Our Family Has Given A Voice To The Injured For Over 50 Combined Years

East Orange Ceiling and Roof Collapse Lawyers

All buildings sustain a certain amount of wear over time, but property owners who fail to address repairs, leaks, or structural problems risk a catastrophic ceiling or roof collapse and cause any occupants severe injuries or death. Too often, property owners ignore their responsibility to maintain a safe premises for all who enter. When they do, our East Orange ceiling and roof collapse lawyers at Goldstein & Goldstein hold them accountable for their actions. We have been committed to helping injured clients for over 50 combined years, securing millions of dollars in compensation.

What Are Common Causes of Ceiling and Wall Collapses?

  • Accidentally dropping or falling debris or equipment landing on the roof, causing a collapse.
  • Malfunctioning equipment or large equipment operator error causing a wall to topple, collapsing the ceiling or roof.
  • Improperly securing walls or ceilings that collapse due to gravity or weight placed on them.
  • The weight of improperly installed plumbing or ductwork in walls and ceilings.
  • Unaddressed property damage due to leaky pipes, termite damage, mold, exposure to the elements, heavy snow, and ice buildup.

Property owners are required to conduct regular inspections and correct any discovered problems, and it is rarely acceptable for the responsible party to claim no knowledge of any problems.

Who Is Responsible for Ceiling or Roof Collapses?

All property owners are legally obligated to provide a reasonable environment for renters, visitors, or customers. When property owners fail to regularly inspect the building for signs of ceiling or roof damage, they may be legally responsible for any injuries sustained during a collapse. Other potentially liable parties may include:

  • Property manager: Subcontracted property management companies may be responsible if they fail to upkeep and ensure the property’s safety.
  • Construction contractors: If a ceiling or roof collapses due to poor or negligent construction or maintenance, the contractors could be held accountable.
  • Architects and engineers: If a design defect or the structural integrity of a ceiling or roof is compromised, the architects or engineers could share some responsibility.
  • Subcontractors: Building or maintenance subcontractors may be liable for negligence during ongoing ceiling or roof maintenance or repair.
  • Product manufacturers: The manufacturer could be held responsible if defective material or components led to the collapse.
  • Government entities: If a government entity owns or maintains the property, such as a public building, they might be held responsible for the roof collapse.

To prove liability, you need to establish negligence by demonstrating that the responsible party had a duty of care to maintain your safety, breached that duty of care, and the breach resulted in the accident and your injuries and that your injuries cost you financially.

In some instances, certain parties may be held liable for the collapse, regardless of fault. This is known as “strict liability,” often applicable in cases involving defective products or especially negligent activities. A party may also breach a warranty if it breaches an explicit or implied warranty on the condition of the property, building, or roof.

What Compensation Can I Seek for a Ceiling or Roof Collapse?

The damage and injuries caused by a ceiling or roof collapse can be devastating, resulting in costly medical bills, lost income, and significant property damage. Compensation is based on economic damages, which consists of the actual costs incurred due to the accident, and intangible non-economic damages related to your pain and suffering, such as emotional distress or disfigurement. Potential compensation may include:

  • Cost of repairing or replacing the structure and your personal property.
  • Current and future medical expenses related to the treatment of your injuries.
  • Lost wages during recovery and future earning potential if you are permanently unable to work due to your injuries or resulting condition.
  • Relocation expenses for moving to temporary housing or permanent residence if the damage results in your property being uninhabitable.
  • Cost of temporary accommodation during property repairs, such as a hotel or short-term rental.
  • Pain and suffering, such as physical pain or emotional distress due to the incident.
  • Medical expenses, lost future earnings, and funeral and burial costs if the collapse results in the death of a family member.

What Injuries Occur Due to Ceiling or Roof Collapses?

Ceiling and roof collapses can range from minor falling tiles to complete cave-ins, often causing severe injuries or fatalities. Some of the most serious injuries include:

  • Amputations
  • Broken bones
  • Crushing injuries
  • Death
  • Impalement
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Psychological trauma and emotional distress
  • Punctures
  • Traumatic brain injuries

What Should I Do After a Ceiling or Roof Collapse?

Collapses can cause extensive damage and severe injuries. There are steps you should take following a collapse to help gather evidence in the moment, but only if you can safely do so. A collapsed roof can create additional dangerous situations that you should avoid to prevent further or additional injuries. If you can safely do so, you should take the following actions after a ceiling or roof collapse:

  • Report the accident and any injuries to emergency personnel and the property owner or manager if the property does not belong to you.
  • Photograph the scene, including damage to the structure and your personal belongings.
  • Gather contact information and statements from any witnesses.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Ceiling and roof collapses can cause severe and potentially life-threatening injuries if untreated.
  • Maintain all records, reports, expenses, repair estimates, and communication related to the accident and your injuries.
  • Consult an experienced ceiling and roof collapse lawyer as soon as possible.

How Can Goldstein & Goldstein Help Me?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer alleviates the burden of pursuing the responsible party, preparing claims, and negotiating with insurance companies yourself. Legal representation also provides peace of mind so you can focus on your recovery, knowing your case is handled professionally. In addition to providing legal advice and guidance, our East Orange lawyers can:

  • Investigate the accident.
  • Collaborate with your medical team regarding your current and future ongoing medical care.
  • Prepare and file required documentation per deadlines.
  • Interview witnesses.
  • Hire industry experts, if necessary.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies for maximum compensation.
  • Represent you in court should the case go to trial.

Typically, individuals who attempt to represent themselves to recover compensation fare far worse than those who hire experienced legal representation. Our skilled East Orange ceiling and roof collapse lawyers have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for injury claims is two years from the date of the accident or death, meaning you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after a collapse.

Do You Offer Free Consultations?

Yes, initial consultations with our East Orange ceiling and roof collapse lawyers at Goldstein & Goldstein are always free.

Our East Orange Ceiling and Roof Collapse Lawyers at Goldstein & Goldstein Pursue Compensation for Clients Injured by Negligent Property Owners

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a ceiling or roof collapse, our experienced East Orange ceiling and roof collapse lawyers at Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Call today at 973-675-8277 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in East Orange, New Jersey, we serve clients in the surrounding areas.