California residents may be aware that on March 15, a bridge collapsed at Florida International University, crushing eight vehicles and causing six deaths. The bridge had just been completed five days before the incident occurred. There were still several questions that authorities were trying to answer while the investigation continued.

Authorities determined that the bridge had undergone some sort of stress testing just prior to collapsing. What was not understood, however, was why vehicles were permitted to drive under the structure while it was being tested. It was also still not known if the collapse was caused by a construction or engineering failure. The bridge itself was assembled and installed very quickly in an effort to reduce risks to workers, motorists and travelers.

Another major question that needs to be answered is whether the construction and engineering companies involved in the building of the bridge were properly vetted by government officials. It was discovered that two of the firms that were involved had been accused of unsafe work procedures. In fact, there was one case where the bridge project actually fell onto the workers.

If someone is killed in a construction or engineering accident, his or her family members may be able to hold the owner of the property and the firms involved in the project responsible for their loved one’s death. A wrongful death attorney may determine the monetary damages and death benefits to which the family members may be entitled, such as loss of projected income if the person was working at the time, loss of love and support, loss of household services and any medical costs prior to the person’s death. A lawyer may work to gather evidence that demonstrates the contributions to the family that the person made in order to reach an appropriate settlement.

Source: Miami New Times, “Five Unanswered Questions About the FIU Bridge Collapse“, Jerry Iannelli, 03/19/2018