The collapse of a building is equally as unexpected as it is traumatic. Whenever a building collapses, victims may experience serious and even fatal injuries. Regardless of the state of the building beforehand, it is more than reasonable to expect that it should never collapse while you are inside of it.
If you have been hurt by a collapsed building, you are most likely eligible to seek compensation. It is important that you hire an experienced New York premises liability lawyer to help you navigate any obstacles and pursue the compensation you may be entitled to.
At Shulman & Hill, we treat every client as though they are our only clients, giving your case the attention and care it requires. To learn more about your rights after a building collapse accident, contact us for a free legal review.
What Causes Buildings to Collapse in New York?
Due to the number of tall buildings and people within the city of New York, there are incredibly strict building codes and standards in place. These laws protect construction workers and anyone else working in or around a building.
Because of how rigorously New York enforces these standards, buildings rarely collapse at random. Above all else, proper precaution and maintenance are essential for preventing a collapse. However, buildings can and do fail and when it happens, it can be catastrophic. There are numerous factors that can contribute to the collapse of a building.
Here are some common reasons that a building can collapse:
- Construction or demolition errors
- Defective building design
- Defective building materials
- Weak and defective foundation
- Structures cannot support the weight of the building
- Fire damage
- Mold, rust, or water damage
- Hurricane damage
- Snow buildup
Who is Responsible for a Building Collapse?
Constructing a building is a team effort, involving construction teams, contractors, and many other companies and organizations. Unfortunately, this can make it tough to pinpoint who should be held responsible for a collapse.
Nevertheless, all parties associated with the building must follow their own set of responsibilities and laws set by the city, state, and federal government. Once the cause for the collapse is determined, it is much easier to find who may be financially responsible for the collapse.
The most common parties responsible for a collapse include the following:
- General contractors
- Property owners
- Manufacturers of defective materials or tools
General contractors and property owners are often responsible for supervising construction and making decisions about building materials, renovations, or demolition. Your lawyer will likely investigate their actions first when determining liability for a building collapse.
How Can I Pursue Compensation After a Building Collapse Injury?
Building collapses often cause serious and fatal injuries. Many people who experience the horrors of a building collapse find themselves with extensive medical bills and long-term injuries. To compound their financial issues, they are often forced to take time off work in order to recuperate. However, there are options for recovering compensation for these losses.
If you were working when a building collapsed, you can pursue workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. The New York workers’ compensation law allows for injured employees to get benefits for disability, medical expenses, lost wages, and survivors in the case of fatality cases.
Unlike lawsuits, you do not have to prove fault to gain access to workers’ compensation. If you are unsure about how to file a workers’ compensation claim, Shulman & Hill can help you navigate the process.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
You may also be able to sue the negligent parties responsible for the building’s collapse. Though people who were injured at work cannot sue their employer, you can file a third-party claim to seek additional compensation against the other parties who contributed to the accident, including general contractors or property owners. Building residents and bystanders are also able to file personal injury lawsuits in the case of a building collapse.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, you must identify who or what was responsible for the collapse. Though it may take more time to pursue a lawsuit, you may receive more compensation in the long run. Below are some losses that may be covered by the lawsuit:
- Emotional or physical pain and suffering
- Earning capacity loss
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
If you lost a loved one after a building collapse, you can also file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit may account for the loss of their company, financial support, and more.
These cases are often time-sensitive, so contacting a personal injury attorney right away can be a huge help. Attorneys can help you understand the process and make the best decision for you and your family.
Why Hire a Building Collapse Law Firm in New York?
If you or a loved one have been injured by a building collapse, you should contact Shulman & Hill right away. Our lawyers are trained to handle these sensitive and complex claims and will fight for the fair compensation you may be entitled to.
In order to ensure that you seek fair compensation for your injuries, Shulman & Hill lawyers will work diligently to compile evidence, build a case, and speak with experts who can help explain how your accident happened and the impact on your life.
Contact Shulman & Hill
By choosing Shulman & Hill to represent your building collapse case, you will gain an ally that provides the attention and compassion you need to make a full recovery.
At our law firm, we know that you may already be struggling with medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. To account for this, we work on a contingency-fee-based model. This means that we will review your case for free. If you are eligible to pursue compensation, you will only pay for our services if we win your case.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation.