Bridges serve millions of people every day. They enable people to travel to work and help them save time in their daily commute. It can be easy to overlook the amount of work that goes into constructing, maintaining, inspecting and repairing bridges.
However, society should be concerned that bridges receive proper maintenance in a timely manner for numerous reasons and our bridge collapse lawyers fight for that every day.
First, society must be concerned about the safety of the thousands of commuters traveling on Illinois bridges every day.
If a bridge is not able to support massive amounts of weight, then it may collapse and cause extremely serious injuries and deaths. Dangerous disasters are likely to occur when a bridge has not received the proper maintenance from a construction company.
Commuters should also be concerned about the proper maintenance of bridges in light of a recent report published by Transportation for America. The report has indicated that one in 12 Illinois bridges is “structurally deficient.” This means that drivers and their passengers may be facing serious risks in using bridges every day.
For construction workers, old bridges remain equally dangerous as they may be called upon to perform work on a structure that may not be safe to perform work or support the weight of heavy construction equipment.
A Chicago bridge collapse lawyer can investigate and research your case if you have been involved in a bridge catastrophe. The construction accident lawyers at our law firm understand the shock that you likely feel after this serious accident and can help you understand your legal options.
You can give us a phone call 24/7 or use the contact form below and our personal injury lawyers can discuss your personal injuries and other sensitive information. We work primarily out of Cook County. Yet, we have personal injury attorneys that regularly work all across Illinois in areas such as Madison County and beyond.
Research and Information on Bridges
The Transportation for America report was released in June of 2018. The report based its analysis off of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory data.
From this information, Transportation for America discovered that 9 percent of bridges are “structurally deficient.” This means that the bridges require significant replacement, maintenance appointments or repairs.
For instance, the report cited 2,311 Illinois bridges that are in need of major repairs. This figure is higher than the 2,239 bridges that were recorded in 2011.
To ensure that bridges receive their needed repairs, Illinois and other states would need to acquire a minimum of $76 billion. Because it is unclear where the state could receive this extensive funding, it is likely that bridges will continue to remain in need of repair.
Different Types of Bridges
You may not notice the type of bridge that you are travelling over in your everyday life. There are four main kinds of bridges built by civil engineers, including these:
- Arch Bridges: An arch bridge is made with the deck on the top of an arch and the bridge near the bottom of the arch,
- Beam Bridges: A beam bridge is made with concrete, steel, or some similar material; additionally, support structures like a pillar uphold them. Some highway bridges are constructed this way.
- Suspension Bridges: You might also see these called cable-stayed bridges. With these bridges, a network of towers and cables support the deck for travel.
- Cantilever Bridges: A cantilever bridge has two bridge supports or two anchored beams to prop up a beam for the deck.
A bridge collapse lawyer from our law firm can assist you in an attorney client relationship if a bridge collapses. This can help you recover lost wages, medical expenses like hospital bills, and other relief under state and federal law.
Our team has brought many personal injury cases for bridge collapse incidents even including a pedestrian bridge collapse. Talk to us today to see what help may be in store. Please do not send confidential or sensitive information over the web.
What Causes Bridge Collapses?
Many bridges across the country are functionally obsolete. To understand why a lot of the nation’s bridges collapse though, read this list:
- Falling debris
- Faulty foundation
- Inadequate drainage
- Poor design
- Natural disasters and bad weather
- Hidden defects
- More traffic than anticipated (especially during rush hour)
- They are not regularly inspected
Per the Federal Aid Highway Act, a construction worker or similar employee is supposed to inspect bridges to identify structurally deficient bridges. This is governed by several federal agencies also.
If bridge collapses occur, and you are injured in a bridge collapse, then speak to our injury attorneys. We have some of the best lawyers in construction law.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Bridge Collapse Accidents?
There are many people, government agencies, companies, and other parties tasked with the responsibility of making sure bridges remain safe. They need to do this during construction, repair, inspection, and other stages of the bridge lifecycle.
If an accident does occur, you may be able to sue many of these persons or groups, public or private, for the bridge’s failure. Your accident injuries and resulting costs and harms can be rectified in a court of law.
Our injury attorneys work in many practice areas related to bridge collapses. We can help people injured in an accident like this.
Use our website or call us to get in touch and start your case today. We can review who you can hold liable and obtain financial recovery from. Our message contact form sends information right to us 24/7.
Injuries Suffered If a Bridge Collapses
Tens of millions of commutes take place on bridges every day. It is important that drivers understand their legal rights in the event that they are involved in a bridge failure.
There are various entities that may be liable for the injuries that an individual suffers, and these may include the Department of Transportation, municipalities, contractors, inspectors and more.
Large states need to recognize that it may be more costly to pay for damages resulting from a bridge catastrophe rather than performing an upfront maintenance repair. When multiple victims are harmed in a bridge failure, they may be entitled to millions of dollars in damages.
A jury may have discretion as to the amount that should be awarded to plaintiffs who have been harmed in a bridge failure.
Serious injuries can result when a person is involved in a bridge failure. Some of the injuries that can result include:
- Severe head injuries
- Permanent neurological issues
- Permanent disabilities
- Amputated limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Mental suffering
When a bridge collapses, there is a high likelihood that deaths may result from the collapse. Death is one tragedy that cannot be avoided when states fail to properly maintain bridges. Family members also suffer immense pain when they lose a loved one in a bridge collapse.
Family members may be able to vindicate the rights of a loved one by filing a wrongful death action if he or she has died in a bridge catastrophe. A wrongful death action may provide family members with relief in regards to funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and more.
Bridge Collapse Frequently Asked Questions
Many people ask us about bridge safety and collapse accidents so we have organized some answers to common concerns for your review. Should you have questions about a bridge collapse accident involving a loved one, contact our structural collapse accident lawyers for a free consultation.
How Often Do Bridges Collapse?
In the United States, approximately one out of every five thousand bridges collapses each year.
Can You Survive Falling Off a Bridge in a Car?
Yes, you can survive a bridge collapse accident in Chicago but you need to stay calm, buckle your seat belt, and focus on getting out of the passenger vehicle in a safe manner.
How Long Can You Survive in a Submerged Car?
Cars can float for roughly one to two minutes before sinking, so if you can focus and try and exit your motor vehicle in that amount of time, then you will have the best chance at survival.
Can a Bridge Fail?
Yes, bridges can fail and collapse and often do in Illinois and the United States. Common things that contribute to bridge failure include high winds, earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding as well as a lack of maintenance, inspection, and oversight.
What Is Bridge Failure?
Bridge failure is when bridges collapse and fall down. This can be caused by bolt overstress or loosening, buckling, overload, faulty connections, framework deterioration, or many other factors
Bridge Collapse Accident Attorneys Can Review Your Case
The accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are honored to speak with you about your bridge collapse injury case. Whether you wish to meet in person or submit your information online, we will be sure to carefully review this information.
As with all of our injury cases, we offer a free consultation for individuals who have been injured in accidents. You can be assured that your legal issues will remain confidential. Contact us at (888) 424-5757.
We work on bridge catastrophe and other accident cases on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay a fee up front until a settlement or damages are awarded.
Our personal injury lawyers regularly bring cases in Illinois, California, Texas, Florida, and many other states. We also have an extensive network of experienced lawyers and other professionals across the United States to assist us.