What is structural failure?

Structural failure refers to the process wherein a load-bearing component of a structure loses the capacity for which it was designed. Structural failure may apply to buildings, bridges, walkways, aircraft and other constructed objects. Structural failure is usually the result of degeneration in the materials used to create the structure, or excessive stress placed on the structure beyond the capacity for which it was designed. Cracks or fissures in the structure may indicate danger of complete failure and collapse. Mechanical failure also may present as buckling, corrosion, creep, fatigue, wear and yielding.

Structural failures fall under the area of law known as premises liability. Premises Liability is the responsibility a land or property owner has for accidents, injury or other incidents that occur on his real property. Real property may include buildings, machinery, wells, dams, pools, mines, canals, curbs and roads, among others.

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