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

Newark Ceiling And Roof Collapse Injury Attorneys Seeking Justice And Compensation

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 of these cases, 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

Ceiling collapse incidents 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, our personal injury attorneys will carefully examine all available evidence of structural issues 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 of these catastrophic injuries include:

It is also important to note that victims often suffer psychological injuries as well, like post-traumatic stress disorder. Our ceiling collapse injury attorneys will help you seek compensation for all injuries and other damages, including medical expenses, 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 includes texts or emails about potential dangers, property inspections acknowledging these dangers and even documented complaints from the tenant about the dangers. Our experienced lawyers have handled many premises liability claims successfully for our clients.

Liability For All Different Ceiling And Roof Collapses

In a personal injury claim, 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. 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.

What Damages Can You Claim For A Ceiling Or Roof Collapse?

When a ceiling or roof collapses, the aftermath can be devastating. The range of damages for which you might seek compensation may include:

  • Property damage: Cost of repairing or replacing personal belongings and the structure itself
  • Medical bills: Expenses for immediate and ongoing medical treatment resulting from injuries
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress experienced due to the incident
  • Lost wages: Earnings lost if the incident results in an inability to work
  • Relocation expenses: Costs associated with moving to a temporary residence if the property is uninhabitable
  • Hotel stays: Money spent on temporary accommodation while the property is being repaired

Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can provide clarity on the full spectrum of legal remedies available to you after such a catastrophic event.

Do You Still Have To Pay Rent If Your Apartment Building Is Uninhabitable Due To A Collapse?

In New Jersey, tenants have the right to a habitable living environment, as implied by the warranty of habitability. If an apartment building becomes uninhabitable due to a collapse, the tenant may have the right to withhold rent payments. They can also potentially withhold a portion of the rent equivalent to the value of the lost part of the habitable space or the cost of any repairs the tenant undertakes. However, the specifics of this law can be complex, and you should consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your situation.

What Happens When A Collapse Turns Fatal?

If a ceiling collapse kills someone, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim. New Jersey law allows certain family members to seek damages for loss of financial support, companionship and emotional distress. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New Jersey is generally two years from the date of the person’s death, making timely legal consultation crucial.

How Can An Attorney Help With Your Ceiling Collapse Lawsuit?

Hiring an attorney for a ceiling collapse lawsuit can benefit you greatly. A lawyer with experience in personal injury claims can help by:

  • Explaining the law
  • Handling paperwork
  • Negotiating with the insurance companies
  • Maximizing compensation
  • Representing you in court

An attorney’s counsel can lighten the burden on you and your family during a difficult time, allowing you to focus on recovery and rebuilding.

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 in a ceiling collapse lawsuit, call us at 973-988-2042 or fill out our online contact form.