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Atlanta Structural and Building Collapse Lawyers

Strong advocates for those injured in building and deck collapses throughout Georgia

While most buildings and structures are designed and built with integrity to avoid collapse, sometimes structural failure does happen. When it does, it often occurs without warning and causes serious and tragic injury to anyone in or near the building. Even worse, most structural failures are preventable and happen due to errors in design, construction, or maintenance phases. Even the smallest mistake can lead to a catastrophic disaster.

The attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP have a long history of successful outcomes for their clients, securing numerous high-dollar verdicts and settlements. If you or a loved one suffered injury in a building, construction, deck, or other type of structural collapse in Georgia, we want to help. Our experience in these types of cases puts compassionate yet strong legal advocacy on your side. Contact us today in Atlanta or Savannah to find out how we can help you secure the compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries.

What is a structural collapse?

A structural collapse is one of the worst types of construction disasters that can happen to workers, residents, and passers-by. In the event of a total collapse, it means the entire core structure has failed and cannot support the building. In a partial collapse, the building may still be standing while an element has caved in, like a ceiling, deck, floor, or staircase. Although aging foundations or natural disasters often cause structural collapses, they can also result from a variety of other reasons, many of them caused by negligence or error.

What causes structures to collapse?

Buildings and bridges do not collapse without a reason. Often, these scenarios happen because of negligence. Common causes of structure collapse include:

  • Weak foundation
  • Defective building design
  • Water or mold damage
  • Construction or demolition mistakes
  • Excessive snow or debris buildup
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Subpar building materials
  • Structural fire damage
  • Excessive weight
  • Ceiling or floor collapses
  • Deviation from original design during construction

Weak foundation

A strong and defect-free foundation is essential for the integrity of any type of structure. Foundation issues may manifest in early warning signs like cracks in the exterior of the building and long cracks or bowing in basements or crawl spaces. Buildings in coastal areas run the risk of rising sea levels and flooding, which can cause failures in waterproofing, resulting in cracks and dangerous shifts in the foundation. Faulty building design or construction may also cause a weak foundation.

Faulty construction

Even if a building or structure is designed correctly, errors in construction can lead to a tragic collapse in the future. Taking shortcuts or using improperly trained workers can result in construction problems like failure to properly waterproof and drain water away from the building foundation. Improperly installed roofs and windows (or using subpar materials) can also cause moisture intrusion, leading to structural damage. In addition, using the wrong or inappropriate materials for the job can cause unexpected decay or corrosion, leading to a weakened structure over time.

Subpar or low quality materials

Using low quality construction and building materials can compromise the integrity of a structure, leaving it at risk for collapse. Architects, designers, and construction companies must use the materials most appropriate for the structure and location of the building. Materials that can affect structural integrity can include plywood, bricks, concrete, steel, insulation, and waterproofing. Builders must take things like weather and climate into consideration to ensure materials are not affected by corrosion and other natural elements.

Natural disasters

Buildings and other structures must be designed and built with reasonable measures to withstand extreme weather events like high winds, flooding, and even earthquakes. Depending on the location of the structure, builders and architects should meet building codes for high-impact windows and doors, coastal flooding, and more. Property owners, contractors, construction companies, and condo associations must be aware of these potential risks and act accordingly.

The Atlanta attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP can help determine what caused a building or structural collapse and help hold the responsible parties accountable for your or your loved one’s injuries.

What kinds of injuries happen in structural collapses?

Building and structural collapses typically cause serious or catastrophic injuries, many of them fatal to occupants trapped inside. Common injuries from building collapses include:

Further, collapsed structures contain an entire host of hazards to both people trapped inside, near the site of collapse, and search and rescue workers. OSHA discusses some of these hazards and risks, which include:

  • Pathogens from standing water and broken sewer lines
  • Exposed electrical lines
  • Fires
  • Exposure to airborne toxins
  • Natural gas leaks
  • Insufficient oxygen
  • Further structural instability
  • Sharp and jagged objects
  • Slip, trip and fall hazards
  • Heavy machinery accidents
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Loud noise from equipment and generators

Victims of these types of injuries often face a long recovery process, necessitating medical procedures like surgeries, physical and occupational therapy, and psychological counseling to help process the trauma of being involved in a building collapse.

Who is liable for a structural or building collapse?

Structural collapse cases tend to be complex, with many potential liable parties that can go back decades, depending on the age of the building. Our experienced Atlanta attorneys will launch an investigation into the cause of the collapse and determine who or what was responsible for your injuries and losses. These parties may include:

  • Building inspectors
  • Condo boards
  • Maintenance and repair companies
  • Building material manufacturers
  • Property owners

All of these people and entities could have a responsibility to ensure the design, materials, construction, and upkeep of buildings are safe for both occupants, visitors, and passers-by – from collapse, falling debris, or demolition gone wrong.

What damages are available in a structural collapse claim?

If you suffer injury and losses after a building or structural collapse, you may be eligible for financial compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses, current and future
  • Lost wages and loss of earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

In the tragic event you lost a loved one in a building collapse, you are also entitled to funeral and burial expenses. Additionally, when particularly negligent or egregious actions caused your injuries, the court may also award punitive damages.

The Atlanta premises liability attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP put their experience to work for you to secure the compensation and damages to which you and your loved ones are entitled.

Dedicated building collapse attorneys with a record of success

At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, we protect the rights of those injured in negligent structure and building collapses. We work to hold the responsible parties accountable and secure compensation for your injuries and losses. Let us put our knowledge, resources, and experience to work for you.

We are here to help. Call our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847 or our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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