Building collapses can happen when a building is under construction and when it is undergoing demolition. Buildings also might collapse due to weather conditions or structural failure. Regardless of the cause of the collapse, anyone who is inside at the time might suffer severe injuries. Bystanders also could sustain injuries from flying debris, fire, or toxic exposure.
The law entitles you to seek damages from the negligent parties who caused your injuries. Talk to a Temple building collapse lawyer about your options for seeking restitution for your medical costs, lost time at work, and payments for your inconvenience, emotional anguish, and pain and suffering. With the help of a knowledgeable construction accident attorney, you could hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
Identifying the party whose negligence led to a building collapse is one of the most important jobs of an injured person’s attorney. Emergency responder reports, witness statements, physical evidence, and engineering evaluations could shed light on what happened and why. This information could point toward the responsible party.
There are often multiple potentially negligent parties whose actions or inaction might have contributed to a building collapse. They could include the:
Building collapses could result from the combination of several parties’ negligence. In cases where multiple parties contribute to an accident, the law holds each party responsible for the damages they caused, including the plaintiff. If an injured person contributed in some way to their injury, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.012 says they may collect only those damages that others caused. A plaintiff who is more than 50 percent responsible for their injuries may not collect damages at all.
Damages allow a severely injured person to recoup their losses and hold a negligent party accountable for the harm they did. Plaintiffs could collect their verifiable medical expenses, including the cost of future medical treatment. Damages could include payment for time lost at work. If the plaintiff’s injuries prevent them from returning to their former job, damages could include income the plaintiff cannot earn in the future.
An injured person also could get compensation for the intangible impact of their injury. Damages could include payments for physical impairment, pain, disfigurement, emotional anguish, loss of consortium, inconvenience, and any other non-monetary losses they suffered because of the injury.
In rare cases, punitive damages might be available to a plaintiff in a building collapse case. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate a plaintiff but to punish a defendant and make an example of them. A plaintiff who seeks punitive damages must prove that a defendant’s malice, fraud, or gross negligence led to their injury. An experienced accident attorney could evaluate whether the circumstances in a specific case merit a request for punitive damages.
Anyone who was injured in a building collapse benefits from consulting an injury attorney as soon as possible after the event. The law allows plaintiffs only two years to file a lawsuit seeking damages, and it could take several months to develop enough evidence to submit a viable claim. An investigation that begins soon after the event is more likely to produce strong evidence than one that begins months or years later.
A plaintiff who believes they have a claim against a Texas agency or a local government within the state must act with urgency. The law requires that plaintiffs file a notice of claim with the appropriate government entity within six months of the incident that caused their injury. A failure to submit this notice on time could bar the plaintiff from bringing suit against the government entity.
Even when plaintiffs hope to avoid court, the threat of a lawsuit provides an incentive for defendants to negotiate in good faith. The presence of a legal professional negotiating on a victim’s behalf signals that the plaintiff intends to exercise all their rights and might spur the responsible parties to offer a reasonable and appropriate settlement.
Recovering from the physical injuries and emotional trauma you suffered in a building collapse is a full-time job that requires all your attention. Trying to figure out liability and potential damages is a job for a legal professional.
A Temple building collapse lawyer could lead you through the process and fight for your best interest every step of the way. To get a strong advocate working for you, schedule a consultation today.