New buildings and renovations are signs of improving economic conditions. Here in Chicago and across the country, formerly wary investors are beginning to re-enter the residential and commercial real estate markets and offering infusions of money and life into otherwise depressed communities. For many, seeing cranes and other construction-related equipment begin to rise across their cities' skylines are a sign that changes are on their way.
While it can be exciting to watch neighborhood blocks suddenly transform below the curtains of construction netting and scaffolding, many dangers exist when large structures are built and demolished. When something goes wrong during a construction project, construction workers and innocent bystanders can be harmed.
A recent construction accident made national news when a building demolition projected collapsed on an adjacent building and crushed many people inside the secondary structure. Six people were killed in the incident and more than a dozen more people suffered construction injuries. A crane operator working on the project has been charged with involuntary manslaughter of the deceased individuals and was also found to have marijuana in his system at the time of the accident.
Some individuals who survived the accident have retained lawyers to represent their legal interests in recovering for their injuries. Attorneys for the injured victims have stated that the victims intend to sue the owners of the under-demolition building as well as the company responsible for the demolition project in civil lawsuits.
While the actions of the arrested construction worker may have directly caused the building collapse, but for the involvement of the building owners and demolition construction company that worker would not have been working at that site. Legal professionals can help construction accident victims determine which parties to sue for the recovery of medical expenses and other losses, and while such accidents may precipitate changes in the laws under which construction companies operate, lawyers can help victims enforce the laws that hold responsible parties accountable.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Crane operator charged with manslaughter in Philadelphia building collapse," David Warner, June 9, 2013