What Are Your Legal Rights After a Ceiling Collapse in the Bronx
There are few tenant events more shocking than a sudden Bronx ceiling collapse. While some may see or hear early signs of trouble, few people expect such a terrible crisis to unfold. Far too often, careless landlords negligently fail to make timely repairs. They may also hire poorly trained maintenance workers to fix the problems — and allow them to use substandard building materials while handling their repair tasks; if someone is sleeping or otherwise present beneath a roof when it crashes down, severe or catastrophic physical injuries can occur. Property damage losses can also be extensive, and some possessions may be destroyed.
What follows is a look at the types of legal rights our Bronx ceiling accident attorneys fight hard to protect on your behalf. There’s also a brief review of recent Bronx ceiling collapse accidents, who can be sued in these types of cases, and injuries commonly suffered.
We have successfully handled these and other types of premises liability cases in the past and remain fully prepared to seek the maximum compensation available to cover all your losses.
- 1. Bronx ceiling collapses often cause significant harm to tenantsÂ
- 2. Where can New York City tenants report serious maintenance requests?
- 3. Our defense often begins by proving your landlordâs negligent handling of repairs.
- 4. Â Types of physical harm often suffered due to a Bronx ceiling collapse
- 5. Visual signs or indicators that your apartment ceiling may be about to collapse
- 6. Who can you sue in the event of a ceiling collapse in the Bronx?
Bronx ceiling collapses often cause significant harm to tenants
Many tenants, including a young child, have suffered severe harm when Bronx ceiling collapses have occurred in recent years.
- December 2022. On Christmas Day, a woman in her late seventies in the Soundview part of the Bronx was hurt when her ceiling caved in on top of her. She was forced to dig her way out from underneath the heavy ceiling materials. The woman and her daughter told reporters they had filed about ten requests for help with NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority, long before this incident occurred.
- May 2022. A trip to a local hospital was necessary after a young child in the Bronx was poorly hurt during a morning ceiling collapse. NYC’s PIX 11 television station posted an online story about this accident.
- August 2021. A Bronx tenant stated that she had to endure two ceiling collapse Before those events, she said she had been forced to cope with repeated ceiling leaks for many years.
All tenants seriously harmed during ceiling collapses should speak with a Bronx ceiling collapse law firm regarding their legal rights. Depending on the documented facts in your case, we should be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent landlord and other responsible parties.
Where can New York City tenants report serious maintenance requests?
You can find helpful information about submitting repair complaints online. NYCHA tenants can also report emergency repair needs by calling (718) 707- 7771. This number for the NYCHA Customer Contact Center can be dialed seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Be sure to keep this information posted in your kitchen or another convenient place.
New Yorkers living in private or non-public housing also have the right to contact their landlords for help. They can also call 311, making sure to ask for the “Tenant Hotline.”
Our defense often begins by proving your landlord’s negligent handling of repairs.
Although unusually harsh high winds and storms can cause some residential and commercial ceiling collapses, most are the result of poorly managed plumbing and other repair requests. Be sure to keep clear records documenting the complaints you have filed with your landlord, NYCHA, and other parties before any major damaging event.
Immediately after your ceiling collapse, unless you had to be rushed to the hospital, be sure to take multiple photos of the physical harm you and others have sustained and document the harm to your furniture and other property. You should then go straight to the hospital ER so a doctor can fully evaluate you. Without X-rays and basic tests, some internal injuries may not become fully apparent for many weeks or months.
For example, you may have inhaled asbestos, mold, or other toxic substances before or during the ceiling collapse and require immediate treatment. Furthermore, if any falling debris hit your head or other parts of your body, MRIs, and other sophisticated tests may also prove critical.
Besides having a legal obligation to promptly handle all requested repairs, your landlord also has a duty to periodically inspect the property to discover dangerous conditions and make repairs as needed. Landlords or property managers also have a duty to provide adequate warnings to tenants about any discovered safety threats. They should also provide tenants with dates as to when the necessary repairs will be made. Most ceiling collapse accidents are fully preventable.
Types of physical harm often suffered due to a Bronx ceiling collapse
Here’s a list of the types of serious injuries our clients often report.
- Traumatic brain injuries. These often occur after large pieces of plaster and other roofing materials fall from the ceiling.
- Broken or fractured bones. Heavy wooden planks, ceiling joints, and other materials can easily break or crush a bone.
- Loss of limbs. Although this does not occur in most cases, a ceiling collapse survivor may sometimes have to undergo one or more limb amputations.
- Serious cuts and bruises. After suffering the initial fall of ceiling materials, tenants must be very careful when trying to dig their way out of any fallen debris. The same holds true while searching for other family members or possessions.
- Spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, and paralysis. Regardless of whether you are in bed or moving about in the apartment when the ceiling falls, the weight of the debris can cause these types of serious or even permanent harm. It’s not uncommon for some clients to require surgery for herniated discs that have been greatly worsened.
- Psychological trauma or distress. When these events prove deeply upsetting, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) may eventually be diagnosed. Psychotherapy can prove critical to full recovery.
- Chronic neck and back pain. Loss of previous, higher level of mobility.
- Noticeable worsening of previous breathing or lung conditions. If you are already suffering from asthma, COPD, or other lung issues, those conditions can be greatly worsened by a ceiling collapse. You must seek out immediate ER attention.
All injured tenants have the legal right to be fully compensated for all their medical recovery expenses. Depending on the extent and permanency of your physical harm, you may also be entitled to receive enough money to cover all future treatments and rehabilitation services.
Visual signs or indicators that your apartment ceiling may be about to collapse
- Discolored watermarks or circles in the ceiling. While small, discolored images may not mean a ceiling collapse is immediately about to happen, they should still be reported to your landlord. These can grow rather suddenly, especially if a new storm damages the roof above your unit – or nearby plumbing problems worsen.
- The ceiling’s plasterboard sheeting is starting to droop or sag. You may see little circles much more minor than dimes — sometimes called “blisters” — forming in a row in the ceiling. This usually means the plasterboard sheeting is separating from the ceiling joints.
- Visual signs that termites are eating part of the wooden support beams, ceiling areas, and floors. These insects must be exterminated right away. A qualified carpenter should make all the repairs.
- Unexplainable “cracking” noises coming from the ceiling area – or the nearby supporting beams and walls. Always report these immediately — and politely demand a same-day inspection and repairs. Everything that supports your ceiling may be about to give way at any time.
Although it may be tempting to do so, avoid the fall risks tied to grabbing a ladder and “testing” the damp or sagging ceiling areas on your own. Your landlord will usually only believe that serious repairs are needed by personally viewing the problem areas.
Who can you sue in the event of a ceiling collapse in the Bronx?
Depending on all the relevant facts of your case, we will usually name the following parties when we file a lawsuit on your behalf.
- The building or property owner
- The landlord or property manager. As your Bronx ceiling collapse attorneys, we’ll make sure that your landlord is regularly keeping a list of all requested repairs and responding to each of them in a timely manner.
- Any repair person or independent contractor who failed to make timely or proper repairs. Post-accident inspections frequently reveal inadequate duct and plumbing work.
- Your building’s original construction company. This party is usually only sued when our research indicates that your building was not erected in full compliance with all applicable New York state regulations and standards. Shortcuts are often taken during building construction and the use of substandard building materials causes ceiling collapses and many other types of dangerous accidents.
If you have suffered serious injuries after a ceiling collapse accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our Bronx ceiling collapse accident 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.