New York City contains some of the world’s most famous and picturesque bridges. Every day thousands of people cross them on their way to home, work, and other destinations. Bridges are a vital transport link, but unfortunately, they also pose certain risks.

In 2014 the American Road and Transportation Builders Association published a report stating that nearly 63,000 bridges across the United States were determined to need major renovation work. 2,000 of them were located in New York City. Many of them are old but carry modern amounts of voluminous traffic that they were never designed to accommodate, which can result in collapses.

Bridge-related accidents can also be due to the following factors:

  • Architectural or engineering negligence
  • Bridge overload
  • Damaged links or chains
  • Collision with a boat
  • Faulty foundation
  • Hidden defects
  • Corrosion
  • Weather conditions such as flooding and ice build-up

According to the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968, the Secretary of Transportation must maintain national inspection standards for all highway bridges. Federal agencies must inspect bridges on all public roads under their jurisdictions and report their findings annually to the National Bridge Inventory at the Federal Highway Administration. According to the National Bridge Inspection Standards, states are required to carry out an inspection of all highway bridges, except those that are federally owned. In New York, these bridges must be inspected at least once every two years, or annually if they have been identified as deficient or can support limited load weights.

Whether they are due to age, instability, or floods, bridge collapses can result in catastrophic injuries such as:

  • Severe bruising and lacerations
  • Torn muscles
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s)
  • Death

If you or a loved one experience any of these injuries, then you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages and seek compensation for:

  • Medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium (if you lost a loved one)

Determining responsibility for bridge collapses

New York bridges are owned by several different authorities: the Department of Transportation, municipalities, and state or local authorities. If any of these agencies fail to properly maintain the bridges under their jurisdictions and you are injured . As a result, you can sue the responsible party once you determine which one had authority over maintenance of that particular bridge.

Bridge collapses are tragic accidents that have the ability to injure and even kill several people. Don’t let someone else’s negligence leave you in pain and serious financial difficulties. A New York personal injury attorney will help you identify the party or parties at fault, file a Notice of Claim against them, and get the financial award you are entitled to as compensation for your injuries. Jayson Lutzky is a lawyer with over 33 years of experience practicing in the Bronx, New York. He has helped obtain millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients over the years. Call 718-514-6619 to set up your free in-office consultation. Home and hospital visits are available in the event of a serious injury. Visit to learn more.