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Catastrophic bridge accident causes physical and emotional trauma

In March, a well-publicized tragedy occurred when a pedestrian bridge under construction in Miami, Florida, collapsed over a busy roadway. You and other Illinois residents may be interested in learning how construction accidents can affect non-workers in the wrong place at the wrong time, as well as the potential for long-term physical and emotional damage.

You may be familiar with this story, in which six people were killed – one was a construction worker, and the other five were people stopped in their vehicles at a red light beneath the bridge. Investigators are still unsure of what exactly caused the collapse of nearly 960 tons of concrete and metal onto the roadway, which flattened the cars underneath.

Physical aftermath

A 19-year-old student of the university near where the bridge was being built survived the accident but sustained injuries to his knee, neck and back, including a back fracture. His family is one of several that have filed lawsuits against the companies that were involved in the bridge project.

Emotional trauma

In addition to his physical injuries, the student is dealing with serious emotional trauma. The man had been a passenger in the vehicle and witnessed his friend’s death. He explains that he suffers from flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety attacks and has had to drop out of several classes.

You may suspect that survivors of an accident of this magnitude would suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and other emotional conditions related to the event. In many cases, this is exactly what happens. Survivors of catastrophic accidents can be left with mental and physical injuries that last for months or years, or they may be permanently disabling.

When a person or company is found negligent for the injuries or death of another, they may be held liable for emotional as well as physical compensation. If you have wrongfully lost a loved one, knowing that someone was held responsible may help give you a sense of closure.

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