Retaining Wall Collapses

Retaining walls have very useful purposes on the jobsite and in residential, commercial and industrial areas. They hold earth and soil in place, so that projects, homes, buildings and other structures can be built and safely stored. While at first glance, a retaining wall doesn’t seem that complicated, if not properly designed and built, they can lack the structural integrity needed to stay safely in place. Larger retaining walls at construction sites can be particularly dangerous, and even deadly, if they’re not designed or executed properly. If you or somebody you love has been injured in a retaining wall collapse, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney who has construction site case experience as soon as possible.

The Purpose of a Retaining Wall

Retaining walls hold earth and soil back. They’re commonly seen at job sites and even in residential areas. If you live in an area with hills, you likely see retaining walls. They’re a good way to divide and grade different pieces of property. In sloped neighborhoods, they can be seen in many yards. When these walls are designed, engineered and built properly, they can last for many years or as long as the job requires. Some retaining walls are only 18 inches or a few feet tall. It might not seem like a big deal if a wall that size collapses, but think about large retaining walls that are used on construction sites. When a retaining wall like that fails, people can get hurt or killed.

Improper Design, Engineering and Execution

It’s just a wall, right? Wrong, it’s more than just a wall. It’s holding back thousands of pounds of earth from crashing down on the workers and people below it. Getting the retaining wall right is the first and arguably most important part of any project. This means that design, engineering and execution have to be absolutely flawless. Everything has to be built to code, and project managers and workers need to have clear and open communication with everybody on the jobsite. Listed below are a few different reasons why a retaining wall might collapse.

Reasons Why a Retaining Wall Might Collapse
  • Improper soil classification
  • Inadequate shoring components
  • Lack of communication with project teams
  • Unplanned for weather or water issues
  • Violation of OSHA safety regulations on the jobsite
  • Improper engineering or architecture
  • Improper materials
Safety on The Jobsite

Safety on the jobsite has to be a top priority for everybody involved with a construction job. Safety starts at the very beginning of a job. In the planning stages, engineering and design should be taken deathly serious. Especially where large construction retaining walls are concerned, the execution of the build has to be flawless. This means weather, soil, design, materials and a host of other issues associated with what would appear to be a simple wall need to be meticulously gone over and gone over again. Construction workers, laborers, workers, employees and other professionals aren’t safe at a jobsite where a retaining wall was negligently constructed.

Injuries After a Retaining Wall Collapses

Depending upon the size of the retaining wall, you could be looking at injuries ranging from minor cuts, bruises and abrasions to severe, catastrophic and fatal injuries to the spinal cord, limbs and internal organs. If you were injured by a collapsed retaining wall, you could be spending a significant amount of time in the hospital. During this time, you’re not going to have a paycheck, and the medical bills will be piling up. As if recovering from an injury wasn’t hard enough, you’re also trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Depending the severity of your injury, you might be out of work for an extended period of time. Some people might not ever be able to go back to the work they once did. Talk to your lawyer about your options as soon as possible.

When Should I Contact a Lawyer?

If you have been injured by a collapsed retaining wall, you need to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible about your case. When retaining walls collapse, they can seriously injure and even kill people, so it’s critical to have an experienced attorney on your side after this type of accident. If you have lost a loved one due to a collapse retaining wall, it might also be necessary to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact the experienced and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 today for an immediate case consultation.

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