Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse Lawyer

Were you or a loved one injured in the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, MD? You could be entitled to substantial compensation from the parties responsible for the event. Our Baltimore Key bridge collapse lawyers at WGK Personal Injury Lawyers can help you understand your rights and legal options. 

Our legal team has been serving Baltimore for three generations. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for injured clients. We have the skills, experience, and winning track record you want on your side as you go up against the corporations and government agencies responsible for the bridge collapse.

Contact us today by calling (410) 837-2144 to schedule a free consultation with a Baltimore Key Bridge collapse attorney. We’re standing by to fight for you. 

How Our Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse Lawyers Can Help

How Our Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse Lawyers Can Help

You deserve top-rated legal services if you’ve been injured in the Baltimore, MD bridge collapse. Government agencies, bridge construction/maintenance companies, and insurance companies may be involved in your claim (to name a few). And they will all try to point blame at each other. 

You need a high-caliber Baltimore personal injury lawyer who can hold every party that contributed to the bridge collapse fully accountable for your damages. Our highly-regarded legal team has over eight decades of combined experience in personal injury law. There’s no case too complex and no defendant too large for us. We have recovered millions of dollars for injured clients just like you.

When you hire us to handle your Key bridge collapse case, we will:

  • Explain your rights and legal options
  • Investigate the accident to gather evidence
  • Communicate with government agencies investigating the incident 
  • Work with leading experts in engineering, construction, and medicine to prove your case
  • Identify and calculate all your damages related to the incident
  • Handle all communications and negotiations with the other side
  • Take your case to court to get justice and fair financial compensation

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to speak to a Baltimore personal injury attorney. 

Overview of the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on Tuesday morning, March 26, 2024, after a container ship struck the bridge. The ship, A 980+ ft Singaporean vessel named the DALI, called in a mayday before the collision, leaving enough time for law enforcement to block traffic entering the bridge. 

Tragically, eight maintenance workers were on the bridge when it collapsed. Two workers survived, and two were found and pronounced dead. The four remaining workers are presumed dead. Several vehicles are believed to be in the river.

A dark plume of smoke arose from the ship before it veered toward the bridge. It also lost power right before the incident. They have yet to determine a cause for the collision. Authorities are still investigating the collapse. The Baltimore Police Commissioner has reported that it was not “intentional.” 

Why You Need a Lawyer for A Bridge Collapse Case

Bridge collapse cases are extremely complex. There may be multiple parties involved in investigating the collapse. Additionally, multiple parties may be found responsible for the event. In bridge collapse cases, you may have to deal with government agencies, bridge design companies, construction/maintenance companies, the owner of the container vessel that struck the bridge, and insurance companies. 

Each party will likely deflect liability, understanding that millions of dollars are on the line. An experienced bridge collapse attorney can protect your right to compensation and help you navigate all aspects of such a highly complicated personal injury claim. 

Your lawyer will investigate the accident to uncover the cause of the collapse and identify the parties responsible for your injuries and losses. They can consult experts in many fields to help value your damages and prove your case.

Your lawyer will leverage their expertise to get you the money you deserve — and not let your right to compensation get lost in a complex web of investigations and blame-shifting by other parties.

What Causes Bridges to Collapse?

Bridge collapses have many different causes. Typically, a bridge collapse can be traced to multiple factors — rather than just one cause. However, nearly all such collapses are the result of human error, at least in part.

Bridges can collapse due to the following causes:

  • Design flaws. Flaws and miscalculations in the bridge’s design can make it vulnerable to stress from motor vehicles, environmental conditions, and other stressors. 
  • Structural issues and foundation failures. Bridges that are constructed with weak materials or improper components are more susceptible to collapse. This is also true of bridges with unstable foundations.
  • Inadequate maintenance. Bridges must be inspected and maintained regularly to ensure they are in safe condition. 
  • Environmental events. Natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and other extreme conditions can damage bridge structures and lead to a collapse. 
  • Collisions. Impacts from motor vehicles or ships, boats, or water vessels can damage the structures supporting the bridge and cause a collapse.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 75% of bridges in the U.S. are considered “structurally deficient” and in “poor condition.” The ASCE estimates that nearly 231,000 of the nation’s bridges need repair and preservation work.

What Money Can I Receive After the Key Bridge Collapse Accident in Baltimore?

If you were injured in a bridge collapse in Maryland, you could be entitled to multiple forms of compensation under state law.  

Economic damages will cover your financial losses related to the accident, including: 

Any direct cost you incurred due to the bridge collapse may be recoverable as an economic loss. 

Non-economic damages compensate for your personal, non-financial losses. Unlike economic losses, these damages do not have an inherent value. Examples of non-economic losses include:

Your personal injury lawyer’s goal will be to recover money for every loss you sustained after the accident. They will help you calculate the value of your damages and work to maximize the value of your claim — so you can be made whole.

Are You Eligible for a Lawsuit if Your Loved One Died in the Bridge Collapse?

