Many bridges and causeways around Miami are not as secure as they may seem. Pedestrian bridges are designed as a safe way for pedestrians to get around without having to cross streets with heavy traffic. With the water and wetlands around Miami, causeways are a simple way to raise roads and avoid flooding or wet foundations for streets. However, if these bridges or causeways collapse, they could cause serious injuries to the pedestrians and cars in the area. If you or a loved was injured in a bridge collapse in South Florida, call Miami bridge collapse lawyer Prosper Shaked at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.
Dangers of Bridge Collapses in Miami
Many bridges and causeways in Miami are raised dozens of feet above the ground to allow cars or boats to pass below the bridge. During a collapse, this can mean catastrophic effects. For a pedestrian bridge collapse, it means that pedestrians falling with the bridge could drop the whole distance, unprotected. For cars on top of the causeway or bridge, they may fall hundreds of feet before landing on the road or in the water below. If the bridge runs over another street below, the collapse of a bridge could trap drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists underneath.
Many deaths from bridge collapses occur instantly. The rubble and other objects on top of the bridge can weigh hundreds of tons. This means that the weight can instantly crush nearly anything under the bridge, killing any pedestrians or drivers trapped beneath the collapse.
Cars on top of a bridge or causeway may suffer significant damage, but many of the occupants may survive. Cars are designed to withstand strong impact from all sides, even top-side impacts. However, quick action and response is often necessary to help people from becoming trapped in their cars, especially if they are stuck in the water.
Bystanders and those near the site of the collapse could also face serious injuries. As the bridge collapses, it could throw debris, injuring people near the collapse. If you are not fully trapped below the collapse, you may also face serious injuries if you are struck by falling debris.
Suing for Bridge Collapse Injuries in Florida
If you or a loved one was hurt in a bridge collapse, you may be able to sue those responsible for the collapse. Some catastrophic accidents are the result of poor design and construction, while others are caused by negligent upkeep. Either way, you may be able to file a lawsuit for your injuries or the loss of a loved one.
In the case of poor construction, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the construction company that installed the bridge. Some bridges are built from a modular system, where individual pieces of a bridge fit together to create bridges of various sizes and functions with the same basic construction. Some of the companies that install these bridges fail to take the proper time and care to run the calculations for each project, and may install a bridge that is insufficient for its needs, leading to collapses.
Other issues occur while a bridge is under construction before it is opened to the public. This could still mean that the streets below the bridge are open to traffic, even if the bridge is not. This puts drivers and pedestrians crossing below the bridge at risk for serious injuries and death.
Many studies show that bridges and causeways across the country are not as safe as we believe them to be. Many are rusted and eroded and pose serious safety risks, with some civil engineers going as far as recommending closing the bridge. If the government permits a risky bridge or causeway to remain open, despite warnings that the bridge’s structure has been compromised or that the bridge could collapse, they put the drivers and pedestrians on and under that bridge at risk. The government may be responsible for death and injuries that occur because they ignored warnings like these. For bridges on private property, you may also be able to take the property owner to court over the bridge collapse.
When suing for a bridge collapse, the construction company or government body responsible for the collapse may have significant funds or insurance that can cover your needs. When you face serious injuries or lose a loved one, filing a personal injury lawsuit may provide you with the funds you need to cover things like medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses for a loved one, physical pain and mental suffering, and the financial effects of losing a loved one.
Talk to an attorney today about what compensation you might be entitled to in a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death suit for a bridge collapse in Florida.
Miami, Florida Bridge Collapse Injury Attorney with Free Consultations
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA represents the victims of bridge collapses and their families in lawsuits against the government, owner of the bridge, or the negligent construction company who allowed the bridge to collapse. Because your case may be limited by important deadlines, talk to an attorney about your case as soon as you can. For a free consultation on your case, contact our office today at (305) 694-2676.