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Charleston Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Premises Liability / Injured in a South Carolina Building Collapse After a Tornado: Can I Sue?

Injured in a South Carolina Building Collapse After a Tornado: Can I Sue?


In January of 2024, a viral clip of a collapsing South Carolina building surfaced on the internet. The building toppled to the ground after being struck by a powerful tornado – leaving bricks and debris completely scattered across the road. No injuries were reported in this incident, although the footage clearly demonstrates just how powerful tornadoes can be in South Carolina. Property owners are expected to construct and maintain their buildings in a way that stands up to extreme weather. If you have been injured by a building collapse in a South Carolina tornado, you might be wondering whether or not you can sue.

Proving Negligence After a Building Collapse

 If you wish to sue for injuries sustained in a South Carolina building collapse, your main goal should be to establish negligence. In other words, you need to show that someone else directly caused your injuries due to some kind of misconduct. In the context of a building collapse, your lawsuit would take the form of a “premise liability lawsuit.”

Various types of behavior may make a property owner negligent in this situation. Perhaps the most obvious example of negligence is a building code violation. For example, the structure of the building may have been in a total state of disrepair. The very foundation of the building may not have been sturdy enough. The property owner may have failed to replace shoddy materials that could not possibly stand up to a slight wind – let alone a tornado.

Tornadoes are capable of wind speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour. Property owners and contractors should therefore only build structures that can withstand these forces without collapsing. If they fail to do this, they could be held liable for any injuries.

 “Acts of God” and Personal Injury Cases 

An “Act of God” represents a common defense in personal injury cases. Essentially, this defense strategy revolves around the argument that the accident could not have possibly been prevented. Acts of God may specifically refer to serious, unexpected weather – and perhaps the most obvious example is a lightning strike. A property owner cannot possibly be expected to prepare for certain extreme weather events.

However, this defense may not be effective if a tornado causes a building to completely collapse. It is a well-known fact that South Carolina sees a serious number of tornadoes each year. Property owners should be aware of this fact, and therefore it is difficult to argue that tornadoes are unpredictable acts of God.

 Find a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer in South Carolina 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Charleston premises liability attorney, look no further than Mickelsen Dalton, LLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous injured plaintiffs pursue compensation – including those who have suffered injuries in building collapses. If a structure collapsed after being struck by a tornado, you may have the right to sue for damages. Book a consultation today to discuss this subject further.




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