Did Structural Defects Cause Your Construction Site Accident?

structural defects accidents

Structural defects pose a significant safety risk to construction workers and building occupants. Buildings with structural defects can collapse, catch fire or cause falls from heights. Many structural defects are caused by the negligence of one or more parties, since multiple companies work together on most construction sites. Workers may be injured by structural defects caused by employees from other companies. In these cases, victims of construction accidents may be able to file third party claims against these other contractors or companies. While structural hazards pose a risk to construction workers, they are also dangerous to occupants of buildings, as accidents may occur months or years after the fact. In these cases, victims of structural defects and their family members may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party or parties.

At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., we rely on compassion and experience to fight for our clients’ rights. Our Philadelphia construction defect lawyers have a proven record of helping people who suffered injuries caused by negligent building design or construction. In one case, our attorneys helped secure a $101 million settlement for victims of a parking garage collapse. This structural defect case was one of the largest in U.S. history and involved the inspection of nearly 1.5 million documents.

What are Common Causes of Structural Defects?

Structural defects can occur at any point during the building’s design or construction. They can affect almost any part of the building, including the electrical system, plumbing and foundation. Defects in the foundation can cause parts of a building to collapse, whereas defects with electrical systems can lead to fires. Common causes of structural defects include:

  • Negligent workmanship. Workers employed by another company may install or build areas of a worksite incorrectly. In the parking garage collapse case our firm handled, we found that the building lacked the necessary steel needed to connect the walls and floors. As a result, five workers died and another 30 suffered injuries.
  • Defective building materials. Materials used during the construction of a building may contain defects that are hazardous for workers, who may fall through floorboards or sustain injuries from falling equipment. In other cases, parts of a building may collapse or fail, causing a construction injury or wrongful death.
  • Existing structural defects. In some cases, workers may sustain injuries while performing construction on a building that already contains defects. For example, the building may have been constructed on soil that causes the foundation to become unstable. This instability may cause the building to collapse.
  • Design defects. Engineers and architects are sometimes responsible for creating structural defects in a design. For example, workers may suffer injuries if the building’s design compromises its structural integrity.

It typically takes the expertise of multiple companies to complete construction on a building. Unfortunately, this also makes structural defects and construction accidents more likely. Workers injured by these defects may be able to file a third party claim if workers employed by other companies caused their injuries.

How Can Structural Defects Affect Building Occupants?

Structural defects are not always apparent after construction on a building has concluded. Latent defects may take years to materialize, and may remain unnoticed until after an accident occurs. Building occupants are most likely to suffer injuries from latent defects. These types of construction defects may cause:

  • Collapse hazards. When buildings contain structural defects, they may collapse. These types of accidents can cause fatalities and widespread injury.
  • Fall hazards. Construction defects on railings, stairways and floors may put building occupants at risk for suffering fall injuries. For example, a structural defect on a balcony’s railing may cause an occupant to fall if the railing fails.
  • Electrical hazards. If workers leave wiring exposed after construction on a building has finished, then occupants are at risk of electrocution. Exposed wiring is also a fire hazard for building occupants.

It is not always clear who is responsible for injuries or wrongful death when structural defects harm occupants. Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties may be responsible for structural defect accidents. A construction accident attorney can investigate the incident and help uncover which parties are responsible.

Injured by a Structural Defect? Contact Our Construction Defect Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If a structural defect harmed you or a loved one, multiple parties could be to blame. An attorney can carefully review your construction site accident case so that you can hold these parties accountable for their actions. Damages from a lawsuit can help cover your medical expenses, lost income, funeral expenses and other damages

The New Jersey and Pennsylvania construction accident attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., are committed to helping workers and building occupants who were harmed by structural defects. We can also assist families in filing wrongful death claims after fatal accidents. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call (866) 569-3400 or fill out our online case review form. We have offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey.