A Los Angeles building collapse accident attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses following a collapse incident. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one when a building or structure collapsed, you may have legal options for pursuing justice, holding the liable parties accountable, and securing compensation.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney from KJT Law Group can discuss your options with you for free today. We provide complimentary consultations for all building collapse victims and their families in Los Angeles County and nearby areas. Call (818) 507-8525 now to learn more.
How Common Are Building Collapse Accidents and Injuries?
Structural collapses of completed buildings are not common in the United States or California. They are more likely to occur in other countries that don’t have the same strict building codes or advanced construction technology available to us here.
In the United States, overcrowded decks, balconies, and walkways collapse far more frequently, causing injuries and fatalities. Buildings under construction are also more likely to fail, resulting in a deadly collapse.
According to the Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, there were 225 notable building collapses in the United States between 1989 and 2000. More than 60 percent of these were smaller, low-rise buildings. Several were apartment buildings, which is the type of building most frequently involved in collapses.
The Causes of Building Collapses
Multiple factors can cause a building to collapse, including:
- External events
- Construction-related issues
- Maintenance deficiencies
Some external events that could lead to collapse include vehicular collisions or weather conditions (rain, snow, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.).
Construction-related issues include improper renovation, poor work or design, or issues with excavation or demolition.
Maintenance deficiencies primarily focus on improper or skipped maintenance that allows for deterioration.
The Nation’s Deadliest Building Collapses
Some of the deadliest building collapses in U.S. history include:
- The Knickerbocker Theater in Washington, DC, which collapsed on January 28, 1922 during a snowstorm
- The University Hotel in Greenwich Village, NY, which collapsed on August 3, 1973 because of improper renovations
- Two elevated walkways collapsed inside the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City, MO on July 17, 1981 due to structural defects
- The Northridge Meadows apartment complex in the San Fernando Valley, CA collapsed on January 17, 1994 (during the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake) because of design and building defects
- A 140-foot portion of Pier 34 in Philadelphia collapsed into the Delaware River on May 18, 2000
- The Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, FL collapsed on June 24, 2021 due to a defective design as well as construction and maintenance issues
Injuries and Damages Related to Building Collapses and Other Structures
Whether the building you are in collapses around you, you fall because of a deck or balcony collapse, or you are working on a construction site when the unthinkable happens, you could suffer a wide range of injuries. Some people endure catastrophic injuries, while others have relatively minor fractures, abrasions, or contusions. Examples include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or concussions from being hit by falling debris
- Back or neck injuries, including spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries from being buried in debris
- Internal injuries
- Severe lacerations
- Traumatic amputations
- Contusions and other relatively minor injuries
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a collapse accident, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to help you determine liability and seek compensation. These cases are complex, and you may have more expenses and losses than you realize. Letting our team review your case can help you see the full picture of what you stand to gain by holding the at-fault parties accountable.
Recoverable damages in a building collapse accident will depend on the circumstances of the case in question, but could include:
- Current and future medical bills and care costs
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering and other intangible losses
- Wrongful death damages for those who lost immediate family members
- Punitive damages (if there is wanton negligence or intentional acts involved)
Developing a Case Based on a Los Angeles Building Collapse Accident
In general, the party or parties whose negligence caused the building’s failure are legally responsible for the injuries and damages that occur. However, identifying the liable party and holding them accountable is not always as easy as it sounds.
Architects, engineers, and builders have a duty to design and build safe structures, and property owners have a duty to maintain them. In some cases, more than one party shares legal responsibility after a failure. Our Los Angeles building collapse accident lawyers know how to determine:
- What happened
- Which party or parties acted negligently
- How negligence caused the collapse
- What a fair settlement value might be for the client’s case
There are often many factors that contribute to a building’s collapse or the failure of a deck, balcony, walkway, or bridge. We may need to review official reports, work with engineers and other experts, and take additional steps to build a strong claim against the liable parties.
How Can an LA Building Collapse Lawyer Help With My Case?
Working with a Los Angeles building collapse attorney allows you to focus on your treatment, rehabilitation, and healing. We know how to navigate the claims process in these cases and can handle your claim while you take care of what’s most important.
Our team will take the necessary steps to build a strong case based on the available evidence. We can structure our argument in a way that shows the liable party’s insurer that we mean business. Our client suffered serious injuries, and we intend to recover fair compensation for them. If the insurer will not work with us or there are other reasons why we believe it is necessary, we can sue on the client’s behalf.
If you suffered injuries in a collapse—or if your loved one has catastrophic injuries or passed away—we are here to help. We can meet with you to review what happened and begin gathering the information necessary to build a strong claim for compensation. We work based on contingency fees, which means we never charge up front for our services. We only collect a fee if we are able to win your case.
There Are Time Limits on Filing a Los Angeles Building Collapse Lawsuit
California law limits how long you have to take legal action in a personal injury or wrongful death case under CCP § 335.1. Generally, injured parties only have up to two years to file the initial paperwork to begin a lawsuit in Los Angeles County civil court or another applicable jurisdiction.
Our personal injury lawyers can help you decide if this is the best move based on the facts of your case. We will discuss how we may be able to help you seek and recover compensation to pay your bills and other expenses during your free case review.
Contact a Los Angeles Building Collapse Accident Attorney
KJT Law Group provides free initial consultations with an attorney well-versed in building collapse accident cases. We can discuss your legal options for pursuing compensation with you today. Reach out to our Los Angeles team at (818) 507-8525 or contact us online to get started.
If you or someone you love was injured due to another person’s negligence, contact KJT Law Group at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.