When a ceiling or a roof collapses, it can go in big pieces or even all at once! This can cause significant damages to your property and injury or even death to the people inside. In New York City, there are countless people hurt by deteriorating and collapsing ceilings every year. It is a major hazard, one that is due to negligence on the part of landlords, property and store owners, and contractors, and creates a very unsafe environment for you and your family.
Serious injuries can occur when a ceiling collapses! If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York ceiling collapse, you need an experienced and capable ceiling collapse attorney who will work for you and who understands the law, and how dangerous negligence is. New York City landlords and property owners have a legal obligation to maintain their property in all ways, so that there are no areas of health or safety hazards that can cause their tenants injury or even death. This certainly includes making sure that all ceilings are well maintained and any leaking conditions that can cause deterioration of ceilings are repaired.
When some part of a ceiling, such as tiles, plaster, fans and/or lighting fixtures, and more, collapses, that is considered an avoidable accident which should have been foreseen and prevented by the landlords and property owners.
Watch out for these signs of impending roof or ceiling collapse:
- Sagging or Deformed Roof Sections
- This includes water damage, cracks, missing screws, or any other misshapen roofing components.
- You should also look for any active leaks.
- Interior Damage
- Some signs are visible from indoors, and include ceiling cracks, bowed or misshapen drop ceilings, interior roof leaks, damaged water fixtures on the ceiling, yellow stairs, or doors that pop open from pressure.
- Also look for any leaks and water damage including mold or bubbling. This can cause the ceiling to be significantly weakened.
- Strange Noises
- Be sure to listen for any unusual creaking, cracking or popping noises audible from indoors or outdoors.
If you see any signs of ceiling distress like these, alert your landlord immediately and call #311. Document as much as you can about the condition of the building, including pictures of the roof and ceiling, and make sure that all of your communications with your landlord are in writing.
Some common causes of a ceiling collapses include:
- Failure to fix leaks leading to structural damage
- Failure to repair cracks
- Skipped or badly done maintenance
- Poor building materials
- Improper construction techniques
- Water damage
- Incorrect duct work
- Termites or other infestations
In addition to many types of injuries, victims can be unable to work, or work with difficulty, limitations or restrictions for a period of time, and may have lost wages. What kind of injuries can be caused by a collapsing ceiling?
Examples of injuries from collapsing ceilings:
- Head and brain injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury
- Broken bones and fractures
- Severe cuts, bruises, and more
- Paralysis and nerve damage
- Damages to discs, muscles and tissues in the spine
- Damage to joints and their tendons, ligaments, nerves and cartilage, especially vulnerable joints like knees, shoulders, wrists, feet, ankles and elbows.
What do I do if my ceiling collapses in? Call an experienced lawyer, take pictures and document all damages, pieces of ceiling, and your injuries, see a medical professional, and alert your landlord both verbally and in writing.
What can a lawyer do for me if my ceiling caves in? The Law Offices of Nicholas E. Tzaneteas in New York City has experience working on and winning cases for their clients who have had collapsed ceilings. You may not know this, but in addition to lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills, you can get compensation to cover alternative housing costs while your home is being repaired by qualified people.
Here are a few of our recent wins:
- $6,894,132 JURY VERDICT
- Our client was a 19-year-old nursing student who sustained a back injury after being struck by a ceiling that fell on her while she was cleaning the bathtub. The ceiling had been leaking previously, and and our client had notified the landlord, who failed to repair it properly.
- As a result, our client was in her bathroom cleaning, and injured her lower back when a large chunk of ceiling broke away from the structure and fell. After multiple physical therapy visits failed to help relieve her pain, our client had to undergo lower back surgery.
- The jury in Brooklyn found that the landlord was responsible and awarded a total of $6,894,132 in compensation. This was a case of negligence, failure to take care of a ceiling which caused injury. This award will go towards medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
- $2,250,000 FOR CEILING COLLAPSE
- Our client was taking a shower when he was struck by parts of the apartment ceiling. After seeking medical treatment, and as a direct result of the ceiling falling, our client required spinal surgery to the lower back.
- Our client was awarded $2,250,000 as compensation for the injuries.
- $1,200,000 SETTLEMENT
- Our client was a schoolteacher who was in her apartment, when a piece of ceiling collapse and fell down on her. She had a lower back injury from a prior automobile accident that had mostly healed. After being struck by large pieces of ceiling unexpectedly falling from above, she reinjured her back, and the new injury required surgery.
- In court, our client was awarded summary judgment against the landlord, and the court awarded her $1,200,000.
Don’t wait for the ceiling to cave in on you and your family! If you see signs of a weakened structure or possibly an impending collapse, address the warning signs as soon as possible. If your landlord fails to take reasonable measures to fix the problems, he or she could be liable to you for any damage to personal property or injuries you suffer if your ceiling does collapse.
It is important to contact an experienced NYC ceiling collapse attorney who knows the rights of tenants and can be your strong advocate to make sure the landlord and/or the city are held responsible for all damages and injuries.