Tenants Can Suffer Serious or Deadly Injuries In Case Of Ceiling Collapses
Every year or two, headlines reveal the devastating and sometimes fatal injuries that New York City residents and others suffer due to roof and ceiling collapses. In many cases, local officials or landlords were aware of the impending dangers. When these events unfold, those harmed can usually bring a personal injury or premises liability lawsuit to recover money to compensate them for their injuries.
Our past ceiling or roof collapse clients have been forced to cope with concussions and other major head injuries, damage to their necks and backs, deep lacerations, and various types of bone fractures. While undergoing surgeries, treatments, and rehabilitation for their injuries, people often lose considerable job earnings.
Here is a closer look at common warning signs that an apartment ceiling is about to collapse and how residents should quickly inform their landlords about such problems. Additional material reviews what the evidence must prove so you can win your premises liability lawsuit.
Common and unusual clues that your apartment ceiling may soon collapse
- Watermarks and circles indicating dampness on the ceiling surface. Always provide your landlord with a written request to inspect and repair your apartment ceiling when you see signs like these. (You should keep a copy of the request and get it dated and signed, if possible. Keep this type of paperwork carefully hidden in your apartment).
- A sagging ceiling or the dropping down of plasterboard sheeting. Other troubling signs in an apartment ceiling may look like small blisters or circles (about the size of shirt buttons) that appear along a straight line – often early signs that the plasterboard sheeting is pulling away from the joints in the ceiling.
- Clear signs that termites are eating parts of the building’s wooden floors, ceiling, or support beams. Unfortunately, once these types of insects infest your building, proper structural repairs must be made immediately (and the termites exterminated). Some people refer to termites as “white ants” even though they are not closely related to any type of ants.
- Loud cracking noises clearly coming from the direction of the ceiling or supporting walls or beams. While nearby construction and drilling can contribute to such noises, there is a good chance your ceiling (or roof) may collapse soon when you hear such sounds. If you live on the top floor of an apartment complex, you should not only voice your concerns about a possible ceiling collapse – you should also ask your landlord to have someone go up and check the roof area to see if a tree branch or other large object has fallen there.
Never personally try to climb up on a ladder or go up into your attic to inspect these types of problems. When you take such measures, your landlord or property management team may try to blame you for some of the required repair work. And be sure to clearly voice your concerns that the ceiling might fall and injure you and others, especially while sleeping. Too many tenants are seriously hurt when a ceiling collapses suddenly without prior warning.
What key facts must my New York city ceiling collapse attorney prove to win my case?
Your Frekhtman & Associates lawyer will begin by trying to settle your case with the insurance company representing your landlord or apartment building. While these efforts continue, our investigators will carefully gather and review all the evidence that supports your ceiling collapse case.
Basically, there are four key facts that must be proved on your behalf so that you can win the maximum compensation available to you under New York premises liability law.
What did your landlord know and when was this information discovered?
It is important for us to prove that your landlord either knew of the dangerous condition of your ceiling or failed to act in a timely manner. This can sometimes be demonstrated by recent attempts to repair your ceiling or that belonging to others living in the same building.
Our investigators will also try to learn if recent attic or roof repairs were made or left incomplete. However, even if we cannot prove that your landlord knew about the threat of a ceiling collapse, we can often convince a judge or jury that the condition should have been fully known had the landlord been regularly conducting building inspections.
Your ceiling’s condition posed an unreasonable risk of harm.
However, we must be careful how we prove this since some courts might hold that if your ceiling damage was obvious, you had a duty to make a timely request for repairs.
Your landlord had a duty to provide you with a safe place to live and failed to act in a reasonable manner regarding all necessary repairs.
We will carefully examine all repairs made to your apartment and others, checking to see if ceiling and plumbing leaks were regularly handled in a responsible manner. It is usually enough for our firm to prove that even if some related repair work was done, it was clearly inadequate based on what finally occurred.
The landlord’s failure to act in a timely and reasonable manner directly led to all your serious ceiling collapse injuries.
Our law firm will carefully examine all your earlier and recent medical records so we will be prepared for any insurance company attempts to claim that you already suffered from certain medical conditions. Even if you did have some pre-existing medical ailments, you still have the right to recover from any new physical harm that clearly further damaged your health due to the ceiling collapse.
We have gained considerable experience in helping our past New York City ceiling collapse clients and are prepared to work hard to keep you fully informed as your case moves forward.
If you have suffered a serious injury after a ceiling collapse accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our New York City ceiling collapse injury law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.