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First Lawsuit Filed After Tragic Bridge Collapse at FIU


Six people died, and others were injured, when a pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University on March 15. One of the survivors recently filed the first civil lawsuit related to the incident, alleging negligence by the companies that oversaw the bridge’s design and construction.

What Happened?

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the bridge collapsed while workers were adjusting the tension on two tensioning rods. But officials are still investigating what actually caused the collapse.

One man  was “seriously injured” while riding his bike under the pedestrian bridge. A car swerved into him as the giant concrete structure crashed down, flinging the man into the air and catching him underneath part of the bridge. He was hospitalized for his injuries and is now suing for $15,000 in damages, alleging that those responsible for designing, constructing and overseeing the bridge “undertook and allowed inherently dangerous construction activities to proceed without necessary safety precautions.”

Specifically, the man claims that the companies knew there were cracks under the bridge and that traffic should not have been allowed under the bridge while stress tests were being performed.

Personal Injury Lawsuits: Timing, Burden of Proof, and Damages

Injured persons only have a limited amount of time in which to file a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations (deadline) for filing a claim in Florida is four years. Failure to file within this timeframe means you are barred from pursuing legal compensation. And the earlier you file the better. Prompt filing makes it less likely that crucial evidence will be lost or that witness memories will fade.

To win your case you must prove the following:

  • The defendant had a duty not to injure you,
  • The defendant breached that duty,
  • The defendant’s actions or inaction actually caused your injuries, and
  • Your injuries resulted in damages.

If possible, take pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident. Write down what happened and get contact information from witnesses. But also be sure to seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

You may be entitled to both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are fairly straightforward. They are intended to compensate you for what you lost monetarily: medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to quantify. For example, you may seek damages for anxiety, depression and emotional stress, and loss of consortium if your injury restricts your ability to interact with family members.

An experienced attorney can examine the facts of your claim and help determine what damages you should seek.

Contact Us Today

Contact a Tampa personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you are injured or a loved one is killed because of a structural design or construction flaw. We will help recover the compensation that you deserve, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Miami, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.




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