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What Are Your Rights If a Building Collapses?

Building Collapses

Is your family at risk from defects or mistakes in the construction of the home or building you reside in? It’s a genuine concern. If you are injured in Georgia or if you lose a loved one due to faulty construction, you’ll need the advice and services of an Atlanta premises liability lawyer.

As you probably know, construction mistakes and defects are in the news since the June 26 collapse of the twelve-story Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida, near Miami. As of July 17, the death toll in that tragedy stands at 97.

The deadly condo building collapse has already generated a number of lawsuits against the building’s condo association, the engineering firms that inspected the building, and other individuals and groups that potentially have liability for the catastrophe.

What Was Known About the Building Before It Collapsed?

The collapse is a tragic reminder that mistakes are made – and sometimes shortcuts are taken – in the construction industry, and those mistakes and shortcuts can put all of us at risk. But even when responsible parties know that a building’s tenants are at risk, there may still be no action.

In fact, in 2018, an engineering report for the Champlain Towers condo association found “major structural damage” in the underground parking garage and the pool area. Immediate and costly repairs were indicated, but a number of residents apparently questioned the $9 million price tag.

And only two months before the building collapsed, the president of the condo association wrote her neighbors and warned them that “concrete deterioration is accelerating” and the estimated repair cost had jumped to over $16 million.
Champlain Towers condo association
A number of families are suing the Champlain Towers condo board, claiming that the association was aware of, or should have been aware of, structural issues but failed to fix them. That failure resulted in injuries, wrongful deaths, and substantial property losses, the complaints allege.

Recent Building Collapses Raise Serious Concerns

“The whole world wants to know what happened here,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told a news conference on July 6. It may take time, but the legal process will eventually show us why the building collapsed and will determine who will be held accountable.

The incident raises concerns about building safety and the trust we put in the construction industry, but it is not the only building collapse in the last few weeks. Other recent incidents are also raising concerns across the nation about the safety of our buildings and their construction.

One building partially collapsed in Champaign, Illinois on June 26. A car crash caused another building to collapse in St. Louis on July 14. Everyone needs to know what their rights are if they are injured – or if they lose a family member – in a building collapse.

If You Are a Victim, What Steps Should You Take?

Generally speaking, in Georgia, if you are injured or if your family suffers a wrongful death because another party was negligent, the injury victim or surviving family members have the right to recover monetary compensation by bringing a premises liability or wrongful death claim.
premises liability or wrongful death claim
The injured victims of negligence are entitled by law to monetary compensation for their pending and projected future medical expenses, their lost wages and projected future lost wages, their personal pain, and suffering, and other accident-and-injury-related losses and damages.

In a wrongful death case, surviving family members may be compensated for a family member’s unpaid medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and the loss of the family member’s earnings and earning capacity.

Why Should You Seek an Attorney’s Help?

In either situation, compensation is not simply handed to you. You will have to prove that you were injured by another person’s negligence or that you lost a loved one because another person was negligent, and you will need an attorney’s help.

If you bring an injury or wrongful death claim in Georgia, your case should be handled from the start by an Atlanta premises liability lawyer. In fact, if you suffer any personal injury or your family suffers a wrongful death, you should immediately seek the advice of an Atlanta injury attorney.

Incidents like the Champlain Towers condo collapse should not happen. But when they do, injured residents and surviving family members should take the appropriate steps to protect their rights and to hold the responsible parties accountable.

If you are not comfortable with contacting an attorney after a catastrophe, understand that it is not about suing a person or a company for everything they own. Rather, it is about ensuring that you are not ruined financially by the costs that are inevitably associated with this type of tragedy.

When Should You Speak to a Premises Liability Lawyer?

Contacting an Atlanta premises liability attorney as early as possible after a tragedy is imperative. Your attorney will need to examine the evidence in the case while it’s still fresh and speak with the witnesses before their memories have faded.
Atlanta premises liability attorney
The statute of limitations – the deadline – for filing personal injury claims and wrongful death claims in Georgia, including premises liability claims, is two years from the date of the injury or wrongful death. Do not wait two years. Put an attorney on your case as early as possible.

How Will You Pay an Attorney’s Fees?

If you lose your home in a building collapse, lose a family member, or sustain a catastrophic injury, how can you afford a lawyer’s help? Premises liability lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, so you pay no lawyer’s fee until and unless your lawyer recovers compensation on your behalf.
catastrophic injury
You also pay nothing for your first legal consultation, where your lawyer will explain your rights and how the law applies to your own case. Take advantage of this chance to receive the reliable, personalized legal advice that you will certainly need after a tragedy like a building collapse.

The collapse of the condo building near Miami will set off years of courtroom activity. A number of parties, which may include the building’s management, engineers, architects, and construction firms, will be scrutinized to determine if they had any liability for the collapse.

“We’ll be looking at everybody,” one south Florida attorney told Reuters. That is good news for victims who need justice. If you need justice after a building collapse or a similar tragedy in Georgia, immediately put an Atlanta premises liability attorney to work for you.

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