Representing Those Harmed in Construction Building Collapse Accidents
The recent Philadelphia development boom has given rise to both increased construction of new buildings and restoration of old ones. While this has many benefits for the city, it also puts construction workers at increased risk.
Building collapses have been occurring at an unprecedented rate across Pennsylvania, injuring and claiming the lives of many workers. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. help those injured in all types of work accidents collect the benefits to which they are entitled.
What Causes a Building Collapse?
Buildings may either collapse outwardly due to an explosion or they may collapse inwards as a result of a structural failure or other construction flaw. Some common causes of building collapse include:
- Defective/poor quality products or materials: Materials that are either defective or of poor quality put workers at risk of serious injury if walls collapse.
- Excessive loads: Construction workers often use heavy machinery, which if not operated properly, can contribute to a building collapse.
- Lack of inspection and maintenance: Construction companies must evaluate the risks of the job site and heed the warnings given to them by authorities; failure to do so may result in catastrophic accidents.
- Poor design: Buildings that are not designed properly may not be able to hold as much weight as expected and therefore may collapse.
- Secondary explosion: Sometimes, an initial explosion’s dust cloud is ignited, thereby causing a secondary explosion.
- Structural instability: If a building’s foundation is not secure or if the soil that the building sits on was not properly prepared, it can collapse at any time.
- Water flooding: The pressure of a flood can compromise a building’s foundation, making it susceptible to collapse.
Dangers of Building Collapses
Building collapse accidents often have catastrophic consequences, such as the 2013 incident at a Philadelphia Salvation Army Thrift Shop, in which six people were killed and 13 were injured when the building next door collapsed during demolition. It was later determined that several egregious safety violations contributed to the collapse.
Some common injuries suffered by those who are involved in building collapses include:
Compensation for Building Collapse Injuries
Workers who are injured in a building collapse may be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits under the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Act. Notice must be provided to the worker’s employer within 120 days of the accident, preferably as soon as possible and in writing.
- Medical benefits: All reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the injury are compensable, as well as any approved treatments, medications, and surgeries.
- Wage loss benefits: Workers who miss more than seven days of work may collect wage loss benefits for either total or partial disability.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits: Counseling and job training are available to help workers re-enter the workforce after their injury.
- Specific loss benefits: Those who suffer certain types of severe injuries, such as facial disfigurement or amputations, may receive a lump sum payment.
- Death benefits: The families of workers who die due to a work-related injury or illness may be entitled to death benefits, including funeral expenses.
In addition to receiving workers’ compensation, injured workers may be able to collect damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress in a third-party claim. Third-party claims may be filed against manufacturers of equipment, property owners, and other non-employer parties who caused or contributed to the building collapse accident. The statute of limitations for a third-party personal injury claim in Pennsylvania is two years.
Philadelphia Workplace Accident Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Provide Experienced Representation in Building Collapse Matters
If you were injured in a building collapse or you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We have been representing clients for more than 40 years, and we can help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.