We Extend Our Deepest Sympathies for the Victims and Victims’ Families of This Tragedy
A 175-foot section of the newly constructed FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge collapsed on March 15, 2018, causing severe bodily injuries and fatalities. The FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 41 and Southwest 109th Avenue.
The Florida International pedestrian bridge collapsed onto U.S. Route 41 (the Tamiami Trail) causing injuries and deaths to pedestrians walking the bridge as well as pedestrians and passengers in cars traveling underneath the bridge during the bridge breakdown. It has been reported that eight cars were crushed by the bridge falling upon the six lanes of U.S. Route 41. So far, tragically nine people have sustained a serious bodily injury, and there were six fatalities as a result of this catastrophe.
The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP extend our heartfelt condolences to the accident victims and the families of those injured or killed in this heartbreaking tragedy.
The pedestrian bridge is located near the campus of Florida International University in Miami, Florida. In addition to the pedestrians crossing the bridge, there were pedestrians and commuters in cars who were crushed while traveling underneath the collapsing bridge. The pedestrian bridge collapse occurred just five days after the bridge was opened to the public.
The FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge was built to address the problem of pedestrian safety at this intersection. In the past, this congested intersection was ascertained to be an unsafe area for pedestrians. This intersection has a lengthy history of severe pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities. The funding for the construction of the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge came from a State of Florida project funding and a $19.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.
What or Who is to Blame for the Tragic FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge Collapse?
In cases such as these, it is commonplace for the injury victims or the family members of the decedents to file lawsuits pursuing legal justice for negligence.
Pursuing Justice for the Negligent Actions of Others Comes in Two Forms
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Those who were injured during this tragic bridge collapse are likely to file a “personal injury lawsuit.” A personal injury lawsuit seeks monetary compensation for financial losses such as missed work, lost wages, medical bills, property damage, future medical expenses. In addition to any financial losses incurred by the pedestrian bridge collapse, a personal injury plaintiff may also seek monetary compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering.
Under certain circumstances, a personal injury victim may be entitled to pursue Punitive Damages. Punitive Damages is an addition amount of financial compensation paid to the plaintiff. Punitive Damages are designed to be extraordinarily punitive in order to send a message to those at fault as well as other persons or businesses in the related industry that negligence will be.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In a Florida wrongful death action, the families of the decedents will seek justice in the form of monetary damages for loss of companionship, mental anguish, and suffering. In addition to a suit brought by the family of the decedent, a separate wrongful death lawsuit may also be filed on behalf of the decedent’s estate demanding compensation for burial expenses, medical expenses, and other recoverable damages. In some circumstances, our law firm may also be able to pursue punitive damages. Ordinarily, these cases will require the opening of an estate, and our attorneys will guide family members through the necessary steps for filing a lawsuit.
Florida’s Pure Contributory Negligence Standard
Whether you are pursuing a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim, that needs to be answered is, “Who is ultimately responsible for the tragic Florida International pedestrian bridge collapse?” Florida’s personal injury law utilizes a “Pure Comparative Negligence Standard” which determines the percentage of fault or negligence for the Plaintiff and the Defendant. One of the common insurance defense tactics will be to try and convince a judge or jury that the Plaintiff bears some or all of the blame for their own injuries. In a case such as the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge collapse tragedy, the only question to answer is, “Who are the parties to seek compensatory damages?”
In our investigation into bridge failure injury and wrongful death actions, our experienced attorneys will retain review reports, speak with witnesses, engage experts and engineers.
In our investigation, we will determine:
- Was the bridge’s manufacturer negligent?
- Were the construction materials defective?
- Was bridge design flawed?
- Was the bridge not assembled correctly?
- Our attorneys feel that the liability is clear. However, a thorough investigation to determine which parties must be held responsible for the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge collapse tragedy.
Florida’s “Impact Rule“
Florida is one of a few states that continues to use the so-called “Impact Rule” in negligence cases. The “Impact Rule” requires some sort of physical injury or physical contact to occur before damages for emotional injury may be awarded to the plaintiff. The severity of the injury is not considered when applying Florida’s “Impact Rule.”
An example of Florida’s Impact Rule in practice:
- A pedestrian who is hit by an automobile and sustains a fractured hip may recover monies for emotional trauma related to the pedestrian accident.
- A person who witnesses a pedestrian being struck by an automobile is so emotionally shocked that he or she sustains cardiac arrest. He or she could also qualify for compensation for his or her emotional damage.
- A car accident witness sees an accident and is only emotionally traumatized cannot file a claim for a monetary recovery for his or her emotional injury.
- Contact Parker Waichman LLP for additional details about your legal rights and how Florida’s impact rule could apply to your claims.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP for Your Case?
Our law firm has received the following honors for our dedication to client service and delivering the case outcomes injured people need:
- 8 out of 10 peer review rating by AVVO.com.
- “AV Preeminent Lawyers” AV by Martindale-Hubbell®.
- Five out of “5 Dragons,” based on Lawdragon’s peer review.
- A “Best Lawyers” listing determined by extensive peer review.
When you or family member was injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact Parker Waichman LLP today for your free case consultation.
Free Case Review
Have you been injured, or did you lose a loved one due to the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity bridge collapse, contact our law firm today by using our Live Chat website feature or by calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free consultation.
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