When a building collapses, there are usually a number of reasons that led to structural failures. This is a vast range starting from an unintentional fire to an error in construction or engineering. Whatever the reasons, there is a chance that people are injured in the fallout. If you, or someone you know, has suffered an injury as a result of a building collapse, this guide has six steps to take for the best possible outcome.
Get Medical Attention
Before you do anything else, you must get medical attention for any injuries that you sustain during the incident. There will of course be first responders at the scene, but it is your first mission to follow up on any checks at an appropriate venue whether that is the Emergency Room or with your regular practitioner. Finding future peace will depend on engaging with doctors and keeping track of your injuries, so make sure you engage with this stage.
Maintain Thorough Medical Records
For anyone taking legal action against a company or building owner. There will have to be evidence of injuries and consequences. Aside from your established medical records. You should have independent catalogs of photographic documents and a written log of the timeline. The after effects are extremely important to write down. Your injuries, and the extent to which you’ve been affected by the building collapse, may interfere with your capacity to work your regular job. They might impede your mobility and access. They will likely mean expensive medical bills and all of this will fall to you to sort out and manage. Thorough medical journals will help you at the evidence stage of finding compensation and positive resolution.
Gather Witnesses (Building Collapse)
Witnesses will be a key part of this as well. How many witnesses you gather will depend on when the incident happened and who was there at the time. When something like a building collapses, there tends to be a solid number of witnesses to the event. However, in rural locations, for instance, this is not always the case. Where there are eyewitnesses to be found, make sure you make contact and stay in touch with each and every one. Ask them for a written statement of support, and see if you can all work together collaboratively to find the best way forward. If there were other people that were injured alongside you, for example, this would be a good place to start.
Seek Legal Representation
Legal representation is the clear answer in this circumstance. There is very little chance that the building collapse is your fault. Therefore there has to be a reason why you were injured and that reason leads to an organization or individual being culpable for the damages. The repercussions of something so serious, after all, can be fairly drastic. Seeking legal representation means you get an expert voice on your side to mitigate the situation on your behalf, so read this for some more key information in this area.
Communicate with the Police About the Building Collapse
Alongside your lawyer, there will be police involvement. For anything on the scale of a building collapse, law enforcement and other first responders will always be a part of the aftermath. They are likely to be present soon after the collapse and will stick by you throughout the days to come. They will need a report and statement and are your point of reference for the investigation. It will be the law enforcement department that will inform you of the findings of their case file, for instance. Why did the building collapse and who should be found liable? If you have no contact within the department, make sure that you change this as this will not only be extremely handy moving forward. But it is an invaluable tool generally after something as traumatic as this.
Be Honest and Cooperative
The most you can do is to always be honest about what you perceive happened, and try to cooperate too. If you put up barriers and act defensive. You are far less likely to be taken seriously or to garner compensation down the road. When talking to anyone professionally or officially linked to the situation. While emotion may play a part, there is a point to be sustained about remaining calm and collected. Lean on the people you are closest to for that emotional repair and stick to the facts while steering clear of aggressive tactics.
When a building collapses it is often a major shock to those inside. If you find yourself injured, or someone you love is a victim. It is vital you take steps to find a positive path for the future.