Ceiling Collapse Lawyers in NYC
New York City is home to hundreds of old buildings with aging architecture. Some occupied apartment buildings date as far back as 1874. An old structure, however, does not give property owners permission to be lax with maintenance and repairs. Older buildings should be just as safe and secure as new constructions. Ceiling collapse is one of many possible risks linked to negligent property maintenance. Lack of repairs and poorly supported structures can lead to falling ceilings and catastrophic injuries. If this sounds like what recently happened to you, give our NYC firm a call.
What Could Cause a Ceiling to Collapse?
A strong, stable, and well-supported ceiling will not collapse. Collapses only occur when something has gone wrong with the ceiling or roofing system. In most cases, it is possible to detect problems and prevent foreseeable ceiling collapses. For example, cracks in the ceiling or falling tiles could point to a more serious issue. It is the landlord or property owner’s responsibility to keep up with ceiling maintenance and take action to prevent collapses. The most common reasons a ceiling might collapse are as follows:
- Lack of ceiling/roof maintenance
- Failure to repair leaks, cracks, and structure damage
- High winds, snowfall, or ice dams on the roof
- Gable end wall failure/attic pressurization
- Heavy items stored on drywall in the attic rather than ceiling joists
- Pipe leaks in the ceiling
- Improper ceiling support elements
- Construction in violation of building codes
- Damage of ceiling supports during installation
The issue of liability for a ceiling collapse comes down to why it occurred. If an act of God such as an earthquake brings a roof down, it may not be anyone’s legal responsibility to cover damages. If someone’s negligence, such as a building owner ignoring signs of ceiling failures, contributes to a collapse, the plaintiff’s options will differ.
How to Prove a Property Owner’s Negligence
A ceiling collapse can cause major injuries to the head, brain, neck, and spinal cord. Falling roofing materials and debris can crush building occupants. Getting struck by an object can lead to concussion and/or traumatic brain injury. These are serious injuries that deserve legal attention. Victims in ceiling collapse accidents in NYC should always consult with an attorney. An investigation of the event may well uncover issues such as property owner negligence, a history of subpar repairs, or similar incidents at other properties the individual owns.
Proving negligence, and receiving compensation for your damages, revolves around the question of the defendant’s duties of care. If the defendant failed to fulfill his or her duties of care according to the situation, he or she may be guilty of negligence. Landlords owe their tenants different duties compared to property owners and visitors. You must understand your relationship with the defendant to know your rights in a specific situation. Our NYC attorneys can help you with these questions and legal processes while you focus on healing from your injuries. We offer free consultations so you can learn more at no expense. Fill out our intake form to speak with a lawyer about your recent experience.