Your rights in a building collapse: Compensation, liability, and more

If you were injured in a building collapse, you may have grounds for legal action, but do you know your full rights? If you have any questions about your case, from compensation questions to liability, get the help you need to protect your rights and recover from your suffering.

building collapse

Common causes of building collapse

When a building collapses, you may be shocked by the accident. Sometimes, a building may collapse because of unforeseen issues, such as earthquakes, that can damage the structure of a building.

Unfortunately, your building’s collapse may have been caused by the negligence of another party. Someone else may have been responsible for the accident, and holding them liable for your injuries is vital.

A few common reasons a building collapses include the following:

  • Construction work
  • Seismic activity
  • Fires and other structural damage
  • Termite damage 
  • Ignoring building weight limits

Notable building collapses in Chicago

Sadly, building collapses are not an uncommon phenomenon. Many people have been injured in these accidents, and they can leave a severe toll on those involved.


As recently as this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been investigating a building collapse in Bronzeville. After a house collapsed in this neighborhood, a construction worker was trapped in the rubble. He later died of his injuries after being transported to a medical center.


Multiple people were injured in an explosion and building collapse in the Austin neighborhood in 2022. Hundreds of emergency personnel responded to the scene, closing roads and evacuating many people from the area around the residential building.

Chicago Lawn

While the building was not occupied at the time, a building in the Chicago Lawn area of Chicago also collapsed. This collapse caused property damage and severe traffic delays as gas lines and other safety concerns were handled.

Parties who may be liable for a building collapse

Once you determine whether the Chicago building collapse was a natural accident or caused by a person’s negligence, you and your lawyer can discuss who is liable for your injuries. Your lawyer can help you determine who is responsible for the costs of your recovery.

The active construction company may sometimes be liable for the accident. While they cannot account for every accident, they are responsible for ensuring all workers follow safety regulations to protect those on the site and in the area. If they fail to do so, they may be held responsible for the accident.

In other cases, the damage may have been caused by the property owner’s negligence. For example, your landlord may have ignored signs of termite damage and failed to warn you, leading to the building collapse.

Unsure who is liable for the building collapse when you were injured? Reach out to a Chicago premises liability lawyer. Your attorney can guide you through the details of your claim, pinpoint the at-fault party, and help you get compensated for your injuries.

Compensation you may be entitled to

When you are injured in a building collapse, you may be entitled to compensation that covers the costs of your recovery, the emotional and mental toll of the accident, and its effect on your life. These are called economic and non-economic damages and can be difficult to calculate without a lawyer.

Economic damages cover any financial losses you may have suffered from the building collapse. Medical bills, property damage, lost wages, or a loss of earning capacity can all be included in your economic damages. These damages also include future damages.

Your non-economic damages may be more difficult to calculate. These include intangible damages, like pain and suffering or emotional trauma. Because these damages are intangible, you may need a lawyer’s help to calculate the costs based on the severity of your suffering and the impact those damages have had on your life. Talk to your lawyer for guidance through the necessary tools and resources.

Injured in a Chicago building collapse? Speak with a lawyer today.

After a building collapses due to structural failure, you may be seriously injured, struggling to recover, and suffering from your traumatic experience. This suffering can be challenging to recover from. Fortunately, you do not have to recover alone.

At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we are prepared to help our clients overcome injuries caused by a building collapse in Chicago. That aid starts with a free consultation, where we can discuss your options for compensation and how we can represent you. When you are ready to speak with a lawyer, reach out for help by calling (800) 985-1819 or by filling out the following online contact form.