With a highly skilled team of personal injury lawyers, Clifford Law Offices has been representing the victims of structural collapses and unsafe premises for decades. The combined experience of the Chicago personal injury attorneys adds up to hundreds of years of wrongful death and personal injury work. A Clifford Law Offices’ bridge collapse attorney examines the cause of the collapse, which can be an issue of faulty design or construction, improper maintenance, or inadequate or negligent inspection. The firm’s personal injury lawyers will also examine the victims’ losses, including: medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, future medical care, pain and suffering, grief, sorrow and mental suffering, loss of quality of life, and other possible damage claims.
Clifford Law’s Chicago personal injury attorney, Kevin Durkin, worked to achieve a $1.8 million settlement for a construction worker who fell off of an unguarded bridge and fractured his hip and vertebrae. The firm’s personal injury lawyers have also represented many people who have been the victims of unsafe premises. For instance, Robert Clifford and Kevin Durkin obtained a $70 million settlement on behalf of the families of victims who were killed or those who were injured when scaffolding on the John Hancock Center collapsed on their car. The experienced law firm also represents several people who were injured or killed when a porch collapsed at a Chicago building.
All of these tragic errors required the experience of Chicago personal injury attorneys. Engineers and structural experts must be held accountable for their negligent actions. Clifford Law Offices represented these families and got the answers they deserved. Please call Clifford Law Offices, experienced structural collapse and unsafe premise attorneys at (312) 899-9090.
Personal Injury Lawyers Confirm Regular Structural Inspections Can Prevent Bridge Collapse Accidents
Every day thousands of bridges help commuters travel across water and other terrain. Although most Americans may take bridges for granted, they are complicated structures that must be designed and constructed to withstand millions of pounds of weight. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and other vehicles travel across bridges at the same time, and they must be safe and secure every moment of every day. If they are unsafe, bridges can collapse and have the potential to injure or kill innocent, unsuspecting travelers. These are the circumstances that Chicago personal injury attorneys work with on a regular basis.
As a result of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968, the Secretary of Transportation is required to establish national bridge inspection standards for all highway bridges. Federal agencies are required by federal law to inspect bridges on all public roads under their jurisdictions and to annually report the data to the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory. States are responsible for the inspection of all highway bridges, except those that are federally owned, according to the National Bridge Inspection Standards. Many states, like Minnesota, also have passed laws regarding the requirements for the inspection and inventory of bridges. For example, Minnesota requires that all bridges in that state are to be inspected at least once every two years, which is in line with federal standards set by the Federal Highway Administration and the recommendations of bridge safety experts.
The Engineer Research and Development Center’s Bridge Inspection Team of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees bridge safety on public roads. Together with the Corps of Engineers’ personnel and civilian consultants, the U.S. Army Directorates of Public Works maintain compliance with regulations regarding bridge safety. Bridges have components, such as steel beams, whose failure would probably cause a portion of, or the entire bridge, to collapse. These components, called fracture critical members, must be inspected at least every 24 months under the federal guidelines. Personal injury lawyers are aware of these regulations and the important role they play in mitigating bridge collapses.
Bridge Failures Investigated and Litigated by Personal Injury Lawyers
A 2005 study conducted by an Ohio State University professor of civil engineering and a graduate student, featured in the Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, researched 503 bridges in the U.S from 1989-2000. These bridges had collapsed or had been closed due to serious damage. The study referred to both of these conditions as “failures”. According to their study, the leading cause of failure was floods. Bridge overload and impact from trucks, barges, ships and trains also attributed to some of the bridge failures. The study also found that, “Other frequent principal causes are design, detailing, construction, material, and maintenance.”
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2005 infrastructure report card found that in 2003 about 27 percent of bridges in the United States were “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete”. According to the ASCE, 17 percent of the bridges in Illinois were also deemed “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete”.
The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Clifford Law Offices are experienced in representing victims of major bridge failures and structural disasters. Our personal injury lawyers are available for consultation; please call (312) 899-9090.