Construction workers know that building collapses are among the most catastrophic types of construction accidents. The injuries caused by these accidents can be life-changing and even fatal. When workers are injured in building collapses, they may never be able to work again, let alone return to the construction industry. This creates a major financial burden on workers and their families, and it often leaves construction workers with long-term physical, mental, and emotional injuries.
What Causes Building Collapses?
Building collapses can be caused by a number of factors. In the United States, strict laws require buildings to be constructed with cutting-edge technology that ensures they don’t simply collapse without warning. When you walk into a building, you expect it to be safe. Unfortunately, some construction companies cut corners when it comes to safety, and this can lead to a building collapse during the construction period or sometime after the building is finished. Building collapses can also happen during renovations.
Building collapses happen due to:
Mistakes in the foundation
Architectural errors or design errors
Miscalculations in the soil composition underneath the building
Bad or flawed building materials
Building code violations
Incorrect weight distribution
Mistakes during demolition
Whatever the reason for a building collapse, these accidents should never happen. It goes without saying that a building collapse is a major disaster that often involves multiple parties. As a result, building collapse cases are almost always extremely complex. These types of cases often involve parties from different states and sometimes even different countries. This is why it’s so important for construction workers injured in building collapses to protect their legal rights by speaking to an experienced construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Physical Injuries Caused by Building Collapses
The injuries caused by building collapses are usually horrific, and many of these accidents result in multiple fatalities. If workers are fortunate enough to survive, they are typically left with catastrophic injuries that change their lives forever. Some of the most common injuries associated with building collapse include:
Injuries to the neck, back, and spine
Traumatic brain injury
Injuries to internal organs
Suffocation, oxygen deprivation
Burns caused by fires that break out after a building collapse
These injuries can create a significant physical and financial burden for construction workers and their families, as the cost of ongoing medical care can easily and quickly spiral into the thousands of dollars. This is why it’s important for construction workers hurt in building collapses to speak to a construction accident lawyer who has experience handling these types of complex personal injury cases. No one should have to shoulder the cost of someone else’s negligence.
Mental and Emotional Injuries Caused by construction
In addition to physical injuries, many construction workers hurt in building collapses develop long-term mental and emotional injuries. One study that looked at a major building collapse in Bangladesh found that survivors suffered from a number of emotional injuries, including avoidance, negative alterations in cognition and mood, and alterations in arousal and activity.
Researchers found that the workers involved in the building collapse also had a difficult time going back to work following the disaster. Among those involved in the study, 83.4 percent were unemployed. The study also revealed that 60 percent of all the survivors suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many of the building collapse victims suffered concussions in the collapse, which researchers believe elevates the risk of developing PTSD.
Studies of other building collapses have revealed similar findings. A study of the collapse of a Salvation Army thrift store in the U.S. showed that many of the survivors had developed PTSD following the accident. “Common symptoms of PTSD include ongoing intrusive distressing memories, dreams or flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, hyper-vigilance, and certain physical reactions, like an increased heart rate.”
The study goes on to state that injury victims who suffer from PTSD often “experienced anger, shame, guilt, or fear, and the inability to feel positive emotions. They may also have negative, distorted beliefs about the trauma, themselves, or about the safety of the world in general.”
PTSD can also cause an injury victim to change their routines, habits, and even their lifestyle. For example, construction workers who have survived a building collapse may go out of their way to avoid being around a tall building. If they were trapped in the rubble and debris after a building collapse, they may develop an aversion to being in tight spaces, such as elevators.
It’s easy to see how a building collapse can have a far-reaching impact on a construction worker’s life, family, and future. If you have been injured in a building collapse, it’s important to protect your rights by discussing your case with an experienced construction accident lawyer.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.