Lawyers for Ceiling Collapse Lawsuits
A ceiling collapse caused by the negligent behavior of a third party is inexcusable. The injuries sustained from an accident of this nature can be life-changing or even fatal for an individual. Moreover, the psychological trauma caused might take years and extensive treatment to overcome. As a victim, you deserve to hold the liable parties accountable and receive fair compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a ceiling collapse, don’t hesitate to contact us: call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to speak to an expert personal injury attorney today.
Causes of Ceiling Collapses
Ceilings can collapse for a range of different reasons. Some of the most common causes of ceiling collapses include the following:
- Failure to provide maintenance or fix leaks in a timely manner
- Water damage
- Failure to detect the existence of infestations, such as termites
- Insufficient repairs of interior or exterior cracks
- Use of poor-quality materials, either during repairs or during construction
- Poor construction in general, which might include inadequate ductwork
- Building materials and construction practices that failed to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other construction standards
Before a ceiling collapses, some warning signs might manifest, which should be addressed as soon as possible. If you or a loved one sees any of the following signs, notify your landlord or construction manager and keep a record of all attempts to inform the parties in charge:
- Sagging plasterboard
- Unusual cracking sounds
- Blisters across the ceiling
- Visible damp patches or mold growth
However, in some cases, authorities and citizens of New York have witnessed the collapse of ceilings without any reason or precedent on record. A notable past case led the New York State Education Department to issue an advisory letter addressed to landlords and building owners to have regular maintenance scheduled after the Taft Elementary School building’s roof collapsed. This warning was issued after no apparent damage was detected on the premises. This is important to note, as a ceiling does not necessarily have to show warning signs of damage to collapse. If this was the case for your accident, you may still want to consider discussing your case and what compensation is available to you with a personal injury attorney.
Liability in Ceiling Collapse Accidents
Maintenance is an obligation that every landlord and/or property owner must fulfill, according to Article 301 of the New York City Construction Codes. The code states that the building owner is responsible at all times for the maintenance of the building and keeping it safe and code-compliant. Unfortunately, not all property owners or parties involved provide proper upkeep and repairs to buildings or apartments. An owner or landlord could be negligent in providing repairs to ceilings that need maintenance. Or, they could hire a repairman or contractor to fix a ceiling issue, but the repair is done negligently, ultimately leading to a ceiling collapse. In a case like this, the contractor or repairman could also be held liable for the collapse, in addition to the property owner or landlord. Finally, in some cases, the damage can come from the very construction of a building if construction companies fail to comply with the New York State standards and regulations relative to construction.
Therefore, there are multiple parties who could be held responsible for a ceiling collapse. Owners, landlords, repairmen, and contractors could be held liable for the damages caused due to a ceiling collapse. Construction companies might also be liable if it is proven that ceilings were poorly built, defective materials were used, or minimum requirements of the law were not met. A premises liability attorney will be able to discuss the possible fault of various negligent parties with you.
Injuries from Ceiling Collapses
Injuries experienced after a ceiling collapse vary. An individual might experience physical injuries, leading to economic losses due to a diminished earning capacity at their job. In addition, they may experience psychological damage that could compromise their quality of life. Some of the potential injuries resulting from ceiling collapse accidents include but are not limited to:
- Minor to severe bruising, cuts, and scratches
- Soft tissue damage
- Bone fractures of various degrees
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and nerve damage
- Loss of limbs
- Psychological distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Complications that cause the death of the victim
Damages sustained could be either economic or non-economic, and go beyond just your physical injuries. Economic damages could include medical bills for your physical injuries, loss of income if you can no longer work or must work at a limited capacity because of your injuries, or property damage. Non-economic damages could include the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident, your mental or emotional trauma, or the loss of quality of life because of your injuries. You deserve to recover the sufficient compensation required to restore you to as closely as possible to the state you were in before the accident. Call the New York attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy to fight for you. Since 2012, we have recovered over $1.5 billion in compensation for our clients. Call 212-736-5300 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our online contact form.
What to Do After a Ceiling Collapse
First, an individual’s health and welfare are the priority. Therefore, as a victim, when you’re able to do so, move yourself and anyone with you away from danger. If you or anyone involved in the accident has been injured, seek medical help immediately. If you or a loved one near you is able to do so, carry out the following to protect your rights:
- Communicate with your landlord, superintendent, construction company representative, or manager about the accident.
- If it is safe to do so, gather as much information as possible about the damage. Take pictures and footage from different angles. Also, document the damages to your personal belongings and property.
- Obtain contact information and testimonials from witnesses, if possible.
- Seek evidence that includes previous notifications to property owners or corresponding relevant parties to fix your ceiling, if any notice of damage was given before the actual collapse.
- File a report with all the above information addressed to the property owner and keep a copy. This information will also be helpful for your insurance claim or if you want to start a lawsuit against the negligent party.
- Notify your insurance company about your accident to start your claim. You might also request the assistance of a premises liability lawyer to help you fill out your claim and discuss the possibility of a lawsuit.
- If you were injured at work, notify your employer and start the process of filing a work accident claim.
When a ceiling collapse occurs due to the negligence of a third party, you or a loved one should not have to pay for all the damages. Our clients trust the experience and commitment of our lawyers to take their cases and get the compensation and justice they deserve. Your only concern should be your health, welfare, and how to adjust after surviving an accident due to a ceiling collapse. At Block O’Toole & Murphy, we will fight aggressively to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Aggressive Litigation in Ceiling Collapse Lawsuits
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have recovered well over $1.5 billion for clients in personal injury lawsuits and are recognized by reputable organizations, including Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, the New York Law Journal and more. Since 2012, we have resolved more cases exceeding $1 million than any other law firm in New York. Our lawyers offer aggressive and skilled legal representation in ceiling collapse lawsuits.
Recent ceiling collapse case recoveries for clients include:
- $5.85 million settlement in a Bronx case for a 44-year-old woman who was cooking dinner in her kitchen when a large section of the ceiling collapsed and fell on her head, back, and neck, causing her to fall to the floor. As a result, she was rendered unconscious and was later diagnosed with herniated and bulging disks, ultimately requiring multiple surgeries. Despite these surgeries, she still experiences ongoing pain and numbness.
- $2.3 million settlement for a Brooklyn resident who was injured as a result of a ceiling collapse in the bathroom of his rental. The ceiling collapse caused a preexisting herniated disk in his neck to get worse, ultimately requiring a one-level discectomy and fusion.
- $2.25 million settlement for a client who was struck by a portion of the ceiling that fell while she was sleeping. She was knocked unconscious and needed to be transferred to the hospital by emergency services. As a result of the incident, she sustained serious neck injuries, which ultimately required surgery after more conservative treatment failed to relieve her pain.
- $1.45 million settlement for a 25-year-old Brooklyn renter who suffered neck injuries after a portion of the ceiling collapsed and knocked her down while she was showering. The ceiling collapsed as a result of a long-standing leak that our client alleged the defendants knew about but failed to repair. As a result of her injuries, she required cervical fusion surgery at the C5-C6 level.
- $1 million settlement for a 38-year-old woman who was struck by a portion of the ceiling that collapsed in her kitchen, causing her to fall to the floor. She had notified the maintenance department that the ceiling was sagging a week prior to the incident, but the building maintenance failed to fix the issue.
Call to Schedule a Free Consultation
Our attorneys handle cases from Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, and upstate New York, including Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Yonkers, Syracuse and New Rochelle. We also serve all of New Jersey and have resolved cases for accident victims in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Middlesex counties and more. To speak with a Block O’Toole & Murphy attorney today, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form, and one of our lawyers will reach out to you shortly.