How Do I Establish My Case for a Ceiling Collapse?

Suppose you suffered injuries as a result of a ceiling collapse. In this situation, you might wonder how to establish your case and seek compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Building your case for a ceiling collapse can be complex. That is one reason why you should hire an experienced Houston premises liability attorney at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP.

In the meantime, read on to learn more about the necessary elements to establish a successful compensation claim. 

When Is a Landlord Liable for Injuries on the Premises?

Landlords are legally responsible for maintaining their property in a safe and habitable condition. If a landlord fails to fulfill this obligation and a tenant or visitor suffers injuries, the landlord may be held liable for injuries and other damages on the premises.

Several factors determine whether a landlord is liable for injuries after an accident on their premises, such as a ceiling collapse. These factors are: 

  1. Duty of care. A landlord has a duty of care to ensure their property is free of hazards and dangerous conditions that could harm visitors or customers. This responsibility includes repairing any known dangers or defects on the property.
  2. Notice. You must show that the landlord had notice of the hazard or defect that caused the injury or that they should’ve known about it through a regular inspection. 
  3. Causation. The landlord’s failure to repair the hazard or defect must have been the cause of the injury.
  4. Damages. The victim must have sustained damages, such as medical expenses or time off work. 

If these factors are present, a landlord may be held liable for injuries on the premises. Ceiling collapse claims present unique challenges because hazards and defects might not be as apparent as something spilled on the floor or a sidewalk with damage.

Also, the negligence may fall back onto a contractor or construction company. 

What Are the Landlord’s Liabilities for Injuries on the Premises?

If the landlord is liable for injuries on the premises, they may be required to pay damages to compensate all injured parties for their losses. These damages may include the following items. 

Medical Expenses

The landlord could be responsible for your medical bills. This liability includes the cost of hospitalization, surgery, medication, diagnostic testing, and physical therapy. Future medical expenses can be included in your demand for compensation too. 

Loss of Earnings

If your injuries prevent you from working, the landlord may be required to pay for your lost wages, including future loss of earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering 

The landlord could be required to pay for your pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish.

How to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit in Houston, TX 

Following proper protocol in a premises liability claim is essential. You do not want to jeopardize your potential compensation inadvertently.

You typically have two years to file a lawsuit in Texas for premises liability injury claims, such as a ceiling collapse. We highly recommend contacting a Houston premises liability attorney early on to ensure you do not miss any legal deadlines or say something that hurts your case. 

Before filing a lawsuit, you must gather as much evidence as possible supporting your damage claim. To successfully prevail in litigation, you need solid proof of the defendant’s negligence.

You should file a claim with the defendants’ insurance companies and discuss a potential settlement. When we represent you, we will handle all communication with the defendants, including all possible settlement negotiations. 

If the defendants are unwilling to negotiate in good faith, we will file a lawsuit even if the statute of limitations is not close to expiring.

There is no point in waiting if the defendants have made their position clear that they are unwilling to work toward a resolution. 

Common Types of Evidence You Need for a Premises Liability Claim 

To establish a personal injury claim for a ceiling collapse, you must provide evidence to support your claim. The stronger the evidence, the better. Relevant evidence in a ceiling collapse case includes the following items. 

Scene Photos 

You need evidence that establishes the property’s condition immediately after the accident. Photos of the scene, including the collapsed ceiling, can be helpful for potential experts and can provide evidence at trial. 

Medical Records 

You will need to provide documentation of your injuries, including medical bills, hospital records, physicians, reports, and more. Medical records help to establish the extent of your injuries and the medical treatment you received.

Witness Statements 

If the ceiling collapses in a public place, there is a good chance that some visitors saw the accident but are not presenting injury claims.

If anyone witnessed the accident or the hazard or defect that caused the injury, it is important to get written statements from them. 

Expert Witness Reports and Testimony

If your case is going to trial, we will likely hire at least one expert on your behalf. Expert witnesses might be engineers or other construction experts who can testify to the cause of the ceiling collapse and the landlord’s liability.

Previous Repair Records

If you obtain records showing prior repairs to the ceiling, it might be helpful to present proof that the landlord knew there was an issue. 

Why You Should Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer for a Ceiling Collapse Injury Claim

A legal advocate is valuable in cases like these. Premises liability claims are notoriously complicated. That means you risk losing out on some compensation by representing yourself. Some reasons to consider hiring a Houston premises liability lawyer include the following: 

  • Legal expertise; 
  • Negotiation assistance;
  • Reduces your stress;
  • Access to a network of experts;
  • Experience in taking a case to trial, and
  • Streamlining the litigation process.

Overall, hiring a Houston premises liability lawyer can be beneficial in helping you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages in a ceiling collapse accident.

An experienced lawyer at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP can provide valuable legal advice, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for you in court. 

If you have questions about how to establish your case for a ceiling collapse, contact our office today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, so you have nothing to lose.

With years of premises liability experience, we can help you build a solid case for compensation in Houston.

Author Photo

Joshua Lee believes in aggressive, tough advocacy and a client-centered approach to every case. Joshua draws from a wide body of experiences and a robust understanding of the law. Joshua graduated from the New York University School of Law in New York City, which is considered among the best law schools in the world.