Bridge collapses, while rare, do happen occasionally—and when they do, they can be catastrophic. In March 2018, there was a pedestrian walkway collapsed in Miami, Florida that caused several deaths as a result of the accident. The bridge named the FIU (Florida International University)-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge, was built to withstand the force of a hurricane. Unfortunately, the bridge collapsed and caused multiple deaths, injuries, and property losses instead.
Incidents like a pedestrian bridge collapse are tragic enough, but when victims or family members of victims are recovering and have a mountain of debt over them due to the accident, who is responsible for paying for their medical bills, funeral expenses, or lost wages?
MULTIPLE PARTIES COULD BE RESPONSIBLE
Depending on the scenario of a specific bridge collapse, the truth is that multiple parties could be held legally liable for an accident. If a bridge was constructed by a private company that used independent contractors and a design firm, depending on what an investigation reveals it could be any, no one, or all of them. If a bridge was constructed by a government entity (namely, the U.S. Department of Transportation or your state’s individual department), then they could also be potentially held liable in a pedestrian bridge collapse.
Bridges can fail for a variety of structural reasons, but a thorough investigation will be necessary to determine who is at fault and liable to pay compensation to victims.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR VICTIMS TO PURSUE LEGAL ACTION?
Nothing can bring back your health or the life of a person before an accident, but victims of an accident (or their family members) should seek damages from those who were responsible for the accident.
Those entities responsible should be held accountable for their lack of care or attention to detail when constructing a bridge that the public will use. Not only will an investigation reveal which party is responsible for a bridge collapse, but it might also reveal what the exact failure was so that future engineers of similar projects can learn from their mistakes and prevent future tragedy.
As a victim of a bridge collapse, your injuries could be costly and make it difficult to live the normal, happy life you had before the accident. To pay for medical bills, pursue further treatment and therapy, or be able to take care of your family properly, those who are negligent should be held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian bridge collapse in Georgia, you’ll need an expert legal team by your side who can help you determine if legal action is in your best interest. Contact the Fry | Goehring today at (404) 948-3571 to set up a consultation.