The collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge in Washington state has created a renewed focus on bridge and truck safety. Residents in Fort Lauderdale – a city with many canals, waterways, and bridges – may be especially interested. The Interstate 5 bridge collapse occurred after a truck passed over the bridge. Some news reports suggested that the truck (which was carrying a large load) may have struck a girder just before the structure collapsed.
Are bridge collapses and truck accidents in Fort Lauderdale something that needs to be addressed?
According to the Federal Highway Administration, one-fourth of the bridges across the US are functionally obsolete or structurally deficient in some way. Some risky bridges are called “fracture critical” bridges because if one component is compromised in the structures the entire bridge can collapse. According to news reports, the Interstate 5 bridge was in this category. However, it was not considered structurally deficient, which means it was not eligible for repair funding from the government.
Fracture critical bridges are less expensive to build than bridges with redundancies that provide an extra layer of safety. For this reason, about 18,000 of these types of bridges were constructed between the 1950s and 1970s. The Interstate 5 bridge is considered obsolete but many bridges around the country are considered to be in even worse shape – and in some cases there are no immediate plans to fix these structures. Governments claim that there is not enough money available to fix all the bridges that have poor ratings.
In the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge, victims were fortunate in that no-one suffered life-threatening injuries. However, drivers who were on the bridge did suffer some injuries. In the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007, more than 100 people were injured and 13 were killed.
If you are involved in a traffic accident in Fort Lauderdale or any community due to a collapsed bridged, you may suffer soft tissue injuries, spinal injuries, head trauma, fractures, and other potentially life-threatening injuries. If you are involved in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale or any community due to a collapsing bridge, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney. In cases where states and municipalities, especially, know about the safety issues with bridges and fail to act on them, there may be multiple liable parties in these cases, which can increase the chances that you will be able to secure fair compensation that can help pay for property damages, lost wages, medical costs, and other high costs associated with this type of accident. If you have been injured due to a defect in a bridge, contact a personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale or your community to get immediate legal advice.
If you are looking for a personal injury attorney in Southern Florida, contact the Flaxman Law Group. The Flaxman Law Group has three conveniently located offices in Southern Florida as well as a track record of getting compensation on behalf of personal injury clients. Call today to arrange for your free consultation and case evaluation.