Seeking Justice And Compensation After A Ceiling Or Roof Collapse
If you are staying as a renter or guest in a space owned by someone else, it is incumbent upon the property owner and/or manager to ensure that the building is reasonably safe and not in a dangerous condition. This is true whether you are renting an apartment, a single-family home, a hotel room or any similar property.
Unfortunately, property owners too often ignore this responsibility, leading to serious accidents on the premises. Some of the most serious injuries involve roof and ceiling collapses. If you or someone you love was injured (or worse) in a preventable accident on dangerous private property, the attorneys at Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, are ready to help you seek compensation and justice. We have over 50 years of combined experience in New Jersey personal injury law.
Collapses Caused By Property Damage
In many cases, these ceiling collapse accidents occur because the roof or ceiling is weakened by damage that should have been noticed and repaired in a timely fashion. Common examples include:
- Leaky pipes and other water problems that go unaddressed
- Termite damage that weakens the support structure of the roof or ceiling
- Mold damage that rots ceiling joists and other critical structures
- Exposure to outdoor elements due to poor insulation, an unfixed window or other problems that prevent proper climate/moisture control
- Heavy snow and ice buildup on the roof that is not mitigated or cleared
It is the responsibility of property owners to conduct regular inspections and correct problems that are discovered during those inspections. It is rarely an acceptable excuse for the responsible party to claim that they were unaware of a problem.
What To Do After A Ceiling Or Roof Collapse
After a collapse, there is a lot you can do to protect your best interests. If you are safely able to navigate around the collapse, take pictures or video of the collapse as evidence. Keep records of any maintenance work involved with the collapse, and any other documents that can relate to it, such as medical documents about your injuries. Lastly, contact our law firm for the representation you need.
Problems With Design, Construction Or Building Materials
Collapses are sometimes caused by poor design or construction that goes unnoticed until a serious accident has occurred. Examples include:
- Architectural designs that were not approved by a structural engineer to ensure that they met requirements for weight loads, wind loads and other forces
- Negligent construction practices that deviated from the design plans or missed important elements
- Repair work that was haphazardly completed by inexperienced or unqualified workers
- Builders who used materials of substandard quality to save money
When we investigate your case, we will carefully examine all available evidence to determine what went wrong and who was at fault. Liability may rest with one party or multiple parties, including designers, builders, repair workers and property owners/managers.
Victims Can Suffer Serious Injuries During A Collapse
A ceiling/roof collapse can be as minor as falling tiles and drywall to complete cave-ins. Therefore, a wide range of injuries is possible. Common examples include:
- Concussions (traumatic brain injuries)
- Neck and back injuries
- Cuts, bruises and broken bones
- Crushed organs and internal bleeding
It is also important to note that victims often suffer psychological injuries as well, like post-traumatic stress disorder. We will help you seek compensation for all injuries and other damages, including lost wages, permanent disability, pain and suffering and more.
How Can You Prove Liability In A Ceiling And Roof Collapse Case?
For any valid premises liability case, you need to be able to prove that the property owner or landlord knew about the conditions that posed an unreasonable risk of harm. Evidence such as texts or emails about potential dangers, property inspections acknowledging these dangers, and even documented complaints from the tenant about the dangers.
Liability For All Different Ceiling And Roof Collapses
Liability for a roof collapse can extend beyond just the property owner. Depending on the nature of your case, liable parties for your collapse can include:
- Airbnb: The company you rented a place to stay in can be liable for the safety of the tenants, even if the guests are simply staying for a brief amount of time.
- Restaurants: Any restaurant has an obligation to provide a safe environment for patrons to eat in safety. Failing to meet that obligation can make them liable for any consequences of their neglect.
- Shopping areas: Like restaurants, any store or mall needs to be sure that their guests are not in danger while on the premises, otherwise, the reckless or negligent actions that led to the collapse can be their liability.
We can take the time to review the unique factors of your case to determine who is liable in your case, whether you are an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
What Is A Landlord’s Responsibility For Damages Caused To A Tenant In New Jersey?
It is a landlord’s responsibility to quickly make any critical repairs to a property to ensure it is safely habitable. Failing to do this can mean that the avoidable damages that they caused through action or inaction can be their responsibility, such as property damage and medical bills.
Take Advantage Of A Free Case Evaluation With An Attorney
With an office in East Orange, Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, serves clients throughout the surrounding areas of New Jersey, specifically Newark. We offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients, and we are able to communicate in English, Spanish and French Creole. To discuss your rights and legal options, call us at 973-609-5693 or fill out our online contact form.