Take a moment to look up from your screen at the ceiling. How stable does that ceiling look? Is there any way it could ever come crashing down on you?
Surprisingly, ceiling collapses in apartments are more common than you might think. But not surprising, the results of having your ceiling fall down can be absolutely devastating to your body and your property. Here’s what you should do after a ceiling collapse and how a ceiling collapse lawyer can help.
Causes of a Ceiling Collapse
Older apartments in New York City are prone to ceiling collapse if they have plumbing issues. Leaks in units above you can weaken your neighbor’s floor and your ceiling to the point that part of the ceiling becomes so weak that it caves in and breaks.
Ceilings can also become weak and collapse due to mold that is not addressed, cracks that are not repaired, and defects in the materials used to construct the ceiling. Meanwhile, other tenants have been injured by ceiling collapses after their ceilings were damaged due to a termite infestation, improper duct work, maintenance work done poorly, and just old age if the building inspections are not up to date.
Signs that your ceiling may need attention include sagging in the ceiling, cracks, dripping water, or noises that may be caused by pest infestations or structural failure.
Who Could Be at Fault for a Ceiling Collapse in Apartment?
Various people could be liable for a ceiling collapse, including you, a neighbor, the landlord, a construction company, or the manufacturer of ceiling materials. Landlord-caused ceiling collapses are very common in Brooklyn because landlords have certain legal responsibilities and can be pursued for negligence claims.
However, it is important that you, as a tenant, notify your landlord about a potential ceiling issue so that he or she is aware of the problem and has an opportunity to do something about it. This may involve you writing a letter, making a phone call, or sending an email to tell your landlord about a crack or sagging section of your ceiling in a timely manner. This notification should be documented in writing and accompanied by photos for evidence.
What to Do If Your Ceiling Collapses
Because of the heavy materials used to construct a ceiling, serious injuries can result if one comes crashing down on you. These include head and neck injuries, brain injuries, cuts, scrapes, and bruises. When a ceiling falls, it can cause glass and other fragile items in your apartment to shatter and cause even further injuries. Spinal cord injuries and broken bones are often common after a ceiling collapse. Therefore, you will want to seek medical treatment immediately after a ceiling collapse accident to treat your injuries and get medical documentation of what just occurred.
If you are able to, take photos of the aftermath of the ceiling collapse for evidence and compile any documentation you have about apartment inspections, ceiling repairs, and damage notifications. All of these things will be very helpful to have when you contact a ceiling collapse lawyer to pursue your case against an at-fault party.
How a Ceiling Collapse Lawyer Can Help
If you have been the victim of a ceiling collapse in apartment accident, you need an experienced attorney on your side to fight for your rights and help you pay for the damages. The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum handles many types of accident cases, including ceiling collapses, and will deal with the insurance company to get you the highest value settlement possible.
We have helped many local clients prove that their landlords knew about unsafe ceiling issues and either did not conduct reasonable inspections or fix unsafe conditions when notified about them. To determine if you have a viable ceiling collapse case and to get a legal assessment of how much your case is worth, contact us at 718-237-5586. We are available 24/7 to help walk you through the legal process of this kind of accident claim while listening to your concerns and answering all your questions.