Bridge collapses frequently result in catastrophic injuries and death. If you lost a loved one in the Key Bridge collapse, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages related to your family member’s death. 

Only certain parties are entitled to file such a lawsuit under Maryland law, specifically:

  • A spouse
  • Parents
  • Children

The types of damages these parties can recover extend beyond typical economic and non-economic damages. For example, you may be entitled to money for:

  • Lost financial support, income, and benefits related to your loss
  • Funeral and burial expenses of your loved one
  • Medical expenses incurred before your loved one’s death
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of society, companionship, and protection from your loved one
  • Loss of marital care or parental care

A wrongful death lawsuit offers surviving family members a chance to seek justice and financial security after their loss. An experienced lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death case.

Survival Actions

If the wrongful death victim does not have a spouse, child, or parent to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit, their estate (i.e., the personal representative acting on behalf of the estate) can file a survival action. Survival actions compensate the estate for the victim’s losses between their injury and death, including but not limited to medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. The damages are paid to the decedent’s estate and then distributed according to their Will or intestate laws. 

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Bridge Collapse?

If you were injured in the Key Bridge collapse, you should take certain steps. These actions can help you protect your health and your injury claim.

At a minimum, you should: 

  • Seek medical attention. You should seek immediate medical care after being involved in a bridge collapse — even if you think you are uninjured. You may have under-the-skin injuries that have yet to manifest symptoms. Obtaining prompt medical treatment ensures that you receive care for all your visible and hidden injuries. It will also protect you from claims that you failed to mitigate your damages.
  • Follow instructions of rescue personnel. Look out for personnel on the scene, such as the Baltimore Fire Department, Baltimore police department, EMS, and/or the U.S. Coast Guard. They can provide or coordinate the assistance you need. Law enforcement may also be able to record your account of the collapse, providing you with evidence for your personal injury claim. 
  • Seek legal advice. Once you’ve received medical treatment, you should seek legal advice from an experienced injury attorney. You may have a right to compensation under one or more state or federal laws. Additionally, multiple at-fault parties might owe you money for your injuries.

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the aftermath of a bridge collapse. Call us now to get the help you need.

Proving the Elements of a Bridge Collapse Claim in Baltimore

Most bridge collapse cases are based on negligence. Negligence requires proof of four basic elements. 

  • Duty. You will have to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care to avoid harming you. Duties of care come from the law and/or a relationship between the parties. For example, government agencies have a duty to maintain bridges in good repair. Cargo ship companies have a duty to operate their ships in a safe manner. 
  • Breach. You have to show that the party breached their duty of care to you. You will attempt to show that the defendant acted unreasonably in the lead-up to the incident.
  • Causation. You must prove that the defendant’s breach caused your injuries. 
  • Damages. You must show that you suffered damages as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence. 

You must prove each of these elements to win your Key Bridge collapse case. Your injury attorney will investigate the incident to gather evidence of the defendant’s negligence and work to satisfy each element of your claim.

Who Is Responsible For the Key Bridge Collapse?

Multiple parties could be liable for the Key Bridge collapse. Investigations into the incident are still pending. 

However, preliminary reports suggest the cargo ship owner and/or pilot may be (at least partially) responsible for the collapse. The ship was inspected over two dozen times since 2015. Previous inspections discovered multiple deficiencies in the ship, including structural damage. If the ship owner failed to maintain the ship, it could be liable for negligence. Likewise, if the pilot or other ship crew members caused the collapse due to recklessness, inadequate training, or unlawful conduct, the ship owner may also be liable for the destruction of the bridge.

There could be other parties that share blame for the incident, including:

  • Inspectors in charge of maintenance and safety checks
  • Designer(s) in charge of the bridge’s design concept
  • Engineers that perform calculations related to the design and maintenance of the bridge
  • Contractors who constructed and/or currently maintain the bridge
  • Government agencies responsible for the bridge

It’s likely that multiple parties will share fault for the collapse. It’s important to identify each party who contributed to the incident so you can recover full compensation for your injuries. 

Is There a Time Limit to File a Key Bridge Collapse Lawsuit?

You’ll need to act quickly if you intend to seek legal action after the Key Bridge collapse. Maryland has a strict three-year statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases. The clock typically starts ticking on the date of your accident. There are exceptions to this general deadline that could shorten (or extend) your time to file a lawsuit. 

If you miss the deadline, you will be barred from recovering compensation. That is why it is essential for you to get in touch with an experienced bridge collapse lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you understand and comply with the timelines in your case. Contact WGK Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation to get started.

Contact Our Baltimore Bridge Collapse Lawyers Today To Schedule a Free Consultation

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers is ready to put the full weight of our experience and resources behind your bridge collapse case. We’re ready to get you justice – like we’ve done for hundreds of clients and families just like yours. 

Contact us today or fill out an online contact form to schedule your free consultation with our Baltimore bridge collapse attorneys. We’re here to help maximize the value of your claim and work to make you whole after your accident.