212-962-1020 Menu

Causes of Building Collapse in New York

  • Structural Deficiencies: Buildings may collapse due to poor construction practices or the use of substandard materials, compromising their integrity.
  • Age-Related Challenges: Older buildings may face issues over time, including wear and tear, corrosion, or decay, especially without proper maintenance.
  • Natural Disasters: Seismic activity, hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters can cause significant damage, making a building susceptible to collapse.
  • Construction Mishaps: Errors in calculations, poor execution during construction or renovation, and other mishaps can compromise a building's stabili
  • Explosions: Gas leaks leading to explosions pose a serious risk to a building's structure.
  • Foundation Issues: Subsidence, settling, or other foundation problems can jeopardize the structural integrity of a building.
  • Overloading: Adding excessive weight, such as additional floors or equipment beyond a building's capacity, can lead to collapse.
  • Code Violations: Failure to adhere to building codes and regulations can result in unsafe structures prone to collapse.
  • Unsafe Demolition Practices: Improper demolition procedures can cause unintended structural damage to neighboring buildings, increasing the risk of collapses.
collapsed house

Types of Injuries Occurring Due to Building Collapses in NYC

Building collapses in New York City can result in severe injuries for those involved. Common injuries include:

  • Traumatic Injuries: Victims may suffer from fractures, lacerations, and contusions caused by falling debris during a building collapse.
  • Crush Injuries: The weight of collapsed structures can lead to crush injuries, affecting various body parts and potentially causing damage to internal organs.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: Falling debris can impact the head, leading to concussions, traumatic brain injuries, or other head-related trauma.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Collapse-related accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, potentially causing paralysis or long-term mobility issues.
  • Respiratory Issues: Dust, smoke, and debris generated during a collapse can lead to respiratory problems, including inhalation of harmful substances.
  • Burn Injuries: Fires often accompany building collapses, causing burns that range from minor to severe depending on the intensity of the fire.
  • Amputations: Individuals may suffer traumatic amputations or severe injuries to limbs during a collapse.
  • Crushing of Soft Tissues: Soft tissues, such as muscles and skin, can be severely damaged or crushed during a building collapse.
  • Fatalities: In the most tragic cases, building collapses can result in loss of life.

Who Can be Held Liable in a Building Collapse Accident in New York City?

Determining liability in a building collapse in New York can be complex and depends on various factors. Potentially liable parties may include:

Property Owner

The owner of the building could be held liable if negligence, such as failure to maintain the structure, contributed to the collapse.

Contractors and Subcontractors

Those involved in construction, renovation, or maintenance may be liable if their work or materials played a role in the collapse.

Architects and Engineers

Professionals responsible for designing and ensuring the structural integrity of the building may be held accountable if their designs or oversight contributed to the collapse.

Government Entities

If the building is owned or maintained by a government entity, they may be held responsible if their negligence led to the collapse.


Inspectors responsible for ensuring building code compliance might be held responsible if they failed to identify and address issues that contributed to the collapse.


If faulty building materials or components contributed to the collapse, the manufacturers of those materials may be held liable.

Determining liability often requires a thorough investigation to uncover the root causes of the collapse. In some cases, multiple parties may share liability. Legal action can be pursued against those responsible for obtaining compensation for injuries, damages, and losses resulting from the building collapse.

collapsed building

Importance of Hiring an Experienced Building Collapse Injury Lawyer in New York 

Building collapse cases involve complex legal principles, statutes, and regulations in New York. Attorneys with experience in personal injury and construction site accident cases will possess the necessary legal knowledge to handle these challenges.

Building collapse accident claims require a comprehensive legal strategy that addresses both legal and technical aspects. Skilled lawyers can formulate strategies customized to the specific circumstances of each case, considering the various aspects of construction law and personal injury law in New York.

They act as advocates for victims, ensuring their rights are protected throughout the legal process. Your attorney can guide you through the various challenges of litigation, providing support and representation to help them obtain maximum compensation.

Resourceful law firms often collaborate with expert witnesses, such as structural engineers and construction professionals, to provide insights into the technical aspects of a building collapse. These experts strengthen the legal arguments and enhance the chances of a favorable outcome.

Workers’ Compensation in a Building Collapse Injury Case in New York

Workers' compensation ensures that individuals injured in a building collapse receive immediate medical attention. This includes coverage for emergency medical treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and rehabilitation. Here are some of the benefits covered by workers’ compensation in New York:

  • Lost Wages and Income Replacement: In the aftermath of a building collapse, workers may be unable to perform their regular job duties. Workers' compensation provides income replacement, covering a percentage of the wages lost during the recovery period.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits: If a worker sustains permanent injuries due to a building collapse, workers' compensation may provide permanent disability benefits. The severity and nature of the injuries determine the extent of these benefits.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: In cases where a worker can no longer perform their previous job due to building collapse injuries, workers' compensation may cover vocational rehabilitation. This includes training for a new occupation or assistance in finding alternative employment.
  • Death Benefits: In tragic cases where a worker loses their life in a building collapse, workers' compensation extends death benefits to the surviving dependents. This includes financial support to cover funeral expenses and ongoing support for the family.

New York Statute of Limitations in Building Collapse Claims

General Personal Injury

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in New York is generally three years from the date of the injury. This applies to injuries sustained in a building collapse.

Wrongful Death

In cases where a building collapse results in a fatality, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is typically two years from the date of death.

Workers' Compensation

Workers injured in a building collapse while on the job should file a workers' compensation claim promptly. The statute of limitations for workers' compensation claims in New York is two years from the date of the accident or from the date the employee knew or should have known that the injury was work-related.

Product Liability

If a defective product or equipment contributed to the building collapse, a product liability claim may be pursued. The statute of limitations for product liability claims in New York is generally three years from the date of injury.

Premises Liability

In cases where a property owner's negligence contributes to a building collapse, a premises liability claim may be applicable. The statute of limitations for premises liability claims in New York is generally three years from the date of the incident.

Property Damage

If a building collapse causes damage to property, the statute of limitations for filing a property damage claim is generally three years from the date of the incident.

Languages Spoken
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 212-962-1020.