Faulty Building Engineering and Maintenance in Florida
If you live in South Florida, you know that buildings and structures must withstand harsh and ever-changing conditions, from heat and humidity to hurricanes and seawater. This means that engineers, construction crews, owners, and managers of properties must take all of this into consideration to ensure that they do not defectively or improperly build or maintain structures, as such negligence can cause harm to many people.
If you believe that you or someone you loved suffered injuries due to faulty building engineering or maintenance, you could file a premises liability claim to recoup all of your medical bills and other losses. The Levin Firm in Fort Lauderdale handles these highly technical and complex cases, so do not wait to reach out for help from our Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorneys.
2021 Surfside Condos Collapse
Early in the morning on June 24, 2021, a large portion of a 12-story condominium building in Miami suddenly collapsed to the ground, taking everyone inside 136 units with it. With a rising death toll and hundreds of people missing, the devastation and shock over how this might happen spread through the Miami community.
There will be extensive investigations into what caused the collapse of the Surfside Condo building, and early theories include water leakage, neglect by owners, inaccurate inspections, and more. No matter what caused the collapse, such events should never happen. You should trust that your condo building—or any structure that you are in—is in safe enough condition to withstand normal use.
Those who suffered injuries in the Surfside Condo collapse will likely be able to file personal injury claims once liability is clear, and family members who tragically lost loved ones will be able to seek recovery for wrongful death. Miami and the surrounding communities will not soon forget this devastating occurrence that should cause many other property owners, managers, and engineers to closely consider the state of their own premises.
Engineering to Withstand Hurricanes and More
Florida is home to beautiful beaches and warm weather, but it also presents builders and other parties in the industry with significant challenges. Florida is regularly in the path of tropical storms and hurricanes, and engineers and others involved in property design and construction need to take that into account.
In addition, issues like extreme humidity and subsidence can wreak havoc with building materials and structural integrity, so anyone involved in the design, construction, or maintenance of a building in Florida should take steps to mitigate their effects.
Another important building aspect to consider is whether a structure will withstand a certain weight as people use it in the future. For example, in 2003, the deadliest balcony collapse in United States history occurred in Chicago, resulting in 13 deaths and 57 injuries. A third-floor balcony gave way under excess weight, crashing down and taking down the second and first-floor balconies, as well.
Many, many buildings in South Florida have balconies attached to allow residents and visitors to admire the gorgeous coastal views. Whether it is a hotel, high-rise apartment building, rooftop nightclub, or any other building, a balcony might collapse if engineers and builders did not take steps to ensure it could hold adequate weight.
Building Code Compliance
Florida and its various municipalities have passed building codes to set minimum standards for public health and safety. These codes address and govern issues such as the construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, and demolition of private and public buildings in the state.
When engineers, builders, contractors, or anyone else involved in the industry fails to comply with the relevant and applicable building codes, it can result in disaster. Moreover, under Florida case law, building code violations can be used as evidence of negligence, potentially making it easier for aggrieved victims to recover compensation for their losses.
Routine Inspections, Maintenance, and Repairs
As illustrated by the Surfside condo collapse tragedy, routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs can ensure the structural integrity and safety of buildings—particularly in our extreme South Florida environment. When property owners and managers fail to conduct regular inspections, perform routine maintenance, or repair issues that need them, dangerous conditions could result in serious injuries.
Do You Have a Claim?
If you suffered injuries or the loss of a family member in the Surfside Condo collapse or another building failure, make your first call to a Fort Lauderdale premises liability lawyer for a case evaluation. Often, it is clear that someone else is at fault, but the challenge might be identifying exactly who those at-fault parties will be.
Once we determine your rights, we can map out the best course of action to seek the recovery you deserve, which might include:
- Filing insurance claims against one or more parties, which might include owners, management, engineers, inspectors, or maintenance crews
- Filing a premises liability lawsuit against the appropriate parties if the insurance process is not sufficient to compensate you for your losses
- Potentially joining a class-action claim if many people suffered similar injuries and losses in the same event
Proving liability often requires extensive investigation and analysis by trusted building and engineering experts, so these cases can be complicated to pursue. Never forgo your right to compensation, however. A skilled lawyer will have the resources you need to prove your claim.
Speak With a Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Attorney Today
At the Levin Firm, we are keeping the victims of the condo collapse and their families in our thoughts, and we are here to assist after such tragedies. If you suffered financial or physical injuries because of poor or defective building design, maintenance, or repairs, there is a good chance that you deserve compensation for your losses. The Levin Firm has the skill and experience required to determine the cause of your incident and hold the responsible party or parties accountable. To schedule your free case evaluation with a premises liability lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, contact The Levin Firm today at (954) 715-3260.
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