Ceiling Collapse Injuries in NYC Apartment Buildings
Approximately 70% of residential buildings in New York were built prior to 1940, which means many homes are in need of constant repairs, and could potentially be unsafe for residents. If you rent a home or apartment, the landlord or building manager is responsible to ensure a safe environment for you and your family, no matter the age of the building. The risks of structural failure increase the older a building becomes.
Ceiling collapses are dangerous and even life-threatening. If a ceiling collapses, it could cause you serious harm. Plaster, wall board, wood and debris can cause significant injuries, perhaps even life threatening. Medical bills can pile up, you may have to stop working until fully recovered.
In the event of a ceiling collapse, who should be held responsible for your injuries? How do you get compensated for:
- Medical bills
- Time lost from work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Who is Liable for Injuries From a Ceiling Collapse in New York?
The building owner and perhaps the building manager should be held accountable and made to pay compensation. Ceiling collapses in New York fall under premises liability personal injury lawsuits, and there will be several elements of proof required in order to build a strong case, such as:
The building owner or manager had a duty of care to the tenant.
- The duty of care was breached.
- The breach of care was a substantial factor in causing the injury.
- In the state of New York, a building owner has a duty to maintain the structural integrity of a building for all those who live in or visit the building.
Breach of Duty
A breach of the duty of care happens when the responsible party is aware of a potentially dangerous condition and failed to make repairs. A dangerous condition might be a leak in the ceiling. A water leak could be a sign of broken water pipes or a leak in the roof, both of which could cause structural damage to the ceiling, walls and other parts of the building structure that over time will weaken, and become a potential hazard for its occupants.
If you notice leaks, mold or water stains on the ceiling, document it immediately and bring it to the attention of the building owner and managing agent. Use your phone to take pictures and send those over as well. You need to make sure that the building owner receives this message. Telling a building super is a good start, but no guarantee that the responsible parties will be notified.
Evidence for Your Personal Injury
If you, a family member or visitor to your home is injured from a ceiling collapse, document and photograph the condition immediately before the ceiling is repaired. It’s also a good idea to have an independent building inspector or engineer formally document their opinion of why the ceiling failed.
In the event the building owners claim that the water leak was caused by the improper or careless use of water, toilet, sinks and or baths by tenants above your apartment, have a chat with your neighbors to see if this was the case.
You will also need to describe in detail how you were injured. Where you were, the date and time, what happened, and the injuries you received. Medical records will likely be needed to support full compensation.
Retain an Experienced New York Premises Liability Lawyer
The aggressive and experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, P.C. is very familiar with the laws surrounding premises liability cases, and will fight to get you or your loved ones the compensation that you deserve.
Call our office if a ceiling has collapsed in your New York apartment to schedule a free no obligation consultation.