building Collapse
A collapse might cause a fire to break out, which can put the safety of anyone who is inside the building at risk as well as first responders. A collapse may also expose people to toxic chemicals and other contaminants that might be spilled or released into the air when a structure fails, especially if a fire breaks out. This is a particular problem in older buildings, as asbestos and other toxic substances may have been used in insulation and building materials.
Even if a structural collapse does not cause a fire, inhaling the dust can be harmful to the lungs. Anyone near a collapsed building should protect their nose and mouth when possible to limit exposure.
Other injuries may include electrocutions if wiring is exposed during the event, as well as hearing loss from loud explosion noises and falling debris. Slip and falls can also occur while occupants rush to escape the building.
Rescue workers, first responders, and cleanup crew can still be injured even after a collapse occurs. If a building only partially collapsed, the remaining sections may be susceptible to falling. Debris piles can also shift, injuring workers. Workers may also be exposed to toxic dust and smoke near the accident site, which may put them at a greater risk for cancer and other severe illnesses.
Who May Be Responsible for a Long Island City Building Collapse?
It may be unclear at first who may be responsible for a building collapse. This is why working with a skilled building collapse accident law firm like Shulman & Hill can help you with your case. Determining who may be liable is a major factor in seeking compensation for your losses related to a building collapse.
A Long Island City building collapse lawyer can conduct an investigation into how the collapse occurred. After this investigation, an attorney will likely be able to determine any potentially liable parties. These might include:
- General contractors
- Property owners
If any of these parties are found to be responsible, our building collapse team at Shulman & Hill will gather evidence to help prove why you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Can I Seek Compensation After a Long Island City Building Collapse Accident?
Like other accidents, each building collapse case is unique. Your process of pursuing compensation for your injuries will differ depending on where the accident occurred, if you were working at the time, the extent of your injuries, and more.
If you were injured while working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This can result in compensation for your medical expenses and any time you had to take away from work while you recovered.
If you were injured outside of work, you may qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover money for your pain and suffering, medical costs, loss of earnings, and more. Injured workers may also be able to file a lawsuit in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits if a party other than their employer was found responsible for the accident.
Building collapse accidents can cause severe injuries that may be fatal. If you lost a loved one in a building collapse accident, no amount of money can bring them back. However, you may be able to pursue compensation that could ease the financial burden caused by their passing.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
Shulman & Hill has years of experience and a track record of success in helping injured New Yorkers. We can provide you with a Long Island City building collapse attorney that can help guide you through each stage of the legal process.
We take great pride in making sure that our clients have a fair shot at any compensation that they may be entitled to, which may require going to trial if a company refuses to offer a fair settlement. Our trial attorneys can fiercely represent you and fight for a favorable verdict if that occurs. Contact us online today to schedule a free legal consultation.